Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori: My favourite phrase? "Weighed in." Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Lanfranco (Frankie) Dettori was born in Milan in 1970. His father was a champion jockey, his mother a circus performer. At 13 he became an apprentice jockey and a year later moved to Britain, where he became the first teenager since Lester Piggott to ride 100 winners in a season and was crowned champion jockey three times. Next Saturday, he will race at Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot. He is married with five children, and lives near Newmarket.

When were you happiest?
I am always happy, but since the plane crash in 2000, I realise the value of every day.

What is your greatest fear?
Small planes and crashing again.

What is your earliest memory?
My father riding in Italy when he was champion jockey.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
Lester Piggott, because he was the greatest jockey of the past century.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Overly critical people who don’t know what they are talking about.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Arriving here when I was 14 with very little English.

Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
A Ferrari.

What is your most treasured possession?
My memorabilia and the trophies.

What would your super power be?
The ability to eat more without gaining weight.

What makes you unhappy?
Not winning races.

Who is the love of your life?
My wife, Catherine.

What does love feel like?

What is your most unappealing habit?
The occasional cigarette.

What is your favourite smell?
Pasta with a good sauce.

What is your favourite phrase?
“Weighed in.”

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“You’re banned for two weeks.”

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
To Patrick Mackey, who was flying the plane that crashed. He died.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Sir Gordon Richards, Ronan Keating, Ronnie Wood and Sophia Loren.

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Mucking out horses in winter at 6am.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I’d spend more time with my family.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To Roman times.

How do you relax?
I go to my restaurant, Cavallino.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Not to be on a permanent diet.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Winning seven races in a row at Ascot on 28 September 1996.

What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing at all.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a great jockey.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
You get out what you put in.

Where would you most like to be right now?
On a Derby winner.


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