Frankie Dettori has picked up the ride on American challenger Sir Winston in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday week.
The popular Italian has landed the lucrative prize on three previous occasions – striking gold aboard the Saeed bin Suroor-trained trio of Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003) and Electrocutionist (2006).
This year he is set to partner Mark Casse’s Sir Winston, who landed the Belmont Stakes in June – denying fellow Dubai World Cup runner Tacitus – and returned to winning ways with an impressive display over a mile at Aqueduct at the end of January.
Tyler Gaffalione was initially set to be on board – but he and fellow leading riders Irad Ortiz jr and Luis Saez will not be travelling to Dubai, as they would need to go into quarantine for 14 days on their return to America due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dettori’s agent, Ray Cochrane, said: “Things are up in the air for a lot of jockeys, but Frankie is sorted to go to Dubai at the moment. Things can change, obviously, with everything that’s going on.
“Hopefully everything is OK as it looks like he’ll have some nice rides, including Sir Winston in the World Cup.
“I think the horse has a bit of a squeak – if he could run into the first three or four it would be great, as there’s obviously a lot of money on offer.”
Sir Winston is set to be the last of seven rides on the big night for Dettori.
The 49-year-old is booked to partner Elusive State for Hong Kong-based Tony Millard in the Godolphin Mile, before riding both Wrecking Crew in the UAE Derby and Captain Scotty in the Golden Shaheen for American handler Peter Miller.
Dettori will renew his association with Allan Smith’s Dark Power in the Al Quoz Sprint, having last month steered him to victory on the inaugural Saudi Cup card in Riyadh.
His two other rides come for John Gosden, with Lord North all set for Dubai Turf and triple Group One-winning filly Star Catcher a leading contender for the Sheema Classic.
In other jockey news on the World Cup, William Buick has reportedly been secured by Bob Baffert to ride Mucho Gusto.
The four-year-old has been in fine form of late under Ortiz jr, winning the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park before finishing fourth in the Saudi Cup.