I'm off! Dettori heads to Florida for sunshine, Toast and a cool $16m
Frankie Dettori has had enough of the cold weather in Britain and will head out to Miami earlier than originally planned in order to prepare for his ride on fancied outsider Toast Of New York in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup a week on Saturday.
Dettori partnered the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up when he made a successful return from 1,130 days off the track in a conditions race at Lingfield last month, but the jockey had since taken it easy until returning for one ride at Kempton on Tuesday night.
He had two more rides on a bitterly cold afternoon at Lingfield on Wednesday and went close on the second of them, Toolatetodelegate.
Dettori remains very much a Mediterranean at heart despite more than 30 years in Britain and although he wrapped up as warm as he could, complete with a bandit-style mask over his lower face, he is ready for warmer climes.
"I'm going early as the weather here is so disgusting and I want to get acclimatised," he said. "Last week was fine, but now I might as well be there as here."
Toast Of New York left Jamie Osborne's Lambourn stables on Wednesday for Luxembourg and flies on to Florida on Thursday. Dettori will not be far behind, and on arrival he will be teaming up with Wesley Ward, with whom he has enjoyed major success, including on Lady Aurelia.
He said: "I'm staying with Wesley and I've asked him to find me a few rides as I haven't been to Gulfstream since 1999 and I wanted to refresh my mind as to how it rides."
He has happy memories of that last trip, as it was for the final racecourse appearance of Daylami – one of his all-time favourites – and the pair took the Breeders' Cup Turf in great style from Royal Anthem.
Dettori did not ride Toast Of New York when he was beaten a nose by Bayern in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic, but he liked him when he won on him at Lingfield and is looking forward to the trip.
When it was put to him that Osborne is also quite excited about the seven-year-old's prospects, he grinned and replied: "He wants to be for $16 million!"
Toast Of York is between a 14-1 and 20-1 chance for the Pegasus, having been 50-1 straight after his Lingfield win.