Jockey Frankie Dettori becomes honorary doctor

Top jockey Frankie Dettori has been made an honorary doctor of science at a ceremony in Cambridge.

Dettori was chosen by Anglia Ruskin University for his services to racing as the university has links to equine science and treatment.

The jockey, who lives near Newmarket, Suffolk, left his native Italy as a teenager with little formal education to become a stable lad in Suffolk.

But his racecourse achievements have led to him becoming a household name.

As well as riding all seven winners at Ascot in 1996, he has collected virtually every major prize in the world and landed his 500th Group race earlier this month.

After leaving the Corn Exchange in a blue and yellow gown, he said: "It feels a little bit embarrassing, to be honest, as I have been standing alongside hundreds of young students who have been studying for many years to get a degree and I've sneaked in through the back door.

Image caption Jockey Frankie Dettori rode all seven winners at Ascot in 1996

"I left school at 14 and I have been here for 25 years now. I came here with little English but the British public have really embraced me.

"I've had a colourful life and done things to extremes, including having five children. But I've achieved a lot in racing.

"I'm really proud to receive an honorary doctorate and I can't wait to show the pictures to my children."

Dettori joins a number of other luminaries to have been given titles this year by Anglia Ruskin, including pop star Kylie Minogue, television presenter Richard Madeley, author Jilly Cooper and designer Anya Hindmarch.

Anglia Ruskin University is based in Cambridge and Chelmsford.

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