Dettori to learn fate on Wednesday

The jockey was represented during a 40-minute disciplinary hearing at French racing’s governing body France Galop by his lawyer.

Frankie Dettori (file photo).
Frankie Dettori (file photo).

LEGENDARY JOCKEY FRANKIE Dettori will learn the length of his suspension for failing a doping test on Wednesday, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The Italian rider was represented during a 40-minute disciplinary hearing at French racing’s governing body France Galop by his lawyer, Christopher Stewart-Moore.

“We had a very sympathetic hearing but they are not going to make a decision till tomorrow and we will not be making a statement till Wednesday out of respect to France Galop’s procedures,” Stewart-Moore said.

“This is a strict liability case. Once the substance is found in your system you can’t say much about it.”

Stewart-Moore, who has a long experience of defending racing personalities, including Kieren Fallon who failed two doping tests in France, said that they would accept the penalty imposed.

“We won’t be coming back, Although I may be with another jockey at another time,” he told reporters.

The length of 41-year-old Dettori’s ban depends on the seriousness of the banned substance, which has not been revealed, though Stewart-Moore has said it is not performance enhancing.

In Fallon’s case, he received six months for the first offence and then 18 months for the second one.

Dettori, one of the most recognisable figures in racing, has had a year largely to forget.

Aside from the failed dope test, his hugely successful 18-year partnership with the Dubai-based Godolphin operation came to an acrimonious end in October.

Relations between the two parties had deteriorated during the season where he was increasingly playing second fiddle to French rider Mickael Barzalona.

The final straw appears not so much to have been the failed dope test but that he rode Camelot — owned by Godolphin’s bitter rivals Irish outfit Coolmore Stud — in Europe’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Dettori originally secured his contract with Godolphin after losing out on a lucrative contract in Hong Kong when he received a police caution for possessing a small amount of cocaine in 1993 in London.

He was one of five jockeys tested at Longchamp on September 16 but France Galop insist was not targeted because of a tip-off.

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Dettori has been tested six times in England this season and should he be suspended for six months he would miss the prestigious meetings of the English Guineas in early May and the Epsom Derby in early June.

However, he would be back for Royal Ascot which starts on June 18, although by that stage of the season most of the fancied horses would already have their jockeys assigned.

Ascot is where Dettori experienced his most eyecatching performance when in September 1996 he won all seven races on the card.

He has also won over 100 Group One races, including an Epsom Derby and also three Arcs.

- © AFP, 2012

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