Racing: Dettori looks to the Stars

THE STINGING report of whips thwacking on flesh will resonate across Churchill Downs on Saturday and it may be that not all the noise comes from the racetrack here.

The sanctuary of the weighing room promises to be a far more volatile place than normal following the substitution of American jockeys for several of their top European rivals.

Our horses may be over here, but, it seems, our riders are not largely required and it is to be hoped the little men do not take it out on each other.

Richard Quinn was good enough to partner Leggera to second place in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on one plot of a foreign field but now loses his Turf mount to Jerry Bailey.

Kieren Fallon may be champion jockey in Britain, but his rating is not so high in American consciousness. He loses the seat on Royal Anthem in the Turf to Gary Stevens, but remains on Bolshoi in the Sprint.

The Breeders' Cup has had an abrasive edge between the two jockey camps since 1993 at Santa Anita, when Bailey observed in his victory speech after Arcangues' Classic that he recognised Walter Swinburn because "he was kinda flopping around out there".

Swinburn was happy to riposte after Bailey's last ride on Cigar in the Classic at Woodbine ended in defeat. "Frankie Dettori would have won three lengths on him," he said.

A great judge in this squabble is Steve Cauthen, a champion jockey in both countries. He cannot separate the cream from both nations, but considers the American volume to be larger. "There are more top-class jockeys in the States than Europe simply because of the fact there is more racing here," he said. "But percentage-wise there are just as many top guys riding in England."

John Gosden too has plied his trade with success in both countries. "I think it's the old, old story," the trainer said.

"I mean, would you want an American jockey around Epsom or Ascot? (Bill) Shoemaker only just got beaten in the Derby on his first effort, trying to make all the running on Hawaiian Sound, and Stevens won at the Royal meeting so I think the real answer is that the very best jockeys can ride anywhere in the world.

"The local guys will know most of the other jockeys in the race and they'll know how they are going to ride their horses, but don't forget that knowledge of your own horse is as valuable as anything.

"Frankie Dettori rides perfectly on the American tracks. He learned a lot out there and his style is mid-Atlantic. He's beautifully balanced and he knows his way round."

Dettori rides Daylami in the Turf, Swain in the Classic and, yesterday, it was revealed that he had chosen Fly To The Stars over Cape Cross in the Mile.

Tom Albertrani, the assistant to Godolphin's trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, believes their man is as good as anything the home forces offer. "I think the jockeys here know the tracks better and know the times better, and that can be a crucial benefit in having an American rider. They work with the clock and in Europe they don't know their fractions like they do here.

"But Frankie has experience over here so he shouldn't have any problem at all coping with any situation he's in."

Yesterday's draw was kind to the Europeans and post position will not be a viable excuse for many on Saturday.

Fly To The Stars is the worst housed in berth 10 of the Mile, as no horse has ever won from outside the nine box. Desert Prince, Among Men, Cape Cross and Second Empire will be on his inside.

Second Empire was out before daybreak in a covert Aidan O'Brien operation on the dirt yesterday. He returned as a chill hung in the darkness and horses, like Serpentine dippers, were being hosed down steamily outside the barns.

O'Brien may not have seen much of the work but at least the horse seemed to know where he was going. "I don't think he bumped into anything out there," the trainer said. "There were no marks on him when he came in."

Skip Away, the big, grey beast who is on the verge of becoming the most successful horse of all time, in financial terms at least, also emerged unscathed from morning work though he later had his problems.

A 747 leaving Louisville Airport flew into a flock of birds, and engine debris was sent showering on to the barn where Skip Away was relaxing.

His trainer, Sonny Hine, believes only a freak occurrence can stop his runner winning and plans to counter this latest threat. "I guess I'm going to have to get some anti-aircraft guns up there now," he said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform