Frankie Dettori has been snapped up to partner Luminate in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.
Trainer Freddy Head and owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing wasted no time in acquiring Dettori’s services after it began evident her previous riders Aurelien Lemaitre and Olivier Peslier were likely to be needed for other horses in the French equivalent of the Oaks.
Highclere racing manager Harry Herbert said: “When we knew Aurelien Lemaitre and Olivier Peslier, who had both ridden her this year, were booked, Freddy Head was quite keen to secure Frankie’s services and I was very much on the same page as he rides Chantilly brilliantly.
“He is riding at the top of his game. It’s very exciting to have Frankie.”
Frankie Dettori will receive the leg-up aboard Luminate in the French Oaks at Chantilly on Sunday (John Walton/PA)Luminate won both her starts as a two-year-old and made a victorious debut this term, only to lose her unbeaten record in a dramatic race for the Prix Cleopatre at Saint-Cloud last month.
Sent off the 2-5 favourite, she could not get a clear run and interfered with a rival before passing the post in second place, just a short neck behind the winner, Castellar.
However to add insult to injury, Luminate was demoted into fifth place.
“She should be coming into this race as an unbeaten winner of three Group races out of four starts,” said Herbert.
“It will be very exciting for Highclere to have a runner. We’re really looking forward to Sunday and giving her owners the thrill of a lifetime.”
Opposition will include Laurens, who followed up her second place in the 1000 Guineas with victory in the Group One Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp on her first attempt at a mile and a quarter.
Trainer Karl Burke believes that race was an ideal stepping-stone towards the Diane.
The North Yorkshire handler told At The Races: “I think it’s a massive benefit to have raced her on a right-handed track.
“Chantilly is a sharper track than Longchamp but that will hold her in good stead.
“I hope they go a good gallop. They usually do there with jockeys looking for a position before they hit the downhill run down past the stables and into the right-handed bend.”