Frankie Dettori has hinted that 2023 could be his last season in racing, raising the prospect of an emotional farewell in Ireland at race meetings such as the Irish Derby and the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
While the 51-year-old jockey assured racing fans he will compete next year, he added that next season could be his last in the saddle. There has been persistent speculation that Dettori could decide to retire from racing, but the news that the popular jockey could quit will still come as a shock to fans.
Dettori has been more selective of his rides of late. In the 2022 Flat Jockeys Championship, he had 163 rides, winning 29 races. In comparison, William Buick, the British Champion Flat Jockey, had 593 rides, winning 157 races. However, wins in prestigious races such as the Group One Coronation Stakes at Ascot, meant that Dettori achieved £2,364,494 in prize money from winning mounts, putting him in third place in terms of horse racing purses won by jockeys.
A charismatic personality
Dettori’s popularity has led to a range of business ventures outside the world of racing such as his appearance as a captain on the TV show Question of Sport, a selection of restaurants and even a fragrance brand. His popularity means he is able to appeal to an audience beyond racing fans. This is demonstrated by his starring role in the video game Frankie Dettori Racing.
When Dettori achieved the extraordinary feat of winning all seven races at Ascot 26 years ago, he was guaranteed racing immortality. The incredible achievement of the Milan-born jockey has also inspired a range of slot game titles such as Frankie Dettori Sporting Legends, Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven and Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Jackpot, which are available to play at online casinos. With the number of gambling sites growing, Italian Bonusfinder has ranked a bunch of them based on bonuses, payment options and customer service. The association with the beloved jockey ensures that these slot titles are particularly popular amongst players in the UK and his native Italy.
— Frankie Dettori (@FrankieDettori) June 26, 2022
His infectious personality and charisma are exemplified by his trademark flying dismount, which is usually accompanied by the cheers of racegoers in the winners’ enclosure. The flying celebration is known around the world, such as when ESPN reported on his Dubai World Cup win in Meydan on Country Grammer.
Long-awaited Derby success
Throughout his career, Dettori has ridden some of the most popular horses to victory such as Stradivarius, Dubai Millennium and Enable. Success in the Epsom Derby had long eluded Dettori, but he triumphed in the 2007 Derby on Authorized. The Italian’s fighting spirit was reported by the Guardian following his winning ride on Chaldean in the 2022 Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, as the victory came after he was unseated from Liftoff in the first race of the day.
Ever the showman, Dettori took the opportunity to tease racing fans as he gave them a smidgen of hope that he could continue beyond next season: “At the moment I’m still loving it, I’m riding whenever I can. But we’ll have to see how I’m feeling this time next year.” Whether or not he decides to prolong his career, his place in the racing pantheon is assured.