Frankie Dettori hearing starts slowly – and in secret

Dettori drugs test suspension verdict due in two weeks

Purgatory was prolonged for Frankie Dettori when formal  proceedings arising from the drugs test he failed at Longchamp in September began in a fashion characteristic of the French racing authorities – which, is to say, slowly and secretively.

A medical panel of France Galop convened in Paris with the jockey’s lawyer, Christopher Stewart-Moore, but declined any public disclosure of their findings. Dettori, understood to be in Dubai, was not obliged to attend the hearing and duly restricted his input to a conference call. A separate, disciplinary panel has another fortnight in which to determine any punishment. Dettori potentially faces a worldwide six-month ban – as served by Kieren Fallon, after the first of two failed drugs tests in France, in 2006.

Julien Pescatore, media relations manager of France Galop, reiterated its policy of privacy – which extends to not specifying the prohibited substance in question. “The substance will never be revealed by either the medical commission or France Galop,” he said. “That is always the case. The medical committee will give their decision to the jockey and as long as he has not received it, France Galop will not communicate anything.”

It is understood that efforts had been made to expedite the cumbersome process, but these were plainly to no avail. Certainly Dettori himself must be eager for any suspension to commence as soon as possible, so keeping to a minimum interruption of his first season as a freelance in 18 years. Last month Dettori parted company with Godolphin, where his status had been challenged by the recruitment this year of Mickael Barzalona.

Pescatore did emphasise that Dettori had not been “targeted”, and that he had figured randomly among three breathalyser and two urine tests on 16 September.

Events back on home soil suggested that life on the Turf is complicated enough. First there was the melancholy news from Nigel Twiston-Davies that Imperial Commander must miss his intended comeback at Haydock on Saturday after suffering another setback. The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, not seen since being pulled up in the 2011 running, has fractured a hind-leg splint bone. “It’s nothing dramatic, but means he won’t be in full work for around six weeks,” Twiston-Davies said. “We can still do swimming with him and things like that. It’s disappointing but these things happen.”

Then Brendan Powell Jnr showed that mortification for jockeys can come in many different guises, given a 14-day ban for taking the wrong course on Benny The Swinger in a chase at Fakenham. Having jumped the last with a clear lead, he neglected to keep left of the fence near the winning post and jumped the obstacle. In fairness, Fakenham has confused jockeys in the past, and the configuration of the  finish may need attention – but that offers no comfort either to his most promising young rider, whose remorse was transparent, or anyone who backed the hot favourite.

The episode caused mayhem on the betting exchanges. Tony Calvin, spokesman for Betfair, reckoned it unprecedented for two horses to lose after trading at 1-100 in running in the same race, and the winner meanwhile to trade at the maximum price of 999-1. “Benny The Swinger looked set for an easy victory,” he explained. “As you would expect, he traded at the minimum price, with £35,524.24 traded at that price alone. However, he then took the wrong course on the run-in. The horse in second, Roc De Guye, who had been matched at 999-1 when seemingly booked for second, was then also backed at 1-100. But he then stopped on the run-in – and Peak Seasons got up on the post to win by a nose, having traded at 999-1.”

Turf Account

Chris McGrath’s Nap

Derwentwater (6.00 Kempton) Looks dangerously treated for this handicap debut, having kept the company of several subsequent winners when hinting at better to come in a third maiden spin.

Next Best

Caboodle (4.00 Kempton) Stable was very quiet when this filly showed nothing in two starts in the spring, but she has a fair pedigree.

Where The Money’s Going

The Giant Bolster is 6-1 from 10-1 with Ladbrokes for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Suggested Topics
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

Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?