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Frankie Dettori Ascot 15.6.11

Frankie Dettori: 18-year association with Godolphin ended in October

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Dettori: Godolphin end was draining and painful

FRANKIE DETTORI on Saturday revealed his final years as Godolphin's stable jockey were "draining and painful" but added he was happier now and is relishing his new link-up with emerging powerhouse owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.

It has been a difficult 12 months for Dettori, whose 18-year association with Godolphin ended in October, a month before details emerged of the jockey testing positive for cocaine when riding in France in September.

He was hit with a six-month ban from the sport and returned to action in May, but has ridden only six winners.

However, he received a boost when appointed as retained rider to Sheikh Joaan, one of the rising forces in racing.

Dettori, a guest on The Morning Line, shared Godolphin mounts with Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa towards the end of his time with the operation and said: "I've got a fresh start. The last two or three years of my old job were quite draining and painful.

"I'm happier now because last year was an unknown thing, going to ride a horse or not riding a horse.

"Now I've a fresh start and it's nice to work for different people. It's been fun, lots of fun."

Dettori, one of the leading jockeys of his generation who has enjoyed numerous big-race successes around the globe, has yet to partner a high-profile winner since his return from suspension, but is hoping that will change soon.

He added: "Because I started halfway through the season it's very hard to take people off horses after they've won on them.

"I have to rebuild and it takes time, but physically I feel good and I think I'm riding well.

"I didn't have the opportunities to ride the big horses in the big races, but everything takes time.

"Now I've got the new job and we've got 60 two-year-olds which will give me a good platform."

Sheikh Joaan's string includes smart milers Toronado and Olympic Glory - although Richard Hughes will ride them as they are trained by Richard Hannon - and Dubai World Cup third Planteur.

"He's got great ambition and I'm very excited - he can be a major player," Dettori said of his new boss.

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