• Horse racing

Dettori reveals 'heartbreak' over Arc winner

ESPN staff
October 10, 2013
Frankie Dettori was examined at Nottingham racecourse before going to hospital after injuring his ankle in a fall © PA Photos

Frankie Dettori has admitted he took painkillers for a "broken heart" rather than a broken ankle after missing out on what would have been his 200th Group One winner at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Dettori was originally booked to ride eventual Arc winner Treve at Longchamp, but had to give up his place in the saddle after suffering a broken ankle in a fall prior to a race at Nottingham just days before Europe's most prestigious race.

Had Dettori not injured himself in the build-up and took up his place on Treve, it would have marked a milestone fourth Arc victory for the Italian. However, Dettori was left gutted after his fall and revealed it was "very harsh" watching Treve demolish her rivals on the home straight.

"She's [Treve] been a superstar from the first minute that I rode her and I was just waiting for the big day to come," Dettori told At The Races. "You never know what is around the corner and, when I was lying on the floor in pain [after his fall at Nottingham], I was just praying to God it was just going to be a twist or a sprain, but I wasn't that fortunate.

"I went to hospital, got it x-rayed, got it operated on, had it pinned, then on Sunday morning I just sat in front of the TV. When 3.15pm came and it was the Arc, one side of me was delighted that she won, as I'll be riding her in future.

"But it would have been my 200th Group One winner, my fourth Arc and back on the big stage again, as I hadn't had many chances this year.

"I was taking painkillers, not because of my leg but because I had a broken heart. It was a very harsh Sunday for me but you've got to put everything into perspective. I'm not dead, I'm still going to come back and the filly is still going to be there for me. It's just bad luck."

Dettori secured his first Group One winner in September - also on Treve in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp - since returning from his ban. His season is now set to be over with the British flat racing calendar fast approaching its close.

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