Frankie Dettori stats: The numbers behind a glorious career in racing
As Frankie Dettori’s retirement at the end of 2023 moves ever nearer, we have taken a closer look at the Italian’s legendary career.
A three-time flat racing champion jockey, Dettori will go down as one of the greatest riders of all-time, with a staggering 287 Group One victories to his name including 23 British Classic successes.
The veteran has won every Group One race in the country except for the July Cup, which he is unable to rectify this weekend due to his suspension.
Allied to this, his larger-than-life personality – typified by his flying dismount after each race win – and remarkable longevity make him the most famous face in the sport.
Here are some of the key Dettori stats from more than 35 years in racing.
How does Dettori fare in Classic races?
Dettori has consistently excelled in the five Classics, which represent the pinnacle of British flat racing.
The 52-year-old has seven victories to his name in the Oaks, six in the St Leger, four each in the 2000 and 1000 Guineas, as well as two in the Derby.
He has dominated the Oaks in recent years, winning four of the last seven editions including this year aboard Soul Sister, and has a superb overall record of 16 podium finishes from 27 starts.
The Italian has struggled by comparison at Epsom’s other Classic – the Derby – having finished in the top three on eight occasions in 28 attempts, with his pair of victories coming in 2007 (Authorized) and 2015 (Golden Horn).
Is Dettori getting better with age?
Dettori is enjoying a stellar year in 2023, having ridden to victory in 17 of his 70 British Flat races so far.
Despite riding a lot less than he used to – he entered more than 500 races every year in the 1990s – the Italian remains at the peak of his powers having posted his top four career win percentages since 2017.
Overall, the veteran has topped the rostrum 3,345 times in 16,954 starts on these shores since 1988, earning £96.6 million in the process.
Dettori’s best year came in 2019 when – as well as collecting almost £7.4 million in prize money – he won a career-best 26 per cent of his races.
Who is Dettori’s most successful trainer?
One of the most impressive Dettori stats is that the Italian has teamed up with more than 600 trainers in his 35-year career in British racing.
He began his journey by leaving Italy for England in 1985 to work as an apprentice in Luca Cumani’s yard at Newmarket, and eventually went on to ride for Cumani’s stable on more than 1,200 occasions in the 1980s and 90s.
Fellow Newmarket trainer John Gosden has since become his most regular partner, providing nearly 2,500 mounts including 275 in collaboration with his son Thady. All told, the Dettori-Gosden combination has produced more than 600 winners.
Of trainers to work with Dettori in at least 100 races, David Loder is the most successful, ahead of Saeed bin Suroor. Dettori rode for Loder on 526 occasions when both were at Godolphin Racing and won almost a third of those races.
Loder and Suroor both played a part in training one of Dettori’s best racehorses, Dubai Millennium, who the Italian rode to victory in six Pattern races at home and abroad.
Which is Dettori’s favourite racecourse?
Dettori is a well-known figure at every major racecourse in Britain, having ridden at least 100 races at 30 separate tracks across the country. He has enjoyed success at all of them, winning at least 15 per cent of races at each venue.
The Italian has performed best on Lingfield’s all-weather track, where he has won 186 times from 630 starts. He is a record four-time winner of the Winter Derby, most recently aboard Dubai Warrior in 2020.
Strangely, Ascot and Newmarket rank as two of Dettori’s least successful racecourses despite being the ones with which he is most associated.
The 52-year-old will be forever remembered for riding seven winners on a single day at Royal Ascot in 1996 at combined odds of 25,000/1, but his overall record at the Berkshire track is modest compared with other venues. He has topped the podium 228 times in 1,501 starts, with his success rate of just over 15 per cent ranking second lowest above Kempton.
Meanwhile, analysis of the Dettori stats show the Italian’s next lowest win percentage is at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile despite him starting his career there and living only a few miles away.
Where has Dettori won worldwide?
Dettori is very much a global superstar having won big races in 24 different countries.
As well as winning more than 750 Graded races in Great Britain, the Italy has over 400 equivalent victories overseas.
This incredible tally includes 163 wins in France, 84 in the UAE and 52 in his native Italy. Dettori is the all-time leading jockey in each country’s arguably most prestigious race – the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (six wins), the Dubai World Cup (four) and the Gran Premio del Jockey Club (six).
The 52-year-old also has 29 Irish wins to his name and 23 in America, including 14 at the world-famous Breeders’ Cup, where he plans to retire November.
Who is Dettori’s best horse?
Of the thousands of horses that Dettori has ridden to victory over the years, it is two of his more recent mounts that stand out in Stradivarius and Enable.
The Italian combined with the Gosden-trained Stradivarius for 15 Graded victories between 2018 and 2022, including five Group One wins split across the Goodwood Cup (two) and the Ascot Gold Cup (three).
He struck gold over a similar period with Enable, also from Gosden’s stable. Dettori and Enable combined for 14 wins from 2017 to 2020, 11 of which were Group One. The pair’s most notable successes included three wins in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, two in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and one in the Epsom Oaks.
Going further back, Dettori’s most significant horse in his early career was the Ian Balding-trained Lochsong, who he partnered with for nine victories in 1993 and 1994. Together they won the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp in both years, as well as York’s Nunthorpe Stakes in 1993.