AFTER looking like he was going to have to watch the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe from the sidelines for the first time in 25 years, Frankie Dettori was handed a late call-up from one of the most unexpected of sources.
THE charismatic Italian, who has been the cover boy of Godolphin for many years, will be onboard Aidan O'Brien's Camelot in Sunday's Paris showpiece.
Dettori, who will be aiming for his fourth Arc success, got the call to ride the dual Derby and English 2000 Guineas winner after he carried out a satisfactory piece of work under regular rider Joseph O'Brien yesterday.
With O'Brien unable to make Camelot's weight due to his three-year-old allowance, Coolmore were in search for another big-race jockey who could deliver the goods on the biggest of occasions and thus ended up with Dettori.
Injury ruled out his other likely mount, Snow Fairy, so Dettori is delighted to have gotten the call-up from Ballydoyle and admitted that it was "an honour" to be given the opportunity to ride Camelot.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "I was standing by for Snow Fairy as Ryan (Moore) seemed set to ride Sea Moon and in the last two or three days what has happened has been unbelievable. Snow Fairy was injured, Nathaniel is out and Joseph can't do the weight on Camelot so the ride, became available. It's an honour for me to ride the horse. If the Camelot we know turns up, he should have a good chance."
Defeated in the St Leger at Doncaster on the verge of a rare Triple Crown fairytale, Camelot bids to restore his reputation in Sunday's Arc, which O'Brien has won previously with Dylan Thomas.
Dettori added: "I think you want to judge the horse more on the Guineas and the Derby runs. In the Leger he was ridden to stay and it was a stop-and-start kind of pace early on and I still think he quickened really well in the end. He's better judged on his two previous wins which were pretty impressive."