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Frankie Dettori - I don't know what to expect

Updated: Friday, 17 May 2013 08:38 | Comments

Frankie Dettori is set to make a return to racing
Frankie Dettori is set to make a return to racing

Frankie Dettori admits he is nervous of the reception he will be afforded when he makes his planned return to race-riding at Leicester on Monday evening.

The Italian has served a six-month ban after testing positive for cocaine in France in September and in an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News and Clare Balding, Dettori spoke of his "moment of weakness" and pointed towards his fall down the hierarchy of jockeys at Godolphin as a contributing factor, that his head was "wrecked".

Accepting full responsibility for his cocaine ban, he said: "I'm very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a very big price for it, you know. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing.

"Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I've only got myself to blame. I can't blame anybody else."

Asked about his imminent return, he said: "I'd be lying to say I'm not, of course I am nervous. I've been away from so long I don't know what to expect, I don't know what people expect of me and what I expect from other people.

"I don't know what it is going to be like."

Dettori said his father had wanted him to go to the Priory when he was told about the ban.

Dettori said: "He was the first person I called, I thought if I could get the hardest one out of the way first.

"Dad is an old-fashioned person, he thinks failing a drugs test (means) that you are an addict, that I should go the Priory and clean myself up.

"I said dad it's a one-off, I was a bit low and I made a mistake.

"Trying to explain that to your parents, it's a different ball game."

Speaking about the Godolphin split, which came in October, Dettori said: "Up until about two years ago I was having the best time of my life...and then for some reason things have changed. We had a new trainer, new way of doing things and I didn't know whether I was in or out

"My first 17 years of my riding career (at) Godolphin, I was always the number one pick.

"All of a sudden I saw myself being the fourth in the biggest race in the world, and it started from there and it was never an explanation why and what, you know. I had to accept it for unknown reasons.

"My head was wrecked, absolutely wrecked. I couldn't take it any more."

Dettori spoke of his decision to accept the ride on Camelot in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for arch rivals Coolmore and said he knew the impact it would have.

He said: "Getting the ride on Camelot was like winning the lottery, I felt wanted again. For me it was a way out of the job.

"I didn't want to leave, I was the happiest man in the world but in a way they forced my hand to leave. Another six months there and I would have ended up in the Priory. I was done in."

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