What’s been a given in Europe became a given throughout the world when Frankie Dettori captured the title of World’s Best Jockey for the third consecutive year in 2020. The award came from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

Frankie Dettori-Best Jockey
Frankie Dettori is No. 1 again — for the fourth time in six years. The Italian-born, British rider was named the World’s Top Jockey by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities for the third consecutive year. (Image: Edward Whitaker)

The award isn’t subjective. It’s based on a rider’s performances in the 100 highest-rated Group or Grade 1 races, as determined by the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. Jockeys amass points for top-three finishes from Dec. 1 of the previous year to Nov. 30 of the current year. Jockeys get 12 points for a win, six for a second, and four for placing third.

Dettori racked up 102 points, nipping his European rival Ryan Moore by four points. From there, it was a 32-point drop-off to William Buick (66 points) in third. Buick, in turn, edged Irad Ortiz Jr. (64) by two points.

Ortiz was the top-rated American jockey, winning four of the top 100 races. He captured the Breeders’ Cup Sprint aboard Whitmore, the Jockey Club Gold Cup with Happy Saver, the Whitney aboard Improbable, and the Manhattan Stakes with Instilled Regard. John Velazquez (44 points) was the only other American jockey in the top 15. He finished 12th.

Dettori’s Fourth Crown in Six Years

Moore won the award in 2014 and 2016, sandwiching Dettori’s honors in 2015. Hugh Bowman squeezed in between the two in 2017. This is the fourth time in six years Dettori rode away with the award. He is the only rider to win the award more than twice.

This year’s victory came after Dettori won five of the top-100 ranked races. He captured the Gold Cup aboard Stradivarius, the St. James’s Palace Stakes on Palace Pier, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Enable, the Goodwood Cup Stakes with Stradivarius, and the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard piloting Palace Pier.

Betting Dettori Cashes Your Ticket Nearly 50% of the Time

Horseplayers betting on Dettori’s mounts won 25% of the time in 2020, going 40-for-160. Dettori hit the board nearly 50% of the time in 2020, going 79-for-160.

Normally, Dettori would resume his ritual of picking up the award at a dinner during the Hong Kong International Races later this month. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dettori will instead receive the award in mid-January when the 2020 World’s Best Racehorse and World’s Best Horse Race winners are announced.