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Summary

Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori shares his remarkable life story in this astonishingly intimate autobiography. 

When Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori arrived on British shores in 1985, aged just 14, he couldn’t speak a word of English. Having left school just a year earlier and following in the footsteps of his father, he was eager to become a stable boy and apprentice jockey, willing to do everything it took to make it. This was his first, but certainly not his last, leap of faith.

Despite his slight size, Frankie’s impact upon the British racing scene was immediate and significant. Brimming with confidence, charisma and personality, and with what was clearly a precocious talent, in 1990 he became the first teenager since Lester Piggot to win more than 100 races in a single season. By 1996, Frankie was already established as a celebrity in the sport and an adopted national treasure, but it was his extraordinary achievement of winning all seven races in a single day at Ascot that cemented his reputation as the greatest rider of his generation.

Nearly 25 years later, and having won the Longines World’s Best Jockey for three consecutive years running, Frankie has demonstrated an unparalled level of longevity at the pinnacle of his sport. But his story is not simply one of uninterrupted success, but also of personal anguish, recovery and restoration - both in and out of the saddle.

Now, for the very first time, Frankie compellingly reveals the lows to his highs; the plane crash that nearly killed him, the drugs ban that nearly made him quit the sport and the acrimonious split from Godolphin that threatened his future. But Leap of Faith is also a story of love - for the sport he continues to dominate to this day, the great horses of his era (Stradivarius, Golden Horn and of course Enable) and most importantly for his family, who have supported him every step of the way.

Heartfelt and poignant, this is not simply a memoir, but a celebration of perseverance and defying the odds.

©2021 Frankie Dettori (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"After all this time Frankie Dettori still ranks amongst the all-time greats of the sport." (Lester Piggott)

"An autobiography as gripping as any Dick Francis thriller." (Yorkshire Post

"Endearingly honest...a fastpaced, funny autobiography." (Country Life Magazine)

What listeners say about Leap of Faith

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Brought racing to life for this fan

I find a lot of sporting autobiographies underwhelming, but as a big racing fan I really enjoyed this. Frankie's story is engaging and interesting, and also helps to bring the racing to life. I believe that people less familiar with the intricacies of racing will also enjoy this book, there is something here for us all to learn.

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It was OK

It wasn't the most exciting listen, but if racing is your subject you'll probably enjoy it.

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A great story by Dettori

A very honest and touching story from a master and love of his profession

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Very Enjoyable

I loved all the memories of favourite horse's and races with Frankie. He is always an entertaining talent and deserves his success.