5 of the best: Frankie Dettori St Leger victories
The St Leger Festival’s flagship day brings the four days to a dramatic climax with everything building up to the World’s oldest Classic, the William Hill St Leger Stakes.
Frankie Dettori is the current leading jockey in the St Leger with five wins in total, stretching back to 1995. He is three victories clear of his nearest rivals who are still riding today, Andrea Atzeni (2014 & 2015), William Buick (2010 & 2011) and Ryan Moore (2017 & 2018).
Here are Frankie’s five St Leger victories.
1995 – Classic Cliche
Dettori tracked the front runner Jural throughout the race before moving into the lead four furlongs from the finish. Classic Cliche quickly went clear of the field and won by three and a half lengths from his nearest rival Minds Music.
The win gave Dettori the 1,000th win of his career after just eight years since his first win in Britain. 1995 was a good year for Frankie not only did he win the St Leger, he also went to become Champion Jockey.
1996 – Shantou
Frankie said in a recent interview that the “1996 St Leger with Shantou was my favourite, it was the first St Leger for John (Gosden) and the first Classic for John. It was a very special day for me.”
Shantou was an absolute warrior and showed a real willingness to win as he went past Dushyantor to win by a neck. The win was celebrated in the traditional fashion of a flying dismount and it played a major role in establishing Gosden amongst the British training elite.
2005 – Scorpion
It wasn’t pretty in the driving rain but it certainly was effective. Scorpion proved the stronger by outstaying his five rivals to win by a length; proving he was rightly placed as the 10/11 favourite.
Dettori had to turn down the chance to ride Motivator in the Irish Champion Stakes and the decision was well rewarded as he brought up his 10th British Classic.
2006 – Sixties Icon
One of Dettori’s most straightforward Classic wins; Sixties Icon won the 2006 St Leger by two and half lengths in a dominant performance.
Sixties Icon proved to be a very fruitful partner for Dettori; the pair ended up winning four times together on course.
2008 – Conduit
Frankie Dettori guided Conduit to victory by three lengths from Unsung Heroine to end Sir Michael Stoute’s St Leger hoodoo – finally winning the race at the 26th attempt.
After the victory, Frankie screamed “Yeah, I told you, I told you,” in the Parade Ring at Sir Michael before dismounting and saying, “Lester Piggott, Walter Swinburn, Steve Cauthen, Ryan Moore, I was the last name in the book and the first to do it.”
Frankie then turned to Stoute and asked, “Can we hug?” “I don’t want to do it in public, I’m not Italian,” replied the trainer, but that didn’t stop Dettori.