Aidan O’Brien dominated the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, as St Mark’s Basilica and Frankie Dettori held off stablemate Wembley and Ryan Moore.
It's a 1-2 for @Ballydoyle in the @DarleyStallions Dewhurst Stakes!— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) October 10, 2020
St Mark's Basilica gets the better of his stable companion Wembley to win the Group One contest under @FrankieDettori ?? pic.twitter.com/KPu6mh6WS7
The Ballydoyle pair had finished behind Thunder Moon in the National Stakes at the Curragh last time out – but this time the form was turned around as Joseph O’Brien’s colt, the 11/4 favourite, could only manage third behind the 10/1 winner.
The principals came down the centre of the track, while several of the other fancied runners made a dash for the rail, which had been favoured in earlier races.
It was a seventh Dewhurst for O’Brien, while it was a second in three years for Dettori after Too Darn Hot in 2018.
In a race traditionally seen as the juvenile championship with countless champions produced down the years, this season’s field looked well up to scratch.
Richard Hannon fielded two unbeaten contenders in Chindit and Etonian, while Marcus Tregoning had supplemented Mill Reef winner Alkumait.
None of those could get involved, though, with the result in stark contrast to the fortunes of O’Brien on Friday, when it emerged his two runners in the Fillies’ Mile had carried the wrong saddle cloths and were ridden by the wrong jockeys.
O’Brien had also been forced to pull out all his runners at ParisLongchamp on Arc day last weekend due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.
The winning trainer said: “We’re delighted with both of them. The plan was that St Mark’s Basilica would run in France and then Wembley would run in the Dewhurst, that’s the way we were going.
“We’ve always liked St Mark’s Basilica a lot, and Wembley, we’ve always thought they were very smart colts.
“The first three were were the same three as in the National Stakes. Every year it’s a great race and the form always stands up.”
On future plans, O’Brien added: “The Breeders’ Cup is possible for the winner, but we’re thinking Battleground (Royal Ascot and Vintage Stakes winner) will go to the Breeders’ Cup, so he doesn’t have to go.
“We’ll see nearer the time, but at the moment we’re thinking Battleground will go.”