As he prepares for his final ride in the race, Frankie Dettori reflected on a kaleidoscope of memories from three decades of riding in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, labelling his 1995 triumph on Lammtarra as his greatest.
But the Italian would not let the ink dry on that revelation without recalling Golden Horn in 2015 as his best ride in the race widely regarded as the greatest in the world.
Dettori drew a blank on his three mounts on the eve-of-Arc-day card, but from the sanctuary of the weighing room looked back into the race’s archive and extracted the name of Lammtarra.
He recalled: “To win the Arc is every jockey’s dream, and so the best memory of my winners has to be the first and that was Lammtarra. He was inexperienced but very good, and we don’t know how good he might have been.
“But the ride that gave me a lot of personal satisfaction was on Golden Horn. I did something out of the box in that, I went out on my own and it worked to perfection. He was a very good horse, and especially on that day which is a special memory for sure.”
His mount in his Arc swansong is the John and Thady Gosden-trained mare Free Wind, carded to start as around a 20-1 outsider.
The rider is taking a realistic approach to her match up with older and younger males without totally eliminating the possibility of an earning display from the George Strawbridge-owned five-year-old.
He added: “I’ve won on her three times, but I’m realistic because she’s had her problems and is coming back. She’s a Group Two winner and she’s worked well and has a good draw. But it’s still a big ask.
“If she gets a place I will be delighted – if she won it would be totally amazing and I’m not sure how I would react.”