Born in Milan on the 15 December 1970, Frankie Dettori followed in his father’s footsteps to become the most decorated jockey of his generation. Moving to England at the tender age of fourteen already with a desire to emulate his dad, Frankie trained under the trainer Luca Cumani at Newmarket in 1985 and became a stable jockey soon after. Two years later, inside a betting shop, Frankie met Peter Burrell who agreed to manage his affairs as he believed that the young jockey had something special. That was the start of a successful partnership which survives to this very day.
Press play, below, to listen to the full interview
Yet this isn’t the only successful working relationship which has been the key to Dettori’s success. Decorated trainer John Gosden has been working alongside Frankie throughout his career and has been instrumental in his many victories. The relationship between jockey and trainer is required to be closer than that of jockey and horse. They need to be almost mentally and emotionally entwined to give them the best chance of success and this is built up over many years. Gosden isn’t just Frankie’s trainer, he’s also his counsellor, PA and best friend.
Making his professional debut at Fillies’ Mile in 1990 at the age of twenty, Frankie Dettori went on ride one hundred winners in one season equaling the achievement of one of his idols Lester Piggott. In September 1996 Frankie achieved the impossible when he won seven of seven races at Ascot 1996, including winning the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Now a proud father, Frankie’s 12 year old son Rocco has already shown an interest in racing. Competing in some Shetland pony racing, Frankie hopes that Rocco will go on to become the third generation of champion Dettori jockeys. But only time will tell as Frankie says he is keen to let Rocco decide upon his own destiny within the sport.
At the age of 47, Frankie shows no signs of falling out of love with the sport but is the first to admit that it is a young mans game and in the coming years will be forced to contemplate retirement. Yet his profile within the british media will no doubt maintain. Frankie has been a regular on our TV screens for over a decade and a half after being a regular team captain on BBC One’s ‘A Question of Sport’ and competing in the 2011 series of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. Frankie is now appearing on stages up and down the country as part of his tour ‘A Humorous Evening with Frankie Dettori’ chaired by agent and friend Peter Burrell. Here, Frankie recalls tales from his remarkable career in horse racing and takes questions from the audience. We really enjoyed meeting Frankie and thought the show was great and wish him the best of luck with the rest of the tour and hope his preparations for next seasons racing go well.
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