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Dettori poised to team up with Ryedale trainer Tim Easterby at Newmarket
Frankie Dettori, set to part company at the end of the season with Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin operation after a momentous 18-year association, can complete a treble at his local Newmarket course tomorrow.
Not only will Dettori be pulling on the Godolphin colours, he will also be riding for North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby, who has booked him to ride recent York winner No Poppy in the £20,000 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Fillies’ Handicap.
No Poppy has already won five races this season and her latest success on Knavesmire, when getting the better for former Cambridgeshire winner Credit Swap, suggested she has not yet come to to end of her tether.
The four-year-old carries the colours of the late Marjorie Easterby, the trainer’s mother, who died last month. No Poppy has gone up 4lb in the ratings since York, but there may be more to come and she is taken to win again with Dettori doing the steering.
Arguably the world’s most famous jockey, Dettori has ridden a staggering 943 winners for Godolphin and he can make it 944 aboard Ikhtisas in the first division of the British Stallion Studs Maiden Stakes.
A creditable second at Salisbury on his debut, Ikhtisas looks a promising type. He should go well here over a trip and on a track which should play to his strengths.
In the concluding Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Nursery, Dettori, a three-time champion jockey who intends to adopt a freelance status next year, will be aboard Quintilian, a horse trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni but one who does not carry the famous Godolphin blue colours.
A Kempton winner two starts back, the two-year-old has since finished second on this course to Law Enforcement, which is perfectly respectable form.
The Newmarket card is a novel one. All bar one race – the No Poppy contest – is confined to two-year-olds, and one to watch out for is nap selection So Beloved in the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Conditions Stakes.
Trained by Roger Charlton, he finished fourth at Newbury on his debut and went one better in smooth style at Salisbury. More will be required tomorrow, but there is probably plenty more forthcoming from a colt who, coincidentally, is owned by Prince Khalid Abdulla, and thus carries the same colours as the mighty Frankel, who made it 14 from 14 in unforgettable style in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
At Kempton tomorrow, the two jockeys who are likely to benefit most from Dettori moving to pastures new, are poised to figure strongly in the Betdaq Casino Games Nursery.
Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa are also retained by Godolphin and the pair ride the stable’s horses in this one-mile event. There may not be much between the two, but Barzalona’s mount Cat O’Mountain, a course and distance winner eight weeks ago, may have the measure of Muharrib, a more recent Brighton winner and the mount of de Sousa.
Also worth noting are Neige d’Antan (5.50), a winner at Wolverhampton last time out and previously successful at this venue for Sir Mark Prescott, and the hat-trick seeking Silver Bullitt (9.20).
2.00 Desert Image, 2.30 Miraaj, 3.05 So Beloved (NAP), 3.40 Ikhtisas, 4.10 Prairie Ranger, 4.45 No Poppy, 5.20 Quintilian.
5.50 Neige d’Antan, 6.20 Out Do, 6.50 Celebrated Talent, 7.20 Greatwood, 7.50 Cat O’Mountain, 8.20 Scouting For Girls, 8.50 Take Cover, 9.20 Silver Bullitt.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Fontwell and Worcester.
Today’s meetings: Exeter, Lingfield and Yarmouth.