Friday 23 February 2018

Dettori makes return to the winner's circle

Jockey Frankie Dettori
Jockey Frankie Dettori

JA McGrath

Frankie Dettori rode his first winner since returning from a six-month drugs ban last night when the former Godolphin No 1 guided Asian Trader to victory at Sandown.

The Italian-born rider made his comeback at Epsom last Friday, but had failed to make the winner's enclosure in 11 previous rides in England and in France. That streak was broken when Asian Trader took the handicap over five furlongs.

William Haggas' four-year-old was supplementing a success at Bath in April and was given a patient ride. The 5/2 favourite missed the break, but his jockey did not panic as Asian Trader travelled like the best horse in the race.

Once the gaps opened inside the final furlong, Haggas' inmate pulled half a length clear of Alnoomaas. Dettori then treated racegoers to his customary flying dismount in the winner's enclosure.

The jockey had been due to make his comeback at Leicester two and a half weeks ago, but France Galop, the authority who banned him following his positive test for cocaine last September, were not prepared to clear the rider until a "private matter" had been resolved.

Meanwhile, Roger Charlton's Cityscape will miss the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot after a setback in the Lockinge Stakes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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