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Champion jockey Frankie Dettori booked to ride Verry Elleegant in France

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Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Melbourne Cup heroine Verry Elleegant on her French debut in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet later this month.

The seven-year-old was partnered by top southern hemisphere rider James McDonald in nine of her 11 Group One victories for Chris Waller in Australia, with the jockey aboard for her four-length success at Flemington in the ‘race that stops the nation’.

However, Verry Elleegant will not lack for assistance in the saddle when three-time British champion Dettori takes the reins in Deauville’s 10-furlong Group One on August 21.


New handler Francis-Henri Graffard will prepare the daughter of Zed for her European debut, which will serve as a prep race for the ultimate aim of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Graffard confirmed: ‘‘She is going to run in the Prix Jean Romanet with Frankie Dettori. Everything is fine with the mare and we are on course for Deauville on August 21.’’

Verry Elleegant’s owner Brae Sokolski is thrilled to have secured Dettori’s services.

He told ‘‘We have the King (Dettori) and Queen (Verry Elleegant) combining – there is a real ‘romantic’ aspect to it.

‘‘Ideally, we would have him aboard her for her final serious gallop but it is not going to happen.

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‘‘But Frankie has the experience and Verry Elleegant is a much more mature mare now.

‘‘As a young horse, she was difficult to handle but she is quite relaxed now so it shouldn’t be an issue.’’

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