JOHNNY Murtagh is among the trainers delighted to have secured the services of Frankie Dettori during his first ever visit to Killarney on Wednesday.
The hugely-popular Italian jockey is enjoying a sensational campaign in Britain, highlighted by his tally of seven winners at Royal Ascot and the recent comeback victory for the dual Arc heroine Enable in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. He makes the trip across the Irish Sea for four rides on the third day of Killarney’s July Festival, the last of which is aboard the Murtagh-trained Find Nero in the Europe Hotel Handicap.
Dettori and Murtagh have enjoyed many stirring battles in the saddle – and Murtagh is pleased to have Dettori on his side on this occasion.
“It’s great that Frankie is coming over. Everyone is very excited about it,” the trainer said.
"He’s ridden for me a few times, but we haven’t had much luck. If he could ride a winner for me tomorrow, it would be fantastic.
“We think he’s got a good chance. He (Finding Nero) is an improving horse, so we’ll see. Hopefully we’ll see Frankie doing a flying dismount!”
Dettori’s first ride is aboard the Dermot Weld-trained Time Tunnel, who appears to hold strong claims in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden after finishing second on her latest appearance at Leopardstown.
He teams up with Weld for a second time with course-and-distance winner Mujid in the Sauternes Cup Rated Race, before partnering the Fozzy Stack-trained Lady Wannabe in the feature event of the evening – the €55,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes.
Stack said: “It’s great to have Frankie on board. It’s great for racing that he’s coming over.
“The filly seems in good form. The trip might be a bit on the short side for her, but I hope she’ll run well.”
The Cashel-based trainer also saddles Hand On Heart, of whom he added: “We’d want to see some rain for her.”
Other contenders for the one-mile listed contest include the Ger Lyons-trained Viadera and Aidan O’Brien’s trio of Mona Lisa’s Smile, Secret Thoughts and Simply Beautiful.