Frankie Dettori, who has been the principal jockey for Godolphin Racing for nearly two decades, will not be retained next year by the Maktoum family’s racing operation, Godolphin announced Oct. 21.
Earlier this month, Dettori accepted the mount on Coolmore and partners’ Camelot in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp, leading to widespread speculation that his relationship with Godolphin could be about to end.
Godolphin’s retained riders for 2013 will be Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa.
“We have had a tremendous association with Frankie over many years,” racing manager Simon Crisford said on Godolphin’s website. “He has achieved so much on behalf of Godolphin and has made the difference between winning and losing on so many occasions in the world’s biggest races.
“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.
"He remains a great friend—the difference next year will be that he will not be our retained jockey and will operate as a freelancer instead.”
Dettori rode Godolphin’s first classic winner Balanchine in 1994 and has been aboard many of the stable's best horses since, winning 110 graded or group I races.
“I have had 18 wonderful years,” Dettori 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.
“Sheikh Mohammed has been an unbelievable boss to me. He had the confidence to take me on board when I was young and we smashed every record together. I will be forever grateful to him for everything he has done for me and for my family.
“The whole team have been fantastic—none of it would have been possible without them.”