FRANKIE DETTORI has revealed his son won't be following in his footsteps – because he is 'way too big and strong'.

It was not that long ago that legend Frankie, 52, was thinking of delaying his retirement so he could take on one of his five children in a proper race.

But now, as he embarks on the first leg of his global farewell, he said Rocco, the one he thought most likely to follow in his footsteps, is more likely to go into bodybuilding.

Rocco started riding in pony races aged 12 and it was only six years ago that he was half-jokingly being referred to as a potential future champion jockey.

An amazing photo of Frankie leading little Rocco in the famous Al Shaqab silks drew hundreds of likes online.

The duo even appeared at Ascot – site of Frankie's famous Magnificent 7 – where Rocco won the Shetland Pony Grand National aged 12.

But now Frankie says his big lad's future lies elsewhere.

He said: "Rocco, in Covid, he went into the gym and he turned out to be a pretty robust guy, strong and muscly so unfortunately his career is gone somewhere else.

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"He still loves his riding but he is way too big and too strong."

That means the family racing bug could be passed onto daughter Ella.

He led her down to her first ever race at Glorious Goodwood's Magnolia Cup in July 2021.

Ella, who said her dad tries to go to parties with her and her mates, bolted home at speeds of up to 40mph in the race.

And she said afterwards: "Dad gave me a few tips before the race. I hope I made him proud. That was my aim."

Frankie was speaking ahead of the £16million Saudi Cup later this month.

The world's most famous jockey has been racking up winners at Santa Anita in America.

One of those was on the Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammer – who Frankie will ride in the world's richest race.

Frankie said: "The first time I came here he was one of my first rides. The pressure was on but he won in style and I was super pleased with him.

"He still retains all the ability. It was a good start to the season.

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"Bob made it very clear to me the Saudi Cup was to be the next target.

"He is super consistent, unfazed about anything, He’s solid. He’s going to bring his A-game."


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