Connections of Raa Atoll are delighted to have secured the services of Frankie Dettori for Friday’s Comer Group International Curragh Cup.
The son of Sea The Stars won twice last season when trained by John Gosden and went on to finish fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot with Dettori on his back.
Raa Atoll changed hands for the relatively modest fee of 30,000 guineas last October and is already looking a bargain buy, having made a winning debut for his new owner-trainer Luke Comer in a Group Two in Germany – beating a fellow Irish raider in the Willie Mullins-trained Thomas Hobson.
The four-year-old was a shade disappointing in finishing sixth in the Belmont Gold Cup on his latest appearance, but assistant trainer Jim Gorman is hoping he can bounce back in a raced sponsored by the Comer family.
He said: “We sponsor the race, so it would be nice to win our own money back!
“The horse seems in very good form and we were obviously delighted with his Group Two win in Germany.
“He didn’t run up to his best in America. Maybe the track didn’t suit him, I don’t know. We were a bit puzzled afterwards, but that can happen when you travel to the States.
“We’ve been happy with him since he came home and if he can get back the form of his previous run, he’d have a chance.”
Raa Atoll will certainly not lack assistance from the saddle, with Dettori on the crest of a wave after riding seven winners at Royal Ascot last week.
Gorman added: “We’ve got a good jockey on his back anyway. If he rides the Curragh as well as he rides Ascot, we’ll be delighted!”