Dettori hopes any ban is backdated

 

The final depressing chapter of a yearbook Frankie Dettori will not want to thumb through too often will be dictated in France today when he will learn of his punishment for failing a drugs test taken at Longchamp in September. If precedents are adhered to, the sport's most instantly recognisable practitioner will be handed a six-month worldwide ban.

The stewards of the French racing authority, France Galop, will deliver their verdict after having considered the findings of their medical officers, who two weeks ago imposed a temporary suspension on the jockey. Dettori, who turns 42 on Saturday week, had held his hands up, saying through solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore, that he accepted their conclusions "without reservation".

The banned substance found in Dettori's system when he was one of five riders randomly tested on 16 September, Arc trials day at the Paris track, has not been identified by the French authorities. The Italian's legal team have described it only as "non performance-enhancing".

For Dettori, this year in the saddle had already been turbulent. Three weeks before his positive drugs test was announced, he parted company with his employer of 18 years, Sheikh Mohammed. He had become disenchanted with the fast-tracking of young recruit Mickael Barzalona through the Godolphin ranks, and brought matters to a head by taking, without seeking permission, the Arc ride on Camelot for the sheikh's arch-rivals at Coolmore.

Dettori's score of 51 domestic winners is his lowest since 2000, when he came close to losing his life in the plane crash at Newmarket that killed his pilot. He has won just three top-level prizes in 2012, of which the Ascot Gold Cup on Colour Vision was the only one in Britain and the only one for Godolphin. Last year, he won 11, including eight for the Blues.

He is not the first high-profile British-based rider to fall foul of drug testing in France. In 2006, Kieren Fallon was suspended for six months after testing positive to a metabolite of cocaine at Chantilly, and Dean Gallagher was also served with a six-month penalty after a failed test in 2000.

Dettori had planned an assault next year on the jockeys' title, which he last won in 2004, as a freelance, and a six-month ban would hit those aspirations hard. It would also damage any hope of an association with the Coolmore team, whose present first choice, trainer Aidan O'Brien's son Joseph, is increasingly battling with his weight.

It will be perfectly possible for Dettori to bounce back from a lengthy suspension and he will want to continue and conclude his career on his terms. But if the ban is imposed from today, he would not ride again until 4 June, by which time the first four English Classics will have been run and partnerships with the top horses established. If he could have the expected ban backdated to the last time he rode, on Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup on 6 November, it would give him a welcome extra month to establish a foothold. Indeed, this year's champion Richard Hughes did not start until May because of a suspension picked up in India.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Zen Factor (1.30 Folkestone)

Won in better company over hurdles and drops in class after his seasonal debut over fences, only his third run over the larger obstacles and a better effort than his two at the end of last term.

Next Best: Pertemps Networks (3.40 Wolverhampton)

Will need a career-best effort, but loves today's track and is in good fettle, having won with something in hand when he scored there last month.

One to watch: His jumping still needs attention, but Handy Andy (Colin Tizzard) stayed on well for third at Newbury on Saturday on his third try in a chase and will surely find an opportunity off his current mark.

Where the money's going: Alfie Sherrin and West End Rocker share favouritism at 7-1 with Paddy Power for Saturday's Becher Chase, the first contest over Aintree's specialist fences since the Grand National in April.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Sport
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
transfers
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music(who aren't Arctic Monkeys)
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Software Developer - Newcastle - £30,000 - £37,000 + benefits

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home