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Italian stallion of flat racing set to take to the saddle at Down Royal

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Down Royal Racecourse

8th Aug 2023

Frankie Dettori to race in Northern Ireland for the first time in his 35 year racing career

The Italian stallion of flat race jockeys and one of the most decorated sportsmen of all time, is set to make his Northern Ireland racing debut at Down Royal Racecourse next month.

Frankie Dettori MBE, Longines World’s Best Jockey and winner of over 3,000 races during his career, will take to the saddle for the first time on Northern Ireland turf, at the Grant Thornton Race Evening on Friday 8th September.

As well as entertaining the crowds on the racetrack, Frankie will host an unforgettable evening of anecdotes and humour at an exclusive ‘Evening with Frankie Dettori’ in Down Royal’s premium Shortcross Gin Suite.

Frankie will share remarkable stories from his illustrious racing career, including the Godolphin years, some of his proudest and record-breaking achievements – his MBE, the medal for being made a Commedatore in Italy, big wins including the ‘magnificent seven’ at Ascot, the Breeders’ Cup, St Leger and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe wins – and of course his plans for retirement.

Emma Meehan, Chief Executive of Down Royal Racecourse commented: “Securing Frankie Dettori to not only host a Q&A session, but to actually race at Down Royal is quite the feather in our cap! In a career spanning over 35 years, Frankie has never ridden in Northern Ireland so hosting him at the racetrack is such a coup for us, and one of the last opportunities for racing enthusiasts to see him compete professionally.”

“Frankie fans will be hoping to catch a glimpse of him perform one of his trademark flying dismounts in the Down Royal winner’s enclosure, and those fans who purchase a ticket to the evening audience will also have the chance to put their questions to Frankie and get up close and personal in photographs with the Italian racing champion.”

Frankie Dettori said: “I’ve had a fantastic career that has seen me race across the globe but believe it or not I’ve never ridden in Northern Ireland, so this is a first for me. I want to extend a huge thank you to Emma and her team at Down Royal Racecourse for their kind invitation to not only compete on Irish turf, but to host an evening of great craic with my Irish fans.”

52-year-old Dettori announced his retirement at the end of 2022 – his last race in the UK will be at Royal Ascot on the 21st of October, Champions Day. He has since announced that his final farewell to professional racing could take place in Hong Kong where he will ride Kinross.

Tickets for ‘An Evening with Frankie Dettori’ are £55 per person and include admission, premier enclosure badge, access to the Shortcross Gin Suite from gates opening, race card, pint and a £5 Matched Bet.

For full details on the Grant Thornton Race Evening and to purchase tickets to ‘An Evening with Frankie Dettori’, please visit