Regulars at a Mirfield pub got a shock when they were served pints – by top jockey Frankie Dettori.

Three times champion jockey Frankie, 43, on a visit to the Pear Tree Inn in Huddersfield Road, jumped behind the bar to pull a few pints.

Frankie is big pals with pub manager Peter Murphy and called in on Thursday and yesterday (Fri) for a drink and a bite to eat.

 

The Italian-born former Derby winner was in Yorkshire to ride at the Ebor Festival at York.

Frankie, who lives in Newmarket, Suffolk, the HQ of British racing, always visits former racehorse owner Peter when he’s up North.

Peter, 73, said: “I’ve known Frankie for more than 25 years and he’s a complete gentleman.

“When he walked in the pub he just lit the whole place up. He went behind the bar and people were coming up and doing a double take and saying: ‘It’s you, isn’t it?’ They just couldn’t believe it.”

Peter has run racehorse syndicates for years but this is the first year since 1971 he hasn’t owned a horse.

He knew Frankie when he first arrived in England unable to speak the English.

“He was only 19 at the time but he was always a good kid,” said Peter. “What you see is what you get with Frankie. He’s the same with everyone.”

Dad-of-five Frankie has ridden many horses for Peter over the years. The first winner was Dead Calm at Nottingham in 1993.

“He is a good friend to me and my family,” added Peter.

On Thursday Frankie called in after watching his daughter showjumping in Beverley and spent two hours in the pub, having seabass for lunch.

Yesterday lunchtime he returned for a pot of tea on his way to York where he rode Foreign Diplomat.

He also appeared as a pundit on Channel 4 Racing which broadcast live from the Knavesmire.

Frankie is a regular on Channel Four now and joked: “They wanted to boost their ratings a bit so they got me on!”

Dashing off to ride yesterday, Frankie swigged his tea but couldn’t have lunch. “I had the seabass on Thursday, which was great, but I’m riding this afternoon.”

Frankie will ride fancied Mighty Yar for Lady Cecil in today’s (Sat) big race, the Ebor, Europe’s richest handicap.

“We’ve a good chance,” he said.

Frankie also reckons he could win the Gimcrack Stakes today with Baitha Alga but Peter grinned: “Jockeys are the worst tipsters!”