Nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone has to endure highs and lows — even people like Frankie Dettori.
Who could have possibly imagined a few years ago that he would part ways with Godolphin to become a freelance rider. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see him riding against Godolphin, a stable that he must have so many wonderful memories of time spent with people like Saeed Bin Surour and Mahmoud Al Zarouni.
The reality is that it has happened.
But barely had we got the chance to digest the news when another bombshell comes — Dettori has failed a drug test for a banned substance in France. And as a result he will be the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Committee of France Galop, the sport’s governing body in the country, next week.
My mind races. What if it’s true and he does get a ban? In general French authorities have been known to take a very serious view of drug offenders and hand them lengthy sentences.
So will it be six months, which will mean he misses the Dubai Racing Carnival and the Dubai World Cup?
Take the case of Kieren Fallon for example. Fallon was banned for six months after testing positive for a metabolite, an intermediate of a banned substance, at Chantilly in 1999. Deauville was the scene for his second incident in 2007, but this time France Galop handed him an 18-month ban as a repeat offender.
I guess at this point of time we can only speculate and hope that there has been some sort of misunderstanding and that Dettori will be exonerated and can walk away scot-free and ride in Dubai.
I can’t imagine a Carnival without Dettori performing his flying dismount, or hearing his infectious laugh as he prances out of the jockey’s room and into the parade ring.
But what has happened to Dettori is a sharp reminder that we should never take anything for granted.
Isn’t there truth in the old saying “to err is human”? You would be downright foolish to believe that you will never make a mistake, even if you are careful, clever and disciplined. We are all fallible. Mistakes are not born out of stupidity, they happen.
Haven’t we all heard of Murphy’s Law, which states “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”?
The trick is to learn from one’s mistakes and, like Dettori, we can all take heart from these quotes.
“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery” – James Joyce.
“All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.” – Winston Churchill.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein.
To sum up, we should never be afraid of our mistakes, but deal with them intelligently. I’m sure Dettori will.