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Dettori Has ‘Absolute Weapons’ for Champions Day

Frankie Dettori believes he will have some “absolute weapons” at Ascot on British Champions Day for his final day riding in Britain before his planned retirement.

Dettori said he was “completely focused” on ensuring he was in the best possible position for the meeting Oct. 21, with his potential mounts including King Of Steel  in the Champion Stakes (G1), Inspiral  in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1), Kinross  in the British Champions Sprint (G1) and Courage Mon Ami  in the Long Distance Cup (G2).

He said: “I know I’m retiring, but I don’t want to take the gloss off Champions Day because it’s about coronating the best horses in every category and, lucky me, I’ve got some absolute weapons that day on top of my retirement.

“I don’t want to take my eye off the ball as I have some massive pressure rides—possibly Inspiral, King Of Steel, Kinross, Courage Mon Ami—so I have to make sure I’m completely focused on it.”

Champions Day has long been identified as the final meeting at which Dettori would ride in Britain, with the jockey then taking in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington and the Hong Kong International fixture at Sha Tin before ending his career.

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However, speculation has continued that Dettori will extend his time in the saddle beyond the end of the year, most likely riding abroad before finally finishing.

Speaking on Luck On Sunday on Racing TV, Dettori said he had “every right” to stick to his plan to retire this year, albeit he admitted to not having thought beyond his rides in Australia next month and Hong Kong in December.

“I’m flying straight to the States [after Ascot] for the Breeders’ Cup and then on to Melbourne, and I promised [owner] Marc Chan that I would delay my retirement as he’s very keen to run Kinross in Hong Kong. If he doesn’t make it, then Melbourne could be my last one,” Dettori said.

“I’ll be honest, I’ve not thought beyond Melbourne or Hong Kong. I said that I’m retiring and at the moment I’ve got every right to carry on with that. I’m looking forward to a decent meal and a good holiday.

“[Just] because I’m riding a few winners here and there people are saying ‘you should be doing this, you should be doing that’. But, listen, I’m 52 and for a jockey it’s a pretty long career. 

“The time has come and I’m glad it’s finished like this. I didn’t expect a year like this, and I can’t predict the future. I’m going to miss it but I have enjoyed it. It’s turned out to be a good send off.”

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