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Saturday, 3 June, 2000, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Dettori recovers in hospital

Dettori's wife Catherine and baby Leo visit the hospital
While Frankie Dettori recovers in hospital, his fellow jockey Ray Cochrane has been discharged after treatment for injuries suffered in their air crash.

Dettori is likely to remain at Addenbroke's Hospital in Cambridge until early next week after breaking his ankle and thumb in the accident.

Racegoers at Newmarket on Saturday held a minute's silence in memory of Patrick Mackey, the 52-year-old pilot who died in the crash near the racecourse on Thursday.


I feel like I'm under some sort of cloud

Frankie Dettori

Dettori's agent Peter Burrell said the jockey was feeling down and was unlikely to leave Addenbrooke's until Monday at the earliest.

He had surgery on his ankle on Friday night and his condition was described as satisfactory.

Dettori's sister Sandra flew from Italy to visit him in hospital, alongside his wife Catherine and eight-month-old son Leo.

Cochrane, 42, left hospital with his wife Anne without speaking to waiting reporters.

The two men have also paid tribute to the pilot.

Ray Cochrane suffered burns and bruises
Ray Cochrane helped Dettori from the plane

Italian-born Dettori, who also suffered severe facial cuts in the crash, told The Sun newspaper he was convinced he would be killed.

He said: "I feel like I'm under some sort of cloud and I don't really understand what I'm still doing here.

"If it hadn't been for Patrick's skill in trying to control the plane, Ray and I wouldn't be here today.

"I'm happy because I'm alive, but sad because Patrick died."

Surgeons inserted two screws in the 29-year-old rider's leg according to Mr Burrell.

"He's definitely out of the Derby. I shouldn't think he will be back racing until mid-August. A broken ankle will take time to heal," said Mr Burrell.

"The Derby will have to wait until next year. I imagine that once he has got out of here and settled down, he will go on holiday."

Both men are expected to remain in hospital over the weekend.

Tribute to pilot

Dettori's wife Catherine, 26, also spoke of her sympathy for the dead pilot's family.

Wreckage of the plane
The plane crashed at about 1230 BST on Thursday
"I can just go home, I have still got a husband. The pilot was a lovely guy," she said.

Mrs Dettori said he had made a brave effort to save the plane.

"From what I can gather the plane was bouncing on the ground after they took off.

"I think Frankie thinks one of the propellers was caught on the edge as it was bouncing. The pilot was amazing. He got them over a bank," she said.

Eyewitnesses said that Cochrane had helped Dettori from the plane before going back to the blazing wreckage to try to rescue the pilot.

'Lucky to be alive'

Experts from the Department of Transport Air Accident Investigation Branch have gathered the remains of the plane as part of their investigation into the crash.

A spokesman said it was too early to give any indication of the cause of the accident.

In a joint statement, Dettori and Cochrane said: "We just feel so lucky to be alive and would like to thank everybody for their concern and good wishes.

"Patrick, the pilot, did a fantastic job. We would like to express our sympathy to his family and say that we owe our lives to his skill and courage."

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See also:

01 Jun 00 | Sport
The colourful Frankie Dettori
03 May 00 | Scotland
Coulthard survives plane crash
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