Home » Profiles » Tears For Fearless Frankie?

Tears For Fearless Frankie?

The Frankie Dettori 2023 farewell tour

It is sad to think that soon it will all be over.

The Frankie Dettori 2023 farewell tour continued in glorious style at Newmarket on Saturday with the brilliant Inspiral bringing up the 53 year old legend’s 500th victory at his home track, in the Gr1 Sun Chariot Stakes.

Frankie Dettori shows off his commemorative saddle cloth (Pic – Supplied)

“It goes without saying I had a knot in my stomach on Saturday, maybe because I was riding a short-priced favourite in Inspiral and maybe I was overthinking the tactics a bit,” said the showman .

“Then obviously I realised I was one short of 500 winners at Newmarket and there was only 14 days to go before I ride my last race in England, so all of that played on my mind a bit and I wasn’t myself.I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel like this. After 36 years doing what I love, it’s very hard to come to terms with the fact it’s going to finish soon.”

But Frankie is adamant he has no plans to perform a retirement U-turn as he prepares to bring the curtain down on his glittering riding career in Britain on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 21 October.

“I’ve been swept off my feet for the last six months, to be honest. When I said I was going to retire I thought it was going to become easy, but actually I’ve had twice as much workload as I’ve ever done!”

The legendary Italian has enjoyed a sensational final year in the saddle, with victories aboard Chaldean in the 2000 Guineas, Soul Sister in the Oaks and Courage Mon Ami in the Gold Cup just a few of the many highlights of his farewell tour.

Before Champions Day Dettori is readying himself for one final appearance at Newmarket at this week’s Dubai Future Champions Festival, while beyond Ascot he has a number of international plans, with the Melbourne Cup, or an appearance in Hong Kong, expected to be his swansong.

He added: “We’ve got Newmarket coming up this weekend, it’s going to be my last Newmarket and I think Newmarket are doing a bit of a drinks party for me after racing, which is good, as I can invite a lot of people that I’ve been working with.

“I’ll then be flying to Milan for my last ride there, which is where it all started. My mum and dad and my sister are going, and all my school friends, so that’s going to be pretty emotional, and then straight back into what is going to be my last week (in Britain). It’s going to be flat out as I have a million interviews to do and then we go to Ascot.

“I know I’m retiring, but I don’t want to take the gloss off Champions Day, because it’s all about coronating the best horses in every category – and lucky me, I’ve got some absolute weapons to ride that day, on top of my retirement. I’ve got to keep my eye on the ball because I’ve got some massive pressure rides, possibly Inspiral, King Of Steel, Kinross and Courage Mon Ami, so I’ve got to make sure I’m completely focussed.”

He continued: “I’m sure I will cry as it’s my last day. Then, of course, it doesn’t stop there because I’m flying to the States for the Breeders’ Cup, then to Melbourne and then I promised Marc Chan (owner) that I’d delay my retirement because he’s very keen to run Kinross in Hong Kong. If he doesn’t make it, Melbourne could be my last one (ride).

“I haven’t thought beyond Melbourne or Hong Kong. I’ve said I’ve retired and at the moment I’ve got every right to carry on with that. I’m looking forward to a good, decent meal and a nice holiday!

“Because I’m riding a few winners everybody is saying ‘you should be doing this’ or ‘you should be doing that’, but I’m 53 and for a jockey I’ve had a pretty long career.I will miss it, but at the other end I have enjoyed it. It would have been sad if I’d have been retiring not riding in the big races and just floating around at secondary meetings and not winning. It’s turned out to be quite a good send-off.”

For now Dettori is fully focussed on going out on a high at Ascot, on what is sure to be an emotionally charged afternoon.

He said: “It’s a massive day and no one more than myself wants to do well and be calm and do the right things for every horse – that’s the challenge. I have 40 people coming, all my family and all my friends. There’s even more pressure to deliver, but I love it. I like the big days, I like to be nervous – I think I need that to get me to tick. Maybe I’m spoilt, but the mundane Mondays don’t excite me any more.”

It is now 10 years since Frankie returned to race action in June 2013 after a six-month ban for a cocaine positive while riding in France in September 2012.

In the subsequent decade, Dettori has added almost 100 Group One or Grade One wins to his record, at much the same rate that he enjoyed during his 18 years as No 1 rider to the Godolphin operation, including a second Derby, three Arcs and four races at the Breeders’ Cup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

‹ Previous

East Cape Jockey Calls It A Day

Next ›

SA Jockey Is Off To Dubai!

Recent Profiles

A Right Royal Victory

Emotional win for Victor family

Alec Laird – Veteran And A Top Trainer

2023 Betway Summer Cup aspirations

When You Get A Chance…Take It!

Quietly spoken jock converts a chance into points!

Bok Billy Becomes An All Black

Emigrating for his sons' sakes

The Botha Family’s Dream Machine

Here's a guy who can train winners!

SA Jockey Is Off To Dubai!

One of our best value lightweights!

Tears For Fearless Frankie?

The Frankie Dettori 2023 farewell tour

East Cape Jockey Calls It A Day

'I'm not getting any younger!'

‘Toxically Optimistic’ Smith Is Looking Ahead

Wehann Smith - ever the optimist!

Mauritian Apprentice’s Memorable Day

Best birthday gift ever for Mum

Dylan Brandishes A Silver Sword

Things are happening at Newmarket!

Bright Blue Sky In The Cape!

Ready to take the Cape stars on in their own backyard

Warren Kennedy – Making SA Proud

The Durbanite is doing great things

David Downs The Goliaths

Sandringham Summit may go for SA Triple Crown

Mark Khan – A Champion Change Of Direction

Learning under the expert guidance of Grant Maroun

Brev’s Heart Is Ablaze

Family and friends turn up in numbers to shout him home

Ronnie’s Happy To Be Back In Saddle

Kranji first is off at 06h00

Grant’s Ready To Splash Out!

A jockey to follow in the season

Cosgrave Moves To Saudi

Looking forward to a new challenge