Frankie Dettori ‘hugely important’ to racing, says Lee Mottershead


Lee Mottershead describes Frankie Dettori's importance to horse racing after rumours he is due to retire.

Lee Mottershead says Frankie Dettori is hugely important to racing, after rumours circulated that he was due to retire.

Dettori, 47, who won his first Ascot Gold Cup in 1992, found his future the subject of speculation on Derby day earlier this month, but he was quick to deny the rumours and insisted he would ride for “five more years”.

The Italian has once again been in good form at Royal Ascot this week, and won the Gold Cup for the sixth time on Thursday on board the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius.

The win also gave Dettori his 60th victory at Royal Ascot and afterwards he said: “I’m still here and you can’t get rid of me.”

Mottershead has welcomed the impact Dettori has made and believes he is riding as well as ever.

Speaking on the fifth day of Royal Ascot, Mottershead, the chief racing writer at the Racing Post, told Sky Sports News: “He is hugely important.”

“With the best will in the world, there aren’t that many recognisable faces in the world of horse racing. Frankie is one of the very few.

“He is the biggest name in the sport, this is the sport’s biggest event in Flat racing, the two need to go together.

“Only a few weeks after all these rumours circulated that he was going to retire, he came here at 47-years-old, he won three races on the opening day and then best of all, he won the Gold Cup for the sixth time.

1:53 Frankie Dettori says he is delighted to win his sixth Gold Cup in his racing career.

“He is still riding as good as ever.”

Mottershead reckons Dettori definitely has more racing in him before he finally decides to call it a day.

“I’d say four or five years,” he said.

“At the minute he has got a fantastic job. He is riding for John Gosden, who has so many outstanding horses and they get on really well with each other.”