Horse Racing - Dettori returns in style with double success at Lingfield

Frankie Dettori returned to the saddle in fine style by claiming wins in his first two races at Lingfield.

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Horse Racing - Dettori returns in style with double success at Lingfield
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Frankie Dettori

And although the three-times champion jockey failed to make it a hat-trick of wins after coming low down in the field in the final of his three scheduled rides, it did not take the gloss off a successful return to action after injury.

Dettori has been sidelined from racing since early October when he fractured an ankle in a fall before the start of a race at Nottingham. However having been off the track for three-and-a-half months, his long-awaited comeback proved to be a memorable one.

His first ride back was aboard the John Hills-trained Eco Warrior in the Coral.co.uk Median Auction Maiden Stakes, and having led from the early stages Dettori held on to win despite a strong challenge up the home straight by favourite Wilhanahe.

Speaking after his that race, a breathless Dettori said: “That was a big pipe-opener as he tested me big time as he's very lazy. I'm pleased and it is a fairytale to be honest. It's a fantastic comeback and it is nice to be out of the house doing what I love to do.”

The Italian, 43, then completed a double in the next race, the 32Red.com Maiden Stakes, by claiming a success on favourite Gone With The Wind. Run over six furlongs, it was an equally tight finish but Dettori got the Jeremy Noseda-trained colt up to the line ahead of a strong challenge from Android.

Dettori has been riding out for Noseda since getting the all-clear to return to action last week.

“He was meant to be my comeback ride,” the jockey said. “Jeremy asked me if I wanted to ride him last week. I felt a lot better on the second ride than the first. The first one opened my lungs but he gave me an easier time.

“Originally I was told six to nine months and I must thank my surgeon who screwed me back together. I've got no pain, it's just trying to gather the strength back,” added Dettori.

Dettori did however miss out on a hat-trick of wins to complete his first day back in the saddle when Alexandra Dunn-trained Exemplary was well-beaten behind favourite Arch Villain in the 32Red Conditions Stakes.

Nevertheless, with this triumphant return under his belt, Dettori is jetting off to Dubai for two rides, including Mshawish, in his role as retained jockey to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.

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