In the wacky world of celebrity endorsement, the choice of star is critical. Every so often, a maverick decision can prove to be marketing gold – just look at George Foreman and his cooking grill, or Barry Scott's cleaning products (just who is Mr Scott, anyway?).
Normally though, if you want to shift your 'product', you find a popular face, sign the deal, and watch the money roll in.
Which leads us neatly on to Frankie Dettori's Virtual Gambling. The premise of the game is simple. A never-ending series of fictional horse races are arranged, each one containing a random selection of eight nags drawn from a larger pool. You examine the list for each race, where you're shown previous form (what position that horse came in the three previous races), the overall odds of that particular horse winning, and how much money you've bet that it will win that race.
Having duly swatted up and chosen what horses to back – and just how much of your virtual cash to spend – you're whisked off to the track to see who wins.
Well, we say 'track', but what we mean is 'slowly moving strip of turf with very similar-looking horses moving slowly along it'. One of them wins, then you're taken back to the main screen with the list of forthcoming races, ready for you to bet again. And that's it.
There's no variety in the type of race, ways to bet, or courses. The betting screens are spartan affairs and the race screen only ever features those eight poorly-animated horses on a section of track that repeats itself until the end of the race.
About the only thing that does add a bit of light-heartedness is Frankie's' head popping up throughout to dish out 'tips' for the race ahead. His countenance seems rather out of place, but his cheery grin will (unintentionally) raise a smile on the most disillusioned punter. Perhaps celebrities are worth the fee after all.
Virtual Gambling With Frankie Dettori offers a sanitised version of popping down the bookies of an afternoon for a quick flutter. It lacks the betting slips, the variety, the shifty old men, not to mention the risk (and therefore thrill) of winning or losing real money. Without all of that, what you're left with is a sterile exercise in probability, one that has no end in sight or variety on the way.
In fact, we could really only recommend this game if you're Frankie's biggest fan and therefore you enjoy seeing the talented jockey's face for hours at a time. Better yet if you're his mum. Or his agent.