Longchamp distance is not Golden Horn issue – Dettori

Golden Horn ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Golden Horn ridden by Frankie Dettori.
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Frankie Dettori feels the ground rather than the distance will be of more significance to Golden Horn’s prospects in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Italian rider believes John Gosden’s brilliant colt would have been unsuited by the prevailing conditions at Longchamp for the Arc Trials meeting on Sunday.

Dettori is also of the opinion Golden Horn would have won the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday in convincing fashion but for veering sharply across the track in the final furlong.

“He did jink at something but take nothing away from his performance. He beat six Group One winners and if it wasn’t for that jink he’d have won even easier.

“He’s back to his best after the blip at York,” Dettori told At The Races.

“He’s won a Derby over a mile and a half and I don’t think the trip is a problem. I think to get the best out of him he needs a good surface.

“He might get away with it on good to soft, but if the Arc had been run on Sunday at Longchamp where I rode it would have been far too soft for him.”

Having been in action at Longchamp on Sunday, Dettori expects the three-year-old colts to give wonder-mare Treve most to do as she bids to win the Arc for the third year running.

“I thought New Bay won really well. I was second to him (on Silverware), but he was never out of third gear,” he said.

“I suspect Treve and the three-year-olds – Jack Hobbs, Golden Horn, New Bay and maybe Found – will be the major players for the Arc.”

Dettori’s only ride at Yarmouth yesterday was a winning one as he steered Cartago home in front in the Rachael Keatley Memorial Nursery Handicap at the seaside venue.

Wearing the Khalid Abdullah colours immortalised by Frankel, Cartago (6-4 favourite) defied top weight and a 6lb penalty for a recent Windsor success in stylish fashion.

There was a double for Gosden as Blue Chip (7-2 favourite) comfortably took the Greene King Handicap under Nicky Mackay.

Dettori was very much in the spotlight at the weekend following a dramatic victory on Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. So, too, was Andrea Atzeni, who was demoted to second place on Simple Verse in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

He enjoyed a change of fortune on Fourth Way in the same Qatar Racing colours for trainer Roger Varian in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Paul Hanagan was in double-winning form, landing the Thomas Prior Memorial Maiden Stakes on Farsakh (13-8 favourite) for William Haggas and the ‘Moulton Nurseries’ Handicap on the Ed McMahon-trained Emjayem (3-1 favourite).