Chris McGrath

Chris McGrath is Racing Correspondent for The Independent.

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Horses in Mahmood al-Zarooni’s care were given steroids

Mahmood al-Zarooni accepts fate and drops his appeal

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Magician, backed for the Derby after his Irish Guineas win, was last night all but ruled out of Epsom

Derby vanishing trick for Magician

As one Magician appeared to drop out of the Investec Derby, another was clinging to the hope that bureaucratic conjuring could yet enable him to make a theatrical reappearance in the race. The return of Frankie Dettori's licence in time to ride at Epsom on Saturday remains contingent on procedural acceleration in France, where his final test results are expected today – and also on exceptional latitude from the British Horseracing Authority.

Frankie Dettori’s licence has been suspended

Frankie Dettori set to miss Epsom after further French delay

Mystery surrounds non-return of Italian's licence as time ticks away ahead of Derby

Karl Burke: 'There were one or two people within the industry who stuck the knife in'

Karl Burke: Northern raider with Derby dream

The North has not won Epsom's big race since 1945 but the trainer of Libertarian aims to stop the rot. He tells Chris McGrath about the joy of contending again after the pain of a 12-month ban

The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician is one of 15 possibles for the Derby on Saturday

Ruby Walsh quits role as Paul Nicholls' No 1 jockey

Even now, its greatest race cannot find a way to the top of the British racing agenda. True, the prospect of riding in the Investec Derby on Saturday continues to animate Frankie Dettori as he approaches a final obstacle to the restoration of his licence in France. Today, however, it was a jockey of equivalent standing in jump racing who unexpectedly dominated the sport's conversations.

Sergio Garcia's 'fried chicken' remark overshadowed Wentworth

The Last Word: Please will the disease of sleaze ride out of the arena

The only remedy for despair is to remember darkest clouds blow through

Frankie Dettori may not return in time for the Epsom Classics

Frankie Dettori’s hopes of Derby comeback fade

With just a week remaining until the greatest race on British turf, much of the build-up has been culpably diverted to a jockey now depending for a mount on the indulgence not only of the regulators, but also of trainers and owners. For even if Frankie Dettori duly regains his licence next week, the timetable would make it impossible for him to ride before the very eve of the Investec Derby.

The French Derby challenger Ocovango works in front of the grandstand at Epsom yesterday

Sir Michael Stoute refocuses Telescope beyond Derby

Even in turning for comfort to its most venerable race, British horseracing contrived to come up with further bad news. Telescope, rated the only serious home contender for the Investec Derby, will not line up at Epsom tomorrow week after disappointing in a crucial gallop at Lingfield on Wednesday. That leaves Libertarian as the only British colt not wholly dismissed by bookmakers against the unbeaten Irish favourite, Dawn Approach – and even he can still be backed at 20-1 after his shock success in the Dante Stakes at York last week.

Eddie Ahern has been banned for 10 years after being found guilty of corruption

Eddie Ahern given 10-year betting plot ban

British Horseracing Authority find 35-year-old guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice

Frankie Dettori’s legal team is anxious to speed up his return

Mystery twist in Frankie Dettori testing saga

A new wildfire has threatened to take hold of a sport already busy beating down its smouldering steroids scandal. For a bureaucratic delay in Frankie Dettori's comeback from suspension, originally scheduled for Monday, was suddenly subject of fresh mystery.

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