Did Frankie Dettori’s father ever win the Derby?
Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori is the son of Sardinian native Gianfranco Dettori, himself a prolific jockey in Italy and elsewhere. Indeed Dettori Snr. was champion jockey in Italy thirteen times and won the Derby Italiano, or Italian Derby, at Capannelle, twice. In Britain, Gianfranco Dettori is best remembered for recording back-to-back victories in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Bolkonski in 1975 and Wollow in 1976. Both colts were owned by top Italian owner Carlo d’Alessio and trained by Henry Cecil.
Dettori Snr. never won the Derby but, in 1976, the hitherto unbeaten Wollow was sent off 11/10 favourite for the Epsom Classic, despite attempting the mile-and-a-half Derby distance for the first time. Wollow suffered some minor interference as the field negotiated the downhill, left-handed bend at Tattenham Corner, but never really looked like picking up the leaders and eventually finished fifth. Victory went to Lester Piggott, aboard the French-trained Empery, who was winning the race for the seventh time. For the record, Lanfranco Dettori has won the Derby twice, on Authorized, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in 2007 and Golden Horn, trained by John Gosden, in 2014.