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Dettori breaks bone before Derby

May 19, 2004 16:01 IST
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Frankie Dettori expects to be back in the saddle in time for next month's Epsom Derby despite breaking a bone in his left hand in a freak accident on his way to the start of a race at Goodwood on Tuesday.

"I will ride the race with one hand if I have to," the Italian jockey told the Racing Post web site following a fall when a pheasant startled the championship leader's mount, the Brian Meehan-trained Chinkara.

The horse stumbled to the ground and, although Dettori landed on his feet, his hands were on the reins. Worried he may have cracked a bone in his left hand, he went straight to St Richards Hospital in Chichester for an x-ray, clutching an ice pack.

"I have a displaced fracture of the shaft of the left little finger," he said, the third and fourth fingers of his hand taped together, his arm supported by a sling.

"I would say I should be back in about 10 days because luckily it's only a hairline fracture.

"A pheasant jumped out of a tree and whipped round so quickly that even the horse fell. I got my fingers stuck in the mane.

"I heard a crack and for a minute I didn't feel anything. When I came back I knew it was not quite right."

Dettori, 33, who leads Darryll Holland in the jockeys' championship, has never won the Epsom Derby.

He is expected to partner 2,000 Guineas runner-up Snow Ridge in the June 5 classic as he aims to improve on his best finish of second on Tamure in 1995.

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