Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori continues to build upon his legacy and has added a third Longines World’s Best Jockey title to his list of accomplishments after his remarkable 2019 racing season. The Italian-born, British-based rider was recognized at a ceremony held during the Longines Hong Kong International Races Gala dinner on Dec. 6 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Walter von Känel, president of Longines, and Louis Romanet, chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), presented Dettori with an elegant Longines timepiece as well as a crystal vase.
Dettori is the first jockey to win the award in back-to-back years, after also winning in 2018. He is also the only three-time winner of the Longines World’s Best Jockey award, having previously won in 2015.
“It has been an amazing few years,” said Dettori. “There is pressure, but I love what I do, and I get to ride some remarkable horses. Enable especially has meant so much to me. Thank you to Longines and the IFHA for honoring such a memorable season for me.”
A dominant force throughout 2019, Dettori won eight of the world’s top 100 Group or Grade 1 races aboard seven different horses. His qualifying victories came in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Crystal Ocean), Gold Cup (Stradivarius), Grand Prix de Saint‐Cloud (Coronet), Coral-Eclipse (Enable), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Enable), Qatar Sussex Stakes (Too Darn Hot), William Hill St Leger Stakes (Logician), and QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Star Catcher).
The scoring process rewards jockeys for finishing in the top three, giving Dettori a total of 102 points on the year. Second place went to Zac Purton, who is based in Hong Kong and finished with 88 points, while Australia’s Hugh Bowman was third with 86 points.
Bowman was the 2017 Longines World’s Best Jockey. The award, which was established in 2014, has also been won twice by Ryan Moore, who claimed the title in its inaugural year as well as in 2016.
The awarding of the Longines World’s Best Jockey is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races as established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from Dec. 1 of the previous year until Nov. 30 of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third. The full and final standings can be found at www.ifhaonline.org.
The Longines World’s Best Jockey Award was established six years ago by Swiss watch brand Longines and the IFHA as a way to quantitatively recognize a jockey as the best among his or her global peers. It marked the first time a rider was honored in such a way.