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Frankie Dettori is back! What chance does the top rider have at the Curragh?

Frankie Dettori: in action at the Curragh on Friday
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Frankie Dettori was crowned the leading jockey at Royal Ascot with seven wins, including a fantastic four-timer on Thursday which sent shockwaves through the betting industry when he threatened to go through the card. 

Dettori has not ridden since the final day of the royal meeting on Saturday but returns to action at the Curragh and we evaluate his chance of riding a winner.

Raa Atoll
Comer Group International Curragh Cup (Group 2)
3.45 Curragh

Dettori has won 24 times at the Curragh from 133 rides at a strike-rate of 18 per cent, but he may struggle to reach 25 winners on the Luke Comer-trained Raa Atoll.

Raa Atoll (left, red and yellow silks) finished fourth for Dettori in last year's King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot

Dettori rode Raa Atoll last season when he was trained by John Gosden. The best of his efforts came in Britain when fourth in last year's King Edward VII Stakes, and although he's landed a Group 2 over two miles in Germany since joining Comer he will likely need a bit more in this company.

The Curragh Cup has been claimed by trainers carrying the surname O'Brien in each of the last six years – five for Aidan and one for Joseph – and the pair are well represented in the 1m6f contest.

Southern France, who finished second behind Stradivarius on his penultimate run, heads the betting, with stablemates Western Australia and Heaven On Earth also representing the Ballydoyle trainer. 

Joseph runs Latrobe, who carries the same Lloyd Williams silks as Rekindling did for his win in the race two years ago. Latrobe stuck on well over an inadequate trip to finish fourth in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot last time.

Worth Waiting
Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1)
5.25 Curragh

There have been a couple of non-runners in the feature race on Friday's card and just five are set to go to post. However, it is a classy quintet, headed by Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood and three-time Group 1 winner Wild Illusion.

Worth Waiting: Newmarket winner is stepping back into Group 1 company

They present formidable opposition, particularly the O'Brien-trained Pink Dogwood, who gets the weight-for-age allowance.

But Worth Waiting cannot be ruled out under Dettori.

Despite their advantage at the weights three-year-olds have only claimed this race in three of the last ten seasons. Worth Waiting achieved a career best for trainer David Lanigan when winning the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in May and the step back up to the top level is justified.

Dettori rides her for the first time and, although she needs to improve, she is the 48-year-old's best chance of a winner.


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Dettori has won 24 times at the Curragh from 133 rides
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