The dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre saw Dettori became the first jockey to win the award in back-to-back years, which in doing so also saw him complete a hat-trick of titles having also been named the world’s best in 2015.
A dominant force throughout the year, Dettori won eight of the world’s Top 100 Group or Grade 1 races aboard seven different horses. His qualifying victories came in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Crystal Ocean), Gold Cup (Stradivarius), Grand Prix de Saint‐Cloud (Coronet), Coral-Eclipse (Enable), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Enable), Qatar Sussex Stakes (Too Darn Hot), William Hill St Leger Stakes (Logician), and QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Star Catcher).
The scoring process rewards jockeys for finishing in the top three, giving Dettori a total of 102 points on the year. Second place went to Zac Purton, who finished with 88 points, while Hugh Bowman, the 2017 Longines World’s Best Jockey, was third with 86 points.
The Longines World’s Best Jockey Award was established six years ago by Swiss watch brand Longines and the IFHA as a way to quantitatively recognise a jockey as the best among his or her global peers. It marked the first time a rider was honoured in such a way.
Dettori is the only three-time winner of the Longines World’s Best Jockey award. Ryan Moore is a dual winner having won the award in its inaugural year and then again in 2016.
The awarding of the Longines World’s Best Jockey is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races as established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from 1 December of the previous year until 30 November of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third.