• Horse Racing

Dettori handed Camelot Arc ride

ESPN staff
October 3, 2012
Camelot was a brilliant winner of the Derby at Epson © Getty Images

Aidan O'Brien has booked Frankie Dettori to partner Camelot in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

With Camelot's regular rider Joseph O'Brien, son of Aidan, unable to do the weight - the Ballydoyle camp have made the shock move to book Dettori.

Dettori had been expected to partner Snow Fairy in the Longchamp heat, but her defection on account of injury left him without a ride. But in a sensational turn of events, he has been booked for the ride on this year's 2000 Guineas and Derby victor.

"We were pleased with the work of both St Nicholas Abbey and Camelot this morning in Ballydoyle and hope to run both in the Arc on Sunday," read a tweet from Ballydoyle. "St Nicholas Abbey will be ridden by Joseph and Camelot will be ridden by Frankie Dettori."

Dettori said on Racing UK: "The horse was going spare, I didn't have a ride and what an opportunity and what an honour to be asked to ride the Derby and 2000 Guineas winner in the Arc. A couple of the main horses haven't made the race and he's right up there at the top of the betting.

"I'm really and looking forward to it. It's a shame Godolphin don't have a horse in the race, I was standing by for Snow Fairy as Ryan seemed set to ride Sea Moon and in the last two or three days what has happened has been unbelievable.

"Snow Fairy was injured, Nathaniel is out and Joseph can't do the weight on Camelot so the ride became available. It's an honour for me to ride the horse. Let's hope he's in top tip shape he's had a pretty long season now but if the Camelot we know turns up he should have a very good chance."

Camelot lost his unbeaten record in the St Leger and Dettori feels the drop back in trip to a mile and a half will be to his advantage.

He said: "The horse looks to be tremendously well balanced, he came home on his own in the Derby, he spreadeagled his field and looked mightily impressive. Coming back to a mile and a half at Longchamp will be his absolute cup of tea."

Dettori is a retained rider for Godolphin, but he lost his status as No. 1 this year when Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre De Sousa were signed up. The three are now on an equal footing.

The Godolphin and Ballydoyle operations are the two big players in the bloodstock world and Dettori has been a rare sight on Ballydoyle runners - given the rivalry between the two yards. He famously won the St Leger aboard their horse Scorpion in 20005.

Dettori has won the Arc on three occasions aboard Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001) and Marienbard (2002) - and has ridden in 24 consecutive renewals of the race.

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