Frankie Dettori’s comeback is still on ice, after the British Horseracing Authority confirmed that it would not issue him with a rider’s licence until he had been cleared by the France Galop, the French racing authorities. That won’t happen until Dettori goes in front of the medical committee again, and there is no confirmed date for that as yet.
When news of the delayed return broke on Friday, Dettori was naturally very disappointed, and so too were the managers at Leicester racecourse, where he had been due to make his return this evening. The track was expecting a significantly bigger crowd than the 1,000 or so who usually attend.
Explaining the hold up, France Galop spokesman Julien Pescatore said, “We are keen to clear this up as soon as possible, but it really depends on Mr Dettori. He has to tell us when he is available, send us all we need and tell us when he can see the medical committee. We are waiting for details from him. It could be Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, we really can't tell.”
France Galop also said that they did not see their latest position should be a bar to Dettori resuming his career in Britain, but the BHA’s statement made it clear they did not see things in the same light. It read, "The BHA has received notification from France Galop that they are not prepared to sanction Frankie Dettori as fit to race ride until he has had a meeting with their Medical Committee. Consequently, in line with the position outlined to Dettori by the BHA's Licensing Committee at their meeting on Tuesday 14th May, and in the absence of clearance from France, no licence will be issued while such matters remain outstanding.”
Leicester’s loss, along with that of Nottingham tomorrow, and Leicester and Kempton on Wednesday, will be someone else’s gain, but with Dettori over in Spain for a family event yesterday, and a public holiday in France today, it’s anybody’s guess as to when and where he will return.