Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori in the parade ring at 'Glorious Goodwood' in August 2004
Frankie Dettori in the parade ring at Newmarket after riding in the 2000 Guineas 2005

Lanfranco "Frankie" Dettori, MBE (born 15 December 1970 in Milan) is an Italian horse racing jockey and celebrity. Dettori has been Champion Jockey on three occasions and has ridden the winners of more than 500 Group races.[1]. He has had many successes in his role of stable jockey to Godolphin Racing. Dettori's most celebrated achievement was his riding of all seven winners on Champion's Day at Ascot in 1996.[2] He is the son of Sardinian jockey Gianfranco Dettori, who was a prolific winner in Italy. He has been described by Lester Piggott as the best jockey currently riding.[3]



Dettori's first experience with horses was at the age of twelve and his father bought him a Palomino pony. This had some impact on him, as he rode the horse often. When he was 13 Dettori left school to become a stable boy and apprentice jockey. The following year he went to Great Britain where he apprenticed with trainer Luca Cumani at Newmarket in 1985 and became a stable jockey soon after.[4]

In 1990 Dettori became the first teenager since Lester Piggott to ride 100 winners in one season. His first win came at the age of 16 in Turin in November 1986, while his first victory in Britain was the following June. Further success followed, with numerous winners in Group 1 races. On 28 September 1996 he achieved the feat of winning all seven races on a single day at Ascot Racecourse.

In an interview with the BBC's Newsnight, he admitted that he used to take diuretic drugs to keep his weight down. Dettori said he had used a wide range of substances before the Jockey Club banned them in June 1998 after a spate of positive drug tests revealed how prevalent their use was becoming: "I took Lasix, pee pills, diuretics, laxatives; all sorts."[5]

On 29 December 2000 he received an honorary MBE.

Dettori is the retained jockey for the Godolphin racing stables, and is well-known for his distinctive "flying dismounts".

He quit his position as a team captain on the BBC quiz A Question Of Sport in 2003, when he was apparently stung by a question from a participant as to when he retired from riding. Since that time he has completely rededicated himself to riding. He was rewarded for his new found dedication by becoming the British Champion Jockey in 2004.

The Epsom Derby was the only British Classic Race Dettori had not won in his career, until his fifteenth attempt on 2 June 2007 on the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Authorized.[6] The following day he won the Prix du Jockey Club on Lawman, notching up a derby double.[7]

In 2007 Dettori became the face of "Jockey" yoghurt, sold across Europe, but especially popular in France. Controversial at first for its sweet flavour, Dettori's advertising campaign: "Frankie know whatta you alike!" – has seen sales rise slightly.

Personal life

Dettori has stated "I am 5 ft 4 inches and weigh 9 st 9 lb but I have to sometimes go down to 8 st 6 lb." [8]

Like many other jockeys and trainers Dettori lives near the Home of Racing in Stetchworth near to Newmarket, Suffolk with his wife Catherine and their five children Leo, Ella, Mia, Tallulah and Rocco.

An ardent Anglophile, he thrives on English culture: Dettori is an avid Arsenal supporter.[9] He has a line of frozen Italian food. In 2004, he opened a restaurant Frankie's Bar and Grill in Putney, London with renowned chef Marco Pierre White.

In 2000, Dettori and Ray Cochrane were aboard a Piper Seneca plane which crashed on take off at Newmarket on its way to Goodwood in Sussex, killing the pilot. Dettori escaped with a fractured right ankle and an injured thumb,[10] and spent some weeks in Addenbrooke's Hospital.[11]

Thieves stole many of his medals from his home on the evening of 25 August 2006. Items missing include three Gold Cups awarded in Japan, and his MBE.[12]

Major wins

United Kingdom Great Britain

Canada Canada

France France

Germany Germany

Hong Kong Hong Kong

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Italy Italy

Japan Japan

  • Japan Cup – (3) – Singspiel (1996), Falbrav (2002), Alkaased (2005)
  • Japan Cup Dirt – (1) – Eagle Cafe (2002)

Singapore Singapore

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

United States United States

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "I used drugs, says Frankie Dettori". The Guardian (London).,2763,201033,00.html. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Dettori ends Derby jinx in style". BBC News. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Dettori notches up Derby double". BBC News. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dettori calls for higher weights". BBC News. 13 April 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Fowler, Dave (Jan 2006). "The Player Frankie Dettori". Retrieved 13 Mar 2010. 
  10. ^ "Jockeys hurt in fatal crash". BBC News. 1 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Dettori recovers in hospital". BBC News. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dettori 'sickened' by trophy raid". BBC News. 26 August 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 

External links

Year-end charts in the United States

Chart (2000–present) Peak
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2000 20
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2001 41
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2002 32
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2003 33
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2004 69
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2006 19
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2008 64

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