Frankie Dettori reaches 50 and declares he has no intention of easing up

FRANKIE Dettori says he has no intention of hanging up his riding boots as he celebrates his landmark 50th birthday today.

Frankie dettori performed Mo Farah's trademark celebration after Winning Foe won the Ebor in 2012, the year of the London Olympics.

The world’s most famous jockey says there are races that he would still like to win – and attributes his longevity to his alliance with champion trainer John Gosden. Dettori and Gosden have been an unstoppable force on the Flat since they teamed up, once again, in 2015 and won the Epsom Derby with Golden Horn.

And while the ground conspired against Enable’s bid to win a historic third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, the quality of horses – like champion stayer Stradivarius – continues to energise the ever-youthful Dettori whose decision to concentrate on the bigger meetings is now paying off.

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“When I went to John’s first time he was like a father figure, as I was only 22 at the time. When I came back over 20 years later he was more like my old mate,” reflected the Italian-born rider.

Frankie Dettori celebrates the 2012 Ebor win of Winning Foe at York.

“If you look at the last five or six years since Golden Horn won the Derby in 2015, what haven’t we won together?

“The horses we have had have been amazing and long may it continue. We have this connection that I don’t have with anybody else and I can’t quite explain what it is, but the results speak for themselves. He is more than just a great trainer, he is a great friend.”

On his future plans, Dettori added: “Apart from Enable, most of John’s good horses stayed in training, which is great news. It is my off-season now and it is my time to chill out so I’m not really thinking too much about the Flat season. We will do Christmas and New Year then regroup.

“I will probably head to the Middle East. I think Dubai is a good strategic place. I will do a bit of riding in Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Frankie Dettori turns 50 today.

“There is a lot going on early in the year.”

The subject of retirement is one that Dettori has played down in recent years and, judging by his current levels of enthusiasm for the sport, it would appear the sight of him performing his trademark flying dismount is unlikely to stop any time soon.

He said: “Look, I’d love to win a Melbourne Cup and being a Newmarket boy the only Group One in England I’ve not won is the July Cup, so I would love to tick that off the list before I retire.

“I really don’t know when I will retire, as I feel good and I’m still competitive and I ride for a great stable.

“I want to go on for as long as I can, that is my dream.”

Meanwhile, York, scene of so many famous Dettori triumphs, has ratified the appointment of Bridget Guerin as the next chair of the York Race Committee from January 1.

Born and brought up in Yorkshire, she was introduced at an early age to racing by her father, John Cleverly, clerk of the course at several racecourses here.

She has enjoyed a successful career in the City has been a member of the York Race Committee since 2010.

She is also on the Board of Beverley Racecourse and is a former steward at Ripon, Thirsk and Beverley.

She succeeds Lord Teddy Grimthorpe who has just been named as the Jockey Club’s new deputy senior steward. Its new-look board, unveiled yesterday, also includes Guerin.

“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity,” said Guerin. “Our aim remains to deliver high quality racing alongside a fantastic racing experience and we all hope for the return of spectators to enjoy the wonderful facilities and racing when the Dante Festival starts on May 12, 2021.”

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