Frankie Dettori: 10 of the best

As the ever-popular Italian registered his 3,000th domestic success in the saddle, and we list 10 things you need to know about him and 10 of his best rides.

Frankie Dettori is an ardent Anglophile and a huge Arsenal fan

Frankie Dettori has been a world-class jockey throughout his long and illustrious career and on Friday night he rode his 3,000th British winner.

Here we bring you 10 interesting facts about the Italian and select 10 of his best rides.

Frankie Dettori: 10 top facts

1. Despite his relatively youthful looks, Frankie is one of the elder statesmen of the weighing room these days and will turn 46 in December.

2. He moved to England at the age of 14 to join fellow Italian Luca Cumani. The pair had a tempestuous relationship but Dettori still points to Cumani as one of the biggest influences on his career. He had his first winner in Britain in June 1987 on Lizzy Hare.

3. In 1990 he became the first teenager to rider 100 winners in a season since Lester Piggott having replaced Ray Cochrane as Cumani's stable jockey a year earlier.

4. Dettori achieved worldwide fame one afternoon in September 1996 when he rode all seven winners on the card at Ascot, the result of which saw some bookmakers declare bankruptcy such was his popularity already.

5. In 2000 Dettori and Cochrane were involved in a plane crash which saw the pilot, Patrick Mackey, to whom Dettori credited with saving his own life, die. Cochrane pulled Dettori out of the burning wreckage but he would never ride again. Dettori subsequently hired him as his agent.

6. He was awarded an MBE in 2000 and was also briefly a captain on BBC quiz show A Question Of Sport. He reportedly quit the role when a fellow contestant asked him how long he had been retired.

7. In December 2012 Dettori was banned for six months for testing positive for cocaine during a meeting in France the previous September, at a time just after he had lost his job as Godolphin's retained rider. Ahead of his return he said: "Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I've only got myself to blame."

8. During his ban the Italian appeared on the Channel 5 show Celebrity Big Brother with such other luminaries as the X-Factor's Rylan Clark, former football Neil 'Razor' Ruddock and actress Tricia Penrose. Dettori was the fifth celebrity to be evicted from the house.

9. Along with chef Marco Pierre White, Dettori opened a restaurant in Knightsbridge with ones following in Chiswick, Putney and Selfridges before even expanding to Dubai.

10. Dettori is an ardent Anglophile and is a huge Arsenal fan, getting to the Emirates Stadium whenever time allows. However, he still supports Italy passionately and cuts a lonely figure watching their matches in the weighing room during major championships.

Frankie Dettori: 10 of the Best

Follow Us on Twitter

MARKOFDISTINCTION (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot, September 1990)

After giving Dettori his first winner at Royal Ascot, Markofdistinction also gave him his number one at the highest level and was aptly trained by his mentor, Luca Cumani. Dettori produced his mount to challenge in the straight and see off Distant Relative by a length after a ding-dong tussle.

LOCHSONG (Prix de l'Abbaye, Longchamp, October 1994)

Always headstrong, Lochsong knew no other way of running than blasting out of the stalls and trying to make all. With something to prove after finishing last in the Nunthorpe at York, Dettori let his mount rocket to the front and he never sighted another horse as she strolled home by five lengths.

BARATHEA (Breeders' Cup Mile, Churchill Downs, November 1994)

Hardly the most obvious of challengers after a largely indifferent season, Dettori started from stall one aboard the Cumani-trained colt. However, he made the direct route pay as tracked the leaders hard against the rail before switching to the outside and galvanising Sheikh Mohammed's Barathea to a clear-cut victory over Johann Quartz.

LAMMTARRA (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Longchamp, October 1995)

Dettori's first win in the Paris feature completed a fairytale ending for the Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt. Dettori missed the three-year-old's Derby win as he opted to ride the runner-up, but King George success was supplemented with a straightforward victory at Longchamp. In the front rank throughout, Dettori kicked for home two furlongs out and his strength assured Lammtarra repelled the late challenge of Freedom Cry to retire unbeaten.

FUJIYAMA CREST (Gorden Carter Handicap, Ascot, September 1996)

All eyes were this horse, who was the final leg of Dettori's 'Magnificent Seven'. Dettori not only kept his cool despite the pressure on him, but kept it simple by bouncing the stayer out of the stalls, grabbing the far rail and making all the running to make history. The bookmakers still wince at the pain to this day.

DUBAI MILLENNIUM (Dubai World Cup, Nad Al Sheba, March 2000)

Dettori was in his element on a horse of such quality and he let him do the talking with a powerhouse performance. Leading after a furlong, it was Dubai Millennium first, the rest nowhere as he took the world's richest race by six lengths.

FANTASTIC LIGHT (Irish Champion Stakes, Leopardstown, September 2001)

A rematch of Fantastic Light's King George battle with Galileo ended in a thrilling finish up the straight. The pair raced stride for stride throughout before they knuckled down to slug it out in the final furlong with Galileo looking certain to edge it, only for Fantastic Light to respond to the Dettori drive and claim the prize.

AUTHORIZED (Investec Derby, Epsom, June 2007)

Dettori looked destined to never win the blue riband event of British Flat racing after 14 unsuccessful attempts, but Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt was his best chance yet. Slowly away and further back than ideal, Dettori exercised patience and let his mount work his way into contention before joining the issue two furlongs out and powering away by five lengths.

GOLDEN HORN (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, October 2015)

Providing Dettori with his second Derby triumph and his fourth Arc, this colt helped the rider rebuild his career thanks to an old ally in trainer John Gosden after a traumatic couple of years. The old confidence had returned and was seen to no better effect than in the Arc when he made plenty of use of his mount to land an emphatic success.

LADY AURELIA (Queen Mary Stakes, Royal Ascot, June 2016)

Following on from his win on Undrafted for American trainer Weley Ward in 2015, Dettori gave a masterclass on Lady Aurelia. Knowing full well he was on a real speed merchant, Dettori kept a lid on her in front until pressing the button over a furlong out and pulling seven lengths clear.

Read More at Sporting Life

Leave us a comment!

Share this story:


Subscribe to our Newsletter today to receive Free Horse Racing Tips.

Simply fill out the form below and wait for the Free Tips to land in your inbox.

You May Also Like