Frankie: The Autobiography of Frankie Dettori

 
9780007195381: Frankie: The Autobiography of Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori is a unique character in modern-day Britain: a millionaire champion jockey irresistible to the punters; a charismatic personality with an easy charm and immaculate dress sense that make him an instant favourite on TV chat shows; and a celebrity with a fascinating life story encompassing drama, passion, death and deliverance.

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Review:

High-profile sports stars choose to walk a fine line between nurturing the bloom of their celebrity, and exercising the talent that made them famous in the first place. Horseracing’s most recognisable face, Frankie Dettori – TV quiz show star, pizza endorser, restaurateur and pal of Vinnie Jones - publicly remarked recently that he realised he had crossed that line when someone seriously asked him how long ago he retired from being a jockey. In some ways then, Frankie, is a timely reminder that not only is Dettori a hugely talented horseman who is most definitely still riding, he’s arguably at his peak. At the time of writing the Italian has all-but landed his first jockeys' championship in ten years - after a frantic summer compared to his almost part-time campaigns of recent years - and is once again the best known AND the best. Thankfully while this ‘autobiography’, written with journalist Jonathan Powell, is not shy of trumpeting Dettori's unique achievements, it embraces the darker side of the affable imp persona too. Forget the married-with-kids, polished performer who appears on TV now – young Frankie, by his own admission, was a tearaway, a night-club wolf, a drugs-dabbler who was perilously close to seeing his career go permanently off the rails. Even when he had established himself as champion jockey he recalls among other failings, behaving like 'a real bastard' to challenger, and one-time pal, Jason Weaver, when he feared his crown was under threat. It's far from the only time when we see behind the cheeky chappie mask. Whether by accident or design, Dettori is refreshingly candid when it comes to revealing faults. His somewhat traditional views on women, in particular, will rankle with some. As will the underlying tone - Frankie's very much the star of the show, on the racecourse and off, and it's not an altogether likeable trait. But that's exactly what makes this book so entertaining - did you really think winners were nice guys? -- Alex Hankin

Review:

‘He’s probably the most recognised man on a horse anywhere in the world since Clint Eastwood and John Wayne’ International Racing Bureau

‘He’s that rare thing in horseracing – a real superstar’ BBC

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