Royal Ascot 2023

Frankie off to a flyer on day four thanks to Porta Fortuna

Frankie Dettori brought up 80 Royal Ascot winners after guiding Porta Fortuna (5/1) to a length success in the opening G3 Albany Stakes for juvenile fillies.

Porta Fortuna, a daughter of Caravaggio who landed a G3 at Naas last time out, led entering the final furlong and always looked in control thereafter. Matrika took second for last year’s winning trainer Aidan O’Brien, while the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned Soprano fared best of those drawn high in third.

It was a first Royal Ascot success for trainer Donnacha O’Brien, who confirmed afterwards that the Breeders’ Cup would likely be on the agenda for a filly whose owners are all from the United States.

Dettori said: “Eighty winners at Royal Ascot – unbelievable! I’ve fulfilled my dream. Ascot has always been special to me, I love it so much, and to reach 80 winners is incredible.

“One hundred per cent I wanted to get to the 80 winners… I thought ‘God, I’ve got to get three more, but it is easier said than done. Now I have done it, ‘yes!’ It is a big number!

“This is a solid filly – she’s speedy, she’s got a turn of foot and she gave me an armchair ride. Well done Donnacha. At the moment this filly feels like a sprinter, but only time will tell.

“I’m only thinking about the next race now, I’m enjoying the moment.”

O’Brien said: “It means a lot to train a first Royal Ascot winner. Porta Fortuna is a very smart filly, and big congratulations to all the owners – they spotted her potential early and bought into her. The plan was to come here and it is great that it has come off.

“She travelled really well and quickened smartly, but she kept going to the line well. She is just a very smart filly.

“We’ll take her home and see how she comes out of it. She is quite a scopey filly – she is owned by a bunch of American owners so the Breeders’ Cup will be a target, whether she will stay that far or not we will see. We will see how she comes out of the race, then we will make a plan.

“All the owners are Americans, big congratulations to all of them. [bloodstock agent] Mark McStay bought her for them, and to be fair they saw her potential and they know it is a big gamble to buy a filly out of a maiden. But they have been proven right, so fair play to them.”

Soprano’s trainer George Boughey said: “I am delighted with her. She looked like she was probably drawn on the wrong side unfortunately, but we are thrilled. She’s a filly that is always going to get further. She’s out of a sister to a Breeders’ Cup Mile winner and that’s where her future lies, probably up in trip. They just had a little bit too much toe for her and sprinted away, but she hit the line strong.”

William Buick added: “Soprano ran super. I wish I was drawn where the others were. It didn’t help that I had to chase the race quite early, but she stayed on really well.”

2.30pm Albany Stakes (Group 3)

1 Porta Fortuna (S Weston, B Fowler, Medallion Racing 2020 LLC, Reeves Racing) Donnacha O’Brien IRE 2-9-02 Frankie Dettori 5/1

2 Matrika (S Magnier, M Tabor, D Smith, Westerberg) Aidan O’Brien IRE 2-9-02 Ryan Moore 9/1

3 Soprana (Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Da Vinci) George Boughey 2-9-02 William Buick 18/1

17 ran              10/3 fav Carla’s Way (8th)

Donnacha O’Brien – 1st Royal Ascot winner

Frankie Dettori – 80th Royal Ascot winner

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