The Return of Frankie Dettori

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Why has Horse Racing Missed Frankie Dettori?

Flat racing is set to see the return of its most colourful character when Frankie Dettori’s six-month drugs ban comes to an end on May 20th 2013. The sport has missed his smile and friendly attitude towards fans and journalists, but personality is not the only reason the Italian jockey’s absence has been so keenly felt.

The 42-year-old is one of the all-time greats, having had winners in big races around the world. He has been fortunate enough to be the stable jockey for both Luca Cumani and Godolphin, but his success is not only due to the quality of horses he has ridden.

In 1990, Dettori won his first Group 1 race, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Markofdistinction. He went on to specialise in success on the big occasion and has since amassed more than 100 Group 1 victories.

It was only a matter of time until he won one of the English Classics and the moment finally arrived in 1995, when he partnered Classic Cliche to success in the St Leger. He has since won a further four St Legers, three 1,000 Guineas, two 2,000 Guineas and three Oaks. The one race that continued to elude Dettori was the Derby, but that changed in 2007 when he romped to victory on Authorized.

The Italian’s CV also includes being crowned Champion Jockey three times and wins in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Breeders Cup Turf and Dubai World Cup. Of course, no one who purchases horse insurance from will ever forget Dettori’s ‘Magnificent Seven’, when he won every race on the card at Ascot in 1996 and reduced bookmakers across the country to tears.

When Dettori returns, he will not have the advantage of being Godolphin’s stable jockey, but leading trainers in Newmarket and Ireland are keen to work with him on a freelance basis. He is certain to be first in line for spare rides in top races, so it would take a brave punter to bet against the likeable star winning more Classics.



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