• Horse Racing

No retirement for Dettori despite losing top seat at Godolphin

ESPN staff
May 30, 2012
Frankie Dettori will share rides with other Godolphin jockeys © PA Photos

Frankie Dettori is no longer the No. 1 rider for Godolphin, but talk of his retirement hs been played down.

Dettori has been the retained rider for Godolphin for over a decade, with a string of jockeys playing second fiddle to the Italian. The Sheikh Mohammed-backed operation signed Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre De Sousa earlier this year - with it thought they would fight over Dettori's scraps.

Eyebrows were raised when Barzalona was confirmed for the ride on Kailani in the Oaks and Godolphin spokesman Simon Crisford has confirmed the trio will operate on an equal footing.

"Rides will be split across the board," Crisford said. "They will all get equal opportunities. Frankie has to share the cake and he understands that.

"For years Frankie was our only retained jockey. We had other people who would regularly ride for us but it was an informal arrangement. These two jockeys are formally retained."

Crisford claims Dettori is comfortable with the developments, something backed up by his agent.

"Frankie goes where Frankie wants," agent Ray Cochrane said. "You take Monday, a horse we run at Redcar is possibly a lot better than what we'll run at Leicester but there's no point asking Frankie to go to Redcar. He'll tell me, 'I'm not driving up and back again to ride something that's probably going to be fourth.'

"He'd rather stay closer to home and his family. So Mickael will ride at Redcar, Frankie will ride at Leicester and people may think, 'Oh, Mickael's on the better horses. But that's not what's happening.'"

It has been claimed Dettori is poised to announce his retirement, but Crisford feels the 41-year-old is keen to ride on.

"He's got plenty of years left in him," Crisford said. "I know he's said publicly that he wants to keep going for at least another five years. So long as he's healthy and fit, I don't see why he wouldn't continue riding for us."

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