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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

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
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
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
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
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve