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Frankie Dettori: Demotion within Godolphin made me turn to cocaine

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Jockey Frankie Dettori

Jockey Frankie Dettori

Jockey Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori has pointed to the relegation of his standing within Godolphin as a contributory factor in the "moment of weakness" that resulted in a six-month riding ban after he tested positive for cocaine.

In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News and Clare Balding to be broadcast at 7pm this evening, Dettori, who is due to return to the saddle at Leicester on Monday, spoke of "getting depressed" as the long-standing relationship with Sheikh Mohammed's operation began to break down.

He said: "Up until about two years ago I was having the best time of my life...and then for some reason things have changed. We had a new trainer, new way of doing things and I didn't know whether I was in or out

"My first 17 years of my riding career (at) Godolphin, I was always the number one pick.

"All of a sudden I saw myself being the fourth in the biggest race in the world, and it started from there and it was never an explanation why and what, you know. I had to accept it for unknown reasons."

Dettori spoke of the first "stumbling hurdle" being when he was refused the ride on a horse in a Derby trial, and then saw Mickael Barzalona win the Leger on Godolphin's Encke with the Italian only third on Michelangelo for John Gosden.

"My head was wrecked, absolutely wrecked. I couldn't take it anymore," he said, before speaking of his decision to accept the ride on Camelot in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for arch rivals Coolmore.

He said: "In hindsight, I should perhaps have confronted Godolphin...I knew then when I did ride the horse that was me finished. For me wanting to leave as much for them wanting to get rid of me. I couldn't take any more and the rest is history."

Dettori left Godolphin not long after the Arc in October last year.

He said: "You start getting depressed, I wasn't sleeping at night, I was arguing with my wife.

"But then you think maybe I will be all right next week, maybe I will be back in favour."

He added: "I've been (tested) 15 times in two months. It's part of the protocol, you have to go so through so many tests. I don't have a problem with that.

"I feel like Lance Armstrong, they come and knock on my door at any time of the day."In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News and Clare Balding to be broadcast at 7pm this evening, Dettori, who is due to return to the saddle at Leicester on Monday, spoke of "getting depressed" as the long-standing relationship with Sheikh Mohammed's operation began to break down.

He said: "Up until about two years ago I was having the best time of my life...and then for some reason things have changed. We had a new trainer, new way of doing things and I didn't know whether I was in or out

"My first 17 years of my riding career (at) Godolphin, I was always the number one pick.

"All of a sudden I saw myself being the fourth in the biggest race in the world, and it started from there and it was never an explanation why and what, you know. I had to accept it for unknown reasons."

Dettori spoke of the first "stumbling hurdle" being when he was refused the ride on a horse in a Derby trial, and then saw Mickael Barzalona win the Leger on Godolphin's Encke with the Italian only third on Michelangelo for John Gosden.

"My head was wrecked, absolutely wrecked. I couldn't take it anymore," he said, before speaking of his decision to accept the ride on Camelot in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for arch rivals Coolmore.

He said: "In hindsight, I should perhaps have confronted Godolphin...I knew then when I did ride the horse that was me finished. For me wanting to leave as much for them wanting to get rid of me. I couldn't take any more and the rest is history."

Dettori left Godolphin not long after the Arc in October last year.

He said: "You start getting depressed, I wasn't sleeping at night, I was arguing with my wife.

"But then you think maybe I will be all right next week, maybe I will be back in favour."

He added: "I've been (tested) 15 times in two months. It's part of the protocol, you have to go so through so many tests. I don't have a problem with that.

"I feel like Lance Armstrong, they come and knock on my door at any time of the day."

PA Media