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Horse Racing: Weekend Review

Frankie Dettori had the ultimate 'up and down' day on Saturday but, as he almost always is, the veteran Italian was right where he wanted to be when it mattered most.

Dettori's golden moment saw Chaldean crowned as champion two-year-old, while the Charles Byrnes-trained Run For Oscar turned the Cesarewitch into a procession.

Here's our look back on the weekend's racing action and the biggest stories.

Chaldean does his dad proud

Saturday was always likely to be a big day for Juddmonte, the bloodstock behemoth, as they had both Nostrum and Chaldean close to the head of the betting for the Dewhurst at Newmarket.

The former is a Kingman colt and was unbeaten going into the race but it was Frankel offspring Chaldean and Dettori that won the major Group 1 prize.

After a big week at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket, where Frankel was the highest-grossing stallion returning receipts totalling 18,745,000 gns, the Andrew Balding-trained Chaldean ensured Frankel was living up to his reputation on the track.

Dettori made the running on last month's Champagne Stakes winner and Chaldean showed a fine turn of speed to apply pressure two furlongs out, before holding off the late challenge from Royal Scotsman and Jim Crowley, with Nostrum well held in third under Richard Kingscote.

With two of the first three home, it was a fantastic result for Juddmonte.

"He's a special horse by a special stallion," said Juddmonte racing manager Barry Mahon of the winner. "We're very lucky to have Frankel and Kingman. They're two phenomenal sires and testament to Prince Khalid's breeding for over 30 years that he's bred elite stallions like these two.

"Chaldean won't have any problem staying a mile, and neither will Nostrum. He'll be a better horse next year and we've got two lovely horses who will keep us dreaming through the winter."

Chaldean is 8/1 for the 2000 Guineas back at Newmarket next season, while Nostrum is in the market at 10/1 following his first taste of defeat.

Frankie's bouncebackability on display

For Dettori, now aged 51, it was a third Dewhurst win in five years after having failed to land the Newmarket contest throughout his near three-decade career before Too Darn Hot won in 2018.

The day could hardly have started in more testing circumstances, however. His mount Liftoff clipped heels with a rival in the Zetland Stakes, catapulting Dettori to the turf in the opener.

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Dettori walked away, sore but still ready for his big-race ride on Chaldean and, following their win, he still managed the customary flying dismount that accompanies his big-race wins.

"I'm pretty shook up, I must say," said Dettori. "I don't envy the jump jockeys, but luckily I'm in one piece. I've got a couple of knocks and a bit of a headache but there's nothing like a Group 1 to put you right, right?"

Byrnes pulls off Cesarewitch plan

Newmarket's Cesarewitch is often one of the most frenzied and challenging handicaps of the year, run over 2m2f and routinely contested by a huge field. Numbers were down this year, with just 21 making the starting gates, but it still looked a major punting puzzle at the off.

Master Irish trainer Charles Byrnes had pinpointed this race from some way out for Run For Oscar and David Egan's mount was well supported on the day, challenging for favouritism with Nicky Henderson's Ahorsewithnoname.

In the race itself, Run For Oscar had no equals. Egan's mount made smooth headway from the rear and cruised into the lead as the final furlong approached, with more than three lengths to spare on runner-up Vino Victrix for Hughie Morrison and Benoit De La Sayette.

"I had him entered in the Irish Cesarewitch, but took him out early as I thought this track would suit him better," said Byrnes. "I know it was more money at the Curragh [in the Irish Cesarewitch], but you need so much more of luck in running around there. This is a nice pot and it's nice to have won it."

Rockingham win but Haggas doubts title dream

Charlie Appleby is in pole position to be champion trainer at Ascot this weekend after the Godolphin trainer extended his advantage over William Haggas after a treble at Newmarket on Saturday.

Alpha Capture denied stablemate Kyeema by a head in a thrilling finish to the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York on Saturday for Haggas, who will be expected to see 1/4 Baaeed win the £1.3million Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot this coming weekend.

Haggas and Appleby had been separated by just over £72,000 before racing on Saturday and Maureen Haggas feels it is the latter in prime position with a week of the season left.

"Charlie had a good day at Newmarket and has a bit more ammo than we have," she said. "We've lost some big guns, with Aldaary and now Maljoom out of Champions Day. We'll try our best, but we can't do anything more than that."

Havlin toasts Fillies' Mile win

Rab Havlin has long been an important part of John Gosden's team at Clarehaven. A talented rider, Havlin's work with many of the superstars to come through the yard on the gallops at home is not underestimated by those closest to Team Gosden.

Often, it has been the likes of Dettori that partnered those same stars in their major racecourse assignments, where Havlin's hard work paid off.

With Dettori sidelined on Friday, his colleague finally claimed his maiden Group 1 victory aboard Commissioning in the bet365 Fillies' Mile.

Commissioning briefly looked in a spot of trouble in the Newmarket dip before picking up strongly to score. She's now 4/1 for the 1000 Guineas back at Headquarters next spring.

Derby-winning jockeys Adam Kirby and Richard Kingscote were among the riders waiting to greet Havlin, while Dettori was there too, ready to salute his friend.

"He is my best friend and to see him win a Group 1 is great," said Dettori, who missed the victory due to suspension. "He puts in so much hard work. All the best horses I have ridden in my life he has prepared for me and he has finally got his rewards, which is amazing."

Commissioning was a major chance for that elusive Group 1 win and Havlin admitted he needed to retain his focus going into the race, once it was clear Dettori would be absent.

"We knew she was coming here with a top chance and everybody was wishing me good luck, but my focus has been on doing things to keep my mind busy," Havlin said.

"Frankie tends not to leave any stone unturned when it comes to what he rides in a Group 1 either - and he doesn't get banned nearly enough! I'm elated, but I also don't think it's really sunk in."

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