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Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori: has signed deal to ride for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Dettori 'delighted' to land Sheikh Joaan job

FRANKIE DETTORI said he was "delighted" with his new job, having on Monday been confirmed as the new retained rider for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, one of the rising forces in the owning and breeding world.

The Racing Post exclusively revealed on Sunday that the former champion jockey was on the verge of signing a deal with the brother of the Emir of Qatar as he tries to re-establish himself in the top rank of jockeys.

Expressing his delight at his new job, Dettori told the Racing Post on Monday morning: "Sheikh Joaan is now a big player in racing. He is keen to expand and I can see the passion and love for racing that he has got. He is the sort of person you want to work with so I'm delighted to be with him."

While Dettori is now retained rider, Richard Hughes will keep the ride on Toronado in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood as well as the other Richard Hannon-trained horses owned by Sheikh Joaan.

The news of Dettori's deal was confirmed in a statement, which read: "Al Shaqab Racing owned by H.E Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani are pleased to officially announce that Frankie Dettori will be the resident jockey."

It was at Chantilly's race meeting on Sunday where the contract was signed, and Sian Jones, representing Sheikh Joaan, said: "It's an honour to welcome Frankie to our team, and we hope for a great future for this partnership."

Peter Burrell, Frankie Dettori's business manager, also confirmed the news as he said: "The deal has been done, he's got first retainer to ride for Sheikh Joaan who will have first call on his services. Frankie is thrilled to have this great opportunity."

Toronado, runner-up to Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes will still be partnered by Richard Hughes, as Sian Jones added: "At the moment Toronado will stay with Richard Hughes in the Sussex Stakes and if the result goes well he will then continue to be ridden by Richard.

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes: keeps ride

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker   

"Richard will also stay in our first colours for all Richard Hannon's horses but we have horses all over France with different trainers and in England with Marco Botti, Sir Michael Stoute and Lady Cecil, so there are plenty of good horses for Frankie."

Richard Hannon junior welcomed the news that Hughes's partnership with Toronado will stay intact, and said: "I'm pleased with the arrangement and delighted that Hughesie will keep the ride on Toronado."

Dettori has already ridden for Sheikh Joaan twice this season with both rides at Royal Ascot. Dettori partnered Albany second Sandiva, and Mshawish, who was fourth in the St James's Palace Stakes.

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