The world’s most famous race, the Epsom Investec Derby is this Saturday at 4.30pm and favourite is Golden Horn, a horse which will be ridden by the most recognisable face in horse racing – Frankie Dettori.
Such is the magnitude of the race, Frankie has only won the race once in his last 19 attempts – when he guided Authorized to victory in 2007.
To read Richard Silverwood’s big race preview click HERE
But did you know that Frankie is just a nickname? Or that his mother was a circus performer? If not, here are 10 facts you will be surprised to learn.
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 were £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.
When Dettori leads current favourite Golden Horn to the start of the Epsom Investec Derby this Saturday, he will lining up for his 20th ride in the world’s most famous race.
Such is the task in front of him, it took Dettori 15 attempts before he secured his first and only Derby to date when guiding Authorized to success in 2007.
Dettori was also the last jockey to ride a filly in the Derby. Whilst the race is not exclusively reserved for colts, many of the female horses tend to head to the Investec Oaks the day before. Despite being the favourite for the 1998 race at odds of 11/4, Dettori and she finished ninth.
In 2000, Dettori was forced to miss the Epsom Derby and Oaks after surviving a light aircraft crash.
Here’s how Dettori’s previous 19 rides have fared over the years:
1992 – Pollen Count – finished 16th
1993 – Wolf Prince – 8th
1994 – Linney Head – 10th
1995 – Tamure – 2nd
1996 – Shantou – 3rd
1997 – Bold Demand – 9th
1998 – Cape Verdi – 9th
1999 – Dubai Millennium – 9th
2001 – Tobougg – 3rd
2002 – Naheef - 7th
2003 – Graikos – 8th
2004 – Snow Ridge – 7th
2005 – Dubawi – 3rd
2006 – Linda’s Lad – 9th
2007 – AUTHORIZED – WON
2008 – Rio De La Plata – 7th
2009 – Kite Wood – 9th
2010 – Rewilding – 3rd
2011 – Ocean War – 11th
Dettori at the Oaks
Dettori’s record in the Investec Oaks features three wins and a further six top three finishes from his 19 attempts at the race.
His last victory in the race was 2002 and was the third time he had been successful in the Oaks for his then-employers, Godolphin, following back-to-back victories in 1994 and 1995.
This year, Dettori had the choice between John Gosden’s duo Star of Seville and Jazzi Top, but has opted for the latter having partnered her on her last two runs.
Dettori’s full record in the race reads:
1991 – Shamshir – Finished 2nd
1993 – Oakmead – 3rd
1994 – BALANCHINE – WON
1995 – MOONSHELL – WON
1996 – Pricket – 2nd
1997 – Siyadah – 11th
1998 – Bahr – 2nd
1999 – Zahrat Dubai – 3rd
2001 – Najah – 13th
2002 – KAZZIA – WON
2003 – Hi Dubai – 5th
2004 – Punctilious – 3rd
2005 – Fen Shui – 12th
2006 – Time On – 6th
2007 – Measured Tempo – 13th
2008 – Clowance – 4th
2010 – Sajjhaa – 14th
2011 – Blue Bunting – 4th
2014 – Amazing Maria – 17th
The Investec Derby on Saturday is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series. For tickets go to www.britishchampionsseries.com