Frankie is a champion jockey and as a firm favourite on and off the track he can be considered one of sports’ most charismatic personalities. His trademark leap from the saddle, cheeky sense of humour and dapper dress sense have made Frankie a household name. He has been Champion Jockey on three occasions and has ridden the winners of more than 500 Group races.
The son of a famous Italian Jockey, Frankie Dettori was destined for the saddle. He left school early to begin his apprenticeship and success swiftly followed – he became the first teenager since Lester Piggott to record 100 victories in a single season. Winner of countless races, he was the Derby Award Winner for three consecutive years and was named the National Sporting Club’s Sportsman of the Nineties. A memorable stint on A Question of Sport showcased Frankie’s enigmatic charm.
His greatest achievement to date remains the day when he cost the bookmakers over £25m at the Ascot Festival by becoming the first jockey to ride seven winners in a single day. His style of riding has led to the so called ‘Frankie Factor’, with his horses often being well backed.
On 29 December 2000 he received an honorary MBE.
He quit his position as a team captain on the BBC quiz A Question of Sport in 2003, when he was apparently stung by a question from a participant as to when he retired from riding. Since that time he has completely rededicated himself to riding. He was rewarded for his new found dedication by becoming the British Champion Jockey in 2004.
In 2007 Dettori became the face of “Jockey” yoghurt, sold across Europe, but especially popular in France.
Frankie has since turned restaurateur, opening a restaurant called Frankie’s Bar and Grill in Putney, London with renowned chef Marco Pierre White. He has also released a cookbook and has a line of frozen Italian foods.
Frankie was described by Lester Piggott as the best jockey currently riding, but he is considered by many experts as the best jockey of all time.