Caffeine fuelled Frankie Dettori knocked back the expressos to inspire him to his latest Royal Ascot triumph, writes James Toney.
Fan favourite Dettori admitted to feeling glum when he arrived at an empty venue.
And was flatter than a pancake after Terebellum was edged out in a thrilling Queen Anne Stakes, the first Group One of the meeting.
However, he was back to winning ways claiming his 68th Royal Ascot victory with a thrilling win on speedy Frankel filly Frankly Darling in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
"Before the first race, it was very hard to pick myself up. I usually walk in and am signing autographs, everybody is slapping me on the back and shouting my name," said Dettori.
"It was the opposite today. I think I had to have two or three espressos to get me going for the first race. But now the adrenaline is pumping, I am well warmed up and it's nice to get one on the board."
Dettori can now start to dream about adding another Classic to his resume with Frankly Darling set for the Oaks at Epsom, a race the Italian has won five times.
"I guess it is all systems go for Epsom for the Oaks," he added.
"Frankly Darling has got some lungs. We were burning plenty of petrol in the first half of the race. She was over-racing a bit, but I managed to slow her down on the turn for home.
"I thought she had every chance of stopping if she wanted to, but in fairness she galloped out really well."
Her dad Frankel dazzled us all at Royal Ascot in 2012— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 16, 2020
And Frankly Darling is most certainly a chip off the old block!
She powers to an impressive win in the Ribblesdale Stakes to give trainer John Gosden his 50th Royal Ascot winner 👏#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/5i5q0m5Xkx
Dettori's partnership with trainer John Gosden underpinned his top jockey win last year, a title he claimed for the sixth time in his career.
The win also moved Gosden into the rarified air of the '50 Club' - and still to come is Stradivarius's bid for a third Gold Cup on Thursday.
He said: "Any time you have a winner here - I can remember during this week scrambling one winner, one year having no winners, having six seconds and finally a winner one year. Look, it is not an easy place to win races.
"If I have an Oaks filly, it's her."
Social distancing means the normally tactile Dettori - who has been known to plant a kiss on Gosden after one of his trademark flying dismounts - had to just express his thanks, rather than demonstrate it.
"It is now 50 winners for John Gosden, who is an amazing trainer," he added.
"Look, we are racing and the racing is magnificent. Of course we miss the crowd, but we are putting on a show for the people watching at home who are enjoying the races.
"John is amazing. We have a lot of horses running this week. We just got touched off in the Queen Anne, this looks an amazing filly for the Oaks and Stradivarius is going for a third Gold Cup."