O’Brien to replace Dettori on father’s Champion hopeful

Ruler of the World among nine declared for £1.3m Champion Stakes at Ascot

Joseph O'Brien will replace Frankie Dettori on the 2013 Derby winner Ruler of the World in the Champion Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.

Dettori had ridden the horse in his last two races, including a fine victory at Longchamp in September.

O’Brien will ride for his trainer father Aidan on Champions Day, Britain’s richest raceday.

Nine horses have been declared for the £1.3 million feature race, including Cirrus Des Aigles and Free Eagle.


The going at Ascot yesterday was described as heavy, soft in places after persistent rain during the week. Officials have said they are confident the meeting will go ahead despite the soggy conditions.

Ruler of the World is jointly owned by Al Shaqab Racing, founded by Qatar's Sheikh Joaan al Thani, and the trio of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

Dettori is retained rider for Al Shaqab, while O’Brien is stable jockey at his father’s Coolmore-backed Ballydoyle yard.

Victory on Saturday for Cirrus Des Aigles, trained in France by Corine Barande-Barbe, would take the horse’s total career prize money past £6 million.

The eight-year-old gelding won the Champion Stakes in 2011 before finishing runner-up to Frankel and Farrh in the subsequent runnings.

Other contenders in the mile-and-a-quarter contest include Noble Mission, trained by Lady Cecil, the widow of 10-time champion trainer Henry Cecil.

Noble Mission is a younger brother of Frankel, who bowed out with victory two years ago in the race.

Estimate, owned by the Queen, has been confirmed for the Long Distance Cup alongside Leading Light, who O'Brien trained to win the Gold Cup at Ascot in June.

In the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, champion jockey Richard Hannon will ride 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder, with Kieren Fallon on stablemate Toormore.

Last year’s Irish Oaks winner Chicquita is among a field of 10 declared for the Qipco British Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes.

The filly, who cost €6m at Goffs in November, will be having her third start for the O’Brien stable having been well beaten in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp earlier this month.

Johnny Murtagh’s We’ll Go Walking is the other Irish raider.