Frankie Dettori crowned 2015 'World's Best Jockey'

Frankie Dettori crowned 2015 'World's Best Jockey'
Frankie Dettori crowned 2015 'World's Best Jockey'

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Frankie Dettori crowned 2015 'World's Best Jockey' 02:05

Story highlights

  • Italian has enjoyed stellar year on the turf
  • Won Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
  • The 44-year-old impressed riding Golden Horn
  • Never expected to have such a great season

(CNN)He's a four-time winner of Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, a double Epsom Derby champion -- and now the "World's Best Jockey."

Frankie Dettori received the award at a glittering ceremony held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Friday.
The veteran Italian jockey saw off competition from U.S. Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza and Britain's three-time champion jockey Ryan Moore.
    "It's really great ... I've had a fantastic year," Dettori told CNN's Winning Post presenter Francesca Cumani.
    "I have to pinch myself that I'm the World's Best Jockey 2015 -- that carries a lot weight!" he added.
    "I've had three very quiet years and I was lucky this year to stumble on a horse like Golden Horn ... it's been an incredible year.
    "I didn't think a year like this could happen again in my career."
    The Longines-sponsored prize gives points to riders finishing first, second or third in 100 of the world's top Group 1 or Grade 1 races.
    Dettori topped the rankings with 100 points, courtesy of five wins, four second-placings and four thirds.
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    Espinoza and Moore both finished on 90 points but the Mexican claimed second on account of his six wins to the four by last year's inaugural winner.
    Dettori, who turns 45 on December 15, had a stellar year in the saddle.
    He won Britain's Epsom Derby in June riding Golden Horn, a profitable partnership that also produced victories at the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September.
    They combined again to win the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp racecourse in October, and the three-year-old colt was later named European horse of the year.

    'A psychiatrist of horses'

    In August, Dettori gave CNN's Winning Post an insight into his winning mindset.
    "My role as a jockey is basically to get inside the horse's mind -- to become a psychiatrist of horses," he said.
    "You want the horse to be with you, to play with you, because if you get into an argument with him, he's not gonna win, you're not gonna win.
    "That's the most important thing about being a jockey. You have to be understanding the animal and be part of it."
    Dettori has spent almost three decades in the winner's circle -- he won his first race aged 16 in Turin, Italy and cemented his name in racing folklore a decade later by riding all seven winners at Ascot's British Champions' Day in 1996.
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    The feat remains his proudest achievement in the sport.
    "It's never been done before in 300 years of horse racing and it was done on a huge day."
    It made Dettori and his trademark jump dismount famous overnight.
    The 2015 season will go down as another vintage year for Dettori, and the going continues to look good for the punters' favorite -- who is still champing at the bit for more success.
    "When you have a good horse it doesn't come good, you have to make it good -- find out his best distance, what ground he wants, how to ride him in front of the pack," he said.
    "A lot of races are won by improvising -- finding the gap or taking advantage of people's mistakes."