Frankie Dettori wins Epsom Derby on favourite Golden Horn
Frankie Dettori capped his renaissance with a thrilling victory on favourite Golden Horn to win the 236th running of the Derby at Epsom.
Dettori produced an ice-cool ride on the 13-8 favourite to beat his John Gosden-trained stablemate Jack Hobbs by three-and-a-half lengths, with Storm The Stars third.
The 44-year-old jockey punched the air as he passed the line and did a trademark flying dismount in the winner's enclosure.
"It was unbelievable. The horse was brilliant," said Dettori, riding for the first time in the race since returning from a six-month drugs ban two years ago.
In his 20th Derby ride, it was a second victory in the race for the Italian-born rider, who triumphed for the first time at the 15th attempt on Authorized in 2007.
He bided his time before pouncing in the final furlong to deny Jack Hobbs, ridden by William Buick, who was running in the colours of Dettori's former long-time employers Godolphin.
"Where do I start? What an unbelievable day," Dettori told BBC Radio 5 live.
"I was excited at the big job ahead of me, but it all went like clockwork from start to finish.
"When you're young, you don't really appreciate the full importance of this Derby, so it means a great deal to win it for a second time.
"I've had a colourful life, but I'm not finished."
|Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght's verdict:|
|"Of course Dettori will grab most of the Derby headlines, but this was a highly significant result for all concerned. "Golden Horn retains his unbeaten record brilliantly, so confirming the form of the Dante Stakes in which Jack Hobbs was also runner-up. "It's all spectacularly vindicated Anthony Oppenheimer's decision to pay for the late entry, and his colt's stamina lasted every inch. "And to saddle two Derby runners, as Gosden did, and to finish first and second is nothing short of magnificent."|
Hans Holbein and Elm Park had battled for the lead early on, before the former stepped up the pace, but it was Jack Hobbs - named after the former England and Surrey cricketer - who hit the front as the race unfolded.
Dettori had to find room wide and the question was whether his horse would see out the demanding mile-and-a-half trip.
The answer was very much in the affirmative as he powered clear for a dominant victory to spark emotional scenes.
Dettori had not ridden in the race since 2011 and had been written off by some observers when he initially struggled to regain his form after a split from Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team and a positive test for cocaine.
But the three-time champion jockey has been rejuvenated recently and found a highly-talented partner in the unbeaten Golden Horn.
Owner Anthony Oppenheimer had risked a £75,000 supplementary fee to add the horse as a late addition to the Derby field, and landed the first prize of more than £800,000.
The result was a mirror image of the Dante Stakes at York in May, where Golden Horn had beaten Jack Hobbs, although Dettori was on the runner-up and Buick the winner that day.
Buick was switched to Jack Hobbs after Godolphin bought a share in the colt.