Frankie Dettori’s sensational season continues as he has been snapped up to ride Investec Derby favourite English King at Epsom next month. Dettori, currently enjoying a remarkable run of success after celebrating a memorable Royal Ascot where he finished top jockey with six winners, will be hoping to add to his previous Derby victories with Authorized (2007) and Golden Horn (2015).
English King became a worthy favourite after his success in the Lingfield Derby Trial, the race won by last year’s Epsom hero Antony Van Dyck.
Tom Marquand was in the saddle on that occasion, but connections have turned to the man who is in a league of his own.
Ed Walker, the trainer of English King, said: “I feel desperately sorry for Tom, and it is absolutely no reflection of our faith and trust in his ability.
“After Tom won on the horse at Lingfield he asked if he’d keep the ride in the Derby, and I said to him ‘your only danger is Frankie’.
“The Derby is the Derby, and Frankie is Frankie. It’s very tough on Tom – but he has never ridden in a classic around Epsom before, and I hope he’ll have other big days with us in the future, very possibly on this horse.”
Dettori will be wearing familiar silks as English King is owned by Bjorn Nielsen who enjoyed Ascot Gold Cup success for the third time when the Italian partnered Stradivarius.
English King, now 3-1 from 7-2 with Ladbrokes on account of Dettori, will be Walker’s first Derby runner.
“He’s in cracking form – really well in himself,” added the Lambourn trainer. “I just hope we can keep him in the same form for the next 12 days.
“It’ll be a big nerve settler for me having Frankie on board. He’s certainly the best I’ve seen and arguably the greatest jockey of all time, especially on the big stage.”