Frankie Dettori has described the call to ride Hazapour in the Investec Derby at Epsom for owner the Aga Khan and trainer Dermot Weld as a “great honour”.
Dettori has won the world’s premier Classic twice, with Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015, with Weld’s sole success coming through Harzand just two years ago.
Harzand was the latest of the Aga Khan’s five winners, going back to Shergar in 1981.
Dettori told Press Association Sport: “It’s a great honour to ride for the Aga Khan. He is steeped in history with the race and has so many good memories.
“It is a great honour to wear his colours. He is a nice horse coming into the race and he put in a good performance in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown.”
That victory in the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial secured a place in the Derby line-up for Hazapour, who is from the same family as Harzand.
The Shamardal colt was ridden by Declan McDonogh at Leopardstown, but Dettori will take over at Epsom as while trainer John Gosden has a Derby contender in Roaring Lion, that colt is owned by Qatar Racing Ltd, whose main rider is Oisin Murphy.
Weld is currently without the services of stable jockey Pat Smullen, who was diagnosed with a tumour in March.
“I’m very excited, but my thoughts go out to Pat Smullen. I’ve got the ride in unfortunate circumstances,” said Dettori.
“I know Pat very well and he is a good friend of mine and we’ve been keeping in touch and I’m sure he will give me help about the horse.
“The Aga Khan’s breeding operation is steeped in history and this horse has got the right pedigree for it. The combination of Dermot Weld and the Aga Khan is amazing and the history they have in the Derby is amazing.
“I’m always delighted when I’m asked to ride a horse in the Derby, especially a horse with this kind of calibre.”