Born in Milan on 15 December 1970, it would be fair to say to Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori was destined to be one of the game’s greatest jockeys. His father Gianfranco was a multiple Group-winning jockey in Italy and was a two-time British Classic winner in 1975 and 1976 alongside other British Group 1 races including the Juddmonte International at York and Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
His son would arguably go on to better those achievements and he sprung from the back to the front pages of newspapers when winning all seven races on British Champions’ Day at Ascot in 1996, a day that cost the bookmaking industry millions as 25,095-1 accumulators were landed up and down the country. It would turn Frankie Dettori from one of racing’s outstanding jockeys into a celebrity around the world, from having his face on yoghurt brands to becoming a captain on BBC’s ‘A Question of Sport’.
Dettori’s career has not been short of controversy, having admitted to taking diuretics and was suspended from riding for six months in 2012 after taking a substance believed to be cocaine. But despite these misdemeanours, he is known as one of the most popular and greatest jockeys to ever sit on a horse.
His greatest achievements include six Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victories on board Lammtarra, Sakhee, Marienbard, Golden Horn and Enable (twice) as well as 17 British Classics, seven Ascot Gold Cup successes and 14 Breeders’ Cup races. Dettori is affectionately known for his flying dismounts in the winner's enclosure after victory.