Dettori excited to join Ballydoyle’s St Leger party

Frankie Dettori will once again be teaming up with Aidan O’Brien in his bid for a seventh victory in the Cazoo St Leger.

The popular Italian and the master of Ballydoyle have combined to win two British Classics this season, with Mother Earth landing the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and Snowfall streaking clear of her rivals in the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.

It is 16 years since the O’Brien-Dettori axis claimed St Leger glory with Scorpion, while the rider has also landed the Doncaster showpiece aboard Classic Cliche (1995), Shantou (1996), Sixties Icon (2006), Conduit (2008) and Logician (2019).

O’Brien, who also has six Leger victories on his CV, has a six-strong team for Saturday’s renewal – with High Definition supplemented to join stablemates Carlisle Bay, Interpretation, King Of The Castle, Sir Lucan and The Mediterranean in the Town Moor showpiece.

Frankie Dettori winning the 2005 St Leger on Scorpion
Frankie Dettori winning the 2005 St Leger on Scorpion (PA)

Dettori expects to learn which horse he will be riding later in the week.

Speaking at a St Leger launch event in London on Monday, he said: “I’ve won it six times and I’ve won it for all variety of trainers – John (Gosden), Aidan, Jeremy (Noseda), Saeed (bin Suroor). It’s been a lucky race for me. I’ve been second a few times as well.

“It’s a smashing race, it’s the oldest Classic, the crowd gets behind you. It’s a tremendous atmosphere – and it’s a race I look forward to.

“I’ll leave the decision to Aidan. When you ride for him, the second or first string can win. I’m always excited to ride for him.

“I’ve been very lucky for him this year. It’s a race that you need horses that get the distance.

“Their horses are bred for that, and whatever he is going to put me on is going to be interesting.”

The red-hot favourite for this year’s renewal is the Charlie Appleby-trained Hurricane Lane – who undoubtedly boasts the best form, having won both the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris since finishing third behind stablemate Adayar in the Derby at Epsom.

However, he will be stepping up two furlongs in distance this weekend, and Dettori believes it would be dangerous to assume his stamina is guaranteed.

He said: “Hurricane Lane has definitely got the best form, but we are going into uncharted waters here.

“One mile six (furlongs) and 15 yards is longer than you think, and he has to prove his stamina.

“When you get to the two-furlong marker you’ve got to have lungs to take you to the line, and there is no place to hide. That’s what makes the Leger so difficult to win and so interesting.”

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