Horseracing: Dettori keen to light up Diamond

Frankie Dettori admitted to his impatience ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Ascot.

Frankie Dettori admitted to his impatience ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Ascot.

Dual Derby winner Galileo takes on older and more experienced rivals for the first time as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record when lining up in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

And the 11-strong opposition to the Irish challenger in the £750,000 race is headed by Fantastic Light, the impressive winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start.

"I’m looking forward to it, the King George is a fantastic race, my horse is well," Dettori said. "Let’s get it on!

"You’ve got to treat the other horses with respect. The French horse, Anabaa Bleu, has got some good form and there are some good older horses like Millenary, who didn’t really act at Epsom, Golden Snake, who has not stopped improving, and Mutamam who has done well.

"The King George is never really a two-horse race. The two champions in the race are Galileo and Fantastic Light but I would not be surprised if another of the horses featured for there are some very good horses in the race."

Godolphin are to use Give The Slip as the pacemaker for Fantastic Light in Saturday’s race.

The names of both horses appeared today among the 12 final declarations for the contest which is shaping up to be the race of the season so far.

The most notable withdrawal from the race was that of fellow Godolphin runner Mutafaweq, the winner of the Coronation Cup at Epsom last month.

In a race that is sure to be run at a good gallop, trainer Aidan O’Brien has also left in Ice Dancer to supply suitable early pace for Galileo.

Give The Slip has been successfully used as a pacemaker for Fantastic Light twice already this season.

"The important thing for Fantastic Light is we need good pace in the race," explained his trainer, Saeed bin Suroor.

"Fantastic Light should have a good pacemaker in this big race and Give The Slip is the ideal horse. He does such a good job.

"It has worked twice, in Ireland (Tattersalls Gold Cup) and last time (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes) and Give The Slip is the perfect horse.

"I’m sure we’ll find a nice race for Give The Slip in his own right."

The man aboard Give The Slip will be Daragh O’Donohoe, who performed an identical task for Godolphin when riding Happy Valentine in 1998.

O’Donohoe cut out the perfect early gallop, taking the sting out of Derby winner High-Rise’s turn of foot and allowing stablemate Swain to gain the day.

Philip Robinson has admitted that he faces a daunting task in trying to turn round a four-length Budweiser Irish Derby deficit with Gallileo when he partners Morshdi in the big race.

He said: "Gallileo beat me four lengths in the Irish Derby and probably had another two up his sleeve so it’s a very tall order to think we can turn the tables.

"I am pleased to say that Michael Jarvis has never had him in better shape, at least that’s the feel he gave me in his final blow this morning and if the sun keeps shining and we have fast ground that won’t be a problem - it couldn’t be firmer than it was when he won the Italian Derby."

Galileo and Fantastic Light were both eased in the betting for the big race by the Tote.

Galileo is 8-13 from 4-7, while Fantastic Light is 5-2 from 9-4.

Tote PR director Matt Chapman said: "We’ve already got money in the bag on Fantastic Light, with plenty of punters having taken 7-4 after the Irish Derby when they thought we had got it wrong and Galileo wasn’t going to run."

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