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Jockey's aim cheer for queen

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Italian jockey Frankie Dettori arrived in Australia on Monday to race for the Queen of England _ and, he hopes, to cheer her up.

Dettori, based in England, is on a 10-day world tour that includes racing in the Breeders' Cup on Friday and Saturday.

Today he saddles up on Arabian Story in Australia's richest horse race, the $1.51-million Melbourne Cup. The horse, a 25-1 shot, is owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

"Racing was started 300 years ago by kings and queens and lords and ladies, so when I wear the royal colors, I am putting history on my back," Dettori said.

"Even in the smallest race it is special, and I would love to win the Cup for her. She has had a terrible year, especially with the death of Princess Diana."

KEENELAND AUCTION: Starting Monday, more than 4,162 horses will go on the auction block at Lexington, Ky., making for the largest sale at Keeneland. The sale also might set a record as the largest one anywhere, Keeneland spokesman Jim Williams said.

At last year's November Breeding Stock Sale at Keeneland, more than 3,800 horses were catalogued for the sale, and 2,830 were sold for $171-million. With horse prices on the rise, that total probably will be eclipsed. But the horse price increases have been attributed to a rising stock market, so a repeat of last month's drastic drop could chill buyers.

The Keeneland sale, which includes all horses except for yearlings unless they are part of dispersals, is heavy on weanlings.