Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori reveals his explosive retirement at the end of 2023 | Horse racing news

Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

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Frankie Dettori: one of the most recognized and celebrated figures in racing history

Frankie Dettori: one of the most recognized and celebrated figures in racing history

Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

By Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer

Frankie Dettori has announced his extraordinary racing career will come to an end next year as he revealed his intention to retire at the top after one final season.

The world’s most famous jockey, one of the most recognized and popular figures in the history of the sport, is about to begin what will be a farewell world tour in Santa Anita on Boxing Day – and it is already likely that Dettori will retire at the same destination at the 2023 Breeders’ Cup.

In revealing the news, Dettori made clear his desire that the final chapter of his marathon story be a celebration, in which the race public will be an important part.

Dettori told ITV Racing: “Next year, 2023, will be my last professional year as a jockey. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

“I’m riding Boxing Day in Santa Anita and plan to spend about ten weeks in California. I’ll be returning via Dubai and Saudi Arabia and then I guess I’ll start the season in Newmarket.

“It will be my last Guineas, my last Derby, my last Royal Ascot, etc. I will probably end up in Britain on Champions Day or Newmarket and then say my last goodbyes as a professional rider in California at the Breeders. ‘ Cut. It’s all written in pencil but that’s my plan.”

Frankie Dettori: exclusive interview

“I had an absolutely incredible career and I loved every second of it, but you have to know how to let go”

Frankie Dettori opens his heart about his decision to retire in a major interview – exclusively available to Member’s Club Ultimate subscribers now and in Sunday’s Racing Post

Maintenance: ‘I don’t want to be someone who turns 56 and is still sitting on the bench’ (£)

Subscribe now: rread our exclusive Frankie Dettori interview with our members club special offer

He continued: “I’ve had an incredible career. You can go on for another year, another year, then another year, but I think it’s the right time and I’ll be young enough to do something else.

“I want to finish with all my best powers. I think right now I’m still good enough to compete with the best.”

Britain’s three-time champion jockey, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Thursday, has been at the center of headlines throughout his life, including when he won all seven races on a high-profile Ascot card in 1996 and then after surviving a fatal plane crash four years later.

Dettori had stated more than once that he would definitely ride until the end of 2023, but in recent weeks – and after discussions with his family – he accepted that continuing beyond that point would not be reasonable.

Although adamant that his powers in the saddle haven’t started to wane, Dettori admitted his age was a factor in his decision to put plans in place for his retirement.

The longtime Godolphin number one parted ways with Sheikh Mohammed’s team in the fall of 2012, shortly after serving a six-month drug ban. Since 2015 he has worked as lead jockey for John Gosden, where he will again be lead rider in 2023, although the couple’s relationship was put to the test this summer.

Gosden – who now trains in partnership with his son Thady – gave Dettori his second Derby success when Golden Horn scored at Epsom en route to winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Dettori went on to claim his fifth and sixth Arc triumphs aboard Enable, trained by Gosden, the exceptional mare who also made turf history by winning three races in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Those happy days stood in stark contrast to those experienced by Dettori and Gosden earlier this year at Royal Ascot, where the five-time champion coach was publicly critical of Dettori’s losing rides on superstar stayer Stradivarius and the queen saga. In late June, Gosden and Dettori briefly parted ways and entered a sabbatical, which ended in time for Dettori to reprise his role at Newmarket’s July Festival.

Dettori went on to claim Group 1 victories for the Gosdens aboard Inspiral and Emily Upjohn. These two stable stars will be among their jockey’s most prominent mounts next year, when he can also look forward to renewing his association with Juddmonte’s Dewhurst Stakes winner Chaldean and fellow Classic Candidate Commissioning, who won the Fillies’ Mile under Robert Havlin as Dettori was suspended.

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Frankie Dettori celebrates with one of his flying takedowns after Enable's win in the 2019 King George

Frankie Dettori celebrates with one of his flying takedowns after Enable’s win in the 2019 King George

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Although no firm plans have been made for Dettori’s post-race life, it is likely that he will pursue a career in the media, a field in which he is already extremely experienced, having broken the boundaries of racing to participate in many entertainment programs, including Top Of The Pops and Celebrity Big Brother.

“My heart wants to keep rolling but I have to use my brain,” Dettori said.

“I just turned 52 and next year I’ll be 53. I want to stop at the top. I want to be competitive enough to do justice to myself, my owners and my horses the next year. It’s been tough but I think it’s the right time.”

Dettori added: “It will be very emotional next year. It will be very difficult to let go. You never feel old in the jockeys’ hall – but the reality is that I am old. I have to give up.

“It’s going to be exciting but it will also be torture. Saying goodbye to what has been 35 years of my life will be exhausting but I’ve made the decision and I’m sticking to it. I feel emotional but I’m trying. to look at it positively and make it a celebration.”

Frankie Dettori

Last name and first name Lanfranco Dettori

Born December 15, 1970

Dad Gianfranco Dettori (13 times Italian champion jockey)

First winner Rif, Turin, November 16, 1986

First winner in Great Britain Lizzy Hare, Goodwood, June 9, 1987

Winners of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (6 wins – record) Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001), Marienbard (2002), Golden Horn (2015), Enable (2017, 2018)

Winners of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (7 wins – joint record) Lammtarra (1995), Swain (1998), Daylami (1999), Dean (2004), Enable (2017, 2019, 2020)

Derby winners Authorized (2007), Golden Horn (2015)

Dubai World Cup winners Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003), Electrocutionist (2006), Country Grammer (2022)

Japan Cup winners Singspiel (1996), Falbrav (2002), Alkaased (2005)

Breeders Cup 14 wins including Classic on Raven’s Pass (2008), Grass on Daylami (1999), Fantastic Light (2001), Red Rocks (2006), Dangerous Midge (2010), Enable (2018)

Winner of the Champion Stakes Crackman (2017, 2018)

Top Rated Media (RPR) 139 Dubai Millennium, 138 Daylami, 136 Mark of Appreciation, 135 Sakhee

Most Prolific Pattern Winner Stradivarius (15 wins 2018-22, including 3 Ascot Gold Cups)

Group/Grade 1 wins 282, including 21 British classics

Seven winners on one card Ascot, September 28, 1996

Total wins in Great Britain 3336 (best season 233 in 1994)

champion jockey 1994, 1995, 2004

Compiled by John Randall

Then read them:

A rollercoaster life in the saddle: the highs and lows of the legend’s career

What top horses and potential stars will Frankie Dettori ride in 2023?

The Remarkable Facts and Figures Behind Frankie Dettori’s Record-Breaking Career

Gosden and Dettori pay tribute to the “most extraordinary” Stradivarius

Our hero over-complicated it’ – Gosden slams Dettori despite Friday’s success

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