By Simon Jackson at Lingfield
Frankie Dettori admitted that he was surprised by the speed of his recovery from injury after landing a double on his first day back in the saddle at Lingfield on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old had initially been told that he would be out of the saddle for up to nine months after breaking his ankle in a pre-race accident in October but returned to race riding in less than half of that time on a day the jockey described as “a fairytale.”
“I’m really pleased. It has been a fairytale comeback and it is great to be back,” said Dettori, a three time champion jockey whose career highlights include winning all seven races at a single meeting at Ascot in 1996 and landing the Epsom Derby on Authorized in 2007.
“I would like to say thank-you to my surgeon, Mr Robertson, who screwed me back together and everyone who has looked after me in the last three months. It is nice to be out of the house and it is nice to do what I love – racing.
“Originally I was told [I would be out for] between six and nine months. It has been three and a half months and I have got no pain but now just have to try and gather the strength back and there is nothing like race riding,” continued Dettori, who scored on Eco Warrior and Gone With The Wind and is scheduled to ride in Dubai tomorrow.
“That was a big eye opener [today] and I will keep myself busy. It is your mental awareness of racing that’s where you have to sharpen up. The body is quite easy to sharpen up.”