Epsom Derby: Frankie Dettori has ‘no plan’ to retire – BBC Sport


The Derby is everything for us – Dettori
Venue: Epsom Racecourse Date: Saturday 4 July Times: 15:40 BST Oaks, 16:55 Derby
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Frankie Dettori says he has “no plan” to retire as he prepares for two Classics and the return of Enable.

The 49-year-old rides Derby favourite English King and Oaks second-favourite Frankly Darling at Epsom on Saturday.

The following day he will rejoin superstar mare Enable in the Group One Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

“They ask me every day when I am going to retire. At the moment I have no plan,” said Dettori.

The Italian speaks of being in the “twilight” of his career, adding: “I know that I’m not going to be around forever.”

But, having been leading jockey at Royal Ascot last month, he said he will not retire while he is still in high demand.

“I still feel good, and I love it – 50 was the magical age when I started, now there are many people around the world who ride over 53, 54, 55,” said the jockey.

“In my sport you are one fall away from quitting, from stopping really, so touch wood that fall is far away and I am going to carry on until my body can’t keep up.”

Frankie Dettori

On his quest for a third Derby victory, to follow his wins on Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015, Dettori said: “For us it is the most important race.

“In any sport you’ve got your signature event. Like the Monaco GP for Formula 1, or the Masters in golf, and the Superbowl.

“The Derby for us is everything. It is the race that when you’re born and you want to be a jockey you want to win.

“It means a lot, even despite the fact that this year’s race is behind closed doors, the nature of the race itself, it will be just as good.”

Although there will be no crowds present, two owners per horse will be permitted to attend race meetings from Saturday.

Dettori said he was saddened by the death last week of 2009 Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell, aged 34, and acknowledged the sport’s pressures.

“What we do seems very glamorous from the outside, but it’s a hard sport, physically demanding, you travel a lot, you lose 80% of the time, you only win 20% of the time,” he said.

“We have created some helplines out there to help people. It’s not easy. I mean I dread the day I have to retire what I will be like. Because you go from doing something for 30 years, to change your lifestyle. I am slowly preparing myself for it, but it will not be easy.”

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