Jockey Frankie Dettori is galloping round theatres this week with a hilarious one man show of recollections over a horseracing career spanning 30 remarkable years and this Wednesday (Nov 15th) he’s appearing in Eastleigh – By Charles Yates.
With his talented manager Peter Burrell as compere, Dettori, 46, one of the greatest and most charismatic Jockeys of all-time and winner of more than 3,000 races, hosts an evening of fun, anecdotes and chat in his own inimitable style at The Concorde Club.
Among the tales that Frankie will tell is a humorous encounter with the Queen, who gives him a tongue lashing, and the most sensational story of a winner from his Magnificent Seven day at Ascot 21 years ago that caned the bookies for more than £50 million, as the Italian housewives’ favourite won every race on the prestigious Ascot card.
Laughing as he revealed his run-in with Her Majesty, father-of-four Frankie, who came 7th in the 11th series of reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother, said: ‘I had just got home from racing one day when the Queen’s racing manager’s wife Lady Carolyn Warren telephoned to say one of our dogs was found roaming about three miles down the road, so I told her I’d be straight round.
‘Two of my children jumped in the car and we went to retrieve the runaway.
‘When I got to the house Lady Carolyn said ‘you’d better come in’. As we went into the room who should be sat there with the terrier on her knee, but the Queen.
‘My kids were open mouthed as Her Majesty, who is famed for her love of corgis, told me off for not looking after the little fella properly.’
Many of Frankie’s fans remember that stunning seven race winning streak at Ascot, but none more so than a former humble bookie’s clerk Pete Saxton, from Poynton in leafy Cheshire.
Frankie, wearing a Superman suit, said:
‘I remember a joiner Darren Yates who won £550,000 from his last £68 bet on my seven winners sweeping me off my feet on the anniversary of that September seven-timer in 1996 when he picked me up at the races.
‘But it’s only this year 21 years on that I learnt the story of 58-year-old Pete, who wanted 5p Ew on with Coral, but got told the minimum stake per line was 25p ew, so he went with that – every 5p Ew was worth nearly £50,000 and he won a whopping £247,506.56 and their payout limit was £250,000.
‘He promptly quit his job and moved to Las Vegas, where it was all going well until he married a showgirl and then divorced her losing half his fortune!
‘But he stayed on in Nevada working at the Flamingo Sports Book, and to coincide with the 20th anniversary of that tremendous seven-timer, Pete gained his US citizenship.
‘To this day he apparently revels in telling people in the casino how Frankie made him a Yankie.’
Dettori has won races in 24 different countries across the world, including far-flung places such as Turkey, Sweden, Slovakia and Trinidad and Tobago.
He has also won some of the biggest races around the world including, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe five times, including this year on the brilliant British trained filly Enable along with wins in 1995, 2001, 2002, 2015, the Dubai World Cup three times in 2000, 20003 and 2006 and 11 wins at the Breeders Cup meeting in the USA.
Dettori also appeared as a team captain on the BBC’s Question of Sport for two years (2003-2005), opposite his rival captain Ally McCoist.
On Wednesday the laughs continue with the show at The Concorde Club in Eastleigh, with The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage the venue on Thursday, then on the 18th it’s at The Alban Arena in St Albans and finally they’re at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton on November 25th.