Dettori Cancels Retirement Plans to Ride in America

Frankie Dettori in London on Thursday morning | Zac Godwin/PA Wire

Frankie Dettori attended a photo call in London on Thursday morning, posing underneath a banner saying 'Thank You Frankie' to mark his forthcoming final ride in Britain at QIPCO British Champions Day on October 21.

But while this was taking place, the Racing Post published a story online with quotes from the jockey stating that his long-held retirement plans are off and that he will ride next year in America, basing himself at Santa Anita. 

Dettori's stated plan had been to ride at some of the major international meetings through to the end of the year after waving goodbye to Britain at his beloved Ascot. His decision to stall his retirement and move to California will not come as a surprise to many within the racing industry, but it does rather undermine the drawn out farewell tour he has been conducting in Europe throughout the season.

He told Lee Mottershead of the Racing Post, “I didn't expect this year to be so successful. I feel like I still have to get it all out of my system, so the obvious choice for me is to move full-time to America because I had such a good time there over the winter. I'm going to be based at Santa Anita but I'll also do a bit of stuff on the international scene in Dubai and Saudi Arabia when available.”

Dettori, who had been in tears in Deauville in the summer when French racing acknowledged his final ride at the track, admitted that he had started to rethink retirement after winning the G1 Juddmonte International aboard Mostahdaf (GB) (Frankel {GB}) for his long-term ally John Gosden.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday morning, Dettori said, “I'm in London promoting British Champions Day, and it will be my last one ever. But, a scoop for you guys, I've decided to prolong my career and I am going to go to the United States from next year.”

He did not, however, rule out the possibility that he could yet reappear in Britain, the country which has been his home for 37 years.

“I accept that's a question but at the moment I can't see any further than the Kentucky Derby,” he told the Racing Post. “My goal is to get a decent ride in that. I therefore can't answer the question yet.

“In the past, American jockeys have come over to Royal Ascot to ride for people like Wesley Ward. It would all depend on how it clashes with the American calendar. I am committed to going to America and having a proper go at it there. I can't be going backwards and forwards between America and Britain like a yo-yo. That would be impossible.

“I'll tackle the question of riding in Britain again closer to the time. I can't say yes, I can't say no because I don't know. We'll see.”


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