Struggling Dettori gets picked for Forever Now

Jockeys William Buick, left, with Frankie Dettori.Jockeys William Buick, left, with Frankie Dettori.
Jockeys William Buick, left, with Frankie Dettori.
FRANKIE Dettori has a chance of getting his season back on track in the Ladbrokes St Leger after being handed a ‘spare’ ride on Forever Now.

It sees the out-of-sorts Dettori team up with champion-trainer elect John Gosden, the man who guided the Italian during his formative years race-riding in Britain.

This has been a difficult week for the popular Italian after he lost the ride aboard last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Heroine Treve.

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Al Naamah, the Andre Fabre-trained filly who cost an eye-watering five million guineas, then finished only sixth in the Prix d’Aumale at Chantilly on Tuesday.

Dettori’s agent Ray Cochrane said: “It’s not all doom and gloom. Last month Frankie rode a Group One winner in France for James Fanshawe (Ribbons) and I’m sure Hayley Turner (previous jockey) wasn’t too pleased, but that’s the way it goes.

“It’s swings and roundabouts.”

Dettori has ridden just 29 winners in the UK this year and was only booked for the Forever Ride after Gosden’s stable jockey William Buick opted to ride Epsom Derby third Romsdal in the final Classic of the 2014 season.

Though Buick partnered Forever Now to a narrow victory in the March Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, he believes Romsdal’s stamina could prove decisive.

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“On the face of it the decision might have looked easy with Forever Now rated 106 and Romsdal 9lb higher, but the fact is that I’ve only ridden Romsdal once in his five starts this season whereas I’ve been with Forever Now on all five outings, winning twice,” wrote Buick in his online blog.

“He’s got plenty of courage and stays very well, but in the end I just gave the nod to Romsdal on having the better overall level of form.

“I’ve made my decision – I think it’s the right one – so here’s hoping.”

Buick, who won the 2010 and 2011 St Legers on Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel respectively, has also acquired more rides from Godolphin as a result of Dettori’s longstanding association with Sheikh Mohammed ending in 2012.

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Joe Fanning will ride Mark Johnston’s Hartnell in the St Leger, with Silvestre de Sousa aboard stablemate Alex My Boy.

Franny Norton will be reunited with Johnston’s third runner Somewhat, whom he partnered to finish third behind Mukhadram in this year’s Coral-Eclipse.