Racing Legend Frankie Dettori: 30 years in Newmarket

In 2015 racing legend and top jockey Frankie Dettori became Newmarket Racecourses’ ambassador, which coincided with him celebrating living in Newmarket for 30 years.

It was in July 1985 that, as a teenager and speaking no English, he arrived to work for the town’s trainer Luca Cumani.

Frankie said: “Newmarket, the racecourses and the town, mean a lot to me and I love them. In July [2015] I have lived here for 30 years, ever since I was a young teenager. That’s a long time!

“2015 has turned out to be a milestone for me in my 30th year of living and riding in Newmarket. I won my second Derby and I’m working for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani and John Gosden. It’s been a great year and that looks set to continue.”

The popular Italian loves the bagpipes so, to mark his own 30th anniversary, at the start of the Moët & Chandon July Festival 2015 the jockeys were led from the weighing room to the parade ring by a piper.

Amy Starkey, Director of Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, said: “Frankie loves Newmarket and everyone love Frankie. We wanted to mark his 30 years in the town in a special way.”

30 Frankie facts

  1. Frankie was born in Milan, Italy.
  2. His father was a famous jockey and his mother was a circus performer.
  3. He left school at the age of 14 to become a stable hand, arriving in England at 15 years old to work for Luca Cumani as an apprentice jockey.
  4. He has five children: Leo, Ella, Mia, Tallulah and Rocco.
  5. He lives in Newmarket.
  6. Frankie is an animal lover with a number of household pets including dogs, cats and ponies.
  7. Frankie considers his Latin cross as his lucky charm.
  8. Frankie loves to cook and his chef speciality is sea bass, but his favourite meals are those cooked by his mum.
  9. Frankie’s favourite drink is a good Italian red or white wine and he likes to spend time in the wine cellar at Lord Lloyd-Webber’s house.
  10. Frankie doesn’t have any allergies except dieting!
  11. Frankie has many good friends including a few celebrities such as Marco Pierre White and Ronan Keating.
  12. Frankie’s favourite childhood memory is of his first pony, a palomino, which was bought for him by his dad when he was 12 years old.
  13. He supports Arsenal football club.
  14. Frankie loves most sports but particularly enjoys playing golf with Lee Westwood.
  15. Frankie has been known to head out to Ibiza for clubbing but claims to prefer being a DJ in his own home.
  16. His favourite book is his autobiography which was published in September 2004.
  17. Frankie is a fan of house music and Ronan Keating.
  18. His proudest moments so far have been having his five children, marrying his wife and winning the seven races at Ascot in 1996.
  19. He survived a plane crash in 2000 when flying from Newmarket to Goodwood.
  20. Frankie was awarded an MBE in 2001.
  21. Frankie was third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1996 after winning seven races at Ascot.
  22. He was once a model for Yves St. Laurent.
  23. Frankie’s first British winner came in 1986 on Lizzie Hare at Goodwood.
  24. Frankie’s best winner so far has been on Dubai Millennium in The Dubai World Cup 2000.
  25. Frankie became Champion Flat Jockey in Britain 2004.
  26. He has ridden over 500 Group winners but his unfulfilled aim is to win all five British Classics in one season.
  27. Frankie’s flying dismounts are a tribute to the jockey, Angel Cordero. He started doing them after Barathea won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1994.
  28. Frankie’s favourite TV programme is ‘A Question of Sport’ which he used to appear on as team captain.
  29. He loves music concerts and is friends with Mick Hucknall.
  30. Whilst riding, he’s broken his collar bones, arms, elbows and ankles.

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