Racegoers witnessed a moment in history on The Knavesmire today when Frankie Dettori stole the show on his final ride in York’s richest race. PETER BARRON was among the spectators…

As Frankie Dettori made his triumphant way back to the winner’s enclosure on a gleaming dark colt, named Mostahdaf, I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas was played on York's public address system.

On his last ride in the Juddmonte International, Frankie had dominated the four-horse race from the front and never looking like being caught.

And those of us who had flocked to the famous North Yorkshire track gotta feeling we were witnessing a day to remember.

In truth, we’d come in the expectation of seeing another Group 1 victory by the fairytale horse of the year, Aidan O’Brien’s wonderfully named Paddington. Indeed, Paddington Bear himself was on duty at the racecourse to celebrate the occasion, posing for selfies with fans, young and old.

The Northern Echo:

But by the time party-pooper Mostahdaf passed the post, the odds-on favourite had fallen back to third place, and the marmalade sandwiches had turned up at the edges.

Frankie, the world’s most popular jockey, pointed a victorious finger in the air, and broke into a smile, knowing that another glittering prize had been secured in his farewell season.

In anticipation of seeing one of the last of Frankie’s famous flying dismounts, spectators rushed to find a place around the winner’s enclosure. They ended up a dozen deep, their mobile phones raised as high as their arms could stretch, hoping to capture the historic moment.

“F-r-a-n-k-i-e!” boomed a man towards the front, drowning out the Black Eyed Peas, as Dettori took his hands off the reins to applaud the adoring crowd before giving them what they wanted – a joyful, youthful star-jump from the saddle.

Partnering Mostahdaf for the first time, due to the five-year-old’s regular rider, Jim Crowley being suspended, Dettori sent the John and Thady Gosden-trained 3-1 second favourite to the front when the gates opened, and managed the race perfectly.

Ryan Moore asked Paddington to close two furlongs out but the hero of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace, Eclipse and Sussex Stakes – running on the quickest ground he’s so far encountered – couldn’t get past.

Eventually, Paddington was forced to settle for third, with the admirable filly Nashwa – also trained by the Gosdens – taking the runners-up slot. The outsider of the quartet, the Dante winner The Foxes, finished last.

"It was a team effort," said Dettori, explaining the decision to take the race by the scruff of the neck from the start.

"I'm very sorry for Jim, who is suspended, as this is his ride. He helped me out a lot with the characteristics of the horse. 

"I spoke to John at length and studied his replays and I thought there's only one way to beat Paddington and that's by making it a proper gallop, so I did. Full credit to the horse, he was superb today.

"You're giving a champion three-year-old 7lb, you want to be in front of him not behind him because when they're going to sprint it's going to be more difficult to pass him."

It was a record-breaking sixth win in the race for Dettori, who had won previously aboard Halling (1996), Singspiel (1997), Sakhee (2001), Sulamani (2004) and Authorized (2007).

The retiring legend added: "To be the first man to win six Internationals, I'm very proud, and to beat the great Lester Piggott. It's my last year and to finish on a high like this is amazing."

I gotta feeling they'll be talking about Frankie Dettori for generations to come.