Dettori: It's over, Dubai! Jockey quits Godolphin after calculated act of defiance on Coolmore horse
21:37 GMT, 21 October 2012
Frankie Dettori appears destined for a
freelance career after ending his 18-year association with
The position of Britain's best known Flat jockey
had looked in serious doubt since he accepted the Prix De L'Arc de
Triomphe ride on Aidan O'Brien's Camelot earlier this month.
colt owned by the Coolmore Stud – fierce commercial rivals to Godolphin
and its founder Sheik Mohammed – appeared a calculated act of defiance
which placed the 41-year-old on an inevitable path to Sunday's
Royal Blue: Frankie Dettori will end his association with Godolpin after 18 years
Dettori had lost his No 1 role at Godolphin and, at times,
looked a humiliated figure as opportunities were handed increasingly to
rising 21-year-old French rider Mickael Barzalona, who rode Godolphin's
2012 Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso and St Leger hero Encke.
were rumours Dettori was about to quit before the Derby in June,
and on Sunday he said: 'Godolphin has been a major part of everything I
have achieved in racing and I have loved every minute of it.
'I feel the
time has come for a change. My position in the stable has changed a
little bit and I need a new challenge.'
Godolphin racing manager Simon
Crisford said he hoped Dettori would still ride for the stable, but an
era has ended.
On his way: Dettori feels put out by the favouring of his French-born Godolphin team-mate
Group One victories: 110 (262 victories at Listed level or higher)
Strike rate: 28 per cent
Ridden for Godolphin at 65 courses in 14 different countries, winning at 55 of them.
Rode Godolphin’s first Classic winner in 1994 Oaks on Balanchine.
Landed the Dubai World Cup Three times: Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003) & Electrocutionist (206)
Won nine British Classics
Other best Horses ridden: Daylami (1998 Eclipse, 1999 Breeders’ Cup Turf & King George), Marienbard (2002 Arc), Singspiel (1997 Coronation Cup & International Stakes), Sakhee (2001 Arc & International Stakes), Swain (1996 Coronation Cup, 1998 King George)
Dettori's last mounts in the Godolphin blue may prove to
be Artigiano at the Breeders' Cup and Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup
Suggestions a big job may be in the offing from racing's
growing number of Qatari owners were countered by a strong suggestion
Jamie Spencer is poised to land a major role with Shiek Fahad Al Thani
and his family.
Godolphin’s racing manager, Crisford, added: 'We have had a tremendous association with Frankie over many years.
'However, Frankie is looking for a fresh challenge and we felt that the retainer was not really working so this is the best way forward.
'We have had many great days together and we look forward to working with Frankie in the future and hopefully enjoying more success together.'
Speculation that breaking point had been reached was fired when Dettori accepted the ride on Camelot, the colt owned by Coolmore Stud, in the Prix de L’ Arc de Triomphe on October 7.
The Irish stud and Sheik Mohammed, who pays Dettori a sizeable retainer, are the two giants of the European racing industry and fierce commercial rivals.
Switch: Dettori rode Camelot for Aidan O'Brien in the Arc
Dettori had not ridden for Coolmore
since winning the 2005 St Leger on the O’ Brien-trained Scorpion,
after which he was forced to issue a public apology for his lack of
loyalty to Godolphin.
on board Encke when the colt provided Godolphin with their one British
Classic winner this season in the St Leger, also rode Godolphin’s most
prestigious winner of the year when partnering Monterosso in the Dubai
World Cup in March.
loss of Dettori’s No 1 status, in particular Godolphin’s newest trainer
Mahmood Al Zarooni seeming to favour using Barzalona, was in effect a
public humiliation for Dettori and the Camelot taking ride appeared a
calculated act of defiance.
Both Dettori and Godolphin are expected to say that they will still work together but those situations look likely to be infrequent at best.
The 41-year-old Italian has enjoying massive success with Godolphin.
He was on board their first Classic winner when Balanchine won the 1994 Oaks at Epsom.
In all he has ridden in 3,442 races for them in 14 different countries, won 943 races with 110 at Group One level.
Although he never won the Derby for the Sheik Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai he affectionately calls The Boss, Dettori landed nine British Classics for the stable.
Favoured: Mickael Barzalona will enjoy the pick of Godolphin's runners
The best horse he rode for Godolphin
was the ill-fated Dubai Millennium, who became the first of his three
Dubai World Cup winners for the team in 2000.
top Godolphin horses he rode included Arc winners Sakhee (2000) and
Marienbard (2001), King George winners Swain (1998) and Daylami (1999)
plus Breeder’s Cup Turf hero Fantastic Light (1991).
Dettori finished last on Godolphin’s Colour Vision in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
That horse provided what might be his last group one winner for Godolphin when landing the Ascot Gold Cup in June.
freelance career now looks to be the future for Dettori, who finished
second on Godolphin's Retrieved in the Gran Premio del Jocky Club
Italiano on Sunday.
will also be speculation whether Barzalona, who will be first choice,
yet has the experience for such a hot seat in a worldwide racing
He is not yet
the finished article but Sheik Mohammed has never been afraid of giving
youth its head, just as he did with Dettori.