Willing Foe helps Frankie Dettori win first Ebor
26 Aug 2012 | Report: York, Saturday
Betfred Ebor (Handicap) (Class 2) 1m6f, 3yo+
After 25 years of trying Frankie Dettori has finally won the York Ebor, producing a spectacular ride on the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Willing Foe to take the £225,000 handicap.
The winning pair overhauled Royal Diamond after a prolonged battle inside the final few furlongs, getting up close home to land the 1m6f contest.
Settled in mid-division, Dettori was travelling ominously well on the five-year-old as the 19-strong field entered the home straight, positioned towards the centre of the track as the field stayed far side.
Royal Diamond, who had raced prominently throughout, took things up with two furlongs to run, but was instantly challenged by Dettori.
However Niall McCullagh's mount found more, resisting the challenge for a furlong and a half before finally getting ground down and succumbing close home to a determined Dettori.
The win means Willing Foe enters consideration for the Melbourne Cup. Saeed Bin Suroor said: "After he ran last time we felt he needed a mile and six. We will keep options open for the future but a mile and six plus would be best for him.
"The Melbourne Cup is one of the options. We also have Cavalryman, Lost In The Moment and Colour Vision. As we come close to quarantine time we will decide. Usually we choose two to take there."
Number Theory, a winner on his last three starts, stayed on well for third on his first try at 1m6f, with the 7-2 favourite Motivado finishing fourth.
"We were beaten fair and square I thought," said Motivado-trainer Sir Mark Prescott. "He travelled very well, always beautifully positioned, quickened up well but the other three just stuck it out more then he did.
"I can't have any complaints. We've enjoyed the excitement and thoroughly enjoyed it."