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Jock shock Conor McGregor welcomes Frankie Dettori as top jockey drops in to Black Forge Inn

The legendary jockey posed for photos with a bottle of McGregor's Proper 12 Whiskey and a UFC belt

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Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori at the Black Forge Inn

Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori at the Black Forge Inn

Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori at the Black Forge Inn

Conor McGregor declared “top jockeys at the Black Forge Inn!” as he shared pictures on Instagram of Frankie Dettori visiting his Dublin 12 pub yesterday evening. 

The legendary rider enjoyed a drink as he posed for photos with a bottle of McGregor's Proper 12 Whiskey and a UFC belt ahead of his Barney Curley charity race.

The race takes place at Bellewstown racecourse, where legendary punter Curley, who passed away earlier this year, famously pulled off the Yellow Sam betting coup in 1975.

Sharing a number of photos on Instagram, McGregor said: "A Proper Wednesday evening at the Black Forge Inn, Dublin Twelve, with racing royalty @frankiedettori_. Incredible from the team at @theblackforgeinn! #levels."

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Frankie Detorri visited the pub

Frankie Detorri visited the pub

Frankie Detorri visited the pub

The former two-weight champion sent his greetings from America where he remains with fiancée Dee Devlin and their three children as he recovers from a broken leg suffered during his defeat to Dustin Poirier in July.

Dettori had earlier recalled another visit to an Irish pub with Curley some 30 years ago.

Speaking to Claire Byrne on RTE Radio 1, he said: "We went to Galway, not the racecourse, the retreat.

"I was only in my early 20s, I didn't know what to expect. I'm a Catholic and obviously I come from Italy, but during the day people meditated and did their own thing while I was in my room reading a book or something. I don't really remember.

"Then myself, Barney and the priest in the evening went to the local pub to have something to eat and before you know it we had a couple of Guinness, the guitars were out, we were singing songs and I thought 'this is completely the opposite to what I expected'.

"It was an eye-opener and it was an amazing time."

Dettori will partner Trueba for trainer Johnny Murtagh in the Gannons City Recovery And Recycling Services Ltd Supporting DAFA Handicap at the Co Meath track.

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He is among the 14 riders taking part in the special race in memory of Curley.

A successful trainer, Curley also masterminded the famous Yellow Sam gamble in 1975 when the horse won at 20-1 as Curley hogged the only phone line into Bellewstown.

Dettori, visiting the course for the first time, will be joined by Jamie Spencer and Shane Kelly on the card with the trio set to ride in the feature handicap sponsored by Curley’s old pal Tony Gannon.

Dettori will partner Jonny Murtagh’s Trueba.

He said: “Jamie, Shane and I are really looking forward to visiting Bellewstown to ride in memory of our great friend and his charity.

“Barney was very good to all of us from the moment we arrived in England. He was always at the end of the phone with good advice and while Barney didn’t say a lot, when he did you listened very carefully.

“His advice helped us with the many successes we have had in our respective careers.

“The lads and I would encourage everyone to get behind this special race, donate what you can and support the wonderful work of DAFA.”

Bellewstown chief Alan Delany said: “Barney was a remarkable man and one of the great characters of racing who raised millions to fund his work in Zambia through his charity Direct Aid For Africa.

“My committee members and I felt it was a fitting tribute to Barney to host a fundraising event for DAFA in his honour.”

All monies raised will be donated to Barney Curley’s charity, Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), which he set up in 1996 to support the underprivileged people of Zambia.

Trainer, Johnny Murtagh, said he was delighted to be supporting the race.

“And to have Frankie riding for me in Barney’s honour is a real thrill,” he said. “Frankie is one of my best mates, he’s had a few rides, but he hasn’t ridden a winner for me yet.

“I went out to Zambia with Barney many years ago and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve seen at first hand the work the charity does, and it makes such a difference to the lives of so many people.

“Barney was a great man, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed his company, the wonderful stories he told will live long in my memory.”

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