Frankie Dettori

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Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori.jpg
Frankie Dettori in 2005
Occupation Jockey
Born (1970-12-15) 15 December 1970 (age 46)
Milan, Italy
Major racing wins
Significant horses
Golden Horn, 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, Lady Aurelia Galileo Gold
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 horse racing jockey in the United Kingdom. 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 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]

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][5] 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.[6] During this absence, he took part in the 11th series of the UK reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother finishing seventh on Day 21.

On 11 December 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Frankie Dettori was named 'World's Best Jockey 2015'. He topped the ranking with 100 points after five wins, four second-placings and four thirds.[7]


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.[8]

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 2010 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".[9]

On 1 June 2000 Dettori was injured when the Piper Seneca on which he was traveling crashed near Newmarket. A police spokesman commented "It would certainly seem to be a miracle that anyone got out of the crash alive".[10] On 29 December of the same year he received an honorary MBE.

Dettori was 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.[11] The following day he won the Prix du Jockey Club on Lawman, notching up a derby double.[12]

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.[13]

In November 2012, he faced an inquiry following a failed drugs test while riding in France in September,[14] and on 5 December 2012, Dettori was suspended from riding for six months after being found guilty of taking a prohibited substance[6][15] believed to be cocaine.[16] 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".[17]

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.[18]

On 31 June 2013 Dettori signed a deal that makes him the retained rider for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Dettori has stated "I am 5 ft 4 inches (1,63 m) and weigh 9 st 9 lb (61 kg) but I have to sometimes go down to 8 st 6 lb (54 kg)."[20]

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.[21]

An ardent Anglophile, he thrives on English culture: Dettori is an avid Arsenal supporter.[22] He has a line of frozen Italian food. In 2004, he opened a restaurant, Frankie's Italian Bar and Grill in Putney, London with renowned chef Marco Pierre White. Also their partnership has another three restaurants in London (in Knightsbridge, Chiswick and Selfridges) and one in Dubai (opened in 2007).[23]

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,[24] and spent some weeks in Addenbrooke's Hospital.[25]

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.[26]

Major wins[edit]

United Kingdom Great Britain

Bahrain Bahrain

  • The Crown Prince Cup – (2) – Bartack (2015), (2016)
  • Crown Prince Cup for locally bred horses - (1) - Knight and Day (2016)
  • King's Cup - (1) - Field Of Fame(2016)

France France

Qatar Qatar

  • 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)

Germany Germany

Macau Macau

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

Hong Kong Hong Kong

Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago

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

Slovakia Slovakia

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

South Africa South Africa

  • Cape Derby - (1) - Edict of Nantes (2017)
  • The Citizen Handicap - (1) - Turn Back Time (2016)

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Abu Dhabi (emirate) Abu Dhabi

  • His Highness The President Cup

Italy Italy

Switzerland Switzerland

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

Canada Canada

Australia Australia

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

Turkey Turkey

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

United States United States

Mauritius Mauritius

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

Japan Japan

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

Singapore Singapore

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

Year-end charts in the United States[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ "Frankie Dettori hits his magic 500". February 3, 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  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". The Guardian. London. 
  4. ^ Cook, Chris (21 October 2012). "Frankie Dettori to split from Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin next year". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Frankie Dettori". 
  6. ^ a b Wood, Greg (5 December 2012). "Frankie Dettori gets six-month worldwide ban for positive drugs test". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Knight, Matthew (December 11, 2015). "Frankie Dettori crowned 2015 'World's Best Jockey'". CNN. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Passion For Sport: Dettori". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "I used drugs, says Frankie Dettori". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Vivek Chaudhary (1 June 2000). "Star jockeys survive plane crash inferno". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ "Dettori ends Derby jinx in style". BBC News. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dettori notches up Derby double". BBC News. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "Biography Frankie Dettori". Biography Channel. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Armytage, Marcus (13 November 2012). "Frankie Dettori faces inquiry following positive test". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Armytage, Marcus (5 December 2012). "Frankie Dettori suspended for six months after testing positive for cocaine". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Dettori banned 6 months". 3 News NZ. 6 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Dawes, Mike (7 June 2013). "The wait is over! Dettori delight after riding first winner since lengthy drugs ban". Mail Online. London. 
  19. ^ "Dettori confirmed to ride for Sheikh Joaan". Racing Post. 1 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Dettori calls for higher weights". BBC News. 13 April 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "My haven: When he's not in the saddle, champion jockey, Frankie Dettori, 41, chills out in the DJ booth at his Suffolk home". 
  22. ^ Fowler, Dave (January 2006). "The Player Frankie Dettori". Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Frankie's Italian Bar and Grill - About Us". Frankie’s. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Jockeys hurt in fatal crash". BBC News. 1 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  25. ^ "Dettori recovers in hospital". BBC News. 3 June 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  26. ^ "Dettori 'sickened' by trophy raid". BBC News. 26 August 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 

External links[edit]