Three-time Champion Jockey, rider of over 500 winners and an ex-Question of Sport captain, here are a few more facts about the irrepressible Frankie Dettori
On Saturday, Frankie Dettori will go in search of his second success in the Epsom Derby, with the affable Italian hoping Golden Horn can follow in the illustrious footsteps of Authorized some eight years ago now.
He will set off as a short-priced favourite in his pursuit of further Classic joy, but any number of pretenders to the crown could prevail on the day if the going is good and fortune favours the brave.
Dettori would, however, be a popular presence in the winner’s enclosure, with an illustrious career, such as the one he has enjoyed, deserving of far more than a solitary triumph in British racing’s richest and most illustrious Flat contest.
There will be many backing him with their hard-earned cash this weekend, and many more who think they know all about a man who has spent the last 25 years making headlines in and out of the saddle.
Sport-loving and Arsenal fanatic Dettori is, however, about much more than a winning smile and elaborate dismounts, as the 10 facts below help to highlight:
1. Frankie is only a shortened nickname. Born in Milan, Italy, on 15th December 1970, his full name is Lanfranco.
2. His father, Gianfranco, was a professional jockey back in Italy, whilst his mother was a circus performer whose party trick was to perform backflips whilst riding astride two horses.
3. Dettori once rode seven winners from all seven races at Ascot Racecourse in 1996, reportedly costing bookies some £20million in pay-outs.
4. Not just a jockey, Dettori also breeds racehorses – the most high-profile of which, Dodging Bullets, won one of the biggest jumps races, the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, earlier this year.
5. It took Dettori 15 attempts before he won his first Epsom Derby, steering Authorized to success in 2007.
6. Dettori took part in the 11th series of reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother, finishing seventh.
7. In 2000, along with fellow jockey Ray Cochrane, Dettori was involved in plane crash in Newmarket. The Italian escaped with a fractured ankle but the pilot was fatally injured.
8. Dettori has won races in 24 different countries across the world, including the likes of Turkey, Sweden, Slovakia and Trinidad and Tobago.
9. As well as being a regular jockey, Dettori also enjoys fancies himself as a disc jockey and built himself a professional DJ booth in his home.
10. A lover of animals, Frankie has a veritable menagerie at his home – comprising, amongst others, an emu and the horse on which he won the seventh race of his Ascot feat, Fujiyama Crest.
The Investec Derby on Saturday 6th June is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series. For tickets go to www.britishchampionsseries.com