Frankie Dettori lands punter £110k by riding six straight winners at Santa Anita

Frankie Dettori on board Nothing Like You/Frankie Dettori defies odds of 77,000-1 to ride six straight winners at Santa Anita
Frankie Dettori's biggest success of the six came aboard 10-1 shot Nothing Like You - AP/Benoit Photo

In the unlikely event Frankie Dettori ever doubted himself in postponing his retirement and extending his career by relocating to Los Angeles, he got emphatic evidence that it was the right thing to do on Saturday when he rode six consecutive winners at Santa Anita, earning one punter a £110,880 payout for a £1 stake.

The feat brought back memories of the day at Ascot in 1996 when he first became a household name by going through the card riding all seven winners in what has subsequently been dubbed his ‘magnificent seven.’ At Santa Anita on Saturday he had 11 rides but in the middle of them fired off the six winners in a row.

One week after a quietish Dubai World Cup night by his standards, Dettori was back in America in unstoppable form on Santa Anita Derby day and it rendered him almost speechless for once.

“I adore this place and to be able to say that I won six races on Santa Anita Derby day is beyond my wildest dreams,” said the jockey. “I don’t know how to put it into words. Is it real? Am I dreaming? Is this really happening? It’s incredible. I just don’t know what to say.”

Throughout his career Dettori, 53, was always the prime example of a ‘confidence jockey’, with one winner more than likely to be followed by another as he grew in self belief. That works in inverse, too, as Royal Ascot 2022 proved when things went from bad to worse and he had to take a sabbatical from his No1 role with trainer John Gosden shortly afterwards.

On Saturday he set the ball rolling with Ball Don’t Lie in a maiden before Recinto Rompere won a claimer and Roberta’s Love took the Evening Jewel Stakes. Kathynmarissa won the next maiden before Nothing Like You won the Santa Anita Oaks and Royal Charter made it six before Imagination bucked the trend, finishing second in the Grade One Santa Anita Derby. “He’s just a phenomenon,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “He’s world class and has brought his talent to every stage.”

Aidan Butler, chief executive of 1/st, which owns Santa Anita, said: “What can I say... Frankie put on a show on the biggest stage once again. It was brilliant for all the fans at Santa Anita to witness a master at work.”

It took Dettori’s tally this season at Santa Anita to 34 winners from 162 rides with prize money totalling $2.5 million (£1.98 million). He is fourth in the jockeys’ table which is led by Juan Hernandez on 52 wins.

Dettori executes his famous dismount after victory on Nothing Like You
Dettori executes his famous dismount after victory on Nothing Like You - AP/Benoit Photo

On that famous day at Ascot he left a number of bookies in ruins as small accumulator bets landed huge sums of money with the seven-horse accumulator paying out at 25,051-1 and landing one punter with winnings of £550,000.

People still follow Dettori religiously and a £1 accumulator bet, selecting all six winners, for one Ladbrokes customer earned him £110,880. “At one point last night it was like Ascot all over again,” said Simon Clare, PR and broadcast director of Ladbroke-Coral.

“One person got all six in the same bet but there were a few other smaller bets rolling on to Imagination, who got beat, in the Santa Anita Derby. At that point we were staring down the barrel of a big payout. It’s still cost us a few quid. I thought he was supposed to have retired! But you’d be surprised how many people still follow him, even in America.”

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