- POSTED: 03 Oct 2013 01:11
- UPDATED: 03 Oct 2013 04:09
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Italian jockey Frankie Dettori will miss his ride in Europe's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, on Sunday after suffering a season-ending injury, his business manager said on Wednesday.
LONDON: Italian jockey Frankie Dettori will miss his ride in Europe's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, on Sunday after suffering a season-ending injury, his business manager said on Wednesday.
The 42-year-old Dettori, long based in Britain, had to be helped off the track in a wheelchair after a fall before a race at Nottingham, central England, earlier Wednesday.
Peter Burrell, Dettori's business manager, said his client would miss both the Arc at Longchamp, near Paris, and the remainder of the European flat season.
"It's bad news, not good news," Burrell said in a statement issued to Britain's Press Association.
"He (Dettori) went to Cambridge Hospital and X-rays found that he had suffered a fractured ankle.
"He was extremely disappointed on the phone and did not want to discuss it much more than that.
"It's an extremely painful injury. Sunday is out - as is the season."
Dettori was due to partner leading contender Treve in the Arc - a race he has won three times and in which he has competed in the last 25 editions.
At Nottingham, he was unshipped from Eland Ally prior to the 32Red.com Handicap and was unable to put any weight on his right leg as he attempted to get to his feet.
Despite the course doctor feeling an X-ray was unnecessary, Dettori decided to have one of his own.
Had Dettori won the Arc this weekend, he would have equalled the record for most wins in Europe's premier all-age horse race by a jockey of four.
The ride on Treve - unbeaten in her four starts including impressive wins in the French Oaks and the Group One Arc trial the Prix Vermeille a fortnight ago - has brightened up a trying year for Dettori.
He served a six month suspension for testing positive for cocaine - he failed the test at the Arc trials last year - but picked up the lucrative contract with Sheikh Joann al-Thani, younger brother of Qatar's emir, at the end of June.
The sheikh bought Treve after her win in the French Oaks for a reported 7 million euros (US$9.4 million) and the filly is seen as the likeliest threat to Japanese favourite Orfevre.
Following Dettori's withdrawal, Treve's trainer, Criquette Head-Maarek said French jockey Thierry Jarnet, who rode the horse to victory in her first three races before she was sold, would be on board for the Arc.
Only on Tuesday Dettori, who blamed his cocaine-taking on his deteriorating relationship with Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, for whose Godolphin Operation he had ridden for 18 years, told AFP how lucky he felt to have his new position.
"I am on a different planet now, last year I was with a stable where I wasn't wanted," he said.
"It was very frustrating and my self esteem was at an all time low by the end of my time with Godolphin.
"However, now I start again, I'm only 42 after all! My mind now is clearer and I am happy.
"It is a new and fresh challenge."