Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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FRANKIE Dettori’s focus is on America as he prepares to partner Mishriff in the Breeder’s Cup Turf at Keeneland on Saturday before the jockey embarks on a winter campaign in California.
The Italian-born rider has won the Breeder’s Cup Turf five times and is targeting win number six aboard the five-year-old who runs for the final time before retirement and has been a class act for John and Thady Gosden. Gosden Snr provided Dettori with his last Breeder’s Cup Turf winner, Enable in 2018.
Ted Voute, racing manager for Mishriff’s owner Prince Faisal, said: “Frankie has already won on him in Deauville and has the advantage of being in the yard so has been able to ride some work on him and do some stalls work – all of which seems to have gone well.
“Frankie’s record at the Breeders’ Cup is unrivalled and there is no one better on the big racing days. He was John Gosden’s recommendation to Prince Faisal and the team are delighted he is free to ride him next weekend,” Racing TV report.
The booking to ride Mishriff follows news that the dual Epsom Derby-winning jockey is planning a winter campaign in America where he will be based at Santa Anita in California.
The 51-year-old was based at Santa Anita when a teenager and is keen to seize the opportunity to revisit the track and will depart for America in December.
“I think I’m going to spend possibly the winter in California, at Santa Anita where I started many years ago as a young boy,” Dettori told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast: “I did four lovely winters there in the late 80s.
“I’ve been doing my winters in Dubai the last few years but this opportunity came, I’m getting a lot of requests to come over from trainers, so I thought why not give it a go. It’s a place I’m a big fan of and I’m very fond of Santa Anita.
“I talked to my family and my wife and I told them I will not spend Christmas with them, but my kids are not young anymore so they don’t really care about Christmas Day – all they want is a present!
“I will go just before Christmas and I will start riding on the opening day, which is Boxing Day, with some amazing races and spend a good chunk of the winter, who knows what it will bring, and I’m looking forward to it.
“If you’re going to do it, do it properly – that’s why I’m starting on the first day. And who knows, I may find a nice three-year-old who heads to Churchill Downs for the first Saturday in May.”
“I’m keeping all my options open; I’m going there with a clean slate and looking forward to the challenge.
“Basically, I will base myself in California and move my way around if I have to.”
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