Weld turns to Dettori for Fascinating Rock Irish Champion ride

Fascinating Rock: 7-1 for Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Weld turns to Dettori
for Fascinating Rock ride
By James Burn 8:55AM 7 SEP 2016

FRANKIE DETTORI will team up with Dermot Weld at Leopardstown on Saturday when he partners Fascinating Rock in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes.

The two-time Group 1 winner is a general 7-1 for the race, but his regular partner Pat Smullen will ride Weld's Derby and Irish Derby hero Harzand, the 3-1 second-favourite behind brilliant filly Minding.

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The link between Weld and Dettori – two masters of their trade – is a rare one and the pair have not combined in Britain or Ireland for the past five seasons.

Weld has yet to win the Irish Champion, but his new jockey has had plenty of success in it, striking six times.

He first won it in 1998 with Swain and steered Golden Horn to victory 12 months ago.

"With Pat Smullen staying loyal to Harzand, Frankie was the obvious choice. He is coming to Leopardstown anyway to ride in the Matron Stakes," said Weld, quoted by The Irish Field.

Fascinating Rock, a five-year-old son of Fastnet Rock whose top-level triumphs came in last year's Champion Stakes at Ascot and this term's Tattersalls Gold Cup, has been ridden by Smullen in his 15 outings.

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