Ten-year-old jaunting horse Lucy is probably the slowest horse Frankie Dettori ever steered but that is how he arrived in Killarney, driving a jaunting car.
Frankie’s superstar celebrity status brought huge crowds to Killarney racecourse on Wednesday 17th of July. Racecourse manager Philip O’Brien reckoned that the attendance was double what would be expected on a normal day.
But it was not a normal day. The event had been well flagged in the previous weeks on radio, TV and Social Media and billboards at the entrances to the town announced the arrival of Frankie. This was the day of Frankie Dettori in Killarney.
Will Frankie do the Business?
The usual numbers of racegoers was swollen by the thousands of men, women and children hoping to get a glimpse of the great man. The name Frankie was on everyone’s lips from the start. Will Frankie do the business today? Will I back Frankie to win all his races? Will we see him up close?
Remember Seven out of Seven?
Some remembered the day on 28th September 1996 when Frankie had seven winners out of seven at Ascot. Some bookies were “cleaned out” that day and there are stories and legends of the fortunes that were made by some punters that day.
It is rumoured that a pub in Ballybunion was purchased from the winnings that day. The pub was named “Dettori’s” afterwards.
The bookies, understandibly, are wary of multiple bets on Dettori’s rides since then.
Click on the images for more views of Frankie Dettori in Killarney:
As it turned out on the night, Frankie didn’t manage any winners in Killarney although he went very close on two. So the bookies went home happy.
To many, it didn’t matter. They got to see the world’s greatest jockey live. Crowds milled around the weigh room to catch a glimpse and the fans were three or four deep around the parade ring.
And Frankie didn’t disappoint. He posed with some visiting Rose of Tralee contestants, he gave an interview, and he spent 20 minutes signing autographs and getting photos taken with fans. They will remember the day they met Frankie Dettori in Killarney.
Here is a snippet of an interview with Frankie Dettori at Killarney between races.
A great evening was had by all. The weather stayed dry although it was cloudy but the atmosphere was anything but dull and the racetrack, Killarney and Kerry benefitted greatly from the visit of Frankie Dettori.