SPOTY 2023: Dettori the early front-runner

Despite having only crept into the sporting summer, that has not stopped bookmakers going early for Sports Personality of the Year.

And this year, it could just be Frankie Dettori‘s time.


Dettori well-placed

As the veteran jockey continues his swansong tour, victory aboard Soul Sister in The Oaks saw his odds slashed.

Though Arrest did not play ball for an historic Derby double, Dettori is still gunning for big race wins before the flat season is out.

Dettori is yet to win SPOTY’s main award.

However, the Italian was third in 1996 behind Damon Hill and Sir Steve Redgrave.

His memorable super seven at Ascot in September of that year, put racing back in the headlines.


To date, AP McCoy is the only jockey to have scooped the prize.

In his 15th attempt, the 20-time consecutive Champion Jockey finally landed Grand National victory aboard Don’t Push It in 2010.

Returning to Royal Ascot this year, Dettori looks set to ride the wondrous Desert Crown.

Should the 4yo colt follow last year’s Derby success with a winning outing in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, he will be well-set.

And after 35 years in the saddle, it will perhaps be a fitting send-off for one of Britain’s favourite adopted sons at 7/2 with Betfred.


Ashes, World Cup could thwart

For the moment, Dettori edges the betting and could be a sure thing come December.

However, two particular events this year stand to deny him a first win.

Firstly, with the Ashes beginning this week, England look to regain the urn after a 4-0 drubbing Down Under.


Having been pipped last year, Ben Stokes leads his ‘Bazball’ side against The Baggy Greens.

A series win would catapult him into the box seat, however, both James Anderson and Stuart Broad in possibly their final Ashes, may rival their own skipper.

Whilst Stokes is widely 9/2, Anderson sits at 17s with BetUK. Stuart Broad is rather weightier 50/1 with William Hill.

The other strong competition to Dettori’s hopes come in the shape of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A year on from winning UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, England’s Lionesses are one of the favourites for glory.


Ranked number four in the world, England beat Brazil in the recent Finallissima at Wembley.

The US and German ladies will be tough to eventually conquer but there is very real optimism that England could return from Australia and New Zealand with the trophy.

Should that happen, Team of the Year will surely be sewn up for a successive year.

Not only that, but after Beth Mead won SPOTY last year, stand-in England skipper Millie Bright and forward Alessia Russo may become picks for top honours.

Of the two, as an injured Leah Williamson watches on from home, Bright looks the better hope but still for a meaty 28/1 with BetVictor.


Cavendish tops outsiders

Two other potential names are Mark Cavendish and Keely Hodgkinson.

In the case of former, The Manx Missile won SPOTY in 2011 and in this summer’s Tour De France can make history.

With both Cav and Eddie Merckx sitting on 34 stage wins, Cavendish needs just one win to move clear.

Meanwhile, Hodgkinson will look to win 800m Gold at the World Athletics Championships in August.

Held this year in Budapest, the Lancashire middle distance goes up against both last year’s champion Athing Mu and Kenya’s Mary Moraa.


If successful, the 21-year-old will go one step further to the silver she took at Tokyo 2020.

Kelly Holmes won SPOTY in 2004 for her historic 800-1500m double in Athens that year; Should Hodgkinson take the podium top spot, her odds may tumble.

Cavendish remains the shorter price between 10s and 16/1, whilst Hodgkinson is a loftier 25/1 – again with William Hill.

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