Frankie Dettori to make flying visit to Listowel after honouring gaelic football deal
FRANKIE DETTORI will add some stardust to next month’s Listowel Harvest Festival.
The legendary jockey has committed to riding at the small Irish track when their big meeting kicks off on September 18.
Dettori, 51, made a deal with the racecourse chairman Pat Healy that if Kerry won the All-Ireland Gaelic Football championship then he would ride at the track.
Kerry beat Galway in the final in Dublin at the end of July, giving the county their 38th gaelic football title.
And when Healy, who is also a leading racing photographer, caught up with Dettori at York last week, the jockey kept his word.
Dettori made a similar flying visit to Bellewstown racecourse last year in a race commemorating his old boss Barney Curley – and he ended up riding the winner.
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He is still more accustomed to riding at places like Meydan, Sha Tin and Santa Anita – so it is a huge coup for a course of Listowel’s size.
Healy, who said ticket sales will sky rocket following the news, told the Racing Post: “It’s fantastic news as this is something I’ve been trying to do for years.
“Listowel is my home track, and this is my final year as chairman. Frankie and I made a deal when he was riding at Killarney that the next time the Kerry footballers won the All-Ireland, he would come to Listowel.
“On the day of the match when Kerry won, I texted him that he’d have to keep his promise.
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“Fair play to him, we met at York last week, spoke about it and he’s coming on the Tuesday.
“A few years ago Kerry got beaten by Dublin in the final and he kept an eye on it.
“He told us, ‘I’ll be coming when Kerry win the Sam Maguire Cup’ – thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long.
“There’s been a buzz around the town this morning since the news broke, so hopefully people turn up and give him the reception he deserves.
“To have Listowel on his CV is a huge thing for us. I told him that his jigsaw of racecourses wouldn’t be complete until he had a Listowel piece on it.”
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