Dettori crosses over to land shock Camelot ride in the Arc
Having ruined his immaculate record at Doncaster last month, Godolphin yesterday offered connections of Camelot remarkable redress. Frankie Dettori, employed by Sheikh Mohammed's stable throughout its prolonged rivalry with Ballydoyle, will ride the Derby winner for John Magnier and his Coolmore partners in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday.
The mere confirmation of Camelot's participation, following a workout at Ballydoyle, represented precious succour for a race that had shed three key contenders since the weekend. But the nomination of his new jockey amply restored all the intrigue lost with Danedream, Nathaniel and Snow Fairy.
True, it was not wholly unexpected, despite the notorious froideur between the rival empires after Dettori won the 2005 St Leger for Aidan O'Brien, Coolmore's principal trainer, on Scorpion. To Magnier's candid bemusement, Dettori subsequently went so far as to express public contrition for a perceived affront to his boss. But Magnier is too smart a businessman to allow past differences to intrude on something as important as the renewal of Camelot's reputation, following his shock defeat by Godolphin's Encke in the St Leger. And, as noted yesterday, the sheikh himself surely feels obliged to afford Dettori greater latitude this time round – having dismayed the Italian by fast-tracking young Mickael Barzalona, hired last winter, to immediate parity at Godolphin.
Camelot has hitherto been ridden by O'Brien's son, Joseph, whose minimum weight is a couple of pounds over the 8st 11lb Camelot is set to carry. Ryan Moore has not ridden since breaking a wrist in August, but would be claimed for Sea Moon regardless; and Seamus Heffernan failed to make the most of his opportunity on So You Think last year. That reiterated the tactical challenge of a big field round the dizzy bends of Longchamp – where Dettori has always been especially masterful. Magnier decided it would be puerile to look elsewhere, when the world's top jockey was without a mount after riding in 24 consecutive Arcs.
"What an opportunity, and honour, to be asked to ride the Guineas and Derby winner in the Arc," Dettori said. "This year Godolphin never had a horse for the race, so I was standing by [for] Snow Fairy as I think Ryan was going to ride Sea Moon. But the last two to three days were pretty unbelievable: Snow Fairy had an injury, Joseph couldn't do the weight, and the ride became available. Let's hope the horse is in tip-top shape. It's been a pretty long season now but if the Camelot we know turns up he should have a very good chance."
That is the rub. Camelot has still had only six races in his life, and enjoyed a good break before the Leger. But he did have a hard race there, and will have had only 22 days to absorb it.
"He was ridden to stay," Dettori told the Racing UK channel. "It was a stop-start pace, though I still think the horse quickened well at the end. He looks tremendously well balanced. He came into his own in the Derby over a mile and a half. He spreadeagled the field and the Arc will be his absolute cup of tea."
Chris McGrath's Nap
Tiradito (5.30 Southwell) Well treated now, and immediate signs of renewal for his new trainer at Wolverhampton last time. US genes meanwhile indicate he will relish this surface.
Galatian (6.40 Wolverhampton) Looked ready to exploit good mark at Kempton last out, set lots to do but finished fast.
One to watch
Aarti (William Haggas) Seemed equal to a modest rating when held up and third on her handicap debut last week at Wolverhampton.
Where the money's going
Camelot is 3-1 from 4s with Ladbrokes for Sunday's Arc.
Latest in Sport
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Six things we learnt: Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United; Henderson becoming the genuine heir to Gerrard
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
Steven Gerrard tribute match: An alternative XI the Liverpool player wouldn't want crashing the Anfield party
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...