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English King cut for Derby after Dettori is booked to ride

  • Frankie Dettori will ride English King in the Epsom Derby
  • Ladbrokes cut the favourite into 3/1
  • Key quotes from Ed Walker and Tom Marquand
frankie dettori stradivarius
Will we see a flying dismount from Frankie in Bjorn Nielsen's colours after the Epsom Derby? (Getty)

English King2020 Epsom Derby FavouriteGET 3/1 HERE
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English King was cut at the head of the betting for the Derby, after it was announced that Frankie Dettori would replace Tom Marquand at Epsom.

Following his superb victory in the Derby Trial at Lingfield, English King had already been thrust to the head of the Epsom betting. Ed Walker’s colt was then cut into 3/1 favouritism by bookmaker’s Ladbrokes on Monday, after it was confirmed that Frankie Dettori would take the ride at Epsom on July 4th.

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said, “English King has already been well-supported ante-post for the Derby and with the addition of Frankie Dettori, his popularity is only going to increase.”

Dettori has never ridden English King, and was expected to ride one of John Gosden’s runners at Epsom. However, no Gosden colt thrust themselves into the Derby picture over the last couple of weeks and Walker, along with owner Bjorn Nielsen – who owns the all-conquering Stradivarius and has a strong relationship with Dettori - has decided to snap up the services of the two-time Derby-winning jockey.

"It's going to be my first runner in the Epsom Derby and it'll be a big nerve-settler for me having Frankie on board.” Walker told Racing Post on Monday. 

“He's certainly the best I've seen and arguably the greatest jockey of all time, especially on the big stage. After all, my job is to give my clients – in this case Bjorn Nielsen – the best possible chance of winning the race."

"Tom (Marquand) is a huge talent and a very promising young jockey who, I've got no doubt, will be competing at the highest level for a long time. But at this stage he's not quite at the level that Frankie is, especially when it comes to the big day. Frankie has experience, knowledge and understanding of these races like nobody else."

tom marquand
Hot-prospect Marquand, pictured here at Windsor, took the decision on the chin. (Getty)

Many people felt this decision was very harsh on Tom Marquand, who had given English King a peach of a ride at Lingfield, Marquand is currently in the form of his life, having ridden his first Group One winner on Addeybb in Australia, and securing his first Royal Ascot triumph with Who Dares Wins on Saturday.

Speaking to AtTheRaces at Windsor on Monday, Marquand revealed he was a little disappointed, but not surprised to have been jocked off the Derby favourite.

"It was handled very well by Ed, and Bjorn obviously. It was something that they'd spoken to me about before it all came out."

"It was always a possibility. Ed was always very open with me about it. After Lingfield, Ed said that Frankie is the only one who could possibly take you off. Obviously I was praying that one of (John) Gosden's would come out and show itself to be a Derby contender to help me out, but it hasn't happened."

"I've got to accept the decision and hopefully, in the future, it's something that can come along again and the opportunity won't miss me."

English King now sits a little way clear of 2000 Guineas winner, Kameko at the top of the Derby betting with Ladbrokes. Military March follows, with Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Russian Emperor and Mogul sitting at 9/1 and 10/1 respectively.

*Epsom Derby (4/7/20) betting with Ladbrokes*
3/1 English King, 9/2 Kameko, 11/2 Military March, 9/1 Russian Emperor, 10/1 Mogul, 12/1 Palace Pier, 16/1 First Receiver, Innisfree, Pyledriver, Vatican City, Waldkonig, 20/1 Bar

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