Jet-setting Frankie Dettori going in search of more big-race glory

Mon 30 Oct 2017

Frankie Dettori is set for a big few days on the global stage after being confirmed for Ulysses as one of his rides in the Breeders' Cup and being snapped up for Almandin in the Melbourne Cup.

The ever-popular Italian is looking forward to jetting across the world in search of further glory this year following a stellar 2017 with headline triumphs on Enable, Cracksman and Persuasive.

Dettori has landed the mount on last year's winner Almandin, trained by Robert Hickmott, in the Flemington showpiece on Tuesday week due to Damien Oliver being suspended.

"I have been trying for so many years to win the Melbourne Cup, with my first attempt in 1993; that's almost 25 years," he said in his blog for Ladbrokes.

"Obviously I am very grateful that I have the ride on Almandin, although it was in difficult circumstances. I am very sad for Damien Oliver.

"I have been good friends with Lloyd Williams (owner) for over 20 years now and he takes me under his wing every time I come to Australia. My wife's mum is Australian and her father is a New Zealander so this means a lot to the family. It is one of the biggest races worldwide after all.

"There are 24 runners and it is a top race but you know this horse has a great chance and he comes here with a great profile, winning it last year."

Dettori will travel to Australia via the United States where he will be reunited with Ulysses in the Breeders' Cup Turf on Saturday, having finished fourth on the colt 12 months ago.

"Of course I ride Ulysses first this weekend in the Breeders' Cup and I am very excited," he said.

"He was fourth last year, fast ground is the key and the draw can make a huge difference."

He added: "Jet lag won't be a problem. I have done it (for) 20 years and know exactly what to do!"

Dettori replaces Jim Crowley, who steered the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old to victory in the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International during the summer.

Crowley has just been happy to have been associated with such a top-notch performer.

He said: "I've had a good time on him and he has been fantastic."

Ulysses runs in the colours of the Niarchos family, although a significant share was recently acquired by Cheveley Park Stud, where he will stand as a stallion.

Chris Richardson, who is Cheveley Park's managing director, said: "It was nothing to do with us. It was all done between the owner (Niarchos family) and Sir Michael Stoute as the horse is still running in their colours.

"It was part of their agreement to run at the Breeders' Cup and they are totally in the driving seat.

"Although we have a major percentage of the horse, they have full control of his race in America. We were not involved."

Dettori will also team up with Cheveley Park through Juliet Capulet in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on Friday and Queen's Trust, who defends her crown in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday.

"Frankie will ride Juliet Capulet for John (Gosden) on the Friday and Queen's Trust (for Stoute) as well," said Richardson.

"Obviously he won on her last year and we are delighted to have him riding both fillies. He is one of the best from here over there. It worked last year so let's hope it works again."

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