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Dettori gets the nod for 'King' in Derby

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Jockey Frankie Dettori. Photo: Getty Images

Jockey Frankie Dettori. Photo: Getty Images

Jockey Frankie Dettori. Photo: Getty Images

Ed Walker's English King shortened to 3/1 favourite for the Epsom Derby on the back of the news that Frankie Dettori had been booked to ride him in the Classic which, for one year only, is run on the first weekend in July.

Dettori, who was top jockey at Royal Ascot for a seventh time and equalled Pat Eddery's total of 73 Royal winners last week, has already won the race on Authorized and Golden Horn and will hope to equal Eddery's tally of three Derby winners when he lines up on the son of the 2012 winner Camelot.

English King shot to prominence when a very smooth winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial, beating Berkshire Rocco by two-and-three-quarter lengths. The pair were clear of the rest, but the standout point was how balanced the colt was round Lingfield, a course closer to Epsom than any other. English King carries the silks of Bjorn Nielsen, who bought him for €210,000 as a yearling, and who owns Walker's yard, Kingsdown Stables.

The Dettori news is tough on Tom Marquand, a rising star, who is unbeaten on the horse. Walker, whose first Derby runner it is, said: "Tom is a huge talent who, I've no doubt, will be competing at the highest level for a long time. But at this stage he is not quite at the level Frankie is, especially on the big day."

Irish Independent