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Racing Weekly: Dettori's Indian summer can continue in Ireland

After a brief hiatus the Racing Weekly team are back this week with a look ahead to some of the key upcoming contests, including the Sprint Cup at Haydock this Saturday.

Rishi Persad and Sam Turner are reunited to review some of the recent racing at York and the weekend just gone.

They then look ahead to the Haydock Sprint Cup with all eyes on Shaquille, who goes up against Kinross, Spycatcher and Lezoo in a mouthwatering all-aged Group 1. 

They also touch on the Irish Champions Weekend held at Leopardstown as the Irish Champion Stakes takes shape, with the King Of Steel vs. Auguste Rodin set for their trilogy clash on Irish soil this time. 

Frankie's Indian summer continues to astound 

Frankie Dettori's farewell tour continues apace, with the Italian seen to brilliant effect recently at York, where he won the Ebor on his final appearance in the race. 

Sam Turner admits that, even by Dettori's high standards, this farewell season has turned into quite something - just 12 months removed from the major questioning of Dettori's ability.

"It's been the narrative of the year. I don't know if anybody has ever had a closing period of their career which has been quite as astonishing and ground-breaking.

"The raft of big races that he has won, using all sorts of different tactics - and we saw that at York on Absurd in the Ebor and Mostahdaf from the front (in the Juddmonte International).

"He's re-writing the history books at the moment. The way that he's riding, compared to 12 months ago when everyone was questioning why he was (still) riding, and now everyone's asking why is he retiring.

"I've been privileged to see some world-class riders under both codes in my lifetime and he is right up there with the best. He has brilliant hands and is strong in the finish.

"The hunger, ambition and determination into his 50's is astonishing." 

Shaquille heads for Haydock

The big British race this coming weekend is the Sprint Cup at Haydock (3.30) on Saturday afternoon and Shaquille (4/5) is the star attraction following his successes this summer at Royal Ascot and in the July Cup.

The likes of Kinross (7/1), Spycatcher (8/1) and Mill Stream (10/1) are amongst those likely to be facing down Julie Camacho's stable star on Saturday afternoon. 

Those back-to-back Group 1 wins have established Shaquille as the star sprinter on these shores and he's now won seven of eight career starts.

"The one thing that might inconvenience him on a faster track, if he is slowly away, races can be gone at Haydock," says Sam Turner. "We've seen the jump-and-run merchants, they can be difficult to overhaul.

"He still looks to hold a very significant class edge. I find it difficult to find anything that's going to go past him form-wise."

Champions Weekend in Ireland 

This Saturday and Sunday will see Ireland's Champions Weekend unfold at Leopardstown and the Curragh.

It all kicks off with an eight-race Leopardstown card featuring five Group races including the Irish Champion Stakes and the Coolmore America Matron Stakes, ranked as the world's best fillies and mares' race for the past number of years.

On Sunday at the Curragh it is the Irish St Leger, the final Irish Classic of the season.

That joins the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Flying Five and two of the best juvenile races of the year, the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Auguste Rodin (7/2) won the Derby at Epsom in June with King Of Steel (15/8) behind in second. They were both beaten since in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot in July and are set to meet for a third time now.

Last year's winner Luxembourg is a 10/1 chance to repeat the dose, while the filly Nashwa is 11/2 after she got up for second spot in the Juddmonte International at York last time. 

"I don't know if it's fair to say but Auguste Rodin - a dual Derby winner - has had a pretty underwhelming season really," says Sam Turner. "When he's good he's good and when he's bad he's bad.

"The money has ball been for King Of Steel in recent days. He must have worked very well. He's a horse the majority of race watcher love – he's a great big tank of a thing. Got loads of quality."

Despite that, Sam is siding with Frankie Dettori to steal the show on French raider Onesto at 6/1.

"I don't know what to expect from Auguste Rodin - I don't think anyone goes. I'm very respectful of King Of Steel but I'm going to overlook him.

"I'm going with last year's second Onesto. I thought it was a really good run in the Prix Jacques le Marois over a mile. Not beaten too far by Inspiral - that's a good level of form.

"It was his first run back, I was impressed how well he travelled a long way over a mile given he wants ten-furlongs. 

"With Frankie on board, this race might cut up and I think he's a good each-way having been second to Luxembourg last year."

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