Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori born in Sardinia in December 1970 has always loved to the life and soul of the party. The chirpy and cheerful Italian is unquestionable the most famous jockey in the world, adored by racing fans throughout the world.
After having over a decade of huge success for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, when he was getting the leg up on some truly brilliant horses like, Fantastic Light, Dubai millennium and Daylami. However in late 2012 the wheels came off the Dettori cart in a big way after testing positive for a banned substance.
A six-month worldwide ban was handed out and it seemed that Dettori’s career was in real danger of being over, especially on the big stages after he had split with Godolphin after the news broke. When Frankie did return to race riding it was a torturous period in his career. It was a sad sight to see one of the world’s greatest jockeys having to scrounge around tracks like Wolverhampton on a Monday or Kempton on a Wednesday night in low-key races on poor quality horses. New owners Al Shaqab threw him a lifeline by making him their retained jockey in June 2013. No one could have foreseen the resurgence that Frankie has enjoyed since, winning many Group one races.
It was Golden Horn trained by John Gosden who really got Dettori back to the top of the sport. It was joyous sight in the 2015 Epsom Derby to see Golden Horn under Dettori freewheel away from his rivals to win the famous race, the scenes in the winners enclosure were just fantastic to watch. Golden Horn went onto win three more races at the highest level, including a brilliant Arc win under an inspired Dettori. A record-breaking fifth Arc followed this year when Superstar Filly Enable took the Paris showpiece in brilliant fashion.
It was a tactical masterclass from Frankie, who is one of the best big race tacticians in the sport along with the likes of Ryan Moore and Pat Smullen. With Enable staying in training and the prospect of many other good horses to come his way, there is still a bit to go in the career of Racing’s showman.
This has been his story so far.
ARTICLE BY JAMIE LINDSEY