Dettori picked up John Leeper after O’Brien decided to run only Bolshoi Ballet in the Derby

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Frankie Dettori snapped to replace Adam Kirby on Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper in the Derby at Epsom after Aidan O’Brien decided to just run the favorite Bolshoi Ballet

  • Dettori replaces Kirby on Dunlop-trained John Leeper in the Cazoo Derby
  • Bolshoi Ballet, Ryan Moore’s Mount, Is O’Brien’s Only Intended Runner
  • Dettori triumphed over Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015

Frankie Dettori replaces Adam Kirby on Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper in the Cazoo Derby after a day of dramatic turns leading up to Saturday’s classic at Epsom.

Dettori had been linked with the ride on Aidan O’Brien-trained second favorite High Definition, but the Derby’s most successful trainer dropped a bomb when he said his favorite Bolshoi Ballet, Ryan Moore’s mount, is now his only intended runner.

John Leeper will be a 26th Derby mount for 50-year-old Dettori, who triumphed over Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015.

Frankie Dettori has won the Derby with Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn (above) in 2015

Dettori won the Irish Champion Stakes in 2012 on John Leeper’s dam Snow Fairy.

Dunlop said: ‘Frankie was originally offered the ride on John Leeper and won the Irish Champion Stakes on his mother. He has a long association with his owner Mrs. Patino. She adores Frankie and they have had a lot of success together.

“When the news came out of Ballydoyle I spoke to Mrs Patino and she said she wanted Frankie to ride John Leeper. I feel very sorry for Adam, but this was an unexpected twist.’

John Leeper is an 8-1 shot for the Derby with Bolshoi Ballet now the Even money favourite.

Dettori replaces Adam Kirby on Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper in Saturday's classic

Dettori replaces Adam Kirby on Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper in Saturday’s classic

O’Brien had eight Derby entries this week. They were reduced to six in Monday’s penultimate reporting phase.

Now that High Definition, which has had an interrupted preparation, will be rescued for the Irish Derby, Van Gogh, Ireland’s 2,000 Guineas third, heads to Sunday’s French Derby, while Kyprios and Sir Lamorak are likely to run at Royal Ascot in the Queen’s Vase and the King Edward VII Stakes respectively.

His other entry, The Mediterranean, runs Thursday in Leopardstown.

Of the new plan for High Definition, O’Brien said, “A little more time won’t hurt him.”

It will be the first time since Meath finished last in 2004 that eight-time Derby winner O’Brien had just one runner in the Derby.

Dettori rides O’Brien’s Musidora Stakes winner Snowfall at Friday’s Oaks

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