ISAAC SHELBY hit top gear in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury… while Frankie Dettori hit the deck.
All eyes were on the Italian, who recently returned to the UK after a stint in America especially to ride Andrew Balding’s star three-year-old Chaldean.
But no sooner had the starting stalls opened than the horse was bumped and Frankie lost his irons and his battle with gravity.
The horse was none the worse and was caught shortly after the race, but it is far from an ideal preparation for the 2,000 Guineas.
Barry Mahon, the racing manager for owners Juddmonte, described the incident as a “freak accident”.
And a disappointed Dettori explained: “I got bumped coming out of the stalls and my foot slipped out of the irons.”
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His departure left the key Classic trial wide-open – but we still ended up with a wide-margin winner.
Brian Meehan’s Isaac Shelby was among the smartest two-year-old’s of 2022 and he stepped up again on his first outing of the year, beating Charyn by three lengths.
The trainer had been plotting a run in the French Guineas and he is keen to stick to the script, rather than cough up £30,000 to run at Newmarket.
Meehan said: “He is a lovely horse and he has so much class, as he showed us last year.
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“He is right up there with the best I’ve had, he looks like a Group 1 horse and the French Guineas has always been the plan.
“I imagine we will stick with the plan and it’s great that he has come out and won like that.”
In the Fred Darling Stakes, Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten Remarquee overcame inexperience to win cosily – and she is now just 6-1 for the 1,000 Guineas.
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