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Juddmonte International: Frankie Dettori insists Mostahdaf can challenge Paddington in York feature

The superstar Italian jockey - who retires at the end of the season - will ride Mostahdaf at York next week in place of the suspended Jim Crowley; he looks set to face Irish 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes hero Paddington for Aidan O'Brien

Mostahdaf leaves his rivals well behind in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot
Image: Mostahdaf leaves his rivals well behind in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot

Frankie Dettori expects Mostahdaf to offer up a stern test for Paddington when the duo clash in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday week.

The weighing-room legend will deputise for the suspended Jim Crowley aboard Mostahdaf on the Knavesmire, and is relishing the opportunity for a final success in the 10-furlong highlight ahead of his retirement at the end of the year.

Mostahdaf took his form to a new level with a four-length triumph in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and Dettori has been acquainting himself with the son of Frankel at John and Thady Gosden's yard.

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Frankie Dettori admitted it was a dream to win the Prix Jacques le Marois in his final season in the saddle with Inspiral

He told Nick Luck's Daily Podcast: "I rode him the other morning and he is a beautiful specimen of a horse. He's strong and has got a lovely stride. He doesn't overdo himself in the mornings, but we know exactly what he can do and I'm excited.

"What he did in the Prince of Wales's, I was pretty taken, so he's going to be there with every chance."

Mostahdaf will provide a fresh challenge for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Paddington, who has emerged as this year's leading three-year-old.

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The Siyouni colt has won each of his six starts this term, graduating from a handicap victory to Listed success before reaching new heights in claiming the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes, Eclipse and Sussex Stakes.

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Having won on ground from heavy to good and shown his stamina for 10 furlongs and speed for a mile, Paddington seemingly has few chinks in his armour and Dettori is well acquainted having finished behind him a couple of times.

Paddington and Ryan Moore win the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood
Image: Paddington and Ryan Moore win the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood

However, he is backing Mostahdaf to put up a bold challenge, with his mount an 11-4 chance with Betfred, while Paddington is the 11-10 favourite.

Dettori said: "He's a good horse. The Sussex was a non-event, but Paddington is still good - he put Chaldean to bed in the St James's Palace, when I was second, in good style and he beat Emily (Upjohn), so he is the best three-year-old around at the moment.

"But I think this is his test now, he's taking on a four-length winner of the Prince of Wales's. It's going to be a different race to what he's faced (before), but I have no doubt he is a good horse because it looks like he only does what he has to do and he looks like he's still got something in the locker.

"We will give him a race and see what happens."

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