If there's one name on the lips of horse racing fans at the moment, it's Frankie Dettori's. To racing what Hulk Hogan is to wrestling, Frankie Dettori is the 'It' boy in the equine world, having recently won the Epsom Derby on his fifteenth attempt. Now, capitalising on Frankie's re-discovered golden touch, comes Frankie Dettori's Horse Racing 07.
Enabling you to live the life of a jockey, rather than that of a horse, Frankie Dettori's Horse Racing 07 lets you do everything you could possibly imagine a young rider would, from choosing their horse's food and selecting their training regime to entering them into races.
Actually, scratch that – you're just as likely to identify with the role of trainer, owner and stablehand as you are with the chap in the saddle. And that could come as something of a relief to our mounted superstar, as Frankie could well find himself a little red in the face if his jockey mates ever play the game he's lent his name to. Sadly, this one is a bit of a nag.
If you find management sims dull as oats, you might as well stop reading now. Frankie Dettori's Horse Racing 07 is a management sim of the most mind-numbing kind, requiring you to look after every aspect of your horse's life, with the sole intention of making the maximum profit out of your mare rather than caring about whether it's happy.
Most of this management is done from your HQ, where you can access buildings, which represent finances, stables, training, medical care and feeding. Taking care of each of these aspects is handled through a series of menus in which there's nothing really interesting to look at, and nothing very interesting to do.
To make matters worse, the number of options you have for each setting is incredibly limited (initially only around two options for each), which doesn't encourage you to feel you're making your mark on your horse.
As each building you own requires staff to run and your horse chobbles its way through a load of food in each month, you'll end up accruing quite high monthly outgoings on your road to jockey stardom. To keep yourself out of the red, it's necessary to enter your horses in races, with the intention of winning as much prize money as possible to help keep your head above water.
However, you don't actually have any say on what happens in the races – instead, the game just makes you sit back and watch as your horse either gets thrashed or comes first. This is a part of the game that could have been perfectly suited to mobile, maybe in a Tony Hawk's Project 8 style, or even just a button-mashing fest (although such a game would have to improve on Frankie's previous form – Ed), but instead you're relegated to an unsatisfying role of spectator.
And that's a seat you'll feel stuck in, by and large, throughout the entire game. Going back and forth between races and your HQ, choosing a vague 'training style', and injecting your horse with tranquilisers if it won't listen to you doesn't take long to get repetitive. Once it does, you'll never put money on this filly again.