Frankie Dettori is making a rare foray across the Irish Sea this afternoon – but why is the legendary jockey set to ride in the 3.05 at Bellewstown?
Well, it’s all for a good cause as the iconic Italian is taking part in a charity race run in memory of famed gambler and ex-trainer Barney Curley, who helped guide his career. Dettori will take the mount of Johnny Murtagh’s charge Trueba in the Gannons City Recovery And Recycling Services Ltd. Supporting DAFA Handicap.
All the cash raised will be donated to Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), the charity that Curley, who sadly passed away earlier this year, founded to help improve the lives of poverty-stricken people in Zambia.
Why Bellewstown? As the scene of the Yellow Sam betting coup in 1975 – masterminded by Curley – it seems a fitting place. A plan weeks in the making, Curley made the most of his horse being under-handicapped and poor communications between the track and off-course bookies to turn a tidy profit of £306,000.
It’ll be just the third time that Dettori has picked up a ride in Ireland this year – and his first ever appearance at Bellewstown. Trainer Murtagh said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the race and to have Frankie riding for me in Barney’s honour is a real thrill.
“Frankie is one of my best mates, he’s had a few rides, but he hasn’t ridden a winner for me yet!
“I went out to Zambia with Barney many years ago and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve seen at first hand the work the charity does, and it makes such a difference to the lives of so many people.”
He added: “Barney was a great man, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed his company, the wonderful stories he told will live long in my memory.”
A whole host of big-name jockeys are set to join Dettori in the 14-runner race including Colin Keane, Wayne Lordan and Jamie Spencer, who will be on the Des Donovan-trained Tipperary Moon.
Spencer said: “The whole day is about supporting the charity and we’re all looking forward to coming over. DAFA is a fantastic charity. It’s been going nearly 25 years and it’s a testament to Barney. I went to Zambia with Barney and what they’ve done there, it’s ten times what he’s done in horse racing. Every penny that’s put into DAFA goes straight to the charity.”
Bellewstown 3.05 Odds
Paddy’s paying four places instead of three on this race!
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