Dettori thrilled to get call-up on Hazapour as jockey targets hat-trick of Derby wins

FRANKIE Dettori has described the call-up to ride Hazapour in the Investec Derby at Epsom for owner the Aga Khan and trainer Dermot Weld as a 'great honour'.

Frankie Dettori.

Dettori has won the world’s premier Classic twice, with Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015, with Weld’s sole success coming through Harzand just two years ago.

Harzand was the latest of the Aga Khan’s five winners, going back to the runaway winner Shergar in 1981.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It’s a great honour to ride for the Aga Khan. He is steeped in history with the race and has so many good memories,” said Dettori, the fifth winning-most Flat rider of all-time.

“It is a great honour to wear his colours. He is a nice horse coming into the race and he put in a good performance in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown.”

That victory in the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial secured a place in the Derby line-up for Hazapour, who is from the same family as Harzand. Dettori will find himself in opposition to his main trainer John Gosden who saddles Roaring Lion, winner of York’s Dante Stakes, in the big race

However the grey is owned by Qatar Racing whose retained rider is Oisin Murphy.

Victory for Hazapour would be an emotional one because Weld’s longstanding jockey, Pat Smullen, is out of action after being diagnosed with a tumour.

“I’m very excited, but my thoughts go out to Pat Smullen. I’ve got the ride in unfortunate circumstances,” explained Dettori.

“I know Pat very well and we’ve been keeping in touch and I’m sure he will give me help about the horse.

“I’m always delighted when I’m asked to ride a horse in the Derby, especially a horse with this kind of calibre.”