Jockey Frankie Dettori may be ending his career where it all began — at the legendary Santa Anita Park.
Frankie Dettori is expected to end his global retirement farewell tour where it started – at Santa Anita. Since announcing in late 2022 that 2023 would be his final year as a jockey, Dettori has been crisscrossing the world in his quest for more big-race winners and experiences.
The first stop-off on his journey was Santa Anita when he started a 10-week stint at the California track the day after Christmas and rode three winners, including Country Grammer, with who he partnered to Dubai World Cup success in 2022 and who is a general +2000 shot to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Breeders’ Cup farewell
It is anticipated that Dettori will also have his final rides at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup on the first weekend in November and bowing out in a blaze of glory feels like destiny for the 52-year-old.
Before then, Dettori will have a string of big-race mounts, and one race he will be looking to win is the July Cup at Newmarket, which is a Group One in England he has yet to win, and his likely mount Kinross is currently around a +1000 shot for that race.
Today’s horse racing bets and specials will also give you a price on Dettori being a champion jockey in his final season. Still, it’s been a long time since the Italian has chased that goal, and his odds of +10000 reflect that, as he instead focuses on winning as many major races as possible.
Dettori’s big-race winners during his final season can be tracked via Paddy Power racing results — he has already shown in 2023 that he retains the hunger and ability to win the biggest prizes.
And we’re off… 😉 pic.twitter.com/PbPPTmcI9Q
— Frankie Dettori (@FrankieDettori) December 26, 2022
He took his total to 23 British Classic successes after winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Chaldean and then the Oaks at Epsom on Soul Sister. Unfortunately, his commitment to Chaldean denied Dettori a final chance to tick winning the Kentucky Derby off his bucket list, as the races are on the same day, and he was also unable to win the Epsom Derby on his final ride in Britain’s most prestigious flat race.
However, one of his Group One winners at Epsom looks likely to give Dettori his best chance of a Breeders’ Cup success in autumn. Emily Upjohn won the Coronation Cup under a typically stylish Dettori ride and she would seem to be a likely candidate for Santa Anita, a track the jockey rides particularly well.
As well as his treble on Boxing Day, Dettori rode a four-timer in February and finished third in the overall standings for the Santa Anita Classic Meet. He has also ridden five Breeders’ Cup winners at the track, including the Juvenile Turf on three occasions, while his Classic win on Raven’s Pass in 2008 was the first in the race for a British-trained horse.
— Breeders’ Cup (@BreedersCup) November 5, 2016
Leading European-based jockey
In total, Dettori has won 14 Breeders’ Cup races, the most of any European-based jockey, and repeating his 2016 success aboard Queen’s Trust in the Filly & Mare Turf would seem to be the most prominent race for him to end his career on a high note.
Emily Upjohn looks the type of horse who should be suited by the nature of that race and it is often an easier race to tackle than the Turf, especially if Japanese superstar Equinox turns up at Santa Anita.
He is building up toward a fitting farewell to one of the most decorated careers in racing and seeing Dettori’s famous flying dismount one last time at Santa Anita in November would be a truly memorable occasion. Given Dettori’s career arc up to now, few would bet against him doing it before he heads off into the California sunset at the end of the Breeders’ Cup.