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Italian stallion Dettori takes to the saddle at Down Royal for first time

Frankie Dettori returns to the enclosures aboard Courage Mon Ami after winning the Gold Cup (Group 1) for owner Wathnan racing and trainer John Gosden at Royal Ascot in June. He will ride in Northern Ireland for the first time on September 8
Frankie Dettori returns to the enclosures aboard Courage Mon Ami after winning the Gold Cup (Group 1) for owner Wathnan racing and trainer John Gosden at Royal Ascot in June. He will ride in Northern Ireland for the first time on September 8 Frankie Dettori returns to the enclosures aboard Courage Mon Ami after winning the Gold Cup (Group 1) for owner Wathnan racing and trainer John Gosden at Royal Ascot in June. He will ride in Northern Ireland for the first time on September 8

FRANKIE Dettori is to race in Northern Ireland for the first time in his illustrious 35-year racing career.

The three-time British flat racing champion jockey, who has ridden 287 Group One race winners including 23 Classics, will take to the saddle at the Grant Thornton Race Evening at Down Royal on Friday September 8.

And as well as entertaining the crowds on the racetrack, the Italian stallion of flat race jockeys will host an evening of anecdotes and humour at an exclusive ‘Evening with Frankie Dettori’ in Down Royal’s premium Shortcross Gin Suite.

Dettori (52), named Longines World’s Best Jockey and winner of more than 3,000 races during a glittering career, will share remarkable stories from his illustrious racing career.

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These will including the Godolphin years, some of his proudest and record-breaking achievements – his MBE, the medal for being made a Commedatore in Italy, big wins including the ‘magnificent seven’ at Ascot, the Breeders' Cup, St Leger and Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe wins – and also his plans for retirement.

Down Royal Racecourse chief executive Emma Meehan, said: “Securing Frankie Dettori to not only host a Q&A session, but to actually race at Down Royal is quite the feather in our cap!

“He has never ridden in Northern Ireland, so hosting him at the racetrack is such a coup for us, and one of the last opportunities for racing enthusiasts to see him compete professionally.

“Frankie fans will be hoping to catch a glimpse of him perform one of his trademark flying dismounts in the Down Royal winner’s enclosure, and those fans who purchase a ticket to the evening audience will also have the chance to put their questions to Frankie and get up close and personal in photographs with the Italian racing champion.”

Frankie Dettori said: “I’ve had a fantastic career that has seen me race across the globe but believe it or not I’ve never ridden in Northern Ireland, so this is a first for me.

“I want to extend a huge thank you to Emma and her team at Down Royal Racecourse for their kind invitation to not only compete on Irish turf, but to host an evening of great craic with my Irish fans.”

Dettori announced his retirement at the end of 2022 – and his last race in the UK will be at Royal Ascot on Champions Day on October 21.

He has since announced that his final farewell to professional racing could take place in Hong Kong where he will ride Kinross.

Tickets for ‘An Evening with Frankie Dettori’ are £55 and include admission, premier enclosure badge, access to the Shortcross Gin Suite from gates opening, race card, pint and a £5 matched bet. Details at www.downroyal.com/fixtures