Dettori heads to France hoping for swift justice

Dettori is not guaranteed to learn his fate on the day

The racing community holds its collective breath as its most famous face blushingly prepares for the possibility of humiliation and suspension. Frankie Dettori, whose failed drugs test at Longchamp in September caused such a sensation when disclosed last week, must appear before a medical panel in France tomorrow. If failing to exculpate himself, he could receive a worldwide, six-month suspension.

Any punishment, however, would be reserved to a separate disciplinary committee. It is understood that efforts are being made to dovetail the two processes, but Dettori is not guaranteed to learn his fate on the day. Certainly he will take the view that if the worst must happen, "then 'twere well it were done quickly".

He already stands at a crossroads in his career, having ended an 18-year association with the Godolphin stable only last month. If his new, freelance chapter must be deferred, then the sooner any suspension gets underway, the less Dettori will miss next spring. An immediate six-month ban would cause him to miss the first Classics of the domestic season, but he would be back in time for the Investec Derby meeting and Royal Ascot.

At the best of times, of course, Dettori would barely register on the midwinter scene, and the reappearance at Haydock on Saturday of two former Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Long Run and Imperial Commander, completes the jumps season's progression into top gear. And while he postponed the comebacks of a couple of other big guns over the weekend, the return of Long Run certainly confirms that Nicky Henderson's autumn offensive is now fully underway. Sure enough, the Seven Barrows trainer yesterday dispatched another rising star from his cavalry to illuminate a dank afternoon at Plumpton.

After a light first campaign with the yard, when winning two of his three hurdle starts, Broadbackbob was sent off at odds-on for the novice chase and duly produced an immaculate round before coasting home by three lengths.

"He jumped brilliantly," jockey Barry Geraghty said. "He got in a bit tight to a couple, but that was my fault – I was meeting them a bit long, I had so much horse. The fences here are trappy, and you learn a lot. He's not massive, but scopey and accurate."

In the Betfair Chase, meanwhile, Long Run faces a new force on the elite scene in Silviniaco Conti. "Our trading department are keen to take on Long Run, and offer a top-priced 6-4," said Tony Calvin, spokesman for the sponsors. "Timeform have him 8lbs clear of this field, but he does have something to prove after failing to reach his 2011 heights last season." Silviniaco Conti, impressive on his return at Wetherby, is 11-4, with Imperial Commander on 7-1 and The Giant Bolster 8-1.

Connections of Imperial Commander will take heart from the example of Go Native, who had himself spent a long spell on the sidelines before a couple of spins on the Flat last month and ran such a blinder on his return to hurdles at Punchestown on Sunday.

Go Native was challenging Hurricane Fly when slithering to the ground over the last flight and his trainer, Noel Meade, was relieved to discover no ill effects yesterday. Indeed, he did not rule out a crack at the Stan James Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday week.

"He seems fine," Meade said."He got up straightaway and was okay this morning, but we might just get the physio to make sure.

"He was just a couple of inches too low, caught the top and came down. Obviously he had a heavy fall, but he slid along the ground, so didn't take the brunt of it."

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

McMonagle (3.20 Southwell) A poor strike-rate overall but there are signs of renewal for this yard and a return to this longer trip is likely to suit, not least in trying this surface for the first time.

Next Best

Mandy The Nag (1.50 Southwell) Has shown enough in her first couple of spins to make an impact in this company and, with her pedigree on dirt, she can do better again on this surface.

Where The Money's Going: Bob's Worth is 9-2 from 5-1 with William Hill for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday week.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat