Frankie Dettori: Racing Insights 10/09/2020

Frankie Dettori’s Sporting Index blog: Santiago a rock-solid St Leger ride

There’s a lot to look forward to over the next few days.

I’ve got three nice rides on Friday, one of the favourites in the St Leger on Saturday and then some great chances in the big races in France on Sunday.

My first ride on the Friday at Doncaster is Mohawk King in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes (2:40pm).

He’s stepping back to 5f having not seen out the 6f that well in the Gimcrack – hopefully that will suit.

I’m then on Red Verdon for Ed Dunlop in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup (3:15pm).

He’s never won over this far but he’ll definitely like the flat track, that’s what he wants.

He got bogged down in the heavy ground at Deauville last time and will be better suited by conditions here.

I won on him at Longchamp, but that was over 1m6f and he still has plenty to prove given the step up in trip and the fact he’s got to concede weight to higher-rated horses.

New Mandate is my other ride on the Friday for Ralph Beckett in the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes (3:45pm).

He’s been bought by a friend of mine in Hong Kong and will hopefully continue improving having won well at Sandown last time out.

I’ve got a nice book of rides on St Leger day, with Wichita in the Park Stakes and Santiago in the feature race the real focus.

It’s great to pick up these rides for Aidan [O’Brien]. He has so many talented horses and you know you’ve got a chance whatever you’re on when you ride for him.

Wichita is a very interesting ride in the Group 2 Park Stakes (3:00pm).

The question mark is the return to 7f, but I think that should be ideal.

He’s a fast horse that ran well over a mile – second in a Guineas and a close third in the St James’s Palace – and we think this trip will really suit him.

As for Santiago in the St Leger (3:35pm), he looks a lovely horse, is an Irish Derby winner and we know he stays.

His form looks rock-solid but the St Leger is always a very tough race and I’m sure there’s at least two or three in the field with good chances.

Martin Dwyer’s ride, Pyledriver, is the big danger for sure. He’s done very little wrong all season and deserves a crack at a Classic.

I’ve then got an early start to get over to France on Sunday for a nice book of rides at Longchamp.

I’ve got Magic Wand, again for Aidan, in the Prix Vermeille, which looks a very hot renewal this year.

She’s a brilliantly consistent mare but I think we’ve got to look out for Jean Claude-Rouget’s filly, Raabihah, who he talks up to be a genuine Arc contender.

Stradivarius has been in great form at home and it will be interesting to see how he goes over 1m4f in the Prix Foy.

My job is to give him a good lesson around Longchamp and get him spot on for Andrea [Atzeni], who knows the horse inside-out already.

I could also end up riding English King in the Grand Prix de Paris.

Ed [Walker] has him entered in the St Leger as a precaution as there’s so much uncertainty around travel restrictions at the moment, but all being well it sounds like he could go to France.

We’ll have to keep an eye on how things pan out but obviously he’d be another great ride to have this weekend.

After that comes the bad bit, another week of isolation! But I’ll be back for the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket which is always a great few days of racing.

Read all of Frankie's Racing insights here.

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