Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will absolutely know who Frankie Dettori is. He is easily recognised as the world’s most famous jockey who has achieved unparalleled success in Flat Racing.
Born on December 15, 1970, in Milan, Italy, his father, Gianfranco Dettori, was a successful jockey, influencing Frankie’s early interest in the sport.
But it wasn’t until he moved to the UK in 1989 that he became an international superstar.
So, before we look back at his extraordinary career, let’s take a little glimpse into his near future.
Because the news out this week is that Mr Frankie Dettori, jockey extraordinaire, will be heading into the jungle to compete in the hit TV show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!
Alongside 11 other celebs, Dettori will need to have his wits about him if he wants to survive the harsh conditions of camp life down under.
It’ll be a far cry from the luxury he is used to, but he can always console himself by popping online and checking out bizzo casino Australia before he has to survive on rice and beans for the next three weeks!
Will Australia be as good to Dettori as racing has been? He’s a popular guy with many fans and could go the distance – something he’s already well used to!
You can check him out every night from November 19th until December 10th, 2023 on iTV.
When Did Dettori Get Famous?
Upon arriving in the UK in 1989, Dettori quickly caught the attention of trainers, and one of the first prominent trainers he rode for was Luca Cumani.
Cumani is a highly regarded trainer known for his success in flat racing, and this helped Frankie gain valuable experience and exposure in the British racing circuit.
During this period, he also rode for Sir Henry Cecil, one of British horse racing history’s most successful and respected trainers.
He soon began winning races and earning a reputation as an up-and-coming jockey.
His style, charisma, and ability to form strong partnerships with trainers and owners contributed to his rapid ascent in the sport.
But one fateful day in 1996 propelled Frankie Dettori into the history books.
The Magnificent Seven
It was his historic achievement of the “Magnificent Seven” at Ascot on September 28th, 1996 that catapulted him to global fame and made him a household name in horse racing.
On that historic day, Frankie Dettori accomplished the unprecedented feat of winning all seven races on the card, an extremely rare accomplishment in horse racing.
The seven races that Dettori won on that unforgettable day were a mixture of flat races, including sprints and longer distances.
- Hands and Heels Apprentice Handicap
- Gordon Carter Handicap
- Bovis Handicap
- Rosebery Handicap
- Waterford Candelabra Stakes
- Newburgh Handicap
- Blue Seal Stakes
Winning all seven races on a single race card is so rare that it had never been done before in Britain’s modern racing history. Few, if any, jockeys have come close to replicating since.
The incredible achievement solidified Dettori’s status as one of the greatest jockeys of his generation and cemented his place in the horse racing history.
Ascot Racecourse has since commemorated the “Magnificent Seven” with a statue of Frankie Dettori and the horses he rode to victory on that day.
Dettori and Godolphin
Frankie Dettori had a long and successful association with the Godolphin racing stable, one of the world’s most prominent and influential horse racing operations.
They joined forces in the mid-1990s when the racing stable was still in its early years after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, founded it.
The partnership was highly successful as Dettori became the principal jockey for Godolphin, playing a crucial role in their rise to prominence in the racing world.
During his time with Godolphin, Dettori rode many of their top-class horses to victory in major races worldwide. The famous blue silks were first past the post in the Epsom Derby, the Dubai World Cup, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
In 2012, after nearly two decades of riding for Godolphin, Frankie Dettori and the racing stable decided to part ways amicably.
This marked the end of an era in their partnership, but Dettori continued to ride for other top trainers and owners in the following years.
The Day Dettori Retired – Sort Of!
During an ITV Racing interview on December 17th, 2022, Frankie Dettori disclosed his plan to retire after the upcoming season.
He anticipated that his final rides would likely take place at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November 2023 at Santa Anita Park in California.
At the time of his announcement, he had notched an impressive record of 282 Group/Grade 1 winners worldwide, including 21 British Classic victories.
He kicked off his farewell tour in 2023 with a ten-week stint in the United States. He achieved a treble there, including a win in the San Antonio Stakes riding Country Grammer for trainer Bob Baffert.
In the summer of 2023, Dettori further bolstered his impressive record by winning the 2000 Guineas on May 6th, riding Chaldean for trainer Andrew Balding.
At Epsom, the following month, he won the Coronation Cup with Emily Upjohn and the Oaks with Soul Sister, both trained by John and Thady Gosden.
Then, he changed his retirement plans. Instead of riding off into the sunset, he revealed that he would relocate to California and continue competing on the international racing circuit.
On what was supposed to be his final day of racing in Britain, he won the Long Distance Cup and the Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 21st, 2023.
Is He The Only Famous Italian Jockey?
If asked to name other famous Italian jockeys, few of us could conjure up one more successful than Dettori.
Names like Roberto Baggio, Giuseppe Bergomi, Alessandro Del Piero, and Valentino Rossi would probably be further up the list of famous sportspeople, but that doesn’t mean Dettori is alone.
Italy has a rich tradition of horse racing, and several other Italian jockeys have also made significant contributions to the sport.
While they may not have reached the same global fame as Dettori, they have enjoyed successful careers and have been well-known in European racing.
Umberto Rispoli has won numerous prestigious races and has established himself as a respected rider in the industry.
Mirco Demuro is an Italian jockey known for his success in Japan. He has won several Japan Racing Association (JRA) titles and has been a prominent figure in Japanese racing for many years.
Cristian Demuro is the son of Mirco Demuro and has followed in his father’s footsteps to become a talented jockey.
Dario Vargiu won multiple French Group 1 races during his career and gained recognition for his riding skills.
So there you have a brief history of Frankie Dettori’s life and career. From humble beginnings to the Magnificent Seven to a stint in the jungle, is there nothing the man can’t do?
While we may not see him grace the winning enclosures of Britain’s most prestigious racecourses in the near future, we’re sure that he will continue his winning ways around the globe.
Either way, he will always be recognised as one of the most gifted and successful flat jockeys of all time.