Jockey Frankie Dettori announces retirement at the end of 2023

Italian star has Dubai on his list of final rides

Jockey Frankie Dettori has announced he will retire at the end of 2023. PA
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Frankie Dettori has announced he will retire from the saddle at the end of 2023.

The Italian, 52, has enjoyed a glittering career, but on a blank day of racing in Britain and Ireland he confirmed that next year will be his last.

“Next year, 2023, will be my final professional year as a jockey," he said.

“I will break the news now. It is something I have been thinking about for a while and what an appropriate day to tell the racing world that it is going to be my finale next year.”

Dettori’s place in the pantheon of the sport’s greatest jockeys has long since being assured, with his achievements far too many to mention.

He has been associated with numerous equine greats, including dual Arc heroine Enable, the mighty stayer Stradivarius and two Derby winners in Authorized and Golden Horn.

Dettori said he will officially bow out at next year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita in November.

He added: “The plan is I am riding Boxing Day in Santa Anita and I’m planning to spend 10 weeks in California.

“I should make my way back via Dubai and Saudi and I guess start my (British) season in Newmarket.

“I will be riding right through, obviously it will be my last Guineas, my last Derby, my last Royal Ascot so on and so forth and then will probably finish (in Britain) at either Champions Day at Ascot or at Newmarket.

“The final farewell as a professional rider will be in California at the Breeders’ Cup.”

Dettori insists the decision to call it a day is not one he has taken lightly.

“It is a very difficult decision because my heart wants to carry on riding, but I have had to use my brain and I’ve just turned 52 and next year I’ll be 53,” he continued.

“I want to be competitive enough to do my owners and my horses justice next year and I think I’m still in that bracket of being good. It was difficult, but it is the right time.

“I spoke to my dad at length. My dad stopped at 51, he is very supporting and I also had to speak to my wife and children who are delighted because they have barely seen me for 35 years!

“I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks and I’ve decided with the firepower I have next year and the horses I have to ride I can finish my career on a big note. Fingers crossed I stay in one piece and we’ll give it a good go next year.

“Look at Ronaldo, one day he was playing and he’s on the bench the next. I don’t want to end up like that and end up where I’m struggling to get rides in the big races. At the moment I still have good horses to ride and I want to finish like that.

“I feel like I’m near the top at the moment, but I’m well past my sell by date so it is about time. It will be very emotional next year, it will be very hard to let go.

“The weighing room is a capsule of timelessness where you never feel old – but the reality is I am old. So I have to give up.”

Updated: June 10, 2023, 12:42 PM