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Thursday 29th September 2022

Frankie Dettori Prepares for his Last Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Ride

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Veteran jockey Frankie Dettori is a six-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner. As he prepares to ride again in this year’s race, question marks linger as to whether it could be the last for the enigmatic Italian.

Dettori won three l’Arc de Triomphe races in four years between 2015 and 2018, with one aboard Golden Horn, followed by back-to-back victories on Enable in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In fact, out of many of the classic races in European horse racing, Dettori has only won the Ascot Gold Cup more than the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

How do we know that Dettori’s thinking about calling it a day?

Dettori recently sparked rumours that he was considering his retirement after an appearance at the Leger Legends race at Doncaster Racecourse. After watching some of his former jockey compatriots return to the saddle for yet another race, Dettori was interviewed after the event. In the paddock, Dettori said he was watching the performance of retired jockeys like Kieren Fallon and Seb Sanders, who would soon become Dettori’s “competition” given that he plans to “be doing this soon”.

Retirement may well be on Dettori’s mind and few could blame him. He’s been riding competitively for 35 years and has ridden over 3,000 winners in British horseracing alone. In fact, Dettori has ridden winners in 24 separate countries, including his treasured victories at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France. He looks set to feature at Longchamp this autumn at least for one last time.

Perhaps the most interesting talking point in horse racing circles ahead of the 2022 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is Frankie Dettori, whose acrimonious split from trainer John Gosden has captured the headlines of late. Dettori has since decided to ride freelance, freeing him to ride for whoever and wherever he’s wanted. The Italian will be present at Longchamp, having agreed to ride Marcel Weiss’ Torquator Tasso.

Dettori rode Torquator Tasso at the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden, where he finished a creditable third. Torquator Tasso won last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Dettori has been entrusted by Weiss to try and make it back-to-back successes.

There are several big names that Dettori and Torquator Tasso will need to overcome, not least Verry Elleegant, the Australian-bred superstar. The mare has wiped the floor with her rivals in all the major meetings Down Under, including victory in the Melbourne Cup last year. Her connections are passionate about pitting her wits against Europe’s best at Longchamp this autumn.

Veteran winner Pyledriver is another that will warrant Dettori’s respect. He stunned the British racing world by landing both the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the King George VI at this year’s Royal Ascot. He was instantly entered into the reckoning for this year’s Arc, creating a fascinating field. Victory for Dettori here would surely be a wonderful opportunity to bow out on the highest of highs.