Frankie Dettori is to retire from racing at the end of next year after a glittering career, the rider has confirmed.
Dettori, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Thursday, will bring the curtain down on his time as one of the most popular jockeys to ever saddle up in the paddock.
Champion jockey on three separate occasions, Dettori rode all seven winners on Champions’ Day at Ascot in 1996. In an interview with ITV Racing, he said he had come to the decision after consultation with his family, including his father, fellow Classic winner jockey Gianfranco.
Dettori’s final bow on the English soil he has made his home since arriving as a teenager will see him return to Ascot on 21 October, before heading to the States for the Breeders’ Cup.
“Next year, 2023, will be my final professional year as a jockey,” he said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, to tell the racing world that it’s going to be my finale next year.”
The start of that final year will see Dettori spend 10 weeks in California before heading to Dubai and Saudi Arabia before “back to Newmarket, and I’ll be riding right through and it will be my last Guineas, my last Derby, my last Royal Ascot, then finish the end of the season, could be Champions Day or Newmarket.
“And then I’ll have the final farewell as a professional rider, probably in California in the Breeders’ Cup.”
AP McCoy, Dettori’s contemporary as a 20-time National Hunt Champion Jockey, said: “The hardest thing is knowing when to stop. It’s about beating the clock – and Frankie is going out at the top. He’s racing’s Lionel Messi – you can’t teach a kid to ride like Frankie Dettori.”