FRANKIE Dettori believes Wissahickon should have more than enough class to give away weight to his rivals in the Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.
Having claimed last year’s Cambridgeshire on the John Gosden-trained four-year-old, Dettori will make his first appearance on a racetrack in Britain in 2019 when partnering the son of Tapit in today’s mile-and-a-quarter Listed event.
The George Strawbridge-owned colt will have to concede 3lb to all eight of his rivals after claiming a course-and-distance success at the same level under Robert Havlin – who will be aboard stablemate Court House – last time out.
Now 48, Dettori’s career continues to be rekindled – and nurtured – by the aforementioned Gosden, who has encouraged his stable jockey to focus on the quality, rather than quantity, of his rides.
Dettori said: “I sat on him on Wednesday morning. It was only few days before the race – and we did the usual routine work, nothing too special.
“I’m looking forward to getting back riding him because it will be the first time I’ve ridden him on track since the Cambridgeshire.
“He looks an improving horse, and who knows where he will end up. He is rated 117 now, so he has not got many options.
“His handicap days are out of the window, and the Winter Derby Trial looks a good spot for him. He has got to give weight away, but he is an exciting horse.
“I didn’t expect to be back riding in Britain until March. But you have got to start somewhere, and he is a nice horse to come back for and start on.
“I’ve won on him at Chelmsford, and he doesn’t mind an artificial surface. He seemed to like it at Lingfield last time, so we will see how we get on.”
David Elsworth’s Royal Ascot winner Dash Of Spice is a non-runner, leaving the veteran trainer to rely on new recruit Main Street, who has been recently gelded.
Elsworth said: “I got Main Street off John Gosden. He will benefit for the race, but I think starting off over a mile and a quarter around Lingfield is ideal.”