Frankie Dettori's five favourite moments of a remarkable 2017

Last Updated December 24 2017, 09:51Racing
Frankie Dettori performs a flying dismount from Enable after winning the Arc
Frankie Dettori performs a flying dismount from Enable after winning the Arc

Even by his standards, 2017 proved to be a year to remember for Frankie Dettori.

Despite recently turning 47, the hugely-popular Italian is still riding at the top of his game, a point highlighted by a string of big-race victories in what was a sensational 12 months.

With the curtain now drawn on another memorable campaign, the three-times champion jockey looked back on his five favourite moments from a season blessed with success.

1. Enable - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Chantilly

"The obvious one and the first one on the list for me is the Arc, for many reasons. I was the first jockey to win five Arcs and it just completed the grand finale for Enable. She has been an absolute superstar and it goes without saying she is the best filly I've ever ridden. She came into that race with a huge reputation, but she produced the top-drawer performance that everyone had come to see.

"After she won the King George she was a massive favourite for the three months leading up to the race. We all felt a lot of pressure to make sure she got there at the peak of her powers and she didn't let anyone down.

"It was a relief, but also I was able to enjoy it as she won it so well. She didn't have to battle or struggle in these sort of races, which is unusual. Winning the Arc by how far she did showed she was head and shoulders above everything else."

Enable remporte le Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2017 !

2. Cracksman - Champion Stakes, Ascot

"It was a devastating performance and it took my breath away. Even by my standards he surprised me the way he improved. I had every faith in the horse and I was very confident that he would win, but it was an amazing performance. I had my strength, which was that I knew he was a better stayer than the others and I had to kick on him a long way from home to use that stamina He really responded beyond my imagination. It was my first Champion Stakes and to win it by seven lengths was terrific."

2017 Qipco Champion Stakes - Cracksman - Racing UK

3. Enable - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot

"As a child growing up there were only three races you would watch on television - the Derby, Arc and King George. The King George means a lot to me from my childhood. I had to get down to my bare minimum of 8st 7lb, but for her it was worth it. She was much the best horse in the race and went round like that. It was heavy ground and it was a bit of a slog and that probably dented her speed a bit, as when she was on top of the ground she was better.

"It was quite hard work going through it, but she still won a King George by three and a half lengths. John (Gosden) was confident she would go on it, but I was not sure, although her pedigree suggested that soft ground was fine."

2017 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes - Enable - Racing UK

4. Enable - Oaks, Epsom

"The race had a lot of drama, but a Classic win is a Classic win. We had a big thunderstorm beforehand and we had the horse (Daddys Lil Darling) bolting with Olivier Peslier. It had this dramatic feel to it and it was quite theatrical which added to the race.

"When Ryan Moore loomed upsides my on Rhododendron I thought 'oh dear'. I thought it was game over as when I looked at Ryan his reins were tight and I was niggling away. When I got serious, though, she just took off and pulled away from him and it was the start of what was to be a great Group One roll."

2017 Investec Oaks - Enable - Racing UK

5. Persuasive - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot

"She had been knocking at the door so many times. In my honest opinion I couldn't believe she was capable of winning it as there was such strength and depth in the race, with Churchill and Ribchester. If we got third and nabbed a Group One place I thought we would do well.

"John was much more confident than me. He knew she would run a huge race. We ran her in the Sun Chariot and she came up against Roly Poly and the ground was drying up. Softer ground was important to her. The race worked out brilliantly. I managed to get behind Churchill, the gap opened and when I asked her she quickened away. What made it extra special was that it was the first Group One I ever won back in 1990 on Markofdistinction and it was my sixth QEII.

"It makes it extra special that there are only two races the Queen gives trophies out to each year and they are the Gold Cup and QEII. So to get the trophy off the Queen was very special."

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