Frankie hoping the Aussies can plunder another Ascot sprint with Redkirk
Frankie Dettori is hoping Australia will this summer be celebrating another Royal Ascot success after landing the mount on star sprinter Redkirk Warrior in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
A best price 13-2 with Sky Bet to land the 6f contest on June 23, Redkirk Warrior has been partnered by Regan Bayliss on seven of his last eight starts, including for three Group 1 wins, but Dettori has been called upon for the seven-year-old's first assignment in Britain since joining trainer David Hayes.
"I saw David in Dubai and he told me he had a nice sprinter for me to ride at Ascot," said Dettori.
"We still have eight weeks to go, so anything can happen, but it's exciting as he is a triple Group 1 winner - and one thing the Australians are definitely good at is sprinters!"
It will not be Redkirk Warrior’s first run in Britain, though, and not even first visit to Ascot, with the son of Notnowcato unbeaten in two starts for William Haggas in 2014, including a handicap success on his second career start at the Berkshire track.
Hayes said: “We’ve decided to go with someone who has the experience, and no-one currently riding has had more winners at Royal Ascot than Frankie Dettori.
"Regan [Bayliss] will continue to ride Redkirk Warrior whenever he races in Australia, but when the horse races overseas we've decided to stick with overseas jockeys.
"I spoke to Regan [on Thursday] morning and he is disappointed as you would imagine, but he does understand he retains the ride when the horse runs in Australia."
'Experience was the key'
Connections also considered Ryan Moore for the ride, but he is likely to partner Aidan O’Brien’s new recruit Merchant Navy, winner of the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in November.
Hayes told Racing.com: “The decision was made through discussions with myself and Redkirk Warrior's owner and for us experience was the key.
"We settled on either Frankie Dettori or Ryan Moore, but Ryan will ride Merchant Navy in the same race so we’ve booked Frankie.”
De Sousa booked for Pakistan Star
Champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa is set to be back on board Pakistan Star in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday week if the quirky five-year-old completes a crucial barrier trial at the track on Friday.
Tommy Berry will partner the talented son of Shamardal this week with the hope he will be in the clear to contest the Group 1 contest in which he was a neck second to Neorealism last year.
“He’s a bit tricky, everybody knows that, so let’s see what happens on Friday, but I’m delighted to get another opportunity to ride him if it goes to plan this week.”
Aidan O'Brien has withdrawn his three potential runners at the meeting – Lancaster Bomber (Champions Mile), War Decree (Audemars Piguet QE II Cup) and Washington DC (Chairman's Sprint Prize) – leaving Charlie Appleby's Blue Point in the latter contest and three raiders from Japan – Al Ain, Fine Needle & Danburite – as the only overseas-trained horses in the three races.
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