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.

Voices
voices
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
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

Urgently looking for Qualified Teachers and NQT's

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Urgently looking for Quali...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teacher Would yo...

Teacher

£100 - £120 per day + key stage 1, key stage 2: Randstad Education Chelmsford:...

Data Analyst

£30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried