In a move that did not come unexpectedly, Godolphin announced Sunday that
Frankie Dettori will no longer serve as a retained rider for the stable. The
popular Italian, who had been Godolphin's premier rider for 18 years, will now
become a highly sought-after freelancer. On that basis, Dettori will continue to
accept mounts for Sheikh Mohammed's flagship operation.
Racing observers have wondered about Dettori's status within Godolphin since
earlier this year, when the team retained two up-and-coming jockeys in Silvestre
de Sousa and Mickael Barzalona as full-time riders for the stable.
mill kicked up another gear more recently when Dettori, 42, picked up the mount
aboard Camelot, owned by Godolphin's archrival Coolmore, in the Group 1 Prix de
l'Arc de Triomphe on October 7.
"We have had a tremendous association with Frankie over many years," Racing
Manager Simon Crisford told the
Godolphin 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," Crisford noted. "The difference next year will
be that he will not be our retained jockey and will operate as a freelance