FAREWELL YEAR FOR THE GOLDEN BOY: Frankie Dettori’s decision to make 2023 his last racing year as a jockey is described as a bombshell by the racing Press but the writing has been on the wall and – says Daqman – his future is in the golden state.


He was 52 on Thursday. So it is not surprising that Frankie Dettori should choose to announce his retirement at this time.

In fact, he rehearsed his farewell when dropping the reins last summer and requiring a famous rescue mission by trainer John Gosden who knew more about what went on in Dettori’s head than Frankie himself.

It was a masterly final stroke of mentor managing genius that has been missing from the final stages of Cristiano Ronaldo’s football career.

In the world of racing, it compares with the way Frenchie Nicholson created a champion jockey from a cocky apprentice called Walter Swinburn who might so easily have thrown it all away.

And in February we will be asking: can Oisin Murphy – 27 in September – return to the big time after his brush with the burdens and temptations of sporting fame?

Dettori is spending his winter in California at Santa Anita, LA, where he started out as a boy and where Gosden set up his first training venture in 1979.

Together in 2023 they will attempt to win the English Classics for the last time and find replacements for their mightiest of warriors, Enable and Stradivarius. Watch this space!

But watch out also for another of what the papers are calling ‘bombshell news’ from Frankie.

He hates the English winter and his last season will end with the British Champions meeting at Newmarket in October.

Next stop in the racing world after that is the Breeders Cup at none other than Santa Anita, California, where it all began 40 years ago.

John Gosden will join him and help set up Dettori’s new world of breeding and training the thoroughbred. You read it here first.


⭕ 2.09 Wolverhampton Sergeant Pep had a tough task on debut against the previous winner and long odds-on Al Dasim but put in a creditable performance to finish second and was nicely clear of the third.

Despite the price of the favourite, Sergeant Pep was quite strong in the market suggested he had hinted at ability at home and showed plenty of pace.

He should be able to account for the penalised Great State who flashed his tail when winning over five furlongs here last time out and now steps up in trip. The tail swishing is never usually a positive trait.

A bigger danger might come from Macho Mania who has run two solid races and was only pipped over this trip at Newcastle last time out.


⭕ 2.14 Thurles The meeting passed a morning inspection, unlike Navan which looked the better card but this is a decent Listed race for mares at Thurles.

It looks the match up that the Betdaq Betting Exchange market suggests. The Model Kingdom has the more experience but has to give weight away. She looked good when winning at Punchestown last time out and has previously shown she was more than up to this level when third in a Grade 3 event at Down Royal.

The danger has to be Liberty Dance who finished four lengths behind The Model Kingdom in the Down Royal race but has won well since over course and distance and now gets weight. There must be every chance that the form will get turned around.


⭕ 3.39 Wolverhampton Heatherdown Hero is very consistent and this looks slightly easier than the Chelmsford contest he was fourth in last time out.

At the prices he appeals more than favourite Aryaah who makes a quick reappearance after finishing third in an amateur riders event over a shorter trip here last week.

Aryaah hails from George Boughey’s yard whose current form I highlighted on Friday but looks a little short in the market on his CV and I still think he maybe better on turf.


2.09 Wolverhampton (win 10, nap)
BET 6.25pts win SERGEANT PEP

2.14 Thurles (win 10)

3.39 Wolverhampton (win 10)

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