One of the greatest jockeys in horse racing history, Frankie Dettori, announced his retirement at the end of the 2023 season. But don’t be too quick to mourn his retirement from horse racing, as there’s still plenty of action to be enjoyed from the Italian legend. In what he called the “Farewell Tour”, Dettori reached Saudi Arabia and achieved great things ahead of the 2023 Saudi Cup to confirm his incredible career
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Dettori’s win at the Riyadh Dirt Sprint and his plans for the rest of the season. Also, a horse racing article on Dettori and his accomplishments couldn’t be complete without analyzing the rise of the Saudi Arabian horse racing landscape in recent years.
The Season so Far for Dettori
The road so far can be best described using Frankie’s words “It has been overwhelming. I did not expect to do so well.” Since the beginning of the season, the Italian bagged 19 wins, and everything started at Santa Anita.
Despite some great riders there, Dettori enjoyed himself and got great support from trainers and fans alike. So, it’s no wonder things went well, and he was so excited about the Saudi Cup. Talking about the competition in Saudi Arabia, Dettori said he’d been part of the action for 30 years so the feels like he’s part of the furniture already. Thanks to his extensive career, Frankie could look back at the early years when the race was situated in the city center. He then continued to praise the “new track” (even though it’s been there for 15 or 20 years, according to his own statement), calling it the best dirt track he’s ever ridden for being kinder than others throughout the world.
Results in Saudi Arabia
After an exceptional start to the season, Dettori was confident about the events taking place in Saudi Arabia. Especially since he had fourth fantastic horses to ride toward victory in every event. He rode Havnameltdown in a thrilling Saudi Derby that gave fans a battle right toward the end. Unfortunately, Dettori lost by a head to Commissioner King, but it set the pace for the upcoming races.
Things didn’t go too well for the Italian legend at the Longines Red Sea Cup Turf Handicap. Despite his efforts, he only ended 8th while riding Trawlerman – an Irish-trained horse.
However, he did not have too much time to think about 8th place because the Riyadh Dirt Sprint was just ahead. The start of the race did not go so well for Frankie and Elite Power. Having been outpaced all the way, the jockey traveled to stay with the group and even though he’d finish sixth not long before the end of the race. In the end, the other horses slowed down, and Elite Power just kept on going to give Dettori the trophy!
The Saudi Cup
One of the highlights of Dettori’s farewell tour was undoubtedly his participation in the 2023 Saudi Cup, the richest horse race in the world with a purse of $20 million. The race, which took place on February 25th, saw Dettori riding Country Grammer. Despite being one of the favorites, Country Grammer had a slow start, and Dettori was forced to work hard to get him up to speed. However, once the horse hit his stride, he quickly filled the gap and looked like a serious threat to the leaders.
He pushed to the absolute limit but in the end, Pantahalassa got the best of him in 2023, just like it happened in the previous year. It was a true heartbreak for trainer Bob Baffert and Frankie to lose against the same horse this year. And many of those who watched the race were confident that if the track had another 100m, Country Grammer and the decorated Italian jockey could’ve pulled a huge surprise. The event could be enjoyed by punters worldwide at the best betting sites in Saudi Arabia, and everyone had a great time thanks to the thrilling contest.
The Growing Importance of the Middle Eastern Horse Races
With the Saudi Cup already taking its place among the best international horse racing events, other races in the Gulf area are rising to fame. The horse races in the Gulf region also provide an opportunity for the countries to showcase their hospitality and culture to the world. These events attract high-profile individuals, including royalty and celebrities, and offer a glimpse into the rich traditions and heritage of the region. Moreover, horse racing events also have a significant economic impact, creating jobs, boosting tourism, and generating revenue for local businesses Stay refreshed for more tips and updates with Quintdaily.