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Dettori out to prove he's back to his best

Telegraph Sport: where debate starts. With Frank Brownlow

By Frank Brownlow

Published 05/06/2015

Tony McCoy and Frankie Dettori in 1999
Tony McCoy and Frankie Dettori in 1999

Frankie Dettori can join Ulster legend Tony McCoy as a true horse racing great this weekend - but for very different reasons.

Dettori will attempt to win the Derby for the second time when he rides Golden Horn in the £1.4million Epsom showpiece tomorrow.

McCoy had greatness bestowed upon him thanks to 20 successive champion jockey titles and 4,348 career victories.

Dettori will never get close to those figures but no other jockey has hit the heights and then plunged the depths to the same degree as the 44-year-old Italian. And victory in the Derby will confirm Dettori's return to the very top.

Dettori was racing's biggest name - the highlight that never-to-be-forgotten 'Magnificent Seven' through-the-card winners at Ascot in 1996 - his domination climaxing in 2007 Derby success on board Authorized.

But then things started to slip, and Dettori has not had a ride in the Derby since 2011 on Ocean War when he could only look on as teenage sensation Mickael Barzalona stood up in the irons to celebrate success on Pour Moi. Barzalona also unseated Dettori from his plum job as leading jockey with Godolphin racing.

Worse was to come.. Dettori suspended for six months for failing a drug test.

But Dettori has battled his way back to the big time and victory in the Derby would be the ultimate redemption.

Belfast Telegraph

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