JOCKEY Frankie Dettori is set to make his comeback from a six-month drug ban today at Epsom, after a dramatic resolution to his dispute with French horse racing chiefs was finally reached last night.
The three-time champion jockey, suspended for testing positive for cocaine, is poised to return to the saddle aboard the Ed Dunlop-trained Beatrice Aurore in the first race of the Investec Derby Festival.
Dettori, 42, is also expected to ride in today’s second race at Epsom, but not in tomorrow’s Derby unless another jockey is unexpectedly ruled out, before competing in Sunday’s French Derby at Chantilly.
Flat racing’s best-known rider had hoped to make his comeback 11 days ago at Leicester, but the British Horseracing Authority halted his licence renewal after France Galop raised fresh medical issues.
Dettori travelled to France on Tuesday in a bid to resolve the impasse in time for the weekend and finally received the green light yesterday evening.
“He is back in business,” said his French agent Herve Naggar. “Everything has been received by the France Galop medical committee and they can now give him back his licence.”
All eyes will be on Dettori in the opening Princess Elizabeth Stakes, which he will follow by piloting Fattsotta in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.
His English agent Ray Cochrane confirmed a ride in tomorrow’s Derby looked unlikely, though Dettori does have a booking in the Prix du Jockey Club 24 hours later, on Andrew Oliver’s First Cornerstone.