Melbourne Cup 2023: Frankie Dettori denied Spring Racing Carnival dream after whip ban


Dettori said in August it would be his last Melbourne Cup, describing it as “one of the best races in the world” and finally winning it would make him “the happiest man in the world”.

He finished second aboard 50-1 shot Central Park when beaten just a head by Rogan Josh in 1999 and filled the same spot aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite, who finished half a length behind Prince Of Penzance in 2015.

Frankie Dettori performs his trademark star jump dismount after winning on Spinning Hill at Moonee Valley two decades ago.Credit: Ray Kennedy

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Master Of Reality passed the post a head second behind Vow And Declare under Dettori in the 2019 running – the last time he rode in the race – but was demoted to fourth after a protest.

Dettori won the Ebor on Absurde for Mullins at York in August, had been mooted as his possible Melbourne Cup ride but Zac Purton was recently booked after he was allotted a low weight of 53 kg.

A British Horseracing Authority spokesman said the new penalties which were in place in the most prestigious and valuable races were intended to act as a deterrent against overuse of the whip.

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“The overall objectives of the rules governing the whip, which came about following a lengthy consultation process and have been refined through regular dialogue with jockeys, are to ensure its more judicious use for encouragement, improving the perception of its use and ensuring that outcomes of races are fair,” he said.

“Over the course of the year, we have seen jockeys adapt superbly to the new rules and the overall offence rate has markedly decreased.”

Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra was slapped with a $50,000 fine and a seven-meeting suspension for breaking whip rules on Without A Fight.

He used the whip on nine occasions prior to the 100-metre mark, four more times than permitted, and 13 hits in totality.

He has deferred his suspension to start at midnight after the Cox Plate, in which he is set to partner Gold Trip.

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