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Racing on 31.03.2023
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Enjoying every moment: Dettori`s farewell tour

You won`t see him in the racing saddle for a long time, but as long as that is possible, racing fans should enjoy every moment with him: Lanfranco Dettori, probably the most popular jockey in the world, has just started his farewell tour. Only this year will you be able to see the Italian-born jockey in action with the legendary jump from the racing saddle, then he will hang up his famous racing boots.

And the start of this Farewell Tour could hardly be better. For on the first day of racing at Santa Anita, he started with a big three-horse series led by the victory of Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer. The 52-year-old rider once again shone on the racetrack. Country Grammer won the San Antonio Stakes by four and a half lengths. It was the first time the Bob Baffert-trained five-year-old had won since his Meydan victory in March.

Dettori said, "Bob was very confident. He`s a tough horse and you wouldn`t do that to another horse, but he has the power to take it. He won like a good horse again. That was an amazing comeback start."

Baffert was pleased to book Dettori, who was embarking on his ten-week farewell tour from the California track. "I`m very happy for Frankie Dettori. I mean, who could be better?" said Baffert. "It`s his last year and it`s nice to have him in and win a race like this. I can`t believe the crowd today. It`s crazy, it`s like a Breeders` Cup day."

Dettori also won a mares` race with the Doug O`Neill-trained La Deuxieme Etoile before completing the triple with Ballet Dancing for trainer Simon Callaghan. "The pressure is on," said Dettori. "I`ve been here ten weeks now and to ride Country Grammer on the very first day has been a bit of a drag. When he won the race at the 200-metre mark, I could enjoy the crowd. They were all screaming."

Dettori stunned the racing world when he announced just before Christmas that he planned to end his career at the Breeders` Cup at Santa Anita next November. Earlier, he had said he wanted to find a horse to ride in next year`s Kentucky Derby, a race he has yet to win and part of the reason for his stay in California. To complete his unique collection of victories in the Kentucky Derby may be wished upon him. For he has been one of the greatest reppers of the sport for so many years.

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