Dettori 'like a kid on Christmas morning' ahead of racing return

AFP
Italian jockey Frankie Dettori (AFP Photo/ADRIAN DENNIS)
Italian jockey Frankie Dettori (AFP Photo/ADRIAN DENNIS)

London (AFP) - Jockey Frankie Dettori said he felt "like a kid on Christmas morning" ahead of his return to racing on Tuesday following the coronavirus shutdown.

The sport returned behind closed doors at Newcastle in northeast England on Monday after being suspended in March.

There were no spectators to watch the 10 flat races while trainers, jockeys and grooms wore masks.

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Dettori, 49, is set to ride the John Gosden-trained Galsworthy at Kempton Park, in the London suburbs, on Tuesday.

"I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning," the Italian jockey told BBC Radio. "I managed to put a shirt on for the first time, got out of my tracksuit so that's a bit of a novelty and amazing.

"The government said 1st June kick-off of the sport behind closed doors and we were ready, I think yesterday was a success, everything went smooth and it's nice to see some live sport on TV for once, it was great."

Dettori could be back performing his celebrated victory dismount in top races as soon as Friday as he rides the great stayer Stradivarius in the Group One Coronation Cup at Newmarket.

"My sport is not a contact sport so it's quite easy to be able to (social distance) with a one-way system in the jockeys' room so it was a good start but everything is going to come quick and fast," he said.

"We've got amazing races this weekend and two weeks today it's Royal Ascot so we haven't got much time to sit on our backside, we have to kick on with it and all the feedback from everyone was good."

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