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Dettori's close paddock shave.

A RELIEVED Frankie Dettori left Newbury looking forward to Royal Ascot yesterday, despite twice being "dumped" in the parade ring where he broke his elbow two years ago.

The Italian escaped without injury after the Michael Bell-trained newcomer Aunt Flo became unruly as he tried to mount her before the Kingsclere Conditions Stakes.

Once the filly calmed down she took part in the race to finish second behind Tumbleweed Quartet.

But Dettori admitted that for a moment he feared a repeat of the incident that had put him into hospital and out of the Royal meeting in 1996.

"Twice I fell off the two-year-old. She was a bit green and when I got on she fly-leaped and dumped me," he said.

"For a moment I was thinking I would be watching Royal Ascot in hospital, but this time I landed on the grass."

Dettori is guaranteed his usual strong book of rides next week, headed by Daylami, Fa-Eq and Cape Cross, who hold outstanding first-day claims. Despite the Derby failure of Cape Verdi and near-misses on two of Godolphin's three seconds in the Coronation Cup, Oaks and Derby, he emphasised that the team is in good form.

"I am looking forward to some good rides. The horses are running great and I hope I enjoy more luck than I had at Epsom.

"Ascot is always a lucky track. The meeting is the highlight of the year and I have done well there in the past.

"My main priority is to keep Sheikh Mohammed happy and concentrate on business and making him successful."

Dettori confirmed he is in rude health even though two weeks ago he visited his doctor for a check-up, having come out in a mystery skin rash.

"I had a bit of itchiness but the doctor said it was nothing, just an allergy and it went away. I didn't need any antibiotics and I didn't have shingles. There's nothing wrong with me. I'm in good form."

His business manager, Peter Burrell, said: "The doctor said the rash was probably stress-related, but it has since cleared up. It was nothing to worry about.

"Remember, Frankie is now global and rode in events all over the world through the spring. Now he is only on the continent, he will be picking up the pace here."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Lees, Jon
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 1998
Words:385
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