Fred bids farewell to Frankie Dettori by sending a giant retirement card to the Betfred St Leger Festival at Doncaster before the racing legend rides in his final Classic on Saturday.
Having spent over 37 years in the saddle, Frankie Dettori is in the final furlong of his glittering racing career. With 287 Group One winners and three Champion Jockey titles to his name, the charismatic Italian is set to hang up his riding boots in October, as he retires from the sport of horse racing.
To celebrate the occasion, Fred’s sent a giant retirement card to Doncaster racecourse ahead of Saturday’s Betfred sponsored St Leger. The race will mark Frankie’s final ride in a ‘Classic’, where he’ll be hoping to make it winner number 24 aboard Arrest, some 29 years after partnering Balanchine to victory in the 1994 Epsom Oaks.
Any fans lucky enough to be in attendance at the famous Town Moor venue throughout the four days are invited to join jockeys and famous faces to pen their own messages and share their favourite Dettori memories. Anybody else can head over to @Betfred on X (formerly Twitter) to wish the 51-year-old ‘arrivederci’ using #FarewellFrankie.
The three-metre high card (10ft) also carries a personal message from Betfred owner Fred Done, who was almost brought to his knees back in September 1996 when Dettori went through the card with his infamous ‘Magnificent Seven’ winners at Ascot. It was a stunning achievement, never repeated, that left Fred with a £3.5M hole in his pocket!
Situated just outside the weighing room, the retirement card will take centre stage and provide a fitting tribute to one of racing and sport’s most popular stars.
“Frankie has been fantastic for racing and will leave a big hole in the weighing room when he goes.
The 23 Classic winners have cost us a few quid but it’s been a privilege to witness the career of a legend.
As always, he’s going to be popular with the punters in the Betfred St Leger, but I would be happy to pay out on another flying dismount.”
Fred Done, Betfred Owner
In total, it’s estimated that Dettori’s previous 23 classic winners have cost the betting industry in excess of £400m.
The Italian jockey was originally thought to be saddling up on the other Gosden-trained hope Gregory, but after a prolonged period of rain has switched to their other runner Arrest.
Since the announcement, Arrest has shortened into our 10/3 favourite at time of writing, ahead of Continuous and Gregory.
It’s certain to be a popular selection and it would be no surprise to see one last flying dismount in the winners’ enclosure come 15:45 on Saturday afternoon.