Dettori Excited As Osborne And Chapman Renew RL Rivalry


25 July 2023

Frankie Dettori is relishing his ‘player-manager’ role with The East as Racing League 2023 gets underway at Great Yarmouth on Thursday evening, July 27. 

Having ridden for the victorious Wales & The West last year, Dettori takes over from Rupert Bell as manager of The East and has tworides on week one, headed by Cumulonimbus in the concluding £100,000 handicap.

Dettori told Sky Sports Racing: “Obviously being manager is a big responsibility, and all of my team members are going to be trying to win.

“It is great to be representing the East side of the country, coming from Newmarket, and the best thing about Racing League is it is very unpredictable.

“Last year a lot of the races were tightly bunched, most of the races had close finishes and were very competitive. It will give everyone a chance and I think people really liked it last year.

“It is year three now and people can tune in on a Thursday night with something they can follow.”

Jamie Osborne’s Wales & The West and Matt Chapman’s London & The South were the two standout teams throughout Racing League 2022, with Wales & The West snatching victory on the closing night with a stunning 6,539/1 three-timer.

Wales & The West will be looking to make a strong start at Great Yarmouth with 13 runners across the seven races, more than any other team. 

Osborne said: “I am satisfied without being delirious with our team of runners for week one. We are probably medium in terms of overall strength and it is nice to have a couple of proper chances. I am pretty sure that, once we gather momentum, we will be putting out stronger squads than this as the weeks go by.

“Milton Harris is very sweet on Alnilam in the staying race, while Ian Williams is sending a nice team across. I personally will be looking for a big run from Elzaam Blue in the big 10-furlong handicap. He made a pleasing start for us at Doncaster earlier this month.

“We will see how it unfolds on Thursday but we are going all out to defend the title and prove that last year was no fluke. I have a great set of trainers and I think we have a strong chance of doing it.”

London & The South dominated the opening fixture at Doncaster in 2022 with four winners, although the team will be without the firepower of Andrew Balding, who is part of team Scotland this time around.

Chapman said: “It will be harder for me this year without the backing of some very important trainers, most notably Andrew Balding, although I am very thankful for the support from my trainers for week one.

“I think our best chance is Helm Rock in the seven-furlong handicap for Daniel & Claire Kubler. The stable is in great form, Kieran Shoemark rides, and I think the horse just looks very solid at this level.

“Andaleep goes for the same stable in the £100,000 race. He won impressively at York the other day and was good during Racing League last year. He should be right in the mix, although it looks a strong race.”

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