Dettori was born in Serramanna, in what is now the Medio Campidano, Sardinia. During his career, he won an Italian riding championship thirteen times. In addition to winning many major races in Italy, Dettori won in Great Britain as well, capturing such races as the Classic 2,000 Guineas in 1975 and 1976, plus the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup and Eclipse Stakes in 1976.
He is the father of jockey Frankie Dettori.
- Profile of Gianfranco Dettori at the Serramanna commune website (Italian language)
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