Frankie Dettori admits his probable ride in next month’s Vodafone Derby is up in the air.
The Italian-born jockey’s main stable, Godolphin, have not made a strong start to the new season, with their first three runners failing to distinguish themselves last weekend.
Dettori finally laid to rest his aching ambition to win the Derby last year on the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Authorized but will be putting Godolphin’s Epsom hopes through their paces over the next fortnight.
“This is the crucial time with Chester, Lingfield and York and we will decide after that. All cards are there to be dealt,” said Dettori.
“I ride Campanologist at Lingfield (on Saturday). He’s a new horse for us.
“I sat on him on Monday, he seems nice and his form from Newmarket has been franked with Henry Cecil’s horse (Kandahar Run) winning again at the weekend.
“Rio De La Plata is running in the French Guineas this weekend. He’s been going very well, but only time will tell.
“We have four or five horses in the picture at the moment so we’ll just have to see.”
Godolphin have another interesting sort in Alexandros engaged in Friday’s Addleshaw Goddard Dee Stakes at Chester, with a host more entered in the totesport.com Dante Stakes at York next week.
While Laureldean Gale was not expected to make an impression in the 1000 Guineas, Ibn Khaldun certainly was in the 2000 but finished 10th.
Iguazu Falls was also last of three at odds-on in a conditions race at Doncaster.
Dettori considered: “Ibn Khaldun was a mystery. We really don’t know what happened and that’s the only one really.
“The filly had a mountain to climb in the 1000 Guineas and with the other fellow (Iguazu Falls), the horse-box broke down and it took him a very long time to get there.”
Dettori is now able to enter Derby week in better spirits and this year his wife Catherine is the ’Face of the Festival’ and featuring in the advertising campaign.
“I feel the pressure is off a lot after last year,” said Dettori, speaking at the official launch of the meeting in London on Tuesday night.
“I still want to win but I am going there with a much more relaxed attitude.
“I am pleased for the wife too. They are lovely pictures and are bringing back good memories from last year.”