Epsom — World-renowned jockey, Frankie Dettori, is aiming for his third Investec Derby triumph here on Saturday as he bids to follow up his wins on Authorized (2007) and Golden Horn (2015).
So far in 2017 he has partnered Cracksman for trainer John Gosden, but said: "He’s not Golden Horn yet by any means, but he could be anything and we’ll find out on Saturday."
Dettori was 36 when he scored on Authorized and — until then — the most famous race in the world had eluded the livewire Italian. After Golden Horn’s victory, he said: "When you’re younger you don’t really appreciate the Derby. It’s a huge race and you don’t understand the meaning of the pressure and the importance. It means a lot."
Cracksman’s price in the ante-post market is between 7-2 and 5-1 and the latter price is unlikely to be available by the time the field is sent on its way.
Gosden is singing from the same hymn sheet as Dettori and said: "We like Cracksman a lot, but he’s a different horse altogether than Golden Horn.... I think the mile and a half will be right up his alley."
Interestingly, Cracksman, who bypassed the Dante Stakes at York due to the soft ground, beat Permian in the Epsom Derby Trial in April and no horse has gone on to win both the Trial and Derby since Blue Peter in 1939.
Permian, trained by Mark Johnston whose best Derby finish was Mister Bailey’s fourth place in 1994, did go to the Dante and ground out a good victory.
Some pundits have queried whether the 16 days between the Dante and the Derby is sufficient for Permian to get over his York assertions, but this was the route Golden Horn took two years ago and Johnston dismissed the issue as "absolutely no concern at all".
The Godolphin outfit is likely to have three runners — Best Solution, Dubai Thunder and Benbatl.
Aidan O’Brien, who rerouted Churchill to run in last weekend’s Irish 2000 Guineas instead of the Derby, still has not finalised his Epsom team, but the market believes Cliffs of Moher is the stable elect and quote the colt at 9-2.