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Dettori teams up with Murtagh as Bellewstown remembers Barney Curley

Frankie Dettori will ride for his former weighing room colleague Johnny Murtagh in a special race run in memory of Barney Curley at Bellewstown on Thursday.

The Italian is among 14 jockeys declared to take part in the Gannons City Recovery And Recycling Services Ltd Supporting DAFA Handicap, with all monies raised donated to Curley’s charity, Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), which he set up in 1996 to support the underprivileged people of Zambia.

Dettori will partner the Murtagh-trained Trueba in the seven-and-a-half-furlong contest.

Frankie Dettori (left) and Johnny Murtagh are old weighing room pals
Frankie Dettori (left) and Johnny Murtagh are old weighing room pals (PA)

Jamie Spencer and Shane Kelly, also close friends of the late Curley, join Dettori on the trip across the Irish Sea to ride in the race, with Tom Queally also attending to support the raceday.

Murtagh said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the race and to have Frankie riding for me in Barney’s honour is a real thrill.

“Frankie is one of my best mates, he’s had a few rides, but he hasn’t ridden a winner for me yet!

“I went out to Zambia with Barney many years ago and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve seen at first hand the work the charity does, and it makes such a difference to the lives of so many people.”

He went on: “Barney was a great man, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed his company, the wonderful stories he told will live long in my memory.”

Champion jockey Colin Keane and leading rider Wayne Lordan are also among the riders taking part.

The saddlecloths have all been sponsored to raise money for DAFA and were allocated to the declared horses in a draw that took place at Bellewstown on Tuesday morning.