Dettori on First Cornerstone in French Derby
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 1:25:22 PM
Last Updated: 6/1/2013 1:26:40 PM

Frankie Dettori
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Jockey Frankie Dettori, cleared by France Galop to resume his career, has been named to ride Team Valor International's group II winner First Cornerstone in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby, Fr-I) at Chantilly June 2.

Team Valor and trainer Andy Oliver offered the mount to Dettori May 29 if he were to receive clearance to resume riding. Dettori was suspended for six months after testing positive for an unidentified substance that he later told Channel 4 was cocaine. France Galop cleared him to ride May 30.

The British Horse Racing Authority has also cleared Dettori to ride. He has mounts on Beatrice Aurore and Fattsota at Epsom Downs May 31, according to the Racing Post. In a statement, the BHA said: "It is one of the criteria of his being granted a licence that Dettori may be subject to enhanced testing controls for a period of up to 60 months."

Among the three French Derby victories for the former Godolphin Stable jockey was a neck win by Shamardal in 2005 over Hurricane Run, the sire of First Cornerstone.

"We are very pleased to have Frankie ride First Cornerstone," Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said in a release. "He's a world-class rider, and he knows how to win this race."

First Cornerstone will be making his second start in eight days after finishing fifth in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) May 25 at the Curragh in his first start of the year. First Cornerstone, whose 2013 season was delayed by a respiratory ailment, won the Futurity Stakes (Ire-II) over seven furlongs last August in his first start with Team Valor.

First Cornerstone was also considered for the June 1, Investec (Epsom) Derby (Eng-I) at 1 1/2 miles until Oliver and Irwin decided to opt for the French equivalent at 10 1/2 furlongs.

"Coming back in a week, we think the shorter distance will be better for First Cornerstone," Irwin said.



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