Dettori waits, but may have to serve ban in full


Still the sword dangles upon its horsehair. The protracted procedural ordeal of Frankie Dettori was today extended one last time, following what his lawyer described as "a very sympathetic hearing" in Paris. Dettori, who notoriously failed a drugs test at Longchamp in September, was not himself required to join Christopher Stewart-Moore at a 40-minute meeting of the French racing authority's disciplinary panel, which deferred formal pronouncement of its punishment until this morning. All precedent suggests he will receive a six-month suspension, which would be reciprocated worldwide by other racing jurisdictions.

Stewart-Moore confined himself to acknowledging the congenial atmosphere. He did indicate some comment would be volunteered after Dettori's fate had been announced, but none in the meantime "out of respect for the decision-making process".

A medical commission had already considered Dettori's case, two weeks previously, after which his licence was temporarily suspended. Stewart-Moore had already accepted its findings "without reservation", with an implied admission that a ban is inevitable on a principle of strict liability.

His principal objective since has been to get that suspension backdated, at worst to that date, 21 November, and ideally to 6 November – the last time Dettori rode in public, in the Melbourne Cup. His submission is presumed to be that Dettori, in effect, anticipated a ban by declining any opportunity to ride, pending charges that had not yet been made public. Unfortunately, the standard practice in France is for suspensions to commence nine days after their publication – and hitherto France Galop could not have adhered more scrupulously to its protocols. An earlier attempt to accelerate the process, by dovetailing the two hearings, proved unsuccessful.

Just about the last remaining uncertainty in the case, therefore, appears to be the date Dettori can circle in the 2013 calendar as the end of his excruciating exile – and the beginning of his new career as a freelance rider. If his lawyer's request were indulged, Dettori would be able to resume in May, and so be available to ride at the Investec Derby meeting at Epsom. That was more than he managed this year, of course, when he spent Derby day at Haydock, ruminating on the promotion of young Mickael Barzalona to share his position at Godolphin. He had already ended his 18-year association with that stable when news of his positive test broke last month.

There is an obvious anxiety that a delayed return will cost Dettori precious connections, as he seeks to build a new portfolio, but these are easily exaggerated. Spare rides are extremely scarce in the first weeks of the season, at every level, and Dettori could count himself most unlucky if he happened to miss out on the one colt or filly that emerges, from all the various trials, as a Guineas winner.

A jockey who will be able to look upon 2012 with rather more pride is Graham Lee, who rode his 100th winner of the year – his first since an audacious switch from jumps to Flat – at Wolverhampton today.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Landenstown Star (3.10 Hereford) Not long with Tim Vaughan and all the signs are that this point-to-point winner is now ready to exploit a lenient mark: back over fences, in headgear, and with Richard Johnson replacing an inexperienced conditional jockey.

Next best

Yarroom (12.00 Lingfield) A well-bred, well-made colt who totally dominated his rivals when winning a Wolverhampton maiden last time. Looks as though he could prove a cut above this level.

One to watch

His habit of missing the break means that O'Gorman (Gary Brown) does not come without risks, but the way he travelled before rattling into second at Kempton last week confirms that he has more ability than his current rating.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - OTE £100,000

£45000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Sales Manager is re...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific