It’s probably fair to say that 2013 hasn’t been the finest year in the life of Frankie Dettori.
Handed a six-month ban for using cocaine and losing his retainer with Godolphin, it took the Italian twelve rides into his comeback freelance career before he could taste that winning feeling once again.
But at Sandown a couple of weeks ago Dettori rode to victory aboard Asian Trader, and it didn’t take long for the 2007 Derby winner to start looking forward.
Following the win, the 42-year-old said. “It’s nice to be back, I find [I feel] in races like I never left, and now I’m looking forward.
“From day one I’ve had tremendous feedback, not just from the public but from owners and trainers, too. Fitness-wise I’d done as much as a human could to get fit and now I’m a winner.”
With the good stallions already booked for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, there wasn’t much room to negotiate for Dettori when it came to picking a ride in what will undoubtedly be the biggest race of his comeback so far.
But he has managed to team up with trainer Darrin Miller for the first time to guide six-year-old American horse Havelock on the 6f race.
Dettori is 20/1 to claim what would be a remarkable and surprising victory, but Havelock has won four Graded races over various distances in the US, including the Shakertown Stakes in Keeneland back in March.
The six-year-old has the ability to throw up a surprise, and is ever more likely to do so given Dettori will rarely have been more determined to get back in the spotlight.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing