Racing: Dettori's Motivator ride hinges on Goodwood race

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The Independent Online

This is the rationale. An encouraging performance from Centaurus could persuade his Godolphin owners, Dettori's principal employers, to stump up the £25,000 it would cost to supplement into the St Leger.

They currently have no horse engaged in the race. But the oldest Classic falls on the same day, 10 September, as the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown so the promise for Dettori to be on Motivator's back could yet be unfulfilled.

"I have been pencilled in for the ride on Motivator, but, on Saturday, I have got Centaurus in the March Stakes and that will decide whether I am available to ride," Dettori said yesterday. "If Centaurus wins well then I am sure that Sheikh Mohammed will run him in the Leger, but if he underperforms then that could leave the door open for me to ride Motivator. He is the Derby winner and I am looking forward to it.

"The Irish Champion Stakes is one of the top races of the year and I have had some great clashes there with Fantastic Light and Galileo and Grandera with Hawk Wing. It usually brings the best of the three-year-olds and the older horses together and is normally a great clash.

"Friday is my first day back and I have about four or five rides, most of them maidens first time out and I don't know too much about them. At least I am not coming back on a big day, it is nice to just come back and get a couple of rides under my belt. Then on Saturday it is back to business. There is the March Stakes at Goodwood and then I will drive to Windsor where they have a Group race - the Winter Hill - in which Windsor Knot will be running. I'll be back to Goodwood on Sunday where Layman runs in the Celebration Mile, so even if Friday is very quiet, I have some very good rides during the weekend."

A more certain participant at the Leger meeting on Town Moor is the Ebor winner Sergeant Cecil, who, at the mature age of six, will be belatedly launched among the big boys in the Group Two Doncaster Cup. Rod Millman's runner last week became the first horse since 1911 to pull off the Northumberland Plate-Ebor double after coming from out of the pack to collect the valuable York handicap. "I think he deserves to have a crack at a Cup race rather than running in another handicap," Millman said yesterday.

"It would be a very tall order for him to win the Cesarewitch after being reassessed and I think we'll have a decent chance of getting favourable good fast conditions at Doncaster."

Sergeant Cecil landed the Ebor by a length from Carte Diamond, having taken the Pitmen's Derby by a similar distance, on both occasions in the hands of Alan Munro.

"Alan has been a terrific asset to the yard and I thought he gave my horse one heck of a ride at York," Millman added.

Stewards' Cup winner Gift Horse is 7-1 favourite with the sponsors, totesport, to give Dandy Nicholls his fifth Ayr Gold Cup winner in the last six years following the publication of the weights for the six-furlong handicap.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Renderoc (Lingfield 4.20)

NB: Kentucky King (Bangor 4.40)

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