Frankie Dettori will have trusted ally Kinross for company in what could be his final ride on French soil when he partners the defending champion in the Qatar Prix de la Foret on Sunday.
The retiring Italian has enjoyed plenty of success at ParisLongchamp throughout his distinguished career and little under two hours after John and Thady Gosden’s Free Wind will be his last ride in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it is Ralph Beckett’s evergreen six-year-old that will provide his swansong on the Arc-day card.
Dettori has formed a formidable partnership with Kinross over the last few seasons with the duo counting victory in this contest amongst four big-race victories last term.
The horse the 52-year-old has affectionately referred to as a “ATM machine” in the past now returns to the French capital looking as good as ever following victories at Goodwood and York this summer, and owner Marc Chan’s 10-time scorer sets the standard in this Group One event as the pair search for one final triumph together in Europe.
“Knowing Frankie as long as I’ve known Frankie, he’s not really one to become emotionally attached to horses, but one thing is for sure, he really does like this horse and is fond of him,” said Jamie McCalmont, racing manager for the owner.
“I remember last year by the time that race was run, the English crowd had got a fair few drinks in them and when they went back into the winner’s enclosure the crowd were chanting ‘oh Frankie Dettori’. It was pretty cool.
“Let’s hope they are all singing again.”
Further British interest in the race is provided by Charlie Hills’ Pogo and Richard Hannon’s pair of Happy Romance and Shouldvebeenaring – with the latter hoping to provide owners Middleham Park with back-to-back Arc day Group One triumphs having struck in the Prix de l’Abbaye with The Platinum Queen 12 months ago.
Another taking on a raiding mission from the UK is George Boughey’s Cachet, who came ever so close to Classic success in her sole appearance on the continent at this track last season.
Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner blew away the cobwebs following 457 days on the sidelines when fourth in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting and the prospect of favourable ground in Paris has persuaded connections to make a quick return to the track following that comeback in what could be her final outing in the blue silks of owners Highclere.
“We’ve decided we’re going to run Cachet on Sunday in the Foret,” said Highclere’s Harry Herbert.
“George is delighted with her since her comeback run at Doncaster and she worked well on the Rowley Mile earlier in the week.
“The key to her is getting good or fast ground, so hopefully she’ll get that in Paris this weekend and if she does we hope she’ll be competitive.
“This could be her last run for Highclere before she is sold at the mares’ sale in December.”
Patrice Cottier’s Prix du Moulin scorer Sauterne leads the French charge dropping back in trip by a furlong, while Prix Maurice De Gheest champion King Gold is another from the home team bringing Group One-winning form to the table.