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Frankie Dettori: the Turf’s 46-year-old comeback kid predicts more big-race success

Jockey who has won a Derby, a King George and two Arcs since almost quitting aims to ride until past 50 – and has a special target at Ascot’s Champions Day

From the security of a hugely successful 2017, Frankie Dettori reflects on the desperate days of 2013, when it seemed as though his storied career had only a few pages left to run and not very exciting ones, at that. “I was weeks away from actually retiring,” he said on Monday, chatting happily on his way to a quiet afternoon at Yarmouth, where he would win the big race with his only ride of the day.

Three minutes work, another useful chunk of prize money in the bank and the Italian was able to make the short journey back to his Newmarket home, doubtless reflecting all the way on the pleasures of being back at the top of the racing world, looking forward to some fine Champions Day rides at Ascot this Saturday. But there was a point, four years ago, when such good times seemed gone forever.

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