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Dettori Will Play It By Ear for Royal Ascot After Fall From Horse

Frankie Dettori is on top of his game these days.  With 56 winners at the Royal Meeting over the years, he is currently the most successful jockey in Royal Ascot.  Unfortunately, he was thrown off his horse in the parade ring Tuesday at Yarmouth, just a week before the start of Royal Ascot, which kicks off on June 20th 2017.


Dettori was astride Tivoli, an unraced filly, when the horse started at something.  She threw him, and he hit the ground.  Afterward, he could be seen clutching his left shoulder as well as his head.  He did manage to make his way to the weighing room without assistance, but he didn’t race the rest of the day.  He went home shortly after, announcing he needed a day off.


Since then, fans have been eagerly awaiting news of the jockey’s Royal Ascot plans.  As it turns out, he is in pretty good shape despite the dramatic accident, and he may still be able to race.  In fact, before he even (potentially) gets to Ascot, he might be riding at Kempton Park on Wednesday and at Newbury on Thursday.


Dettori’s agent, Ray Cochrane, has shed some light on the jockey’s injuries.  Apparently there have been no fractures or breaks, any of which would have been obvious had they happened with the shoulder or collarbone.  Dettori has applied ice to his shoulder, and has said that it’s stiff and was a “massive wrench,” but that it should be fully functional. 


What about Dettori’s schedule for this week?  On Wednesday, the jockey will be “playing it by ear.”  Cochrane stated that Dettori has said “nothing to me at all” regarding time off.  This seems to imply that Dettori is planning to stick with his schedule if he can. 


This is contrary to some headlines which I have seen that state that Dettori is unable to ride.  Here’s the thing—those headlines are a reference to statements by the jockey’s manager, Peter Burrell, who said, “I’d say it is 90 percent certain he won’t ride again before Ascot.”  So being as both Dettori’s agent and his manager should be good sources of information, it is hard to say why there is a discrepancy there.  In any case, even Burrell mentioned that Dettori is unlikely to ride before Ascot, which implies he will probably still ride at the Royal Meeting.


Additionally, Ray Cochrane commented on Dettori’s mindset, saying that he has spoken to the jockey and that Dettori is in “good spirits.”  That much seems evident given that he is still potentially planning on riding at Kempton Park and Newbury and/or Ascot. 


Punters will want to keep an eye on Dettori’s activities over the remainder of this week.  If he keeps his engagements at Kempton Park and Newbury and all goes well there, it seems entirely likely that he will still appear at Royal Ascot.  Even if he does not, he still may go to Ascot.  Until then, we will just need to wait for more news.  From the sounds of it, though, we have plenty of reason to be optimistic.


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