Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dettori Creeps Closer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dettori Creeps Closer

Article excerpt

Frankie Dettori closed to within a single winner of Kieren Fallon in the race for the jockeys' championship yesterday.

Dettori started the day on 145 winners, with Fallon three in front, but a near 24-1 double at Redcar saw Dettori end the day just one behind the defending champion.

The Italian, who was the leading rider in 1994 and 1995, was on the mark with Paul d'Arcy's Connotation (8-1) in the opening Sharp Minds Winners Welcome Nursery and Inchpast (7-4 fav) for Mark Tompkins in the Sharp Minds Betfair: Back & Lay Handicap.

But Dettori came unstuck when 1-3 favourite Eshaadeh disappointed and finished unplaced in the Sharp Minds Phone 0870 90 80 121 Maiden Stakes.

Six-times champion Fallon was out of luck on his four rides at Bath, prompting Ladbrokes to go 5-6 the pair for the title, Dettori being cut from 11-10 with Fallon drifting from 4-6.

The firm had thought the battle all over at one point and even closed their book on the title fight in August.

Spokesman Balthazar Fabricius explained: "We closed the betting on the last weekend in August as we thought Fallon was all but weighed in. But there has been a change in the way things have been going.

"This is the first time Fallon has not been clear favourite and Dettori would be a bad loser for us.

"Dettori has been by far and away the best backed ( we have taken three times as many bets on him ( so we will be cheering Fallon on all the way now."

Newmarket trainer Vince Smith saw his perseverance rewarded in style as Sharadi made the long trip north pay off at the second time of asking at Musselburgh yesterday.

The three-year-old was making a quick reappearance in the Sharp Minds Betfair Handicap after finishing second at the course on Saturday.

But he advertised his well-being with an emphatic six-length triumph over Spring Breeze. …

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