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Frankie Dettori's partnership with Gosden yard under threat with Hollie Doyle the favourite to replace the Italian as stable jockey



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One of British Flat racing's – and Newmarket's – most powerful partnerships looks to be under severe threat following today's developments.

Frankie Dettori has enjoyed an extremely fruitful relationship with the Gosden yard since they formed a relationship back in 2015.

The Italian became stable jockey at the Clarehaven yard following William Buick's departure to Godolphin and he's gone on to ride some of the sport's most recent prominent figures to glory, including Enable, Stradivarius, Golden Horn and Palace Pier.

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori have enjoyed a successful few years together. Picture: Mark Westley
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori have enjoyed a successful few years together. Picture: Mark Westley

However, it was revealed this afternoon that Dettori would not be in the saddle of John and Thady Gosden's Sunray Major and Stowel at Newmarket on Saturday, despite the fact he had ridden both for the majority of their racing careers. Instead, James Doyle will ride the former with Rob Havlin given the nod on the latter.

Dettori's business manager Peter Burrell told the Racing Post: "Frankie rang up the Gosden office this morning to discuss riding plans for the weekend, as he usually does, but didn't get a call back. We're in the dark as much as anyone else, which is a strange position to be in.

"We only have questions, not answers. We know absolutely nothing, so we'll have to put the jigsaw together ourselves. Whatever John and Thady have done, we'll all have to move on with."

It comes on the back of John Gosden's criticism of Dettori's tactics following Stradivarius' third-placed finish in last week's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot – a win would have seen the legendary horse equal the record for most victories in the Group 1 race.

Gosden senior said: “I think there was no real pace. I was bit surprised from having been in the box seat that we dropped back so far. The problem is when they sprint, you had to come wide to get a run and he had to come widest of all.

"He had a chance the last furlong and the race slipped on him. They had gone a steady pace. Stradivarius is a great horse to get here and to now run in five Gold Cups. To have the longevity he has had.

"He came back in and had a neigh, so he seems happy. Great credit to the horse and the owner/breeder to keep him racing. There are younger horses there that are first and second. I just wish we had been a little handier and not had to go through a wall of horses."

Dettori did go on to guide Inspiral to victory 24 hours later in the Coronation Stakes, but the disappointment of the previous day had not completely subsided for Gosden, who said: "Frankie didn't over complicate, which he did yesterday. A jockey must never be tied down to instructions. It is like a blank canvas. If something happens in a race, just ride the way you feel. Our hero overcomplicated it yesterday. It's over, it's the past and we move on."

Overall it a tough meeting for Dettori, who famously won all seven races on a single day at Ascot Racecourse back in September 1996.

Speaking after Inspiral's victory, he said: "It has been a very difficult week; it did not work out on Lord North, things did not go right for Stradivarius, we were touched off in the Britannia and the colt (Reach For The Moon) after was odds-on. It was tough.

“When Inspiral fell out of the stalls, I thought 'here we go again'. Then the big outsider was in front of me, so I was trying to avoid her. Then I took the chance with the split. But you need the horse to do that, and she really took off, to the point that I was able to enjoy the last 50yds for once! She has put some good fillies to bed in great style.

"We have had a tough week, everyone at Clarehaven has been a bit down, but racing is like that. It is good for the team to get one on the board.”

Hollie Doyle, who rode her first ever Classic winner for the Gosden yard on Sunday onboard Nashwa, is the favourite with bookmakers to replace Dettori as the stable jockey.