The Betfred-sponsored St Leger Festival got underway on Thursday 14th September, at Doncaster Racecourse. The four-day meeting features around the 2023 St Leger on Saturday – the season’s final ‘Classic’.
It will also be the final time legendary jockey Frankie Dettori contests a Classic in the UK, so Betfred – in conjunction with Pressbox PR – has celebrated the occasion by unveiling a 10ft-high retirement card for punters, colleagues and the odd high-profile ex-referee to sign at the racecourse.
The Italian jockey is a household name and by far and away the largest of personalities the sport has to offer. Dettori has spent the last 37 years in the spotlight, boasting 287 Group One winners and three Champion Jockey titles.
Betfred invites racegoers at the famous Town Moor to pen their messages and share their memories of the jockey.
The three-metre high card carries a message from Betfred owner Fred Done, who was memorably almost brought to his knees in September 1996 with Dettori’s ‘Magnificent Seven’, when he famously won every race at Ascot. The stunning achievement has never been repeated and, at the time, cost Fred a whopping £3.5m!
Fred Done paid tribute in the card:
“Frankie has been fantastic for racing and will leave a big hole in the weighing room when he goes.
The 23 Classic winners have cost us a few quid but it’s been a privilege to witness the career of a legend.
As always, he’s going to be popular with the punters in the Betfred St Leger, but I would be happy to pay out on another flying dismount.”
Dettori will be riding the John & Thady Gosden-trained Arrest in the big race, the Betfred St Leger, at 15:35 on Saturday.