Dettori’s back!

Bill Esdaile
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Frankie Dettori (Source: Getty)
Popular jockey backed to land second Derby win

FRANKIE DETTORI will have his 20th ride in the 236th renewal of the Investec Derby this afternoon when he partners red-hot favourite Golden Horn. The popular Italian cost the bookmakers dear in 2007 when he rode Authorized to victory at his 15th attempt. And the layers were bracing themselves for another monster payout last night after his fans lined up to back him to add another title to his lengthy CV.

Dettori, 44, who first rode in the Derby in 1992, also for trainer John Gosden hasn’t ridden in the world’s most famous horserace for the last four years. But he will return with a bang in front of over 100,000 people on Epsom Downs and a worldwide televised audience in excess of 200 million.

Coral, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, were taking no chances last night offering odds of just 6/4 about Dettori ‘s mount after donning their tin hats. Other firms were even shorter at around 11/8. “Dettori was aboard the well-backed Authorized when he tasted Derby success at 5/4 eight years ago”, recalls Coral’s David Stevens. “Although his status as the punters’ favourite has dipped a little in recent seasons, his presence on board this year’s market leader will see him return to the centre stage”.

“Golden Horn will be the first name on thousands of betting slips today”, added Stevens, “and another Derby victory for the Italian star in what is by far the highest turnover race of the Flat season will see us bookies paying out millions”.

Betway’s Alan Alger, whose firm were last night offering a best-priced 7/4 about the market leader expects that price to come under pressure this morning. “Dettori is a household name and the general public look sure to get behind him”, he said.

If the bookies have to shell out it will only be after connections of the horse had to do so first. The colt wasn’t due to be in the race and had to be supplemented late on for £75,000 by his owners. Should he win today that will be money well spent.

Bookmakers, on the other hand will be praying for a repeat of yesterday’s shock result in the Investec Oaks when the well-backed favourite Legatissimo was nailed in the shadows of the post by 50/1 outsider Qualify.

Only time will tell whose wallets will be full and whose will empty.