Racing: Break fails to halt Dettori's Derby plans

A pheasant caused a grouse here yesterday for Frankie Dettori, who broke a bone in his hand and must now hope that recuperation is swift enough to allow participation in the Derby on 5 June.

A pheasant caused a grouse here yesterday for Frankie Dettori, who broke a bone in his hand and must now hope that recuperation is swift enough to allow participation in the Derby on 5 June.

The Italian was going to post on Chinkara for the second race on Goodwood's first card of the year when it went wrong. "A pheasant jumped out of a tree and he [the chestnut] whipped round that quick that even the horse fell over," Dettori said. "My finger got stuck in the mane and he yanked it.

"I heard a crack. For a minute, because I was hot, I didn't feel a thing. But, as I was waiting for the horse to come back, I realised that something was not quite right." An x-ray at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester revealed that the jockey had, in medical speak, a displaced fracture of the shaft of the left little metatarsal. In plainer language, he had suffered a minor break at the base of his little finger.

Back at the course and with his arm in a sling, the last two fingers of his left hand taped together, Dettori said he expected to be back in time to partner Sundrop in the Oaks and Snow Ridge in the Blue Riband itself. "The only thing on my mind at this stage is how long this is going to take," he added. "Luckily, it's only a little fracture and I should be all right. It should be a week to 10 days. I'm lucky because I'm banned for five days from Sunday anyway." Dettori is expected to partner the 2,000 Guineas runner-up Snow Ridge in the Derby.

It was a sunnier afternoon for others on a particularly brilliant day at the foot of Trundle Hill, with just vapour trials interrupting the blue sky. There will be two glorious Goodwoods this season. Richard Quinn was the riding supremo with a hat-trick, while Mick Channon, the leading trainer at the course last season, was quickly out of the blocks again with a double.

The West Ilsley trainer reported that his 1,000 Guineas disappointment Majestic Desert was in the sort of form to erase that memory if allowed to take her chance in the Irish equivalent on Sunday.

"I don't feel that was her run in the Guineas," he said. "It just didn't happen for her that day. She worked absolutely fantastic this morning. I'm not saying she'll go to Ireland and win, but she'll certainly run a lot better than she did at Newmarket."

There was no Dubai Millennium or Troy in the supposed Derby trial, the Predominate Stakes, but there was refuter of the notion that Manyana never comes. Marcus Tregoning's colt had a disagreement with the Chester Vase winner Red Lancer before gaining a head success over the outsider Crocodile Dundee.

Manyana is no longer in the Derby and will instead follow a route popularised at Kingwood House last season by High Accolade, who went on to the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot after victory here.

A successful airport heist was provided by Sir Alex Ferguson's part-owned Gatwick, who justified the riches heaped on him during the morning betting.

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