Frankie Dettori’s future in doubt with legendary jockey facing the axe from powerful Gosden stable following Royal Ascot fall-out… Italian, 51, ‘is in the dark’ after he was replaced on two horses at Newmarket on Saturday
- Frankie Dettori’s riding at Royal Ascot was criticised by trainer John Gosden
- Gosden was unhappy with the running of Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup
- Jockey will not ride any of the three Gosden-trained runners at Newmarket
- There was no comment from the Gosden stable and Dettori is ‘in the dark’
The future of Frankie Dettori’s riding career was unclear on Thursday night with growing speculation that his link with the powerful John and Thady Gosden stable in Newmarket is over.
Dettori’s riding at Royal Ascot – especially his beaten effort on Stradivarius in the Gold Cup – were criticised by John Gosden.
Significantly, after a short break in Italy, 51-year-old Dettori has not been booked to ride any of the three Gosden-trained runners at Newmarket on Saturday despite having another ride at the meeting.
Frankie Dettori’s riding at Royal Ascot was criticised by trainer John Gosden (left)
1000 Guineas (4)
2000 Guineas (2)
St Leger (6)
Dettori has won every Group 1 race in the UK except for the July Cup
There was no comment from the Gosden stable but Peter Burrell, Dettori’s agent, said: ‘Frankie called the (Gosden) office this morning to find out what he may or may not be riding with a viewpoint to the weights.
‘He has had no call in response and we have seen other jockeys are riding the horses. We have been told nothing else.’
The words suggest a breakdown in communication between some of the most powerful figures in British Flat racing.
Tensions in the partnership had been apparent as Dettori endured a torrid Royal Ascot on the Gosden-trained runners which included finding trouble in running on Stradivarius who ultimately finished third in his bid for a record-equalling fourth Ascot Gold Cup.
Tensions in the partnership had been apparent as Dettori endured a torrid Royal Ascot
Immediately after the race John Gosden asked Dettori why he had got so far back in the field on Stradivarus and the colt’s owner Bjorn Nielsen said, ‘You can’t blame the horse,’ when asked about his view of the race.
Dettori also finished second on The Queen’s fast-finishing second Saga and Reach For The Moon on a torrid Thursday.
The following day after Dettori had won the Coronation Stakes on Inspiral – his only success from 22 royal meeting rides – John Gosden was again asked about the Stradivarius ride said: ‘Our hero overcomplicated it yesterday and I was clear in my definition of that. I think it’s right to say what you think. It’s over, it’s past, it’s finished and we move on.
Gosden was particularly unhappy with the running of Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup
‘You can’t keep looking back. You discuss it, you deal with it and you move on. These are horses; they need your full attention and not wandering around with your lip down. You just get on with it.
‘The great thing is Stradivarius is still in good form and Saga – who should have won – as far as he’s concerned did win.’
Dettori’s difficult royal meeting also included initially failing to get the blindfold used to load Lord North off when the stalls opened for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, blowing the gelding’s chance with a slow start.
Two of Gosden-trained runners at Newmarket – Stowell and Sunray Major – have been regular Dettori rides but will be ridden by Rab Havlin and James Doyle respectively.
Italian won the Coronation Stakes on Inspiral – his only success from 22 royal meeting rides
Dettori link-up with the Gosden stable has seen him enjoy some of the biggest wins of his career since he returned from a cocaine related ban in 2013.
They included the 2015 Derby on Golden Horn and two Prix de L’Arc de Triomphes on wonder mare Enable.
In recent seasons Dettori has severely restricted his number of rides with the majority supplied by the Gosdens.
Such arrangements work well when all is going well but question marks can be raised when things are not so smooth.
Dettori has other supporters – including Aidan O’Brien – but how strong his appetite would be to carry on without his biggest supply of big race opportunities is open to speculation.
If the Gosdens are looking to replace Dettori, the list of young candidates include David Egan, who already has a link to the stable, Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle, who won Sunday’s Prix de Diane (French Oaks) on Gosden-trained Nashwa.
Doyle is retained by Nashwa’s owner – with John Gosden speaking in glowing terms about Britain’s most successful female jockey.