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Dettori Confident On Aust Mount Nicconi For Royal Ascot
Leading jockey Frankie Dettori "believes it will take a smart performance to defeat his Gr1 King's Stand Stakes mount", the David Hayes-trained Gr1-winning 4YO Australian sprinter Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) at Royal Ascot's opening day next Tuesday, reported gbiracing.com. Dettori enthused: "I rode him on Tuesday morning & I was very pleased & I wouldn't swap him for anything else. David said he always runs best 1st-time-up. He's the best Australian sprinter & I'm not sure there's anything about in Europe (to beat him). He has come from a different part of the world & flown for 24 hours. That's a big deal, but if he runs his race he'll take all the beating." Hayes added: "Nicconi is the classiest sprinter I have had & I believe he can win the King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs). He is pretty good when he goes. History is in his favour." (All 4 winners of Australia's Gr1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington who have subsequently contested the King's Stand Stakes have won at Royal Ascot: Choisir in 2003, Takeover Target 2006, Miss Andretti 2007 & Scenic Blast 2009. Nicconi motored home from last-to-first to win this year's renewal in January.) Hayes also noted: "It looks like there will be a good true pace in the race, with 2 or 3 horses going to set it up for a horse coming from the back. One of the main reasons of booking Frankie was, if it is a big field, I am sure Frankie has more friends & knows who to follow than the Aussie boys." Nicconi worked on the Limekilns grass gallop at Newmarket overnight & Hayes commented: "I was so impressed with the quality of the gallop, not the horse, the turf. There are wonderful options for trainers in Newmarket. Nicconi did not do much this morning - he was looking at the press."