In a sobering moment for British racing Frankie Dettori, one of its most popular ambassadors, has chosen to ride in France this weekend rather than take any part in the four-day Ebor meeting at York next week. The new quarantine restrictions mean that, by travelling to France on Saturday, the jockey will be unable to ride competitively for at least the next week but he calculates that is a sacrifice worth making for the chance to be on Palace Pier in Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
“It was a very hard decision to make,” Dettori said through his Sportingindex column, “but hopefully it will be the right one and Palace Pier can show us why.” Last seen scoring at Royal Ascot in June, Palace Pier is the 5-4 favourite for Sunday’s race, worth £290,542 to the winner.
Woundingly for the sport in Britain, Dettori has opted to give up the chance to ride Lord North in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International, a prestigious contest but one that this year carries a winner’s purse half that of the French race. It might also be part of the jockey’s calculation that the Juddmonte would be harder to win, as Lord North faces a hot favourite in Ghaiyyath.
“With no Enable or Stradivarius, my York rides were looking a little bit light,” Dettori said. “Lord North is still a big ride to miss and he was the one that was tempting me to stay.
“Two weeks of staying at home afterwards isn’t ideal, but we’re racing for an incredible amount of money on Sunday and I thought it was worth taking the chance.” Dettori has another chance to justify his decision on Saturday, when he partners Mishriff in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano, a 6-5 favourite to land another six-figure prize.
The British Horseracing Authority said jockeys riding in France might only have to serve a seven-day quarantine on their return if passing two Covid-19 tests.
Saturday’s ITV races
Until now, Surf Dancer (3.35) has been best known as the horse who was dramatically squeezed up against a rail by Well Of Wisdom at Sandown a couple of months ago. Only fourth that day because of the interference, he showed his quality with a Listed win last time and now looks the one to back in Newbury’s Hungerford Stakes, the highlight of ITV’s Saturday coverage.
🗣 "From a stewards' point of view, William has done everything right, but he has obviously caused a massive amount of interference"@GeorgeENB1982 gives his take on Well Of Wisdom's victory at @Sandownpark for @godolphin— Racing TV (@RacingTV) June 13, 2020
Stewards' enquiry ongoing pic.twitter.com/C4l7OVmHLC
Stepping back to seven furlongs seemed to help him as he powered clear of Boccaccio at York and that effort suggests he belongs in this company. Dream Of Dreams impressed at Royal Ascot but did little last year after a similar effort there, while Threat has a bit to prove after finishing weakly in both starts this season.
1.50 Newbury A son of Frankel and a half-brother to Golden Horn, Dhahabi carried a bit of a reputation into his racecourse debut and duly prevailed. It is slightly surprising to see him trading as second-favourite but this course will suit his big stride and he can take another step forward.
2.05 Newmarket From the in-form yard of Sir Michael Stoute, Boss Power didn’t have everything go right for him at Yarmouth last month but won anyway on what was his handicap debut. He should have plenty more to offer. Midnight’s Gift is interesting but could need this return.
2.25 Newbury Chosen by Jim Crowley ahead of the likeable Jahbath, Afaak could get back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time since last year’s Royal Hunt Cup, having finally dropped back to the rating he had that day. First-time blinkers helped him into third in Goodwood’s Golden Mile, when he was the only one in the first nine to come from a double-figure draw.
2.40 Newmarket Some give underfoot has been important to Broughtons Gold in his two good efforts recently and he may not get that here. Karibana, who scored over course and distance on fast ground a fortnight ago, looks the better bet.
3.00 Newbury The beaten favourite in this race last year, Morando probably won’t get the proper soft ground that suits him and looks a short price. Hukum could be the right alternative, getting the weight allowance that can so favour a quality three-year-old in these distance races. He comes from the red-hot Owen Burrows yard and was able to win a big-field handicap at Royal Ascot on just his third start.
Newmarket 1.00 Impulsive One 1.30 The Fast Lion 2.05 Boss Power (nap) 2.40 Karibana 3.15 Endowed 3.50 Ventura Diamond 4.25 Grande Rumore 5.00 Jane Marple
Newbury 1.15 Jacinth 1.50 Dhahabi 2.25 Afaak 3.00 Hukum 3.35 Surf Dancer 4.10 Deise Blue (nb) 4.45 Mafia Power 5.20 Bright Start 5.55 Long Call
Doncaster 1.40 Senita 2.15 Nazuna 2.50 Pattaya 3.25 Aliento (nb) 4.00 Tinker Toy 4.35 Jonah Jones 5.05 Full Authority 5.40 Thibaan 6.10 Mac Ailey
Chepstow 3.45 Enaithcess 4.20 Host 4.55 Swissal 5.30 Kinsman 6.00 Jumaira Bay 6.30 Monash 7.00 Exhalation 7.30 Brown Honey 8.00 Island Nation
3.15 Newmarket Almost two months have passed since we last saw Endowed, in which time he has had a wind operation and his stable has really hit form. This is a step down in class, so there are several reasons to hope he can get back to the more successful version of himself we saw at the end of last season.