Dettori eyeing Smith’s tally

Frankie Dettori has set his sights on topping Doug Smith's tally of winners after securing his 3,000th British win on Friday evening, but admits Willie Carson's career total will likely prove beyond him.

Frankie Dettori celebrates his 3000th British winner

Smith partnered 3,111 winners during his career and while Dettori feels he can better that number, he believes Carson's 3,828 victories is not a realistic aim.

He said: "I would love to get in front of Doug Smith, he has just over 3,100 so that's my next target. If keep healthy, I should reach that. Willie is on more than 3,800 and I think he is beyond my reach.

"I will carry on as long as I can and I am healthy. I have the support of a stable and I'm really enjoying it.

"Success breeds success, it's going well."

Dettori secured his landmark success aboard the John Gosden-trained Predilection at Newmarket and the rider was delighted to have completed the feat on a runner from a yard with which he has a rich history.

"My first two championships were with John. I had a tremendous 18 years with Godolphin for many years and now I'm with Sheikh Joann (Al Thani) and John Gosden, I have found a great second half of my career," he told At The Races.

"It was a special moment to have John there next to me yesterday. I landed here 30 years ago in Newmarket and I feel like I'm part of the furniture. It was a special moment last night."

Dettori has endured a number of ups and downs over the years, splitting with long-standing retained owner Godolphin in 2012, shortly before the announcement of a six-month ban for testing positive for cocaine in September of that year.

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However, he has undergone a renaissance since his return, linking up with Al Thani's Al Shaqab operation and Dettori feels he is now better placed to enjoy the experience.

He said: "I'm at the first stage of my career where I don't have to chase titles, I'm financially OK and I am able to sit back and really enjoy what I'm doing.

"When you're younger you always try to prove yourself, but I'm at the stage where I've achieved everything that has to be achieved so now I'm able to go out there and really take it all in and enjoy it. I think that is coming across.

"I think (pressure) is part and parcel of what we do. We are in an entertaining sport.

"As soon as I step out of the house, you have to meet and greet people, go out there and perform at your best. You can hate it or you can embrace it – I'm lucky enough to have embraced it, but that's what we're there for.

"We're there to entertain people and we can't get away from that fact."

While his 3,000th winner ran in the colours of Khalid Abdullah, Dettori moved to within one of that mark aboard the Al Shaqab-owned Ghayyar earlier on the card.

Al Shaqab's racing advisor Harry Herbert was thrilled to see Dettori finally hit his target and paid tribute to the rider.

He said: "We are all over the moon for him. We were delighted to give him his 2,999th winner and we couldn't be more pleased for him.

"He is a fantastic man to work with and for everything he brings to British racing, I don't think there is enough praise.

"He works hard, he is 45 but he's fantastically fit. He's such a great judge of pace and I think the one thing the guys at that level really have is instinct, and his is excellent.

"John (Gosden) has always said he's a great judge of work at home and on the racecourse and he's as good as ever.

"Obviously for us, Galileo Gold would be top of the tree. His 2000 Guineas success was fantastic, but Frankie has always performed well at the meetings that really matter to Sheikh Joaan.

"Riding from the front or behind, his judgement and instinct is fantastic."

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