Frankie Dettori has been declared to ride four horses on his much-anticipated trip to Killarney.
The Italian who was crowned top rider at Royal Ascot last month is taking his first rides at the scenic venue, but it's not Dettori's first visit to the Kingdom having ridden at the now-closed Tralee track previously.
Dettori's debut at the scenic venue will be at 6.30 in the Aherns Garage Castleisland Maiden over a mile. Frankie teams up with Dermot Weld and Enable's owner Khalid Abdullah on board the regally bred Time Tunnel. The filly wears a visor for the first time having finished second when last seen at Leopardstown. The Italian will have to be at his brilliant best to overcome the wide draw.
Half an hour later Dettori again teams up with Dermot Weld. This time on board Mujid. This Frankel colt was disappointing at Limerick when last seen, however, a return to more positive tactics could suit. Frankie is renowned for his tactics when making the running and while on official ratings Mujid is up against it, he may progress past these.
The feature race of the evening is the listed Cairn Rouge Stakes going to post at 7.30. Fozzy Stack has booked Frankie onboard Lady Wannabe. It will be the first time the Italian has ridden for Stack junior, although Dettori twice rode for his dad Tommy.
Lady Wannabe is the joint top-rated filly in the race, while she also drops in class. She was last seen in Group three action against colts at The Curragh and reverts back to racing against her own sex at Killarney. Viadera looks to be her main opposition having beaten Lady Wannabe when the two last met.
Johnny Murtagh provides the fourth leg of the 'Frankie Yankee' as it is being dubbed, with full credit to Justin O'Hanlon of the Racing Post for that moniker. Dettori gets the leg-up from his former weigh room sparring partner on to Finding Nero at 8.30.
Dettori's sprinkling of stardust was music to the organisers' ears. Philip O'Brien, Racing Manager said:
"We’re absolutely thrilled that he is willing to take time to include our July festival in his schedule."
“His presence will be a great attraction for racegoers. We’re certainly over the moon to have him as a guest, and it’s an added bonus to what should be another great July festival.”
Dettori's visit to Killarney comes 28 years almost to the day, after another colossus of the weighing room visited. Lester Piggott rode three winners for Vincent O'Brien from four rides at the July festival in 1991.
Somewhat ironically bookmakers from the Killarney betting ring paid Lester's expenses that day. It was surely a double blow as his wins undoubtedly hit their satchels hard.
The current crop of bookmakers though have been taking defensive action against punters seeking to put Dettori's rides into multiples. Some have offered lesser prices while others have just refused the bets after he had four winners on the Thursday of Royal Ascot.
Given the way Frankie has been riding for the last month or so, the bookies' satchels will be lightened if the Frankie Yankee clicks. That's of course if they actually let the punters get their bets on.