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Newmarket’s Frankie Dettori to sell off trophies and silks as he retires from horse racing

Horse racing great Frankie Dettori is to sell a selection of his trophies and racing silks, putting 126 items up for auction ahead of his retirement from the sport.

The 52-year-old jockey, who lives near Newmarket, who has had more than 4,000 wins over a long career that started in the 1980s, plans to retire after Ascot in October.

He has been clearing out items from his country pile near Newmarket, as he and his wife Catherine prepare to move house, as he said their children have all “branched out”.

Frankie Dettori Kings Colours. Picture by Mark Westley
Frankie Dettori Kings Colours. Picture by Mark Westley

His jockey scales, a saddle, boots and photographs are among the 126 pieces to be sold in an online auction by Cheffins in Cambridge from July 5.

The sale has been described by auctioneers as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own prizes and memorabilia from one of the greatest sports personalities worldwide”.

Among the lots is Dettori’s trophy from his Epsom Oaks win in June 2023, which could be his last win in a Classic race should he not win the St Leger in September.

Chaldean, Frankie Dettori and Andrew Balding. Picture: Mark Westley
Chaldean, Frankie Dettori and Andrew Balding. Picture: Mark Westley

Dettori said: “We’re going to move away from Newmarket.

“Newmarket’s been my life.

“We’re scaling down and I’ve got so much stuff, we thought we might as well just auction it.

Frankie Dettori and John Gosden. Picture by Mark Westley
Frankie Dettori and John Gosden. Picture by Mark Westley

“I didn’t realise because they end up in drawers, in cupboards, in the cellar, I mean they’re all over the place.

“Now we’re clearing up a lot of stuff, we didn’t realise how much accumulated in so many years.”

He said it had been difficult to decide what to sell and what to keep.

“Yes, of course, you know, but then you’ve got to put everything in context,” he said.

“You need a mansion to put the trophies up.

“I tried to keep something what means something to me, some of the important stuff like the Derby and things like that, but the rest is going to go up in auction.”

He continued: “All my kids have branched out so it’s only myself and Catherine my wife left so we’re planning to rent the house, scale down and move towards London a bit.

“And I’d like to travel the world a bit.”

He said he feels it is the “right time” to retire, and “wanted to stop at the top”.

“I’m going to be 53 and I wanted to stop at the top. I still feel that I’m riding well enough to finish at the top. I think it’s the right time. My heart doesn’t want to stop but my brain is telling me to stop. It’s not going to be easy.”

He said some of the proceeds of the auction will go to the charity Direct Aid For Africa (Dafa), and some will go to his children, adding: “My daughter’s getting married next year but she hasn’t fixed a date yet.”

He said that in his retirement he is “not going to be too far away from horseracing”.

“Working on TV is an option,” he said. “I’m in talks at the moment with a few different channels and I think that’s the way that I’m going to head.”

Asked if he would consider an appearance on the reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Dettori said: “I haven’t been asked yet but if I do get asked, I’ll have a good think about that.”

He said the reception he has been getting for winners has surprised him.

“The warmth of the people has been amazing,” said Dettori. “Wherever I go, I was taking a lot of selfies last year but quadrupled the amount of selfies that I’m taking every day. People have been so good. I’m enjoying it.

“It’s going to be sad when I get to the end of the season but at the moment I’m not thinking about it. I’m trying to do good and trying to go through my last year in a happy fashion.”

He played down his chances of winning Sports Personality of the Year.

“I think I finished third back in the day,” said Dettori. “I mean racing is an OK sport but it’s not as big as the Olympics or Formula One or football. We are a minority sport so it would be very hard to win it but it’s nice to be mentioned in the list anyway.”

He said he would like to win the July Cup in Newmarket – the sole British Group One to have eluded him in his career so far.

“I’m a Newmarket boy, I’ve been here for 35 years, or 37 or 38, whatever they are,” he said. “It’s the only Group One I didn’t win.

“Ironically it’s in Newmarket. Yes, I’ve got a couple of horses in mind at the moment.”

Harriet Lusty, deputy saleroom manager at Cheffins, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own prizes and memorabilia from one of the greatest sports personalities worldwide.

“Frankie Dettori is a household name and we will be selling over 100 lots of his prizes from his collection of over 4,000 wins he has had throughout his illustrious career, as well as a series of other pieces including his jockey scales, a saddle, boots and photographs.

“With Frankie’s retirement on the horizon, the Dettori family have been looking to scale down the house and needed to find new homes for his thousands of prizes and trophies, which were kept in garages and cellars and throughout his property just outside of Newmarket.

“This one-off sale will take place solely online over a two-week period, and will include some of the most significant prizes Frankie has won to date, such as the trophy for his win in the Epsom Oaks in June 2023.

“This was Frankie’s last ride in the Epsom Oaks and could well be his last win in the ‘Classic’ races, should he not win the St Leger in September, making this a really significant potential purchase for racing fans.

“In addition, there is also Frankie’s jockey scales, which were gifted to him by jockey Steve Cauthen, which Frankie has used for the past 30 years.

“This is an incredible opportunity for fans of horseracing, and we expect interest from buyers not only from the UK but also from across Europe, the Middle East and also the US as Frankie Dettori is consistently the most famous name in the sport worldwide.

“Usually, these prizes from top athletes are kept under lock and key, so this is a really unusual scenario where everyday fans can own a part of sporting history.”