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Dettori hit with ban after more Melbourne misery

Edged out: Frankie Dettori and Master of Reality are beaten by Craig Williams on Vow and Declare
Edged out: Frankie Dettori and Master of Reality are beaten by Craig Williams on Vow and Declare

By Robert Jones

Frankie Dettori was banned for eight days following his ride aboard Master Of Reality in the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Partnering the Joseph O'Brien-trained runner, Dettori passed the post in second place behind Vow And Declare after a tight four-way finish to the two-mile prize, with Prince Of Arran third and Il Paradiso fourth.

However, Dettori's mount drifted across the track in the final half-furlong, impeding the run of Il Paradiso, who was trying to challenge between Master Of Reality and Vow And Declare.

Wayne Lordan had to stop riding aboard Il Paradiso, who is trained by O'Brien's father Aidan, and the stewards quickly called an inquiry before eventually opting to demote Master Of Reality to fourth and suspend Dettori until November 14.

The Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran was promoted to second - one place better than last year - with Il Paradiso boosted to third.

Joseph O'Brien won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and he was disappointed Master Of Reality could not give Dettori his first win in the race, with the Italian having twice finished second in 1999 and 2015.

He said: "I'm more gutted for Frankie than I am for myself. I'll be back. I don't know if Frankie is ever going to win this race."

Dettori has enjoyed a stellar year with 19 Group One winners to his name, including three wins for supermare Enable and another Stayers' Million prize with Stradivarius.

However, he has endured a luckless run at Flemington, with his 17th ride on Master Of Reality resulting in a suspension that began immediately yesterday after pleading guilty to a charge of careless riding.

It is not the first time Dettori has fallen foul of the stewards in the Melbourne Cup, with the rider suspended for a month and fined $20,000 for causing interference on runner-up Max Dynamite four years ago. He was also suspended for a month for careless riding on Mamool in 2004.

Returning to the weighing room, Dettori said: "I want to cry."

Owner Nick Williams added: "I'm shattered for him, nothing would've been better for Master Of Reality to have won for him."

Dettori is scheduled to start a four-week riding stint in Japan from next weekend.

Prince Of Arran delighted Fellowes, adding to his Geelong Cup win, and next year's Melbourne Cup is already on the radar.

He said: "He's an unbelievable horse, he loves it here. We weren't far away from being in front. I think that was a better run this year than last year - we came so close."

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