Frankie Dettori is a three-time Champion Jockey in the world of British horseracing. The Italian is the son of a Sardinian jockey, Gianfranco Dettori, and has been dubbed by many horseracing analysts as the finest flat racing jockey since Lester Piggott.
Dettori left school in his early teens to become an apprentice jockey and stable boy in his native Italy. Within 12 months, Dettori moved to the UK to work under the tutelage of Newmarket-based trainer, Luca Cumani, where he would eventually become a stable jockey.
Frankie Dettori Facts
|Full name||Lanfranco Dettori|
|Popular name||Frankie Dettori|
|Residence||Newmarket, Suffolk, England|
|Father’s name||Gianfranco Dettori|
|Mother’s name||Not known|
|Net worth (2022)||$18m|
|Prize money to date||Over $212m|
|Date of birth||15.12.1970|
|Height (ft)||5ft 4”|
|Wife / Girlfriend||Catherine Dettori (Wife)|
|Children||Ella Dettori, Rocco Dettori, Mia Dettori, Leo Dettori and Tallula Dettori|
|Trademarks||Flying dismounts after winning a race|
Frankie Dettori Career
In his career to date, Frankie Dettori has won more than 500 Group races, including 20 victories in the so-called ‘British Classics’ that are the true test of thoroughbred stayers and flat race jockeys. He won back-to-back Derbies at Epsom and Chantilly in 2007, cementing his place in European flat racing folklore.
Perhaps the Italian’s biggest claim to fame is being known as the “King of Royal Ascot” in the modern-day era, although Lester Piggott remains the undisputed best jockey in the history of Royal Ascot. In 2021, Dettori surpassed Pat Eddery to become the second most successful jockey in Royal Ascot history, landing his 74th win on the opening race of the meeting.
With the meeting being a marquee event in the British flat racing season, many UK-based bookmakers build on the increased interest in the week by offering Royal Ascot free bets. Punters often use such offers as risk-free punts on horses ridden by Dettori, as they’re perceived as sure-fire winners.
At Royal Ascot, Dettori landed his biggest career achievement by winning all seven races during the British Champions’ Day at the 1996 Royal Ascot. It was a remarkable feat that no other flat race jockey has come close to achieving in the last 26 years.
His most recent successes at Royal Ascot include a hat-trick of Ascot Gold Cup wins aboard Stradivarius in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. Onboard Stradivarius, Dettori would also go on to win the Stayers’ Triple Crown and win the Doncaster Cup and the Goodwood Cup in the same season.
He remains one of the most popular Italian sportsmen today, alongside rising ATP tennis star Lorenzo Sonego.
Frankie Dettori Net Worth and Salary
Reports suggest that Dettori’s career earnings are in the region of $212 million. Although this sounds like a considerable sum, it’s still much less than some of the most successful jockeys in Asia. Four of the top five highest-earning jockeys are from Japan, who have each earned well over $400,000.
Today, Dettori’s personal net worth is said to be $18 million, with no concrete plans as yet to retire from professional horseracing.
Frankie Dettori Personal Life
Since moving to England, Dettori has embraced life in the UK and considers himself to be an Anglophile. He is a passionate support of Arsenal Football Club and has run a string of London-based restaurants in his time outside of racing. Dettori also had a spell as team captain on the BBC quiz show ‘A Question of Sport’ in the early 2000s.
Dettori married his partner, Catherine, and together they now have five children. Dettori nearly died in a plane crash in 2000, en-route from Newmarket to Goodwood, with the crash killing pilot Patrick Mackey. Dettori was fortunate to get away with a broken ankle and thumb.
FAQs about Frankie Dettori
In December 2000, Dettori received an honorary MBE. This, along with many other prized racing trophies, was stolen during a burglary in 2006.
It took Dettori 15 attempts to win his first Epsom Derby. Punters regularly backed the Italian to win and, in 2007, he duly obliged aboard Authorized – costing the bookies up to £20m in payouts.
As of early 2022, Dettori has won 74 races at Royal Ascot, some 42 races shy of the most successful Royal Ascot jockey of all time, Lester Piggott.
Dettori was invited onto UK reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother in January 2013. The Italian was the fifth contestant to be evicted from the Big Brother house.