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Gold-en Vision for Frankie
Colour Vision and Frankie Dettori survived a stewards' inquiry as they held off fellow Godolphin runner Opinion Poll to take top honours in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
The Italian rider had to choose between the pair earlier this week and many saw it as a surprise when he sided with Saeed bin Suroor's Colour Vision over the more established Opinion Poll.
Dettori settled the 6-1 chance on the heels of the leaders for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey and quickened up well in the straight to take the lead. Opinion Poll came from further back with a big challenge under Mickael Barzalona, but Colour Vision held on by half a length.
The front two came close together, but although the stewards immediately called an inquiry, the placings remained unaltered, and Dettori, who has been the subject of much speculation with the big rides now shared around the Godolphin team, was delighted to get a big-race win on the board.
He said: "It was great. This was my best chance of the week. I had to make a very hard decision (to ride Colour Vision over Opinion Poll). They are both great horses and warriors and I finished up the best, but only by a short margin.
"I'm delighted for the team and myself as well. It's been a very hard week and I'm glad this one came up. It was great, we have a great team, and first and second is a great result."
Much has been made of Barzalona's rise to prominence with Godolphin. However, Dettori insisted there was no extra joy in beating his fellow Godolphin rider in the finish.
He said: "Me and Mickael are good friends but when you are out there, you are by yourself and you want to win for yourself. It doesn't matter who is in the finish, you always try to win."
Asked if he felt the victory re-established his seniority within the Godolphin riding ranks, Dettori said with a smile: "No. We'll have to prove it in the next one - you only remember the last one."
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "After Frankie rode the horse last time, he knew it would be hard to choose between the two but when he picked our horse, he thought he'd picked the best one. He's improving all the time. We know now that he can run in all the best staying races and it's great to see Frankie winning it again."