Racing week: Dettori passes up Motivator

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  • Frankie Dettori has surrendered his ride on the Derby winning Motivator this Saturday in favour of riding Scorpion in the Ladbrokes St Leger in Doncaster. The decision came after weather reports indicated there would be fast conditions in Leopardstown and Motivator’s presence in the field would be diminished.

    Kevin Darley is now standing in for Dettori on Motivator, while Kieren Fallon has elected to remain faithful to Oratorio, who beat the Epsom hero last time. However Dettori’s switch came under scrutiny yesterday with the news that heavy showers are forecast on the Dublin track, hugely increasing Motivator’s chances.

    Electrocutionist off to Toronto

    Italian star Electrocutionist will run in the Grade I Canadian International rather than the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 23 October. Connections of the Juddmonte International Stakes winner fear the ground in Paris on 2 October may not be suitable for the four-year-old and have decided to have a change of plan. But plans could change again: if the ground is not good enough for Electrocutionist in Canada, she will make the Breeders’ Cup Turf six days later. Meanwhile Hurricane Run is a general 3-1 favourite for the Arc de Triomphe.

    Doncaster Sales hang in the balance

    On the day that Doncaster Sales sold its best filly for an impressive £120,000 comes the news that the popular sales business will leave its base on the edge of Town Moor if planning permission for a new sales complex is not granted in early December. Henry Beeby, managing director of Doncaster Sales has been looking at alternatives in Yorkshire and Berkshire and is reported to be considering the old Terry’s chocolate factory at the back of York racecourse. Beeby pointed out that his company would prefer to continue in Doncaster but that new premises are imperative if the company is to expand.

    A bad week for Chepstow

    Chepstow racecourse has had to move its meetings to Bath after a suspected bug infestation. All races have been cancelled until 19 September after jocket Pat Dobbs suffered back injuries and his horse, Roll the Dice, fractured his leg and had to be put down. Specialists have linked the incident to weakening turf on the course, which is thought to have been caused by an infestation of daddy-longlegs. When the larvae emerge, they start feeding on the grass roots.

    A good week for Alan Munro

    With all the horse swapping that has gone on this week, jockey Alan Munro is to get his first Leger ride on Hattan in the season’s final Classic. Kerrin McEvoy was forced to give up the mount on Hattan because of commitments to Godolphin. Hattan finished sixth in the Epsom Derby.

    And finally…

    A docu-soap focusing on the racing world at work and play in the Lambourn valley was screened for the first time this Monday. Mick Channon, Henrietta Knight and Nicky Henderson featured in the first episode of the Monday-Friday series that runs throughout next week as well. The programme is presented by Clare Balding and is on BBC2 at 3pm each day.

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