Dettori aims for return to big time with Paris outing
O’Brien sends superstar team to France as Dettori chases Group 1 success
Ryan Moore and Ruler Of The World, seen here winning this year’s Epsom Derby at Epsom, will be part of a strong Aidan O’Brien raiding party in France. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Frankie Dettori will be on duty for a couple of rides at the Curragh this afternoon before heading to Paris and tomorrow’s Arc Trials fixture at Longchamp which could see the flamboyant Italian star make a spectacular return to top-flight Group 1 success.
Aidan O’Brien is targeting tomorrow’s French card with a vengeance too, sending the last two Epsom Derby winners, Ruler Of The World (Prix Niel at 1.30, Irish time) and Camelot (Prix Foy at 3.10,) Venus De Milo for the Group 1 Prix Vermeille (2.40) and Gale Force Ten for the Prix Du Moulin (3.45.)
Ryan Moore teams up with all four of the Ballydoyle stars, reacquainting with Ruler Of The World on who he won the Derby at Epsom in June.
But despite the Irish champion trainer’s show of force, and the appearance of the Japanese stars Orfevre in the Foy and Kizuna in the Niel, not to mention the current Arc favourite Flintshire, much of the focus will still centre on Dettori who has yet to strike at Group 1 level since his return from a drugs ban in May, but has the favourites for both the Moulin and the Vermeille in Olympic Glory and Treve.
The latter is a general 8-1 fourth favourite for next month’s Arc and will have her first start for Qatar’s Sheikh Joann Al Thani, also the owner of Olympic Glory, who announced his retainer with Dettori after the jockey’s comeback during the summer.
The Sheikh also owns Purr Along who lines up for today’s Group 2 feature at the Curragh, the Lanwades Stud Blandford Stakes, which sees Dettori return to Irish racing’s HQ where he has seven classics to his credit, including the 1999 St Leger on Kayf Tara.
Purr Along is among a trio of cross-channel fillies in a line-up which sees the long-awaited reappearance of the local hope Alive Alive Oh.
An impressive winner of a Listed race at Navan in May, Tommy Stack’s filly missed out on both the Ribblesdale and the Irish Oaks due to ground conditions being too fast, and also on the Pretty Polly Stakes after being in season, but the going looks to have eased sufficiently to now see her at her best.
Dettori is on Scream Blue Murder for Stack in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes but the consistent Russian Soul could be the best option.
Michael Halford will also fancy his chances in the concluding handicap with Regulation, while Zip Wire can score for Eddie Lynam in the amateur Derby.