"JESUS Christ, why did I pick such a big house?"

Frankie Dettori has a problem most of us can only dream of.



The legendary jockey, 51, owns a jaw-dropping mansion, complete with a stunning Ferrari collection, pool… and room for his emu and pig.

But for all the money and luxury, the thing that means the most is a watch which he never wears.

Dettori, who left Milan for England aged 14 to embark on a career as a jockey, has a Piaget timepiece from his 80-year-old dad Gianfranco.

He told his son he was not allowed to wear the watch until he won the Epsom Derby, which Frankie did for the first time on Authorized in 2007.

But even 14 years on, dad-of-five Dettori, who famously survived a plane crash, cannot bring himself to wear the priceless keepsake that for many years gave him 'nightmares'.

Dettori explained: "This watch must be 50 years old. My dad used to open the safe and get this famous watch out.

"He would dangle it in front of my face and say, 'see, son, one day if you win the Epsom Derby you can have it'.

"He would wear it for one night then off again it would go, in the safe for one more year.



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"He'd do it again year after year and this bloody watch kept playing on my mind.

"I ended up wanting to win the Derby just because I wanted the watch – I didn't care about the Derby!

"Dad had to have a procedure done on his eye and the only place they could fix it was in London.

"He came to get his eye fixed and it was the year of Authorized. Maybe he had a sixth sense. The horse wins and he gives me the watch.

"Believe it or not I've had it all these years and I still haven't worn it.

"This bloody watch gave me nightmares for years. Bless him."

Being Italian, Dettori of course has to have a Ferrari – well, in fact, he has had at least four.

Dettori has previously posted a photo of himself proudly perched on the bonnet of his white Ferrari 488 Spider.

The amazing 3.9 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine can do 0-62mph in three seconds flat and comes in at a bumper £190,000.

Previous to this Dettori – who has owned at least 14 cars in all – had a Ferrari 430 Scuderia, a 360 Spider and a 360 Modena.


Most would assume owning a Ferrari is all pleasure, but Dettori had trouble with his Scuderia.

He told the Telegraph: "I didn't realise when I ordered it that it's a racing car with a number plate.

"It had really uncomfortable bucket seats and I had to sit on a cushion just to see over the steering wheel.

"That car was a beast. It has carbon-ceramic brakes, unbelievable g-forces when cornering.

"Every time I drove it I got bruises.

"It frightened me so I got rid of it.

"I'm very happy to be a Ferrari owner once again, but with one that's a bit tamer and with comfy seats.

"I only take it out when it's dry and I keep it in a special heated garage."




Dettori is more used to fast creatures with four legs rather than two, but he does keep an emu on his country estate.

And in one barn is a big pig he introduced to Francesca Cumani during one ITV racing interview.

They are all housed on the grounds of his modern and classy mansion.

Dettori – who has stayed in amazing shape thanks to a diet which included half a Mars bar – welcomed Sky Sports Racing presenter Jason Weaver there for one interview, where the pair looked on in awe at the property.

The jockey bought it after putting his former Newmarket home on the market for around £2.5million.

Remarking on the mansion, Dettori, who sat on garden furniture in between a manicured lawn and swimming pool, said: "You know what, it looked small on paper.

"Jesus Christ, why did I pick such a big house?"

It's a nice problem to have, Frankie.

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