I only ever heard the stories about Lester Piggott getting on whatever he wanted to ride in the Epsom Derby. To date, I haven’t really seen it happening but it has happened now ahead of Saturday week’s Epsom Derby with ante-post favourite English King.
The fact of the matter is that Frankie Dettori does have that aura and he is that person who can get on whatever horse he wants to get on. It is a sickener for Tom Marquand, there’s no doubt about it, but when you’re Frankie Dettori, you can do that.
From my personal experience, I never had to do anything like that because the jobs I had and the people who I rode for, they tended to have horses in the big races where you go about doing it. If Willie Mullins didn’t have one, Paul Nicholls had one.
Frankie is not going to go about getting on the favourite for the Ebor but he is going to go getting on the favourite for the Derby.
I never had to do it but would I have done what Frankie has done? It’s a business at the end of the day so I’m sure I probably would have done the same.
If you’re Ed Walker, there’s two ways of looking at it. You can have arguably the best jockey of all-time riding for you or against you. That’s what it came down to at the end of the day.
Tom Marquand will get loads of chances in the future and he’s a young man going in the right direction. However, when you sit down and look at it and see that Ed Walker has one chance of training a Derby winner, you either want Frankie Dettori riding for you or against you. And that’s what’s happened.