- Quote: ‘My mother has had pneumonia in the past. She has to be really careful. If she takes to this virus, she may not make it through. I’m concerned about her’ – Frankie Dettori
By Andrew Atkinson
Italian superstar, Milan born jockey Frankie Dettori, has spoken about the devastation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of lives in his home country.
“If you picture all those coffins in a field and imagine how big that field would be – it’s heart-breaking,” said Dettori MBE, speaking on The Guest List, a BBC 5 Live Sports Special.
“It seems endless and every day we hope that you can read something better – but it doesn’t look like it’s letting up.
“Having friends and family in Italy is a concern,” said Dettori, 49, in Stetchworth, near Newmarket.
Dettori is especially concerned about his parents, saying: “Luckily at the moment, touch wood, most of my family are fine.
“But it’s been three weeks and they haven’t left the house. A lot of properties in Milan you live in are flats, and a lot of people are kind of confined in their own little prison.
“The mood of the people is good, but it’s getting a bit frustrating, because it seems like every day it’s getting worse and worse, we haven’t seen it get any better. We are just praying day by day.”
12,428 people in Italy have reportedly died from coronavirus, by March 31, and Dettori said of his mother.
“She’s had pneumonia in the past so she has to be really careful, because if she takes to this virus she may not make it through. So I’m a bit concerned about her,” said Dettori.
On his father, Dettori said: “Dad goes to Morocco in the winter so he’s in lockdown, he’s 79. So I’ve got parents that have to be careful. It’s a worry for everyone, it’s touched everybody’s lives.”
Dettori, spending his time in Newmarket with his wife Catherine and five children, Leo, Ella, Mia, Tallula, and Rocco, and his sister from Italy.
Dettori, one of Flat racing’s greatest Ambassadors, posted a donation link on Instagram, to help Italians at this time.