Frankie Dettori Nominated For BBC Sports Personality Of The Year

News | 12th December 2023

Frankie Dettori has enjoyed a sensational 2023 and it has got even better with the news he’s made the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

It’s been a wonderful 12 months for Frankie Dettori, on and off the track. On it, his string of big-race victories made him rethink retirement plans. Off it, he made a trip into the jungle as a contestant in ITV’s primetime hit show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Here we look back at Frankie’s fantastic year which has resulted in a nomination for the prestigious BBC Sport Personality of the Year award

How To Vote

Voting will commence during the broadcast of the live show at 7pm, Tuesday 19th December on BBC1. 

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott will present the 70th edition of the annual awards.

Frankie Dettori

Magic Moments

To enjoy the ups, you’ve got the have the downs. When Chaldean dumped Frankie Dettori onto the Newbury turf as the stalls opened in the Greenham Stakes, his hopes for a fourth victory in the 2000 Guineas took a right thumping.

Luckily, there were no similar dramas in the opening Classic of the season as the pair put their blip behind them when it mattered. It was a vintage Frankie ride, getting Chaldean into a wonderful rhythm, securing the ideal position and timing his run to perfection. It was a 22nd British Classic for the three-times Champion Jockey. The 23rd was to arrive just a few weeks later.

Somewhat ironically, like Chaldean, Soul Sister had also seen her Classic hopes dented at Newbury in the spring when finishing a tailed off last in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.

It was a different story in the Musidora at York when she bolted up. She headed to Epsom for the Oaks with solid claims of giving Frankie a super seventh victory in the fillies’ Classic.

They didn’t disappoint. The Italian rider settled Soul Sister in the rear in the early stages, came with a smooth run at the start of the straight and stormed away for a famous success. Frankie’s retirement tour couldn’t have started much better.

Racing Royalty

Frankie is as much a part of Royal Ascot as top hats and champagne. Ever since his first winner at Flat racing’s most prestigious meeting in 1990, he has been making headlines at his favourite track.

After a frustrating opening day that saw him finish runner-up three times, he burst into life, dictating the pace superbly when steering Gregory to victory in the Queen’s Vase.

That Group 2 win was followed by glory in the greatest staying race of them all, the Gold Cup. Frankie had already won Royal Ascot’s top prize eight times when he lined up on Courage Mon Ami for old allies John and Thady Gosden.

With a superb waiting ride, he picked his way through from the rear and pounced in the closing stages, for a famous Gold Cup success. With victories on Coppice and Porta Fortuna Frankie ended the week with four winners.

It took his Royal Ascot tally to an astonishing 81 victories – two winners clear of Ryan Moore. Only Lester Piggott, with a staggering 116 victories, has ridden more Royal Ascot winners than Frankie.

Local Legend

The trademark Frankie ‘flying dismount’ has been seen hundreds of times following big races.

When he celebrated victory on star filly Inspiral in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes in October in his traditional manner, it had added significance.

It was his 500th winner at Newmarket’s two tracks. This time on the Rowley Mile but certainly no stranger to success on the neighbouring July Course, he steered Inspiral to her fifth Group 1 victory. Few have been easier as he reached the incredible landmark at the home of Flat racing.

The town has been his home since moving from Italy as a teenager, with a limited grasp of English.

Frankie Dettori
Inspiral and Frankie Dettori winning The Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes

True Champion

If it really does turn out to be Frankie’s last appearance in the saddle at Ascot, there couldn’t have been a more fitting farewell than QIPCO British Champions Day. A mere 27 years after his legendary ‘magnificent seven’, Frankie rode two winners at the all-important end-of-season celebrations.

After partnering Trawlerman to a narrow success in the QIPCO Long Distance Cup, he then took the day’s big race with a sublime last-to-first ride on King Of Steel. He galvanised the Derby runner-up for a perfectly-timed late burst to land him his third Qipco Champion Stakes.

It was vintage Frankie at the track he loves as much as he is loved.

SPOTY Shortlist

Frankie faces stiff opposition in the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year.

Ex-England cricketer Stuart Broad, England goalkeeper Mary Earps, world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett and golfer Rory McIlroy are the nominees.

Racing’s greatest showman deserves his place alongside sport’s greatest stars and would be a fitting winner after a magnificent year.