Horse Racing

Magic Scenes At Bellewstown As Frankie Dettori Rides Poignant Winner

Magic Scenes At Bellewstown As Frankie Dettori Rides Poignant Winner

Frankie Dettori did his trademark flying dismount after riding his first winner in his first ever race at Bellewstown.

The jockey rode Trueba to victory for Johnny Murtagh in a memorial race for horse racing legend Barney Curley.

At the Meath track in 1975, Curley masterminded the famous Yellow Sam betting coup by blocking the racecourse's only public telephone.

Dettori and Curley were great friends, with the Italian viewing the Fermanagh man as a father figure during his early days at Newmarket. Curley died in May, aged 81.

Funds from Thursday's race will go to Direct Aid For Africa, a charity which Curley set up in 1996 to support the people of Zambia.

"I heard so much from Barney about the 1975 Yellow Sam story," Dettori told Racing TV

"I felt like a tourist today, taking pictures.

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"It's been mad all day. I'm sure Barney is having a chuckle up there. I never thought I'd come here. I've heard so much about the place. The reception has been amazing.

"Another milestone, it's my first winner for my good friend Johnny. He's been trying so hard to put me on a winner. I never thought we'd be doing it together for Barney's race.

"I really, really enjoyed it, and the reception has been mad. The people have been fantastic. It's been exhausting at times. I took a million selfies. It's all been good fun, and I hope everyone enjoyed it because I truly did.

"You couldn't write it. It's been a fantastic day."

Frankie Dettori rides winner at Bellewstown

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"The lads were saying they were going to have a race for Barney," said trainer Murtagh.

"I thought he'd be an ideal horse - he likes to front run. Frankie rang me up the other day, and he says 'I'll ride yours in the big race. Has he a chance?' I said, 'I think he has a chance'.

"It's a great story, and I'm thrilled it's in honour of Barney Curley, who is a great man, and ridden by another great man, Frankie Dettori."

Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

See Also: Paul O'Donovan Turned His Hand To Cross Country At The Weekend

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PJ Browne
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