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Donnacha O’Brien snaps up Frankie Dettori for Derby


Frankie Dettori. Photo: Adam Davy

Frankie Dettori. Photo: Adam Davy

Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori


Frankie Dettori. Photo: Adam Davy

Frankie Dettori will partner the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Piz Badile in next month’s English Derby as the flamboyant Italian rider bids for a third victory in the Epsom showpiece.

Dettori landed the biggest prize in British Flat racing at the 15th attempt when Authorized scored in 2007 before he doubled his tally eight years later via Golden Horn, and now the 51-year-old has another live chance aboard the exciting Piz Badile.

The Ulysses colt only has three starts to his name but he ran out a game winner of the Group Three Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown at the start of April with that form given a significant boost in the meantime as runner-up, and stablemate, Buckaroo has since landed a Listed event at the Curragh in impressive fashion.

Piz Badile is now as short as 8/1 for the €1.75m Classic on June 4 after Dettori was snapped up by his owners – the Niarchos family – with 2020 Irish champion apprentice Gavin Ryan, who had ridden the two-time winner on each of his starts prior to this, the one to lose out.

“I got the call and he’s a very exciting horse,” Dettori said as he eyes an Epsom hat-trick.

“He comes into the Derby with a good profile and he’s a lovely ride to have. I’m looking forward to sitting on him, maybe sometime next week, and then all roads lead to Epsom.”

While his father Aidan has won the Derby a record eight times, this is the younger O’Brien’s first runner as he continues to learn his craft as a trainer, having started out at just 21 when the two-time Irish champion Flat rider was forced to quit the saddle due an ongoing battle with the scales.

Meanwhile, Fozzy Stack is now eyeing a tilt at this Sunday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh, with Hermana Estrella after the plan to run the Starspangledbanner filly in the French equivalent at Longchamp last weekend was aborted due to a change in going amid hot weather in Paris.

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