Investec Derby Festival 2012  

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Dry Weather Forecast for Derby Festival

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper expects the weather to be dry and mild for the two-day Investec Derby Festival which features the Oaks tomorrow and the Derby on Saturday.

© Caroline Norris

Epsom Derby

The Derby 2012 course escaped the showers on Wednesday and no rain is forecast until after the meeting has ended.

A little water will be added to parts of the course with the going described as good, good to firm in places and temperatures are predicted to reach about 19C on race days.

"The rain never happened for us on Wednesday, though there were showers in the area," Cooper told At The Races.

"We're in a position where we weren't banking, or depending, on showers anyway. We did very little in the way of watering. We're just doing fine tuning.

"In terms of today we are looking at putting three millimetres on the home straight this morning. That's probably all we will do.

"The ground is good, good to firm in places. It's lovely, good ground coming down the hill which was always our intention for that part of the course. There are little bits of slightly quicker ground in places. The home straight would be one of them and little areas of the climb up the back.

"You wouldn't be far away from calling it good ground, but where we are now and with dry weather to come, I think it's fair to call it good, good to firm in places. It's nice, Flat-racing ground.

"We are looking at days of about 18C and 19C. Today, tomorrow and Saturday look much the same before rain possibly comes into the south on Saturday night into Sunday, way after we have finished racing.

"We are looking at three similar days. Not blazing sunshine, but it looks like it's going to stay dry."


Frankie Dettori
© Caroline Norris

Frankie Dettori
Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori insists he has no imminent plans to retire after it appears that he can no longer expect to take all the big-race rides as number one jockey to Godolphin.

A hoax posting about Dettori's future on a social networking site on Wednesday evening had many talking about the 41-year-old's plans.

Godolphin's Simon Crisford also confirmed that Dettori will be sharing Godolphin's big-race rides this term with new recruits Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa.

Barzalona will ride Kailani for one of Godolphin's trainers, Mahmood Al Zarooni, in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday, leaving Dettori without a mount.

Dettori will also sit out Saturday's Investec Derby as Godolphin do not have a runner, but he believes he has plenty still to give in the saddle.

He told the Telegraph: "I have no plans to retire. I am still young for a top jockey and I have many good years ahead of me. I will back myself to beat anybody.

"Let's get to Royal Ascot and see what happens."

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