sport

Dettori: Time to get going

Frankie Dettori cannot wait to get back in the saddle at Lingfield on Wednesday.

The three-times champion jockey has three booked rides at the Surrey track as he makes his comeback after being sidelined since early October when he suffered a fractured ankle in a fall going down to the start before a race at Nottingham.

Dettori said: "I've had three and a half months off and I'm ready to start. I'm looking forward to it.

"The weather is a bit chilly for me, but you've got to start somewhere. I'll be glad to get out of the house. My wife gives me lots of jobs to do so the best way out is to go racing.

"My ankle has healed much, much quicker than myself and my surgeon thought. I'm in good shape and I'm ready to go. I've been on the treadmill and I've been swimming. I've been riding out as well, but there's nothing like racing."

Dettori's injury saw him miss out on the winning ride aboard Treve in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October.

Teaming up with the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained champion, officially rated last year's joint-best horse in the world, is something he is not yet thinking about .

"She is a million miles away in my thoughts right now," Dettori, the retained rider for Treve's owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, told Betfred TV.

"Right now I am thinking about Wednesday and coming back for three rides. Thursday I've got a couple of rides in Dubai, one for Sheikh Joaan as well.

"I'm probably going to be going back and forward a bit. I'd like to get myself going here in England with a few rides and if I have to go back to Dubai I will fly over.

"It's time to get going now and I'm ready for it."

Lingfield officials are delighted at welcoming Dettori upon his return to action.

Clerk of the course Neil Mackenzie Ross said: "We're thrilled to have him back and looking forward to welcoming him at Lingfield, and hopefully through out the rest of the winter as well.

"He should bring more people through the gate. He's got three rides and, from our point of view, he's got a ride in the fast-track qualifier tomorrow which would be a great news story. Having a ride in that qualifier is exciting stuff for us.

"It shows the results of the effort and work that has gone in to the new all-weather championships.

"Frankie's had lots of success at Lingfield in the past and we hope he has a success on his first day back tomorrow."

Dettori kicks off on Eco Warrior in the opening coral.co.uk Median Auction Maiden Stakes for John Hills, who is pleased to have him on board.

"It's very exciting. You can't have a runner and have a man like him on the bench," said the Upper Lambourn trainer.

"He ran a really good race before Christmas and everything went wrong last time, but if he puts his best foot forward he could win. Hopefully he'll give Frankie a good ride and get the show back on the road."

He then teams up with the Jeremy Noseda-trained Gone With The Wind in the 32Red.com Maiden Stakes over six furlongs on the Polytrack.

Alexandra Dunn has also taken advantage of Dettori's services as he will ride Exemplary in the 32Red Conditions Stakes for the Somerset handler.

The seven-year-old will be reverting to the Flat for a fast-track qualifier for the all-weather finals day at Lingfield on Good Friday.

She said: "He's ridden the horse before and the horse went well for Frankie. Hopefully, he'll give him a good ride tomorrow. Frankie's got a good past relationship with the horse. It's common sense to try to get someone who gets on well with the horse, so I contacted his agent.

"Hopefully he'll do the fast-track series then go back over hurdles. We are finding our way with him, but he's a nice horse."