Godolphin jockey Frankie Dettori insists he has no intention of quittingPICTURE: Getty Images
Defiant Dettori: I'm not ready to retire yet
FRANKIE DETTORI on Wednesday night scotched suggestions that he was slipping down the pecking order at Godolphin and put to rest brief speculation that he was ready to announce his retirement.
Without a ride in the Investec Derby on Saturday and overlooked in favour of Mickael Barzalona for the ride on Godolphin’s Kailani in tomorrow’s Investec Oaks, Dettori came out fighting about his future.
“Mickael got the ride in the Oaks on the word of the boss [Sheikh Mohammed] and Mahmood Al Zarooni. Nevertheless, I then got a call from Coolmore asking if I could ride in the Oaks. The boss said I could if I wanted to. As it happened nothing came of it but it shows I’m in demand.”
Dettori has ridden more than 900 winners for Godolphin and said he was more than keen to reach 1,000. “I’ve got at least five more years in me,” he added. “I’m only 41 and would challenge any jockey to a one-on-one.”
The Derby-winning rider did confess to being disappointed at having to head to Haydock on Saturday, but added: “Life doesn’t stop at the Derby.”
As to his role at Godolphin alongside first-season appointments Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa, Dettori echoed the view from racing manager Simon Crisford that he was the team’s senior rider.
“I’m a soldier in a team,” Dettori added. “I do what I’m told. The boss has the power to decide who rides and I’ve been a good soldier for the past 18 years.”
A Twitter report on Wednesday that Dettori was ready to quit was swiftly denounced as a spoof, and the jockey added: “All this talk of retirement and pecking orders is baffling to me and has come out of the blue. I’m quite surprised and you can be sure when I retire it will be decided by me.”