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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Dettori ban cut to six days but he still misses King George and Goodwood rides

Frankie Dettori: will not ride Stradivarius or Without Parole at Goodwood
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Frankie Dettori scored a partial but somewhat hollow victory at the BHA's London headquarters on Tuesday, having the ten-day careless-riding ban he picked up at Newmarket's July festival reduced to six but still missing out on plum rides in Ascot's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and on the first two days of Glorious Goodwood.

Coronet, who Dettori could have ridden in the King George, will now be partnered by Olivier Peslier, while Andrea Atzeni is quoted as even-money favourite by Betway to take the mount on hot favourite Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup on Tuesday. His agent Tony Hind said last night he had not been contacted regarding the ride.

Dettori will also miss riding another big-race favourite, Without Parole, in next Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

After thanking his barrister at the conclusion of what proved to be a lengthy hearing, Dettori sprinted away from the BHA’s headquarters.

Dettori’s QC Graeme McPherson offered no comment regarding the jockey’s ban, but said the lengthy inquiry had resulted in his client needing to leave in a hurry as he was late for a lunch appointment with his wife.

BHA disciplinary panel chairman David Fish said: "The basis of our finding is he didn't take corrective action sufficiently quickly. We take the view he had sufficient time to take preventative action before he actually did.

'Considerable interference was caused'

"We take the view considerable interference was caused to two horses in particular, the ones ridden by Mr [James] Doyle [Main Edition] and Mr [William] Buick [La Pelosa]. We take into account the period over which this careless riding occurred."

Brant Dunshea, BHA chief regulatory officer, said: "Frankie Dettori was subject to a fair hearing in front of an independent disciplinary panel.

“Appeals are intended to be rehearings using evidence not available to the stewards on the day rather than a review of the original decision taken at the time.

“It is encouraging to see the panel reached the same conclusion as the stewards on the day, in that Mr Dettori was found guilty of careless riding and that the interference was noted as considerable.

“The decision to reduce the penalty from ten days to six is entirely a matter for the independent disciplinary panel and, given the extent of the interference, the BHA look forward to assessing the full written reasons to understand why such a reduction in penalty was applicable under the circumstances."

Dettori's ban and subsequent hearing stemmed from his ride aboard John Gosden's Angel's Hideaway, who finished runner-up to Pretty Pollyanna in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes this month.

The filly caused interference by moving to her right, pushing Main Edition on to La Pelosa.

Gosden gave evidence on the phone and described Angel's Hideaway as a spooky filly who got loose on the gallops on Monday.

The BHA, represented by disciplinary team leader Lyn Williams, made the case the filly gave every indication to Dettori she was going to drift and that he took too long to react.

McPherson was adamant Dettori had reacted as quickly as any competent jockey could possibly have done.

"I can't say Mr Dettori's record is blameless but he has a record that does not mean you should conclude he is a careless jockey. He is a careful jockey, but it was something of a perfect storm," McPherson said.

However, Williams said: "We say Mr Dettori should have been aware of Mr Doyle and Mr Buick. He should have taken preventative action. He failed to take reasonable steps to prevent causing interference.

"Mr Dettori waited until he had caused interference before straightening the filly. He did it too late. He should have taken action before that."

'Part of the Ascot furniture'

The verdict will prove a disappointment to the three-time champion's legions of admirers who would have been looking forward to seeing him in Group 1 action at Ascot, where he has won the King George five times, including aboard Enable 12 months ago, and at Goodwood.

Ascot director of racing and communications Nick Smith said: "It's always disappointing if Frankie can't ride at Ascot – the crowd relate to him and he's part of the furniture here.

"However, we fully respect the judgement of the BHA."

Peslier, who comes in for the ride on Coronet, said: "She's a very tough filly who knows Ascot and I have plenty of experience riding her as well. As well as winning the Ribblesdale with her we finished second behind Enable at York.

"The only time she didn't really give her best with me was in Ireland, where she lost her action on the ground, but she came right back to form at York in the race with Enable after that. She was only very narrowly beaten last time out and, while it is a high-class race with some good horses, she has the potential to run very well.

"It's nice to be back on board and I have to thank the owners for their confidence."

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The basis of our finding is he didn't take corrective action sufficiently quickly

Key data

Frankie Dettori
E.W. Terms
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