i

Sunderland win on penalties to book date at Wembley

There is an anxiety that a delayed return will cost Dettori precious connections

Frankie Dettori banned for six months after failing drug test

Frankie Dettori admitted today he had “let down the sport he loves” after being handed a  six-month riding ban for failing a drugs test.

The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 17 October 2012

England to try again today after rain delay in Warsaw

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes joins Frankie Dettori up in seven heaven after beating odds of 10,168-1

A season dominated by Frankel reaches a poignant finale in what is expected to prove his final appearance at Ascot on Saturday. But even he will do well to match the emphasis with which its outstanding jockey sealed his status yesterday.

Super sub: Camelot will be Frankie Dettori's 25th consecutive ride in the Arc as Joseph O'Brien is too heavy

Age barrier between Camelot and history

O'Brien will have his faith in his 'wonder' horse severely tested in a difficult challenge on a tricky course in Paris

Camelot has been handed a favourable low draw tomorrow at Longchamp

Dettori aims to profit from experience and good draw to steer Camelot home in Arc

Lucrative weekend of racing, but sums pale in comparison to Tuesday's £50m yearling auction

Frankie Dettori will ride Camelot for Aidan O’Brien tomorrow

The Last Word: Arc brings Dettori and the Sheikh to a strange junction

Dettori is expected to count his millions as fair exchange for his self-respect

William Buick renewed a winning partnership with Elusive Kate

Buick proves Elusive to French pursuers

A winner-finding system is always welcome and the past six weeks have produced one that has proved very nearly infallible. Of the past five fillies-only Group One races in the European calendar, John Gosden has taken four. The sequence was started by Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, followed by Izzi Top (Pretty Polly Stakes, Curragh), Great Heavens (Irish Oaks, Curragh) and completed yesterday by Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville. So, presumably, look out for their stablemate The Fugue in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Ballydoyle’s Was (No 14) holds off Shirocco Star to give Seamus Heffernan his first British Classic

Jockeys banned after Was comes good in vexing Oaks

If Aidan O'Brien prompted due amusement yesterday, when forgetting the name of his Investec Oaks winner at the press conference, then rival trainers are unlikely to have seen the funny side.

Frankie Dettori celebrates victory at Sandown on Thursday evening

The Last Word: Dettori deserves place above the new generation

It is not just premature to give Barzalona immediate parity with Dettori – it is folly

Mickael Barzalona signed for Godolphin during the winter

Barzalona passes Dettori in pecking order

Yet again the strength in depth of the Classic generation at Ballydoyle is inviting invidious comparisons with the Turf's other superpowers. At Godolphin, in particular, a recent mood of renewal was abruptly suspended after both the first two Classics were won by their great rivals. Godolphin failed even to muster a runner in the 2,000 Guineas, while its two fancied fillies in the 1,000 Guineas both finished tailed off. The stakes will be uncomfortably high, then, when the unbeaten Mandaean measures his Investec Derby prospects in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York tomorrow. And there is commensurate significance, surely, in the fact that the imported colt will be ridden by another new recruit from France.

Mahmood Al Zarooni tests his Classic fillies at Newmarket today

Regal Realm to hold sway in Nell Gwyn

After such a miserable experience at Aintree, it will come as a profound relief for the Turf community to turn its gaze today upon a featureless Suffolk plain. Not that the Rowley Mile is entirely flat. In fact, it is precisely the opportunity to acquaint potential Classic candidates with the Dip – even as a race enters its decisive phase – that gives the Craven meeting its purpose. That is most obviously true of those whose rehearsals qualify them to return in barely a fortnight, for the Guineas, but will also apply to some whose target is instead the Investec Derby over the rollercoaster at Epsom.

Thimaar (left) could show improvement in the Queen’s Prize at Kempton

Barzalona set to challenge Dettori tactfully

Weekend preview: Godolphin riders renew rivalry at Kempton, where both should score, while Thimaar can take the Queen's Prize

Mickael Barzalona leaps off Monterosso after their Dubai World Cup win

Barzalona has the world at his feet for Godolphin

In the event, it was not Chantal Sutherland who would make the most insistent stand on behalf of the rights of the female. Entering the tunnel between the saddling ring and paddock, owners and trainers escorting runners in the world's richest race suddenly found themselves obliged to stand and wait on the clarion instructions of Sheikh Mohammed's four-year-old daughter, Al Jalila. Her mortified mother, Princess Haya, hastened back to remonstrate; but the little sheikha had achieved her purpose and, to general amusement, was able to hurtle gaily down the vacated chute beneath the grandstand. It would prove only the prelude to a race of similarly unfettered celebration.

Barzalona signed as new boy in Blue

Cheltenham? What do you mean, Cheltenham? Well, yes, perhaps it will help pass the time. But the real anticipation, in some quarters, is for the forthcoming Flat season – and not just because of Frankel.

Silvestre De Sousa will have his first rides in his new job for Godolphin at Meydan today

Godolphin recruit De Sousa as potential heir to Dettori

Two fairly momentous new chapters open on the Turf today. On the home front, an amended penalty structure is introduced ahead of the latest, dizzying revision to the whip rules. In Dubai, meanwhile, Silvestre De Sousa rides for Godolphin for the first time since accepting a post that accelerates his giddy rise through the ranks.

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