Frankie Dettori on the summer’s racing and retirement
Ladbrokes ambassador Frankie Dettori sat down to give us his thoughts on the summer’s action, as well as rumours of retirement.
Highlight of the summer
It’s been a great summer for me with so many highlights. When I kissed the Duchess of Sussex on the hand, I said to her my kids will be more pleased by this than me winning the actual race itself!
Seriously though, Royal Ascot is huge for me and to win the Gold Cup for a sixth time on Stradivarius tops the list. The Queen presented me with the trophy and it was really special. It will be very hard to top that.
Winning the Lonsdale Cup was also up there. I remember the race itself. Stradivarius wasn’t at his best and when we crossed the line, we were both tired. It just shows you how much effort these two- milers have to put in, even for him, who is head and shoulders above the rest. It wasn’t easy but it was a great feat for the stable and staff, who had a very good payday, and it was good for the sport.
It was very nice to be a part of history in delivering Mark Johnston’s racing record. I reminded him the other day to put my picture up in the loo. He said I can come and check it out next time I’m up.
Getting injured is part and parcel of the job but now I try to avoid riding horses I don’t know or maybe horses who have never run before but you still have to ride sometimes!
As I get closer to the big day, being careful is important. I missed Royal Ascot last year and there was also the time I broke my leg four days before the Arc and missed riding Treve who went on to win by six lengths. Those incidents are in the back of my mind, as you work all season for it and you want to be part of it.
Although, when I speak to AP McCoy or Ruby Walsh they just laugh at me and say what’s wrong with you!
What were all those rumours about?! For about a month every weekend, they said I was going to retire. I was like, you must be joking!
Of course I will still be riding at 50. If you look at it, it is only 26 months away. That’s not far!
I am pretty physically healthy and as you notice I don’t ride when I don’t have to. I concentrate on the big meetings and the good stuff.
John Gosden is very good with me. We have Rob Halvin too, who fills in the gaps and it seems to work.
When I do retire, I will hopefully pursue my working relationship with ITV. I will carry on riding out a little too. I also get asked to do reality shows every year but listen, that’s all miles away!