Frankie Dettori says his Investec Derby race was over before it began as English King lost at Epsom

Frankie Dettori says his Investec Derby race was over before it started as English King failed to deliver at Epsom

Frankie Dettori believes losing ground by veering left leaving the starting stalls was the moment that English King lost his chance in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

The post mortem continued yesterday into how Emmet McNamara-ridden Serpentine was able to make all the running to land the Classic by five and a half lengths and secure a record eighth win for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Sectional timings supported the visual evidence that McNamara on the 25-1 winner was able to build up an unassailable lead – poaching valuable lengths in the seventh and eighth furlongs of the mile and a half race that allowed him to hang on despite being on the slowest horse in the race over the last two furlongs.

Frankie Dettori admits that he was left for dead on English King in the Investec Derby at Epsom

The numbers suggest that his fellow jockey made an error not chasing him earlier but Dettori, who finished fifth on English King, said his race plan was dictated by the stalls exit.

He said: ‘Stall one was a big negative. He went left at the start and then I am on the back foot straight away. Once you are in that position you are in the lap of the gods.

‘I thought I was following the right horse in Mogul and Kameko but unfortunately they did not take me into the race. Coming around Tattenham Corner we gave Serpentine a big lead and then we are playing catch-up.

‘I wish things had panned out a bit differently. I think the winner was good but when he was let loose in front he left us for dead.’

Serpentine’s next race could be the St Leger at Doncaster in September, although that could also be the target of O’Brien’s Irish Derby winner Santiago via a shot at the Goodwood Cup.

The St Leger could also be the destination of Andrew Balding’s Khalifa Sat. He will drop Kameko back in trip with the one-mile Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and 10-furlong International Stakes at York possible targets.

A great weekend for the O’Brien family got even better when youngest son Donnacha, in his first season as a trainer, won yesterday’s French Oaks at Chantilly with Fancy Blue, ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot.

It was a 1-2-3 for Ireland with Jessica Harrington’s Alpine Star second and Aidan O’Brien’s Peaceful third.

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