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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 November, 2004, 11:44 GMT
Frankie and fillies top Flat bill
Frankie Dettori may have been the headline act of the 2004 Flat season but there were also several other major attractions.

Attraction being the apt word with the filly of that name winning both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas and completing her Group One hat-trick in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Frankie Dettori
Champion jockey:
Frankie Dettori (192 winners)
Champion trainer:
Saeed bin Suroor (4.3m prize money)
Champion owner:
Godolphin (3m prize money)
Champion apprentice:
Tom Queally (59 winners)

The Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old also ended the season on a high with another top-level victory in the Sun Chariot Stakes.

In between, she was twice beaten into the runners-up spot by Soviet Song, who herself clocked up a Group One hat-trick.

The four-year-old, trained by James Fanshawe, showed that you do not have to be a millionaire to have top-class racehorses, owned as she is by the 17,000-strong Elite Racing Club syndicate.

In contrast, the other 2004 super-filly, Ouija Board, is owned solely by Lord Derby, whose ancestor founded the world's most famous Flat race.

She won both the English and Irish Oaks and was a brave third when taking on the colts in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

And the three-year-old rounded the season off in style with victory in the Fillies and Mares Turf race at the Breeders' Cup in Texas.

It was a successful British foray across the Atlantic with the two UK-trained horses in action in the US both winning.

Kieren Fallon won on Ouija Board while Frankie Dettori scored an unlikely success on Wilko in the Juvenile race.

Those two jockeys were involved in a title battle for much of the season, which resulted in a rejuvenated Dettori breaking Fallon's stranglehold on the title.

Irishman Fallon enjoyed several high points in 2004 - most notably doing the Oaks-Derby double on Ouija Board and North Light - but there were also darker moments.

Not least was a 21-day ban in March for failing to ride to the finish in a race at Lingfield.

He is still awaiting a Jockey Club hearing into News of the World allegations of bringing racing into disrepute, which he denies.

And in September Fallon was arrested in a dawn raid as part of a police investigation into alleged race-fixing - he has been bailed until next April.

Ouija Board
1,000 Guineas: Attraction
2,000 Guineas: Haafhd
Oaks: Ouija Board
Derby: North Light
St Leger: Rule of Law

It was only the second time in seven years that Fallon had not won the jockeys' title and the first time in nine years that Dettori had.

Dettori's principal employer Godolphin also enjoyed a successful season with Saeed bin Suroor claiming the trainers' championship.

Even when the bubbly Italian was not around, the famous royal blue colours were still winning, Australian Kerrin McEvoy capping a fine first season as Godolphin's second string rider with victory on Rule of Law in the St Leger.

Other trainers were not so successful with the usually prolific Aidan O'Brien notable for his absence from the winner's enclosure.

That resulted in a disappointing first season for new Ballydoyle stable jockey Jamie Spencer, although the 24-year-old did become the second-youngest Irish champion jockey.

There was universal sadness at the death of Persian Punch, one of the most popular horses in training.

The veteran 11-year-old had always endeared himself to the crowds with his gutsy, front-running style and it was perhaps fitting that he should die on the course after a race at Ascot.

And Ascot itself bade a temporary farewell to racing with the famous course shutting for 20 months for a 185m revamp.






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