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'Look at Ronaldo, one day he was playing and he’s on the bench the next. I don’t want to end up like that'

George Priestman

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'Look at Ronaldo, one day he was playing and he’s on the bench the next. I don’t want to end up like that'

Famed jockey Frankie Dettori has decided he will call time on his career in 2023, and reveals that he used Cristiano Ronaldo's current situation to inform his decision.

A star in the sport of Horse Racing, the 52-year-old has claimed that he will retire at the end of 2023.

The Italian has graced the scene since 1987, winning his first race in England as a 16-year-old.

He has over 3000 wins over the course of his career, a feat he achieved in 2017.

After a long and successful career, Dettori will essentially now go on a year-long farewell tour taking in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the UK.


Dettori will compete next year, but it will be his last as he revealed today.

His career has been long with plenty of ups and downs in and out of the sport that include failed drugs tests, being a captain on the BBC panel show A Question of Sport, surviving a plane crash, as well as being famous for his 'magnificent seven' achievement at Ascot in September 1996, where he went through the card, taking all seven races at odds of 25,051-1.

After decades in the sport, he revealed his retirement will be next year, he said: “Next year, 2023, will be my final professional year as a jockey.

“I will break the news now. It is something I have been thinking about for a while and what an appropriate day to tell the racing world that it is going to be my finale next year.”

Dettori said he will officially bow out at next year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita in November and revealed the decision to call time on his career was very tough.

“It is a very difficult decision because my heart wants to carry on riding, but I have had to use my brain and I’ve just turned 52 and next year I’ll be 53,” he continued.

“I spoke to my dad at length. My dad stopped at 51, he is very supporting and I also had to speak to my wife and children who are delighted because they have barely seen me for 35 years!

He then referenced Ronaldo, who at 37 years old, is in the twilight of his career but despite all he has achieved, he finds himself not in demand like he once was.

This helped to inform Dettori's decision, who doesn't want to struggle on at the end of the career.

“Look at Ronaldo, one day he was playing and he’s on the bench the next. I don’t want to end up like that and end up where I’m struggling to get rides in the big races. At the moment I still have good horses to ride and I want to finish like that.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Horse Racing, Cristiano Ronaldo

George Priestman
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