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Frankie Dettori faces quarantine after France trip, returning to UK after taking Deauville victory

Frankie Dettori’s decision to cop a spell in quarantine for riding in France over the weekend was easily justified when he decisively landed the Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on John Gosden-trained Palace Pier. 

The 49-year-old must sit out this week’s prestigious Ebor meeting at York in line with COVID-19 protocols imposed on travellers arriving from France by the Government on Saturday morning. 

Dettori, who also won Saturday’s Group Two Prix Guillaume D’Ornano on Gosden’s French Derby winner Mishriff, described Palace Pier as ‘special’ as the colt beat Royal Ascot winner Alpine Star three-quarters of a length with a five-length gap back to third-placed Circus Maximus.

The jockey said: ‘I made the right choice to come. I knew I had two super horses to ride. I was very taken with Palace Pier. The ground was testing and that is the best opposition he has faced. He put it to bed in great style.

‘He is half asleep in the mornings at home most of the time but, wow, when he comes to the races he is a proper horse.’ 

Palace Pier, unbeaten in five races, missed the 2,000 Guineas but beat Pinatubo when landing the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and he now looks the best three-year-old miler in Europe.

A shot at Sussex Stakes winner Mohaather in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 17 could be next up for Palace Pier.

Dettori is looking even further ahead. He added: ‘He has only run five times. I hope he stays in training. He has a lot more to offer next year.’

With elite athlete rules reducing quarantine to eight days, Dettori now intends to stay in Normandy this week and ride Wesley Ward-trained Royal Ascot winner Campanelle in Sunday’s Group One Prix Morny before sitting out a quiet week of racing in Britain. 

Meanwhile, Paul Hanagan returns to action with two rides at Beverley on Tuesday. The two-time champion has been sidelined since suffering career-threatening back injuries in a fall at Newcastle in February.

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