The world’s premier jockey, Frankie Dettori, is a confirmed starter for next year’s Magic Millions carnival on the Gold Coast.
Fresh off capturing his 12th Group I win of the season overnight when he steered Advertise to victory in the Prix Maurice de Ghees in France, Dettori, who is career-best form, will touch down in Queensland in January for a raft of activities.
Dettori’s itinerary will include:
- Captaining Team Ferrari in his polo debut against arch-rival, Hugh Bowman, at the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo on Sunday, January 5;
- Riding along Surfers Paradise beach at dawn for The Star Gold Coast Barrier Draw Beach Run on Tuesday, January 7; and
- Securing rides for the $10 Million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday, January 11.
Having captured more than 500 Group wins across the globe, the 48-year-old, who is the reigning Longines World’s Jockey of the Year, has been in sublime form of late and recently partnered Stradivarius to win a third successive Goodwood Cup.
“My plan is to secure a ride in the main race at Magic Millions, and whilst I am coming out for the whole experience, what better way to start the Carnival week than trying my hand at polo, playing against none other than Australia’s Hugh Bowman,” Dettori said.
While Dettori’s talent on a racehorse is world renowned, the charismatic Italian concedes he boasts limited experience when it comes to polo.
“I’ll be trying to get some practice in ahead of Magic Millions, my brother in law plays polo so I’ll be after some tips,” he said.
“The competitive side of me wants to make sure I can try and match it with Hugh on the polo field for sure.”
Since its inception in 2017, the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo has fast become the premiere event on Australia’s polo calendar and a highlight of the social scene on the Gold Coast in January.
Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page-Harvey said the involvement of Dettori would help take the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo to another level.
"Frankie Dettori is the best, most in demand jockey in the world,” Page-Harvey said.
“For 11 months of the year he is on a plane, in transit to the biggest race meetings and on board Enable or Stradivarius.
"If you race in the Northern Hemisphere and you want to win, you want Frankie.
"But Frankie is more than his 500 Group One wins. He embodies racing - ultimate athlete, extraordinary horseman with a world-renowned sense of fun.
"Christmas and early January is his time to lie on a beach and take a well-earned break.
"But I had other ideas. Anyone who knows me and is close to Magic Millions knew I wanted Frankie for Magic Millions 2020. I wanted him a lot.
"My request was simple, I can offer you the best beaches in the world; the time of your life playing the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo alongside Nacho Figueras, Zara Tindall, Delfina Blaquier, Hugh Bowman and the prospect of riding for $2 Million prizemoney in The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
"Frankie said yes!"
Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said she looked forward to welcoming Dettori to the Gold Coast.
“Magic Millions is an international event that helps to boost the profile of the Gold Coast throughout the world,” she said.
“As an Italian-born, British-based athlete at the top of his game, Frankie has a huge fan base right across Europe and there’ll be a spotlight shining firmly on the Gold Coast as they all watch to see how he fares in his Polo debut.
“It will be Frankie’s first trip to the Gold Coast and we’re sure he’ll agree that there’s no better place to be in January.”