Frankie Dettori is not in the betting to be the top jockey at the York Ebor meeting because he rode in France over the weekend and now faces seven days in quarantine on his return. That means champion jockey Oisin Murphy is a big chance to ride the most winners at the biggest festival at the track.
Missing the Ebor meeting was a big call for Dettori. The four-day event from Wednesday to Saturday features 10 Group races and some major handicaps. He would have the pick of John Gosden’s runners, who tend to do well at the meetings that matter most.
The Ebor meeting includes Group 1 championships such as the International Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Nunthorpe Stakes. There is also an important Group 2 trial for the St Leger and major races for horses aged two, three and up, so Dettori is potentially sacrificing a great deal to ride in France.
He also misses the Ebor, which is the richest Flat handicap in Europe. The winner often becomes a leading contender for the Melbourne Cup, which Dettori has never won. Riding in France means the jockey could forgo an opportunity to win one of the most prestigious Flat races in the world.
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Dettori was aboard Mishriff when the horse staked a claim for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (+1000) with an impressive win at Deauville on Saturday. He rode at the track again on Sunday, most notably on Palace Pier in a Group 1 victory. He looks like extending his stay to ride the two-year-old Campanelle for Wesley Ward in a major juvenile race at Deauville next Sunday.
Enable is not running at York, which was a big factor in Dettori’s decision to decamp to France during the Ebor meeting. Enable runs on September 5, so he can extend his stay on the continent and still quarantine for the seven days now required for jockeys returning to the UK.
Stradivarius bypasses the Yorkshire Cup, so at least Frankie will not miss rides on both of his the two best horses. The champion stayer is now a live outsider for the Arc in October, which could be his next race.
At the time of writing, no online bookmaker has issued a market for the leading jockey at the Ebor meeting. However, Murphy will be one of the main contenders and could figure at around +500 in view of his potential book of rides.
Murphy is at that relatively early stage of his career when he wants to ride enough horses to be the champion jockey but also win Group races and major handicaps. He is the no.1 jockey for Qatar Racing and is supported by a number of trainers who use him in the regular races. That scenario could come to fruition at York, but Dettori will still be in France.