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Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven - The making of history on this day twenty years ago

Twenty years on from his greatest achievement, Frankie Dettori is still going strong.

We look back at Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven winners on this day twenty years ago, where the mercurial Italian jockey booted home a history-making seven winners at Ascot.

Twenty years ago on this day, 28 September, horse racing fans bore witness to arguably the greatest single feat ever accomplished at a horse racing meeting and arguably in any sport when mercurial jockey Frankie Dettori booted home all seven winners at a race-meeting at Ascot, netting monster 25,095/1 accumulator which cost the betting industry some £40million in revenue.

The feat was achieved on Queen Elizabeth II Stakes day – the race now takes centre-stage on British Champions’ Day – and unfolded in front of the BBC cameras, who were televising the Saturday afternoon’s fixture. And as Frankie steered home winner after winner, the broadcaster took the unprecedented step of showing the card in its’ entirety, interrupted its’ usual Grandstand broadcast to cover the final leg of the seven-race card.

Kicking off with Wall Street, whom Frankie Dettori reckoned was his biggest chance of a winner in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, the pair combined to score a shade comfortably having made the running.

Scoring by a half-length over Salmon Ladder - ridden by Richard Quinn - the day was off to a flying start for the Italian and his Godolphin paymasters where the gelding returned at a modest 2/1.

In the second race, the Diadem Stakes, Frankie rode Diffident who had come into the race on the back of a series of poor results which saw the Nureyev horse sent off a relatively unfancied 12/1 shot.

However, racing prominently and looking to be travelling well, he suffered some interference and was switched out by Dettori. Once in the clear he got to the front and stayed on well to register a narrowest of margins success, scoring by just a short-head over the Walter Swinburn-ridden Lucayan Prince.

The winner gave Frankie and Godolphin the first two winners on the card; but better was to come for the Italian as he then got the leg-up on another Godolphin in Mark Of Esteem in the day’s feature race, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The Group One contest was largely turned into a procession by Frankie and his mount as the pair swept by the leaders to take up the running entering the final furlong to score by a length and a quarter over  the 1000 Guineas heroine Bosra Sham and tick off the third leg of his magnificent feat, returning at odds of 100/30.

The competitive Tote Festival handicap was next, and for once Dettori wasn’t adorned in the blue silks of Godolphin for this race.

Instead riding for John Gosden, Frankie rode the penalised Decorated Hero, on whom he had won two weeks earlier at Doncaster, and despite the additional burden of 5lbs penalty the Warning gelding had enough in his locker to see off the Tony Clark-ridden Kayvee by three lengths and register a 7/1 success.

By now, the chance to make history may have been dawning on Dettori, and in Fatefully in the next race, the Rosemary Stakes, for whom he was back in the Godolphin silks the pair proved a neck too strong for Abeyr who was ridden by Dettori’s good friend Ray Cochrane.

Living up to his name, Fatefully returned at 7/4 and was the fifth leg of the historic feat; and Cochrane on pulling up after the race reportedly asked Dettori ‘is anyone else getting a chance at a winner today?’

The answer to that question was an emphatic ‘NO’ as Dettori booted home 5/4 chance Lochangel in the sixth race, the Blue Seal Conditions Stakes, beating the Pat Eddery-ridden Corsini to join an elite band of jockeys in Willie Carson, Sir Gordon Richards and Alec Russell to have ridden the winners of six races at a single meeting.

Leading from pillar-to-post, the daughter of Night Shift ran out a comfortable winner despite the winning margin being less than one length.

The achievement had captured the imagination, and Frankie’s final mount – Fujiyama Crest – was smashed in the betting from an early 12/1 down to as short as 2/1 on post-time as punters latched onto the chance of being part of history. 

The BBC interrupted its’ flagship Grandstand programme to show the final race of the day live, and eventually sent off favourite for the finale – the Gordon Carter handicap – the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Fujiyama Crest gelding was immediately sent to the front by Dettori.

The winner of the corresponding race twelve months previously, he travelled well for much of the race and dug deep when it mattered to hold off Pat Eddery on Northern Fleet to prevail by a neck, defying top-weight in the process.

At 5.40pm on 28 September 1996, history was made as Frankie Dettori entered the annals of horse racing – and sporting – history as the only man to date to achieve such a feat in riding the winners of every race on a single card.

Frankie Dettori teamed up with Fujiyama Crest to make history.

After a mixed career which saw him change hands several times, Fujiyama Crest was eventually bought by Dettori as the family pet, where he lived out many happy days before his death in April 2015.

Meanwhile, punters around the country were revelling in their good fortune, landing the sort of sums that for many would be life-changing.  Despite the seven-fold returning  at cumulative 25,095/1 odds, those who availed on the early prices would have been significantly richer with early prices on Frankie’s magnificent seven potentially returning much bigger odds of 235,834/1 to those who had early faith in the Italian pulling off the achievement.

Dettori has continued to boot home the winners since, and twenty years on is still going strong. His fantastic feat in the saddle on that fateful day propelled him not only to the top of the tree in his profession, but also turned him into a bona-fide celebrity.

But for all his subsequent successes, and whatever he may yet still achieve before finally hanging up his saddle, Dettori will forever be remembered for that one day at Ascot.

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Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven - The making of history on this day twenty years ago

We look back at Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven winners on this day twenty years ago, where the mercurial Italian jockey booted home a history-making seven winners at Ascot.

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