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Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori
Occupation Jockey
Born 15 December 1970
Major racing wins
Significant horses
Golden Horn,Trêve, Grandera, Singspiel, Daylami,Swain, Balanchine, Wilko, Raven's Pass, Electrocutionist, Dubai Millennium, Joshua Tree, Cape Verdi, Kazzia, Blue Bunting, Falbrav, Island Sands, Drum Taps, Kayf Tara, Authorized, Lammtarra, Lawman, Almutawakel, Marienbard, Refuse To Bend, Halling, Sakhee, Sulamani,Lammtarra, Aljabr, Shamardal, Scorpion, Conduit, Ramonti ,Olympic Glory, Bahamian Bounty, Shalaa, Ouija Board, Lochsong, Balanchine, Fantastic Light, Intikhab, Starborough

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) is an Italian-born, British-based horse racing jockey. Dettori has been Champion Jockey on three occasions and has ridden the winners of more than 500 Group races.[1] His most celebrated achievement was riding all seven winners on British Champions' Day at Ascot in 1996.[2] He is the son of the jockey Gianfranco Dettori, who was a prolific winner in Italy. He has been described by Lester Piggott as the best jockey currently riding.[3]

Since the end of 2012, Dettori has been operating as a freelance, having split with Godolphin Racing, for whom he was stable jockey and had most of his big race victories.[4] On 5 December 2012, he was suspended from riding for six months after being found guilty of taking a prohibited substance, believed to be cocaine.[5] During this absence, he took part in the 11th series of the UK reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother finishing seventh on Day 21.


  • Career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Major wins 3
    • Year-end charts in the United States 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Born in Milan, 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.[6]

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."[7]

On 29 December 2000 he received an honorary MBE.

Dettori is the retained jockey for the Godolphin racing stables, but it was announced in September 2012, that the retainer would not be renewed in 2013. He 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 newfound 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.[8] The following day he won the Prix du Jockey Club on Lawman, notching up a derby double.[9]

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.[10]

In November 2012, he faced an inquiry following a failed drugs test while riding in France in September,[11] and on 5 December 2012, Dettori was suspended from riding for six months after being found guilty of taking a prohibited substance[12][13] believed to be cocaine.[14] In a statement, his lawyer said he "also accepts that he has let down the sport he loves and all those associated with it, as well as the wider public".[15]

In January 2013, Dettori was the fifth to be evicted on the eleventh series of the British reality show, Celebrity Big Brother.

After serving his six-month ban, Dettori made his racing comeback at Epsom on the 31 May 2013. A week later, he won his first race riding Asian Trader at Sandown.[16]

On 31 June 2013 Dettori signed a deal that makes him the retained rider for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.[17]

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."[18]

Like many other jockeys and trainers Dettori lives in Stetchworth near to Newmarket, Suffolk with his wife Catherine and their five children: Leo; Ella; Mia; Tallula; and Rocco.[19]

An ardent Anglophile, he thrives on English culture: Dettori is an avid Arsenal supporter.[20] 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,[21] and spent some weeks in Addenbrooke's Hospital.[22]

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.[23]

Major wins

Great Britain


  • The Crown Prince – (1) – Bartack (2015)



  • Emir's Trophy – (2) – Dubday (2014), Dubday (2015)
  • Thoroughbred Conditions – (1) – Momalorka (2014)
  • HH Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani Trophy – (1) – Dubday (2014)
  • Qatar Gold Trophy – (1) – Dubday (2015)
  • Thoroughbred Handicap – (1) – Arch Machness (2015)



  • Macau Derby – (1) – Royal Treasure (2002)

Hong Kong

Trinidad and Tobago

  • Caribbean Champion Stakes – (1) – Bigman in Town (2014)


  • Slovenské Derby – (1) – Muskatsturm (2002)
  • Bratislavska Mile – (1) – Tribal Instinct (2002)


  • Jebel Ali Sprint
  • Jebel Ali Mile


Abu Dhabi

  • His Highness The President Cup




  • GP Hotel Soldanella (White Turf) – (1) – Sweet Venture (2010)



United Arab Emirates


  • Anatolia Trophy – (2) – Balius (2009), Hunter's light (2012)
  • Erkek Tay Denemet

United States


  • The Air Mauritius Pailles
  • Le Grand Prix De France
  • The Long Beach Cup


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


Saudi Arabia

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

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The day Dettori's Magnificent Seven left the bookies in tears". The Independent (London). 23 September 2006. 
  3. ^ McRae, Donald (31 May 2011). "Why Frankie Dettori is more focused on the 2011 Oaks than the Derby".  
  4. ^ Cook, Chris (21 October 2012). "Frankie Dettori to split from Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin next year".  
  5. ^ Wood, Greg (5 December 2012). "Frankie Dettori gets six-month worldwide ban for positive drugs test". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Passion For Sport: Dettori". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "I used drugs, says Frankie Dettori". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dettori ends Derby jinx in style". BBC News. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Dettori notches up Derby double". BBC News. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Biography Frankie Dettori". Biography Channel. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Armytage, Marcus (13 November 2012). "Frankie Dettori faces inquiry following positive test". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  12. ^ Wood, Greg (5 December 2012). "Frankie Dettori gets six-month worldwide ban for positive drugs test". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Townend, Marcus; Walford, Charles (5 December 2012). "Racing legend Frankie Dettori banned from riding for six months after failing drugs test". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Armytage, Marcus (5 December 2012). "Frankie Dettori suspended for six months after testing positive for cocaine". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Dettori banned 6 months". 3 News NZ. 6 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Dawes, Mike (7 June 2013). "The wait is over! Dettori delight after riding first winner since lengthy drugs ban". Mail Online (London). 
  17. ^ "Dettori confirmed to ride for Sheikh Joaan". Racing Post. 1 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Dettori calls for higher weights".  
  19. ^ Daily Mail 11 May 2012: My haven: When he's not in the saddle, champion jockey, Frankie Dettori, 41, chills out in the DJ booth at his Suffolk home
  20. ^ Fowler, Dave (January 2006). "The Player Frankie Dettori". Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Jockeys hurt in fatal crash". BBC News. 1 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Dettori recovers in hospital". BBC News. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Dettori 'sickened' by trophy raid". BBC News. 26 August 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 

External links

  • Official Frankie Dettori Website
  • Jockey's Room – has biography and career win statistics
  • [4] – Video replays, official charts, and article recaps of every Breeders' Cup race.
  • Racing Post Stats
  • Frankies italian Bar and Grill – Frankie's Restaurants and Bars
  • [5] – BBC Question of Sport Website
  • Sunday Times article 19 July, 2009
  • [6] – Famous Fans: Champion jockey Frankie Dettori
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