The three-time champion jockey picked up the award at a presentation during a gala dinner at The Convention Centre in Hong Kong on Friday, ahead of the weekend’s Hong Kong International Races festival.
Dettori topped the standings on the back of another hugely-successful year which saw him win eight of the top 100 Group/Grade One races the competition is calculated on, in doing so joining Ryan Moore as a dual winner of the award.
The Longines World’s Best Jockey Award was established five years ago by Longines and the IFHA as a way to quantitatively recognise a jockey as the best among his or her global peers. It marked the first time a rider was honoured in such a way.
The awarding of the Longines World’s Best Jockey is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races as established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from 1 December of the previous year until 30 November of the current year and jockeys earn points for finishing in the top three, accruing 12 points for a win, six points for placing second, and four points for placing third.
Dettori won eight of the world’s Top 100 Group or Grade 1 races aboard five different horses this year. His qualifying victories came on Cracksman in the Prix Ganay – Prix de l’Inauguration de Paris Longchamp, Investec Coronation Cup and QIPCO Champion Stakes; on Enable to take out the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, on Without Parole when winning the St James’s Palace Stakes, with Stradivarius to land the Gold Cup, and with Expert Eye when securing the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
That gave Dettori a total of 128 points for the year, ahead of Oisin Murphy in second place who finished with 114 points, with Moore taking third with 112 points.
Dettori joins Moore as a two-time winner of the Longines World’s Best Jockey award, which was established in 2014. Moore won in the inaugural year and in 2016 with Hugh Bowman taking the honour last year.
Speaking about the award and success of the past year, Dettori said: “I’ve had a phenomenal season. To have these kind of horses in the same year is phenomenal. A lot of thanks goes to the owners and John Gosden, who is an amazing trainer and we have done so well together.
“John is a genius of a trainer and what I have achieved this year is really down to him.
“There are lot of excellent jockeys out there, especially the young generation. There is not much room for error and racing in every angle of the sport really has gone up a few notches.
“Like any sport you have to be on your A-game, as it is very tough – but competition makes the sport even better.”
Looking ahead to 2019, the Italian is excited about continuing his relationship with dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable and added: “I am looking forward to having Enable for another year to showcase around the world and try and win a third Arc which has never been done before.
“Next year is another new page. I will try and win every big race and try and become the best jockey in the world again.”