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Dettori Declares: "I've Got At Least 5 More Years In Me"

Friday, 1st June 2012

Star European jockey Frankie Dettori has "scotched suggestions that he was slipping down the pecking order at Godolphin & put to rest brief speculation that he was ready to announce his retirement" reported racingpost.com. Dettori (without a ride in Saturday's Gr1 English Derby & overlooked in favour of Mickael Barzalona for the ride on Godolphin's Kailani in today's Gr1 English Oaks) "came out fighting about his future" & declared: "Mickael got the ride in the Oaks on the word of the boss (Sheikh Mohammed) & Mahmood Al Zarooni (Godolphin trainer). 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 & emphasised he was "more than keen to reach 1,000" noting: "I've got at least 5 more years in me. I'm only 41 & would challenge any jockey to a one-on-one." Dettori "did confess to being disappointed at having to head to Haydock on Saturday" (rather than Epsom for the Derby) but added: "Life doesn't stop at the Derby." Commenting on his role at Godolphin "alongside 1st-season appointments Barzalona & Silvestre de Sousa, Dettori summed up: "I'm a soldier in a team. I do what I'm told. The boss has the power to decide who rides & I've been a good soldier for the past 18 years." And reacting to "a Twitter report that he was ready to quit", Dettori retorted: "All this talk of retirement & pecking orders is baffling to me & has come out of the blue. I'm quite surprised & you can be sure when I retire it will be decided by me."

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