Dettori ‘excited’ to helm The East in Racing League challenge

Frankie Dettori is ready for the unpredictable nature of the Racing League as he prepares to become the competition’s first ever player-manager.

The Italian represented the victorious Wales and The West side last season, riding winners to the delight of the crowd at both Lingfield and Newcastle, but is set for a new role in 2023 as he makes the switch to The East squad ahead of the multi-team event returning at Yarmouth on Thursday.

Not only will Dettori be sporting the yellow silks of The East as one of its team of jockeys, the 52-year-old has also taken on the challenge of managing the region as he bids to get his hands on the Racing League trophy for the second year in a row.

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Racing League 2022 – Race Week 2 – Lingfield Park
Frankie Dettori in Racing League action for Wales and The West last year (Simon Marper/PA)

“Obviously being manager is a big responsibility,” said Dettori.

“For sure I will be at the first and last one and even though I’m probably not going to ride at all of them, I still have the responsibility of being a manager and doing the best for my team.

“I managed to win it last year and I’m really excited to go out there and sort of defend my title.

“I enjoyed it last year, there was a good vibe. My team didn’t have the best of starts, but as the competition went on, the momentum was on our side and Saffie (Osborne) rode a treble on the last day which sealed it for us.”

Dettori will be looking to immediately make his mark on The East’s home soil when the competition visits Yarmouth for the first time and he believes both the competitive nature and unknown quantities of the six-week event is what makes it so exciting for both the participants and those watching on.

Frankie Dettori reacts after winning the William Hill Bet Boost Racing League R11 handicap on Postmark during the Racing League 2022 Race Week 2 meeting at Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey. (PA)
Frankie Dettori celebrates a win during last year’s Racing League (PA)

He added: “All of my team members are going to be trying to win, it’s great to be representing the East side of the country coming from Newmarket and the best thing about Racing League is it is very unpredictable.

“I can’t really remember, but I think three teams came into the last week close on points and it was good and I enjoyed it.

“You don’t know what horses you are going to land with and what you might end up riding. Last year a lot of the races were tightly bunched, most of the races had close finishes and were very competitive. It will give everyone a chance and I think people really liked it last year.

“It’s year three now and people can tune in on a Thursday night with something they can follow.”

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