On a drizzly Thursday in mid-October, Frankie Dettori was to be found fielding interviews from hungry journalists on London's South Bank. They'd come to press him about news that had broken at 8:45am that morning: prepared and scheduled, with more than one organisation (the BBC included) claiming an exclusive.
For months, as his Newmarket home went on the rental market, and as John Gosden dropped what presumably were less than helpful PR clues, speculation suggested Dettori was preparing to pack up his British career, as planned, on British Champions Day, heading thereafter to the Breeders' Cup, the Melbourne Cup and the Hong Kong International (possibly with a stop in Japan en-route).
His plans post-Christmas? Well, they were anyone's guess. But it seems we weren't alone in assuming he'd ride on Stateside, perhaps picking up an odd ride in the Middle East during his spare time. That, indeed, is what Dettori has announced. It's to California he's heading. And it could be, he says, "for three months or three years".
So yes, there'll be a few more flying dismounts after all. But with Frankie soon a scarcity on these shores, you'll need us to help put you on his foreign journey. Book now for your chance to join Frankie at the Dubai World Cup in March, to watch him at the Kentucky Derby in May (this will be his immediate goal, after he has settled in America). On we go to more exclusive previews from our ambassador... and what could emerge a successful second career on the other side of the Atlantic.