Slow burn may be perfect for Dettori as he seals Qatar retainer

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Frankie Dettori may be slightly fortunate to have been given such a high-profile second chance after serving a six-month ban for failing a drugs test, but he arguably deserves a shot at redemption after all the good he has done for the sport.

Dettori has been working freelance since returning to the saddle and has appeared short of race fitness having achieved a mere five winners in his first 76 Great Britain rides.

The fact that he has taken in some smaller meetings at Kempton and Yarmouth suggest that he is keen to land some lucrative rides again and he will get the chance now that he has signed a retainer with Sheikh Joaan Al Thani. It is 1/2 that Dettori rides a European Group 1 winner for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani by November 9th 2013.

This stable is one of those with the biggest futures in the sport at present, with horses including Toronado, Olympic Glory and Planteur all under the umbrella, alongside many other smart prospects in France.

For the time being, Richard Hughes will continue to ride horses for the owner that are trained by Richard Hannon, having finished second on Toronado to Dawn Approach by a short head in the St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, while winning a Group 1 on Olympic Glory.

This is probably good news for Dettori, as he could arguably do with a few more months to get his sharpness up to scratch.

Meanwhile, this does not mean that Dettori will not get the opportunity to embark on one of his famous dismounts on UK soil this season, as Al Thani does have some bright prospects with other trainers who hold Group 1 entries.

Purr Along holds an entry in the Falmouth Stakes later in July at Newmarket, Mshawish is on course to run in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and Planteur could go in the Juddmonte International at York in August.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.