QIPCO British Champions Day 2023

Frankie Dettori statue unveiled at Ascot Racecourse by Her Majesty The Queen on QIPCO British Champions Day

A specially commissioned statue of Frankie Dettori has today been unveiled at Ascot Racecourse by Her Majesty The Queen.

The bronze depicts the world-famous Italian jockey mounted on a horse and is located by the Grandstand Lawn. It was designed by artist and sculptor Tristram Lewis and will act as a permanent reminder of Frankie’s unparalleled contribution to racing at Ascot.

The bronze was cast by Fonderia Artista Art’ù di Gaetano Salmista of Florence and Pemburys Fine Arts Ltd., with the Italian art foundry chosen as a natural partner to create the bronze of one of Italy’s greatest ever sporting heroes.

Dettori’s career has been synonymous with the racecourse, having his first ride at Royal Ascot in 1987. Since then his career has included 81 victories at the Royal Meeting and 229 winners at Ascot overall, including the ‘Magnificent Seven’ in 1996 when he rode all seven winners on the Saturday of the Festival Of British Racing, a precursor to QIPCO British Champions Day.

Frankie Dettori said, “Ascot has been everything to me – my first Group 1 winner when I was 19 – it is where it all started and concludes with nine Gold Cups, seven King Georges, 81 winners at Royal Ascot and hopefully some victories today [QIPCO British Champions Day].

“It’s wonderful to be immortalised at such a great track, and to have your own statue while you are still alive, wow!

“Tristram Lewis has created a humbling tribute, and I would like to thank him, Ascot Racecourse and all those that have supported this impactful artwork.”

Sir Francis Brooke, His Majesty’s Representative and Chairman at Ascot, said: “We are delighted to be able to unveil this permanent celebration of Frankie Dettori’s career at Ascot.

“Frankie has been such a huge part of racing at Ascot over the last 35 years and this unique sculpture will ensure a lasting tribute to his success is permanently in place at the racecourse.

“I am sure it will be hugely popular with racegoers in the years to come and we are extremely grateful to all the contributors for their support in making this happen and of course to Tristram who has so expertly delivered the project from start to finish.”

The idea for the sculpture was initiated back in 2019 and the actual process began in December 2021 with the sculpting of the quarter scale maquette. A UK foundry produced the first two quarter scale casts, one going to the Jockey Club and the other being displayed at Royal Ascot in 2022 and 2023.

The foundry began by milling a life size high density foam model from the original scan cad which was then improved and layered with modelling clay before a wax cast was produced from the latex mould. A ceramic mould was then made before the bronze was poured in July and the parts were welded together.

Once complete, a specialist art mover brought the sculpture across Europe to Ascot where it has been installed upon a specially designed and polished concrete lower base.

Tristram Lewis said, “It was a real pleasure to be able to work on this project and bring it to life. Ascot holds a special place in my heart and I’m hugely grateful to Sir Francis Brooke and everybody at the racecourse for their help along this journey. Frankie was great to work with, an incredibly professional model, and I am thrilled with the overall result.”

The sculpture was erected with the support of the following contributors:

Ascot Racecourse, Lady Bamford, Mrs Barbara Banke, Mr Marc Chan, Cheveley Park Stud, Mr Frankie Dettori, Godolphin Management Co., Mr David Howden, His Highness Major Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa, Juddmonte Racing, Mr Steve Parkin and others who chose to remain anonymous.