Triumphant jockey James Doyle paid tribute to the advice of Frankie Dettori after riding Big Orange to a thrilling Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot on Thursday.
Last year’s winner Order Of St George chased down the frontrunning Big Orange in the last furlong but Michael Bell’s 5/1 shot showed huge courage to hold off the odds-on favourite under Ryan Moore.
Dettori had been due to ride Big Orange until injury forced him out of the meeting on Tuesday, but Doyle revealed that the three-time Champion Jockey had still played his part in the race.
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“Frankie’s a real star. He called me a couple of nights ago and I was probably on the phone for about 20 minutes getting instructions and him telling me all about the horse,” said Doyle.
“He was spot on. Frankie said to me: ‘Whatever you do, don’t interfere with him.’ He knows what speed he wants to go at and you just sit as a passenger.
“I had Frankie's voice in my head as I just eased him out and let him go to the front and the rest was history.”
It was a second Group One win of the week for Doyle, who also piloted Barney Roy to glory for trainer Richard Hannon and the Godolphin stable in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday.
Order Of St George was second by a short head, with 33/1 chance Harbour Law, last year’s St Leger winner, a distant third.
Legendary racehorse Frankel’s offspring tasted Royal Ascot success for the first time when Atty Persse won the closing King George V Stakes.
Moore rode his third winner of the week when he steered the Aidan O’Brien-trained Sioux Nation to the Norfolk Stakes. The 14/1 shot won by half a length from 13/2 favourite Santry.
John Gosden’s Coronet pipped 2/1 favourite Mori in the Ribblesdale Stakes.