Lanfranco Dettori was born in Milan, Italy on the 15th December 1970 and has a dazzling record in the sport of flat horse racing, winning pretty much everything there is to win. Thanks to his stellar record of wins, Dettori has become something of a TV personality and will be most remembered by the wider racing public as the jockey that managed to achieved 7 winners in the same Champions day at Ascot in 1996. The combined odds of the seven winners worked out at 25,051-1, earning one lucky punter £500,000 on the day.
Dettori has won so many major races on the flat it would take too long to list them all here, but since the age of 12, the jockey has had ‘the bug’, something he shares with his son Rocco, who himself is just 13 years of age.
He began his career in the Britain in 1985 under the stewardship of Luca Cumani, who took on the young Frankie as a stable jockey. His first senior win in Britain was in 1987 and he has since gone on to achieve more than 3,000 wins in an amazing career.
Dettori had a lucky escape in 2000 when the light aircraft he was travelling in crashed near Newmarket. A crash that the authorities admitted he was lucky to walk away from. Despite this, the wins kept coming and by 2007, the only British Classic win not in the jockey’s back pocket was the Epsom Derby. Frankie redressed the balance however, romping home later that year on Authorized to claim the prize that had eluded him for so long.
After admitting to substance abuse to keep down his weight on BBC’s Newsnight in 2010 and then failing a drugs test in 2012 after having been found to have used cocaine, there followed an acrimonious parting of the ways with the Godolphin stable. After serving a 6 month ban and a brief period as a freelancer, he joined the Stable of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani for whom he continues to regularly ride winners.
When Frankie Dettori does eventually hang up his whip and jockey’s uniform, the sport will be poorer for it and his trademark jumping dismount will be sadly missed.