Frankie Dettori Among Guests At Palio di Siena

Frankie Dettori Among Guests At Palio di Siena

Man of the moment Frankie Dettori took a much-needed small break to attend one of his native countries most senior traditions on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old returned to Italy to witness the sheer chaos of the Palio di Siena - a 'no holds barred' type of racing contest, which is held twice a year in July and August.

Ten horses and riders - representing the neighbourhoods of Siena, ride bareback circling three laps of the Piazza del Campo circuit, on which a thicker layer of earth has been laid out.

Usually lasting no longer than 90 seconds, it is common for some of jockeys to be thrown off their horses whilst making their way around the treacherous turns in the piazza.

Horses continuing riderless can still win the race, and indeed it has been frequent in recent years that many have prevailed without a man (or woman) in the saddle.

Inaugurated in 1633, rules go completely out of the window, as jockeys can even use their whips to put off other horses and their respective riders, and barge into each other.

No sort of interference or steward's enquiries in this game, with the race attracting spectators from all across the globe.

Dettori was joined by fellow weighing room colleagues Jamie Spencer and Andrea Atzeni, as they watched Giraffe Contrada win this year's first renewal.

Spencer captured some of the action on twitter.

(Credit: @JPSPENCER1980)

A cauldron of noise precedes the race and intensifies as the evening goes on into the early hours, and has a real sense of carnival about it's nature.

A truly bizarre event, which is definitely on the Italian bucket list.

Back in Britain, trainer John Gosden will be pleased to know Dettori was not involved in the unique race, as the pair will team up once more this Saturday when last year's sensational Arc winner Enable makes her seasonal return.

The five-year-old begins her call back to Longchamp on route to a potential history-making hat-trick in the French showpiece, and makes her first appearance at Sandown Park Racecourse.

Atzeni and Spencer will be both find themselves in calmer waters on Wednesday evening, when the pair have a bookful of rides at Kempton Park Racecourse.

Dettori meanwhile will have all eyes on Saturday's Coral Eclipse at 3:35.