Cruz hopes Dettori will saddle up for new Hong Kong Derby attempt
Trainer Tony Cruz has sent out an SOS to charismatic jockey Frankie Dettori after the mount on Beauty Flash in next Sunday's Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby was thrown open at the weekend.
Christophe Soumillon, who was to have ridden Beauty Flash after piloting the chestnut in his Classic Mile win and Derby Trial placing, was suspended for breaching whip rules in Dubai on Friday night after his winning ride on the Mike De Kock-trained Imbongi in the Group Two Zabeel Mile.
Soumillon has seven days to appeal against the guilty finding, but it is understood that he is unlikely to do so, as an appeal and the subsequent delay would jeopardise other important rides coming up for the Belgian jockey, including the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 27.
Cruz said last night that nothing concrete had occurred in the search for a new jockey for the Hong Kong Derby, but he was 'trying to get in contact with Frankie Dettori' to take the ride on Beauty Flash, who is one of the leading contenders for the Group One classic.
'I will know more tomorrow,' was Cruz's succinct comment last night.
The winner of more than 150 Group One races, Dettori has been in sensational form for the Godolphin team in Dubai this year.
He has ridden successfully many times in Hong Kong and secured a number of the major events including the Hong Kong Cup on Fantastic Light, Falbrav and Ramonti, Hong Kong Mile on Firebreak, Hong Kong Vase with Luso and the Centenary Sprint Cup on Firebolt, as well as the QE II Cup on Overbury.
However, Dettori has yet to emerge victorious from the Hong Kong Derby, finishing ninth on Golconda for Ivan Allan in 2002 and seventh for David Hayes aboard Helene Momentum in 2003 in his two appearances.