Dettori's Goodwood return put on hold

The great fanfare for Frankie Dettori's return may be a longer tune than we imagined. It emerged yesterday that the jockey is by no means certain to return at Goodwood next week following the plane crash that almost took his life.

The great fanfare for Frankie Dettori's return may be a longer tune than we imagined. It emerged yesterday that the jockey is by no means certain to return at Goodwood next week following the plane crash that almost took his life.

"Nothing is set in stone on a date for Frankie's return," Andrew Stringer, Dettori's agent, said. "I would say the chances of him riding at Goodwood are only 50-50. Frankie wants to come back as soon as possible. He loves what he does, but he has given no indication to me when he wants to start again.

"It must be remembered he only started riding out again on Monday. He has put on a little weight since his time off but that is not a problem.''

Dettori's great rival, Kieren Fallon, may, on the other hand, be back sooner than expected. The champion jockey yesterday visited the surgeon who performed the operation on his right arm after a fall at Royal Ascot and was given an uplifting report. "He gave me a through examination and said it was possible I might be able to ride in two months," Fallon said. "He took my arm out of the sling and removed the protective sleeve. That happened a week earlier than forecast and he's told me to start gently exercising so I'll be able to go into full physiotherapy in a week or so.''

Craig Williams, the Australian jockey, will have time to visit his more illustrious counterparts following a winning ride at Ascot yesterday. "Craig needs a kick up the backside sometimes but he's great to have around," Mick Channon, the trainer, said after Williams had partnered his Pedro Pete to success. "He's good with the owners, the lads and is great with everyone. He could talk a glass eye to sleep and he's the best thing for racing since Frankie Dettori.''

There was, however, an immediate kick up the backside from the Ascot stewards yesterday. He was adjudged to have used his whip with excessive frequency on Pedro Pete and was suspended for three days. Also at Ascot, Regal Rose earned a 12-1 quote for the 1,000 Guineas with Ladbrokes after her debut win in the card's opener. "She's a nice, big, scopey filly and one for the future," Sir Michael Stoute, the winning trainer, said. "We'll take her home now and see if she tells us whether she is ready for a step up in class.''

Savoire Vivre, easy winner of Ascot's final race, may now be aimed at the St Leger.

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