Picture: Emily Upjohn (Timeform.com)
‘Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, something like that happens’.
Frankie Dettori is keeping his fingers crossed Emily Upjohn has used up all her ill fortune ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained filly made a huge splash with a wide-margin Sandown victory on her seasonal reappearance in April and went on to hack up in the Group Three Musidora Stakes at York – a victory that saw her sent off the 6-4 favourite for the Oaks.
However, she endured a nightmare run at Epsom as she conceded plenty of ground when she stumbled coming out of the stalls, before being beaten just a short head by Tuesday at the line.
Classic consolation looked hers for the taking in last weekend’s Irish Oaks, but that Curragh bid was scuppered by travel issues and forced connections to reroute to the 12-furlong showpiece.
The three-year-old gets weight from each of her five rivals at Ascot and Dettori hopes Emily Upjohn can now enjoy a slice of luck and make use of her handy advantage.
He told his Sporting Index blog: “It’s nice to have a race for Emily Upjohn so soon after she was forced to miss the Irish Oaks through travel complications.
“It’s unfortunate what happened, but at least we have the King George only a week later, so she’s still able to carry on her routine.
“She worked nicely at the July Course a couple of weeks back and has seemed in good form since, so we’re all set, but the King George is going to be a much tougher race.
“It’s a small but select field and all six runners are good horses, so there aren’t really any outsiders. She was ready to go to Ireland and she’s also ready to go to Ascot.
“We get a massive pull in the weights, which is a big help, and barring any accidents I’m hoping for a big performance. Fingers crossed we got all the bad luck out of the way at Epsom!”
Dettori is eager to put the Epsom incident behind the duo and strike gold for an eighth time following the victories of Lammtarra (1995), Swain (1998), Daylami (1999) and Doyen (2004), plus the hat-trick heroine Enable (2017, 2019, 2020).
He added: “Epsom was a nightmare, but that’s racing. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, something like that happens.
“You can’t take anything for granted in racing and we just have to keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well.
“Ascot is a beautiful track, I love it, it tends to be very fair and the King George is a race you want to win every year.”