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Spencer Retained By Sheikh Fahad
As his Gr1 Melbourne Cup and Gr1 Caulfield Cup freak Dunaden (Nicobar-La Marlia, by Kaldounevees) readies himself for his Melbourne Cup defence in 11 day's time, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani has announced that leading jockey Jamie Spencer "will take up the role as first retained rider" in 2013, reports thoroughbrednews.com.au. 31-year-old Spencer will have "first call" on Pearl Bloodstock Ltd and Qatar Racing Ltd's team of approximately 80 horses. Having ridden for Ballydoyle's Aidan O'Brien in 2004 where he took out the Irish Premiership, followed by the UK title in 2004 and jointly in 2007, the move to appoint Spencer is viewed "as part of [Sheikh Fahad's] master plan" as his racing empire expands globally.