By Hans Ebert

Frankie might have gone to Hollywood, but Frankie Dettori went to Day 3 of Royal Ascot yesterday- Ladies Day- and conquered it like no one else could. Except for Frankie Dettori. And that’s because Frankie Dettori, MBE, is an original.

Frankie Dettori is also timeless and ageless and positive and determined and a bloody champion who who has never let the ups and downs of life keep him down. He’s got up and literally got back in the saddle.

Frankie Dettori is a fascinating movie in the making. If this movie ever happens and is made available on Netflix, horse racing might just expand its customer base and interest those other than today’s captive audience. It’s because, the story of Frankie Dettori transcends horse racing. It’s a powerful human interest story.

Too many supposedly marketing horse racing fail over and over again to understand this- that there are millions out there who were never brought up around horses and “horse talk” to be attracted to something that remains a niche pastime. And which is why, there’s always a strong sense of déjà vu when it comes to all that “content” cobbled together by racing clubs.

One can only wish that Martin Scorsese directs and produces a documentary on Frankie Dettori. Imagine what this would do for the image of horse racing. If you can’t, well, that’s fine. But at a time when everything- everything- in the world has become a giant smorgasbord of anything and everything that’s nothing other than showing up the fakers and shakers, horse racing is, in many ways, being left in the dust and desperately in need of new bullets. Not more and more prize money and gimmicky races hyped as being “innovative”, something any experienced marketer from any other industry would immediately bin. It’s jive.

What’s needed is something that’s straight outta left field to stand out from all the clutter- and the recycled ideas from racing clubs.

Yes, there’s an audience for these, but just how big is this audience?

Of course, Frankie Dettori is only one man and one who continues to give horse racing what it lacks: Showbiz. Flair. Fun. Entertainment.

Would Royal Ascot, so far this year, be what it’s been without the on course exploits of this phenomenon? Not to this writer. It’s been pretty drab viewing comprising rainy days, soft tracks, elitism taken to a Pythonesque level of goofiness and, sure, a few races that piqued one’s interest- for the few minutes that they were being run.

As for the almost thirty minutes of what some would describe as “dead air” where different horses were walked around and around and around while voices nattered in the background? Was everyone clinging to every word? Of course not. Punters were busy figuring out form, track conditions etc and placing their bets while others might have taken this time to do what some, except for Sting, usually take twenty minutes to do.

Frankie Dettori continues to raise the bar on course. He’s inspired and motivated many with how he’s faced every curve ball life has thrown his way and come out a winner.

Star jockeys survive plane crash inferno – The Guardian

Racing clubs could learn much from this great character study in determination, focus and who has single-handedly changed the face of horse racing.

Frankie Dettori makes horse racing exciting, fun, entertaining and with more than a splash of showbiz. He’s never boring.

He attracts those in and out of horse racing. He’s not stuck in his own little box. He’s broken free. His enthusiasm for what he’s doing is infectious.

Father and son: Frankie Dettori could delay retirement to ride against son Rocco – Racing Post

This infectiousness should inspire the horse racing industry to shake off what is often a lethargic herd mentality. To wake up and understand that not everyone wants to come along for the ride.

Huge business opportunities could be going begging including attracting a new generation of race goers and “new fashioned” brands plus creating new revenue generating business streams. But for now, let’s just celebrate Frankie going to Royal Ascot and his Magnificent Four.

#FrankieDettori #RoyalAscot #Horseracing #marketing