The Breeders' Cup: Drawn high on turf track? Forget it, says Frankie Dettori

Thu 2 Nov 2017

By staff

Frankie Dettori expects the draw to have a major impact on the turf races at the Breeders' Cup this weekend after riding at Del Mar for the first time.

The popular Italian has enjoyed more than his fair share of success at the showpiece fixture, winning the Classic aboard Raven's Pass (2008), the Turf four times and the Filly & Mare Turf twice, among other races.

However, although Dettori has ridden all over the globe during his stellar career, he had never tackled the tight turns of Del Mar until riding in the concluding race on Wednesday, finishing unplaced.

He said: "You do not want to be drawn high, anything above seven on the turf track you really have little chance.

"You cannot get yourself into a decent position unless you are up with the pace, because the winning the post is almost just over a furlong from the entrance to the straight.

"You cannot make up three lengths in that distance. I don't know how it will pan on the dirt. I would say this track is much tighter than Santa Anita."

It is set to be a busy few days for Dettori as after taking up six rides at the Breeders' Cup, he will head to Australia to partner last year's winner Almandin in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.

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He added: "I'll have a hectic schedule on Saturday because after riding Ulysses in the Turf, I leave here before the Classic to fly to Australia and it will be mayhem. It's brilliant to get the ride on Almandin. I have ridden for the owner before, so fingers crossed he can do it again."

Dettori was speaking after putting John Gosden's Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Juliet Capulet through her paces on Thursday morning. The Clarehaven handler is anticipating a bold showing from his filly on Friday.

Gosden said: "She won the Rockfel in good style and has a lot of tactical speed. We will certainly need that given she is drawn 13 of 14.

"When people watch the racing here, they will see how tight it is. I was leading trainer at the track a couple of times, but I haven't been here since 1988. Horses can go wide on it, but it suits horses with a lot of tactical speed.

"If she was drawn between one out to six or seven I would be a fair bit more confident, but Frankie cantered her and said she felt really good."

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