By Hans Ebert
He’s good for horse racing. Always has been. Even when he was staring into that abyss of life. It showed how all of us are attracted to kryptonite. That none of us are invulnerable. Not even Lanfranco Dettori. Son of Italian jockey Gianfranco Dettori from Sardenia. Better known as Frankie Dettori. Even better known as Yo! Frankie.
The man whose life has been one giant see saw ride. Up. Down. Down. Up. Sideways. Loses his way. Loses his job with Godolphin. Gets off the canvas. Dusts himself off. Starts all over again.
Frankie Dettori. Takes the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. Those appearances on “Big Brother”. When you’re down you’re down. But it teaches one life lessons. Helps one play for time. Rethink. Helps one learn to prioritise. There’s no better revenge than success. No better comeback story.
The man who’s cheated death. Let’s never forget that air crash in 2000. During take off from Newmarket to Goodwood. When the pilot was killed. How fellow jockey Ray Cochrane saved his life. Don’t think it changed his life forever?
That day in 1996 when he rode all seven races at Ascot.
He’s really The Magic Man of horse racing. He’s had us in his spell for pretty much three decades. He’s not some one trick pony. He’s not just good for racing. The man is an inspiration. One rarely fights the demons and exorcises them all. Looks death in the eye. Doesn’t blink.
A man who has time for everyone. A man who knows how to work the room. The only Rock Star jockey in the world. But more than a jockey. He’s a brand.
The series of Frankie’s Italian Bar and Grill restaurants? Should have been marketed as The House Of Dettori. Should have had his own fashion line. But so what? He’s Frankie Dettori. Italian. British. International. Universal. An MBE. Thieves stole that MBE. And many of his medals.
The rider who has won almost every horse race worth winning. Has partnered Authorized. Golden Horn. Drum Taps. Galileo Gold. More recently, Cracksman. And of course, Enable. The only horse to win the Arc and the Breeders Cup in one season. What magnificent planning. Such incredible teamwork. John Gosden. Prince Khalid Abdullah. Frankie Dettori. Enable.
Before Enable, there was Swain, Singspiel, Daylami. Ramonti. Lamtarra. Ouija Board. Lester Piggott describes him as the best jockey riding today. In the world.
Here’s the deal: It’s not just about being the best. We each have our own opinions about that. It’s about there being very few bests. A small and exclusive team of bests. A few Feel Good moments.
Horse racing needs these. They’re the inspiration needed to move things along. To make horse racing likeable. To help rebrand it. It’s not about comparisons. This just stunts growth. It’s about embracing the best. Applauding the winners. And the champions.
#FrankieDettori #Enable #BreedersCup #JohnGosden #KhalidAbdulla #horseracing