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Champion jockey Frankie Dettori has said he is “super excited” to ride Verry Elleegant in her first-up run in France next weekend.
The superstar mare joined the Francis Graffard stable earlier in the year, with Australian connections hoping to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with her in October.
Dettori is no stranger to that race, having won it six times throughout his illustrious riding career.
One race that has eluded Dettori in the past is a race that Verry Elleegant knows very well – the Melbourne Cup.
Dettori has fallen short in the race that stops the nation on a number of occasions, most recently in 2015 aboard Max Dynamite when finishing second behind Prince Of Penzance.
The Italian jockey told At The Races that if he can’t win a Melbourne Cup, he may as well ride a horse who has.
“I am very excited,” he said.
“It’s very well known that I’ve never won the Melbourne Cup, but if you can’t win it yourself, you may as well ride the horse that has won it.
“Verry Elleegant – she’s an amazing mare. She’s won from seven furlongs (1400m) to two miles (3200m).
“The biggest race in Australia, the Melbourne Cup, she won in a trot and she came over this summer, so I’m super excited to ride a legend like that.”
Verry Elleegant is currently at her new trainer’s base in Chantilly, so Dettori won’t get the chance to sit on her before the upcoming Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet on August 21.
The 2000m contest at Deauville is exclusive to mares aged four and older, so the 11-time Group 1 winner is likely to be well fancied with the online bookmakers.
Dettori has won the race three times since its inception in 2004 – more than any other jockey.
“She’s running next week and she’s in Chantilly at the moment, but Francis is very pleased with her,” Dettori said.
“It’s an honour (to ride her), and really all roads lead to the Arc at the end of the season, so let’s see how she does next Sunday.”
Verry Elleegant is rated a +1600 chance for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m), which will be run at Longchamp on October 3.