A BHA Disciplinary Panel has fined Frankie Dettori for his failure to ride Diamond Vision at Newbury on 13th May. I wrote about the incident at the time.

Initial reports at the course on the day suggested that Dettori was obeying Godolphin team orders by not taking the ride in a race that failed to reach the Horsemen’s Group tariff in terms of prizemoney. Godolphin later clarified that the decision was in fact Dettori’s. Either way it was clear from the comments of both the jockey and his principal employers that prizemoney, or lack of it, was the reason the superstar jockey got off the horse only hours before the race.

The problem with that of course was that this was not the reason given to the stewards on the day. Ostensibly Jim Crowley was able to ‘jock off’ Dettori because his originally booked mount was a non runner. Whether the stewards should have accepted that reason at the time is debatable. For the BHA to continue to sanction the decision of the stewards through inaction in the light of the subsequent reports of the real reasons for his absence would have been hard to defend.

Whilst I’ve every sympathy with Dettori’s desire to show his support for a principle he believes in there is no way that the sport’s ruling body can sanction such actions and it’s good to see that this unedifying stunt was investigated. This is was the Panel’s finding;

The Panel accepted an admission from Mr Dettori that he was in breach of Rule (D)41.1 in that he had informed Mills he was unwilling to ride DIAMOND VISION (IRE) necessitating him being replaced by Jim Crowley, because the prize money for the race was below the Horsemen’s Tariff.

The Panel imposed a fine of £290 upon him.

The question now of course is whether or not a fine of less than £300 is likely to deter others from a similar gesture?

Another question of course is how is it that Dettori has faced sanction whilst Mick Channon, who removed two runners from the same Newbury card, faces no further enquiry into the self certificates he used to justify pulling two of the five runners from a sub tariff race on the same card?

Let’s think of this as a shot across the bows for now I guess but further flouting of the rules for non runners and jockey changes might warrant a look at under a bringing racing into disrepute type charge?



  1. eachwayplease says:

    The argument is all about money(or the lack of it)Ironic then that the fine dished out was £290,this will deter no-one.
    Racing is making a complete ass of itself,fortunately the wider public that generally concerns itself with 22 handbag wielding footballers above all other sports and rarely look beyond the back page or two will be oblivious to how ridiculous all this is.
    BY the way,can someone enlighten me as to how the princely sum of £290 was arrived at?

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