Epsom return for Frankie
Frankie Dettori will make his eagerly-anticipated return to the saddle at Epsom today after being cleared to return from his six-month suspension.
By Nick Robson
France Galop banned Dettori, 42, after he tested positive for cocaine at Longchamp last September, with his suspension reciprocated by the British Horseracing Authority.
The Italian had last week been due to make his comeback but was thwarted in his efforts after a test carried out by France Galop produced, according to the BHA, an “irregularity”.
After being given clearance by France Galop yesterday, the BHA moved swiftly to grant Dettori his riding licence.
A BHA statement read: “The British Horseracing Authority has today reissued Frankie Dettori with a full professional British jockey’s licence.
“This follows confirmation from France Galop that he has successfully fulfilled all of their criteria to be fit to ride. Dettori is now clear to return to race riding following the suspension imposed on him by France Galop at a hearing on December 5, 2012 into a failed test for a prohibited substance.
“It is one of the criteria of his being granted a licence that Dettori may be subject to enhanced testing controls for a period of up to 60 months.”
Dettori is now set to head to the opening day of Epsom’s Derby Festival for two rides, partnering Ed Dunlop’s Beatrice Aurore in the opening Princess Elizabeth Stakes before riding the Marco Botti-trained Fattsota in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.
However, the jockey’s agent, Ray Cochrane, does not expect him to be riding on Investec Derby day itself.
Cochrane said: “He’s going to Epsom on Friday and he’ll be riding in the first two races. There is nothing for him on Saturday.”
Andrew Oliver is another trainer who has moved quickly to secure Dettori’s services, with the rider set to partner First Cornerstone for the Irish handler in France on Sunday.
The pair will line up in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly and Oliver believes Dettori is the ideal man for the job in a race also known as the French Derby.
He said: “The French Derby is a race notorious for traffic problems, we thought we’d like a jockey with local knowledge and race knowledge and who better could you get than Frankie Dettori?
Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach heads a field of 12 for the Investec Derby.
The impressive Qipco 2000 Guineas winner remains unbeaten in his seven-race career and will attempt to follow in the hoofprints of his sire, New Approach, who won the race in 2008.
Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore field five – although Irish Guineas winner Magician has been taken out, as expected.
Chief Ballydoyle hope appears to be Battle Of Marengo, winner of the Derrinstown Derby Trial and ridden by Joseph O’Brien.
Ruler Of The World, impressive at Chester, will be partnered by Ryan Moore, with Richard Hughes on Mars. Seamie Heffernan receives the leg-up aboard stablemate Festive Cheer, with Colm O’Donoghue on Flying The Flag.
Elaine Burke’s Libertarian is the leading British-trained contender after his win in the Dante at York.
German raider Chopin was supplemented on Monday after being purchased by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani’s Qatar Racing Ltd.
Andre Fabre, successful two years ago with Pour Moi, runs the unbeaten Ocovango, with Galileo Rock, Mirsaale and Ocean Applause completing the field.
Trading Leather and First Cornerstone were also taken out at the final declaration stage.
* Apprentice jockey James Rogers will not be allowed to reapply for his licence until February 13, 2014 after testing positive for alcohol and attempting to switch his urine sample with someone else’s.
The incident took place before a booked ride at Nottingham last October, with Rogers asking a weighing room colleague to provide a sample for him after being selected for random testing.
Rogers’ subsequently tested positive for alcohol and he has not ridden since that day at Nottingham and has not sought to renew his licence after it expired in March, two facts the British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel took into account at his hearing.
While Rogers was issued with a caution for his positive test, he was punished for his other actions.
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