Investec Derby 2017: Frankie Dettori highlights unique pressures of riding in Epsom showpiece


Frankie Dettori celebrates as he passes the winning post on Golden Horn in the 2015 Investec Derby. (Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

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FRANKIE DETTORI has spoken of the unique pressures of riding in the Investec Derby ahead of his ride on pre-race race favourite Cracksman at Epsom on Saturday.

The Cambridge-based Italian jockey won the Derby on Authorised in 2007 and again in 2015 on Golden Horn, who like Cracksman is trained by John Gosden and owned by Anthony Oppenheimer.

The son of Cape Cross is unbeaten in two starts – a maiden at Newmarket in October and a narrow victory last month in the Investec Derby trial at Epsom where he beat Permian, who has since franked the form by winning the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes.

Dettori was aboard Cracksman again last week at the Breakfast with the Stars at Epsom where he worked over a mile with a stable companion.

“Cracksman was good this morning,” Dettori said. “We did routine stuff like we did with Golden Horn two years ago. We started at the mile post and pulled up at the furlong maker. I was going past the winning post at snail’s pace because I was already pulling up.

“The ground was on the slow side of good but in great nick – perfect for everyone. I have raced only once on Cracksman so I am not 100 per cent sure what type of ground he wants. They do a fantastic job here at Epsom and the ground is usually perfect if we don’t get rain.

“He is a horse who has run only twice and you expect him to improve. What happened when he ran at Epsom last month was a blessing. It was a slow-run race and he had to move out, quicken and do a lot of things.

“He answered every call and it was great to see the second going on to win the Dante and the fourth won a very competitive race at Chester. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the race that we have a horse who is very competitive and close to favouritism.

“I am excited – he is not Golden Horn by any means yet, but potentially he can be anything and a week Saturday we will find out.

“In my 30-year career, winning the Investec Derby on Golden Horn was the biggest emotion I ever had for many reasons. It will be very difficult to top it.

“Everybody says when we come to the Derby, is it the best racing day of the year? Well, it’s only the best racing day of the year if you win it. It is nerve-wracking, hard work and needs lots of concentration, while the track is very challenging.

“It is the most difficult day, but that is what makes the Investec Derby such a wonderful and unique race.

“Epsom is a unique track and it looks like we’ll have a full field this year as well, so we’ll have to take that into consideration. It is pretty stressful but when you win it is rewarding and I hope to do it again.”

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