Racing: Frankie Dettori off the mark after ban

Frankie Dettori rode his first winner since returning from a six-month drugs ban when Asian Trader struck at Sandown last night.

Frankie Dettori after winning on Asian Trader in The Lammas Lane Handicap Stakes at Sandown yesterday. Picture: Getty
Frankie Dettori after winning on Asian Trader in The Lammas Lane Handicap Stakes at Sandown yesterday. Picture: Getty
Frankie Dettori after winning on Asian Trader in The Lammas Lane Handicap Stakes at Sandown yesterday. Picture: Getty

The Italian-born rider made his comeback at Epsom last Friday, but had been out of fortune in 11 previous rides in England and in France.

That unwanted statistic was finally stricken from the record when Asian Trader pounced in the Lammas Lane Handicap over five furlongs. William Haggas’ four-year-old was supplementing a success at Bath in April and was given a patient ride. The 5-2 favourite missed the break but his jockey did not panic on the far rail as Asian Trader travelled like the best horse in the race.

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Once the gaps opened inside the final furlong, Haggas’ inmate pulled half a length clear of Alnoomaas. Dettori then treated racegoers to his customary flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure. The jockey had been due to make his comeback at Leicester two and a half weeks ago but France Galop, the authority who banned him following his positive test for cocaine last September, were not prepared to clear the rider until a “private matter” had been resolved.

France Galop finally issued the all-clear last Thursday but the news came too late for Dettori to fulfil his main aim of having a ride in the Investec Derby. In the following event Dettori nearly made it a quick-fire double when Roger Teal’s Tigers Tale went down narrowly to Andrew Balding’s Roserrow.

Dettori told Racing UK: “It was good, I’ve only been riding five days but I feel good. I’ve done a lot of ground work and even since the first day I’ve never felt out of place. I’m very pleased. I thought the first few days I didn’t really have very much but today was the day I had some good chances and if I didn’t win today I have ten rides on Saturday and one of them has to win!

“Obviously I was a bit worried on the first day but your adrenaline takes over, it’s something you’ve been doing for 25 years and I’ve had nearly 20,000 rides so it’s not something new to me. Fitness-wise I’d done as much as a human could to get fit and now I’m a winner. From day one I’ve had tremendous feedback, not just from the public but from owners and trainers, too. I’m very happy, I’ve started a new challenge and it might not be realistic but I’d like to ride 100 winners, that’s what I’m aiming for.”

Asked about the upcoming Royal Ascot meeting, Dettori confirmed he is still on the lookout for rides. “I don’t know about any Royal Ascot rides yet,” said the Italian. “Looking from the outside it looks like Ryan [Moore] has three or four to choose from in every race and I’m hoping he picks a few wrong ones so I can get a few of his spares! I’m sure something will come up.”



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3.45 Top Offer

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5.30 Emman Bee


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3.00 Gladstone

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8.50 Pressure Point

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Ben Hall

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