NO Frankie Dettori next season and no-one can argue with yesterday's decision from the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club's Licensing Committee. Dettori was recently cautioned for possessing a small amount of cocaine. It may well have been an isolated incident and one never to be repeated, but that is not the point. Racing here is a multi-billion dollar business. Jockeys' licences are like gold dust. The Club cannot afford the remotest possibility of embarrassment from licensed personnel at any level, let alone from jockeys. This is why Dettori, unquestionably the world's most talented young rider, has been refused a licence. But it does not mean that he will never be allowed to ride in the territory. The 22-year-old Italian should now concentrate on rehabilitating his off-course reputation and look to coming here, older and wiser, in a couple of years. And probably with the mantle as Europe's finest jockey. This could be a blessing in disguise. NO-one could argue either with the decision to exonerate former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee in the Top News affair. His gelding tested positive to minute traces of the prohibited stimulant caffeine in a post-race blood test following his seventh of eight to Precious Delights at the Valley a month ago. But the five-year-old was not in his care during the period he is thought to have been exposed to caffeine - the source of which remains a total mystery. If a lesson is to be learned from the affair it is a public relations one. Details were only released piecemeal for two days before one brave soul let it be known that there was such a small amount of caffeine present that it could not have been a doping case. TWO-YEAR-OLDS clearly have a role to play in local racing. This season would be much the poorer without the grand two-year-old performances of Debonair, Sure Win King, Explorer, Pretty Long Legs, Allegresse and Good Choice. These are the kind of horses that leave punters on tenterhooks from one season to another as they wonder whether Debonair is going to develop into a champion. And just how good is Sure Win King? So the Jockey Club's initiative to import youngsters to the territory and race them for the first time last season is proving to be a success. But it is also in danger of being strangled at birth by the failure of race-planning to adjust to the presence of these two-year-olds. The way the system works at present they could well become equine orphans with nowhere to go once they have been classified. Currently, they are being asked to give weight to older horses - not just the three-year-olds but also the four-year-olds and up. It is the horse equivalent of boys against men. This is untenable. It is asking too much for these juveniles to lump 138 to 140 pounds against their older counterparts. It could well break their spirit. The trainers are in a difficult position as the full significance of such racing technicalities as weight-for-age is not necessarily grasped by all owners. They see their two-year-old private purchase griffin, for which they have paid very good money, whizz home against fellow griffins and understandably want to see him race again. They do not appreciate that to race and give weight to older horses could set their pride and joy back in his preparation. The development of young horses is as much to do with increasing their confidence, letting them know there is nothing to be scared of, as anything else. Inquiries have failed to uncover any other major racing jurisdiction where two-year-olds have to compete under similar conditions. So what is to be done? To be fair to race-planning, it is a very tricky issue as the pool of two-year-olds coming in is too small to have a two-year-old championship. For the benefit of the horses, there is an argument for banning them from racing in open company but this smacks of authoritarianism and does not sit comfortably with the territory's liberal bias. Perhaps all that can be done for the time being is to open up the three-year-old only races, such as the Centurion and Kukri Trophies and the Happy Valley and Sha Tin Vases to two-year-olds at weight-for-age terms. FULL marks to the betting division who have not always been the flavour of the month in this column. The betting displays at the races now show the range of place odds in which the final place dividend will fall. This is a great step forward for place punters who previously had been left to guess at the likely pay-out. For the record, the Club cannot be more specific regarding the place odds other than specifying a range as the place dividend is contingent on who finishes in the first three. All they can do is show a worst case (most favourite combination) and a best case (least favourite). This is much better than nothing at all.