Dettori to ride Camelot in Arc

  • Last Updated: October 3 2012, 13:42 BST

Frankie Dettori will sensationally partner Camelot in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.

Frankie Dettori: Has picked up the ride aboard Camelot

With trainer Aidan O'Brien's son, Joseph, unable to make the weight of 8st 11lb to ride Ballydoyle's 2000 Guineas and dual Derby winner, Dettori takes over.

Joseph O'Brien will instead ride stablemate St Nicholas Abbey.

Camelot's participation in the Arc had been up in the air since his defeat in the St Leger at Doncaster last month, when he was prevented from claiming the Triple Crown by Encke.

Frankie Dettori "The horse was going spare, I didn't have a ride and what an opportunity and what an honour to be asked to ride the Derby and 2000 Guineas winner in the Arc. A couple of the main horses haven't made the race and he's right up there at the top of the betting."
Frankie Dettori

But after having worked at O'Brien's Ballydoyle stable on Wednesday morning, the decision was made to let the three-year-old colt take his chance.

"We were pleased with the work of both St Nicholas Abbey and Camelot this morning in Ballydoyle and hope to run both in the Arc on Sunday," read a tweet from Ballydoyle.

"St Nicholas Abbey will be ridden by Joseph and Camelot will be ridden by Frankie Dettori."

Dettori said on Racing UK: "I'm really and looking forward to it. It's a shame Godolphin don't have a horse in the race, I was standing by for Snow Fairy as Ryan seemed set to ride Sea Moon and in the last two or three days what has happened has been unbelievable.

"Snow Fairy was injured, Nathaniel is out and Joseph can't do the weight on Camelot so the ride became available. It's an honour for me to ride the horse. Let's hope he's in top tip shape he's had a pretty long season now but if the Camelot we know turns up he should have a very good chance.

"I think you want to judge the horse more on the Guineas and Derby runs. In the Leger he was ridden to stay and it was a stop and start kind of pace early on and I still think he quickened really well in the end. He's better judged on his two previous wins which were pretty impressive.

"The horse looks to be tremendously well balanced, he came home on his own in the Derby, he spreadeagled his field and looked mightily impressive. Coming back to a mile-and-a-half at Longchamp will be his absolute cup of tea.

"It looks like going to be two or three pacemakers, the race will be run at a very high tempo and if that is the case it doesn't really matter where I sit. I haven't spoken to Aidan yet, a low draw is quite a key but we're not going to change his pattern of racing and I'm sure Aidan will come out with a plan and we'll hope for the best on Sunday."

Joseph O'Brien partnered Camelot in his key final Arc prep and said: "I was very happy with him - he did what he had to do."

Dettori, who has ridden in 24 consecutive Arcs, was without a mount in the great race and is a rare sight on O'Brien runners.

He did, however, win the St Leger at Doncaster for Coolmore aboard Scorpion in 2005.

The Italian has also guided Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001) and Marienbard (2002) to victory in Europe's premier middle-distance contest.

Camelot adds a much-needed touch of quality to an Arc which has recently seen three high-profile defections.

Injury forced Snow Fairy out of contention at the weekend, while last year's winner Danedream is unable to travel to France as her stables at Cologne racecourse were on Monday placed into quarantine due to a serious outbreak of an equine infection.

The John Gosden-trained Nathaniel was then declared a non-runner on Tuesday after returning unsatisfactory blood tests when found to have been suffering with a temperature.

Sixteen horses remain in the all-aged middle-distance championship.

Saonois, the French Derby and Prix Niel winner, is expected to be supplemented on Thursday.

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