Dettori misses out on St Leger to partner Golden Horn
Frankie Dettori will miss out on partnering tomorrow’s Doncaster St Leger favourite Bondi Beach after the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown was brought forward by 65 minutes.
The name of the Italian briefly appeared next to the colt in what would have been a rare association with Coolmore, though he won the race for them 10 years ago on Scorpion when retained by Godolphin.
Before the switch, Dettori would have had enough time after the Leger – due off at 3.45pm – to fly across the Irish Sea for the ride on Golden Horn in his belated potential clash with Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles, but the logistics are now too tight.
Officials at Leopardstown are worried about forecast rain ruling one or both of the big names out of the Champion Stakes and it was decided to move the race from 6.50pm to 5.45pm, when the outside track will be in pristine condition. The feature will be the first race to be run on fresh ground on the outside track, while the first four contests are on the inside course.
Leopardstown’s racing and operations manager Nessa Joyce explained the reasoning behind the changes to the programme. “We’re trying to do as much as we can for our Group One races to give them the best ground,” she explained.
“We’d already planned in advance by making two tracks, the first four on the inside and the last four on the outside.
“We are going to have the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes as the first race run on the outside track. It hasn’t been raced on at all this year.”
John Gosden reported yesterday that Golden Horn would fly to Ireland tomorrow morning and the colt’s participation in the race would hinge on a track inspection before racing.
Dettori’s allegiance clearly lies with Golden Horn, and one of Godolphin’s current jockeys, William Buick, has been booked for Bondi Beach as he bids to reverse the Great Voltigeur form with Storm The Stars (Pat Cosgrave).
O’Brien has three of the eight declared, with Order Of St George, which is not far behind that pair in the betting, the mount of Colm O’Donoghue and champion-jockey-elect Silvestre De Sousa called up for Fields Of Athenry. Joseph O’Brien will be aboard Gleneagles at Leopardstown.
Meanwhile, Richard Hughes had to settle for fourth with Castle Talbot at Epsom as he saddled his first runner as a trainer.
Hughes brought the curtain down on his illustrious riding career at Glorious Goodwood, having three times been crowned champion jockey.
Following in the footsteps of his late father, Dessie, Hughes sent out the Shane Kelly-ridden three-year-old in the extended mile Pinsent Masons Handicap and he was still in contention two-and-a-half furlongs out having soon bowled along in front.