Frankie Dettori will be replaced by Andrea Atzeni at Stradivarius at Goodwood next week

‘Strad’s biggest fan’ Dettori is replaced by Atzeni at the Goodwood Cup | Horse racing news

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Frankie Dettori will be replaced by Andrea Atzeni at Stradivarius at Goodwood next week

By Peter Scargil

One of British racing’s most successful partnerships came to an end on Tuesday when Frankie Dettori was replaced by Andrea Atzeni aboard the Stradivarius at next week’s Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup (3.35pm).

The decision to replace Dettori was made by Stradivarius owner and breeder Bjorn Nielsen and marks the latest chapter in the aftermath of the public criticism and scrutiny the rider endured during and after last month’s Royal Ascot.

Nielsen said: “Frankie Dettori, who has a great relationship with Stradivarius and has ridden him to many brilliant stakes wins – more than any other horse – will by mutual consent give up riding Andrea Atzeni in the Goodwood Cup.

“Frankie remains not only The Strad’s biggest fan but also a very good friend and of course I look forward to seeing him continue his phenomenal career as one of the greatest racing jockeys of all time.”

Edward Whitaker (

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Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori failed in an attempt to win a fourth Gold Cup at Ascot

Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori failed in an attempt to win a fourth Gold Cup at Ascot

Edward Whitaker (

Together, Dettori and Stradivarius won 15 group races, including three Group 1 Gold Cups at Royal Ascot, two Group 1 Goodwood Cups and three Group 2 Lonsdale Cups at the Ebor Festival in York, although twice they failed in their quest Follow Yeats and win a fourth Gold Cup.

Dettori and joint trainers John and Thady Gosden initially agreed that after Royal Ascot, during which John Gosden twice felt considerable frustration and disappointment with rides Dettori was giving his horses, the jockey would take a “sabbatical” from his position as head rider, as well as his attitude before and after the races.

The ride with Stradivarius proved to be a major focus as John Gosden, Nielsen and Dettori were engaged in lively discussions after the eight-year-old finished third in the Gold Cup for Kyprios after drifting back from his prominent position and then encountering problems while running earlier was forced to make wide changes down the stretch to get a clean run.

After the loss, Nielsen told reporters, “You can’t blame the horse here.”

The day after the Gold Cup, John Gosden said: “Our hero made it too complicated yesterday and I clearly defined that. I think it’s right to say what you think, it’s over, it’s over, it’s over and we move on.”

Dettori stressed Stradivarius’ age after the Ascot loss, saying he didn’t have the speed of the younger horses and “it was a good time for him”.

After being dramatically replaced on the Gosdens’ horses at Criterion Stakes day in Newmarket last month, Dettori outlined how he plans to spend much of July abroad while reaffirming his commitment to continuing riding until at least the end of next year to continue.

Less than two weeks after the “sabbatical” announcement, however, Dettori returned to riding many of the Gosdens’ lead horses, including Inspiral, who was beaten 1-7 in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, and Emily Upjohn, who with the universal support of the owners involved in the stakes King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco on Saturday.

With Dettori not riding Stradivarius in what may be the horse’s final Group 1 race on Tuesday, the horse will be taken over by Atzeni, who is unbeaten in three starts on the Star Stayer after winning the 2017 Queen’s Vase and Goodwood Cup on the son by Sea The Stars, replacing Dettori when he was suspended for the 2018 Goodwood Cup.

Nielsen added, “Andrea will be no stranger to Stradivarius as they are unbeaten together, winning the 2017 and 2018 Goodwood Cups and the 2017 Queen’s Vase.”

Neither Dettori nor Atzeni could be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Stradivarius is second favorite for the Goodwood Cup at 2-1 behind 7-4 favorite Kyprios, while Gold Cup runners-up Mojo Star and Trueshan, winner of the Northumberland Plate in his last appearance, are the next bets.

Trueshan, who landed last year’s Goodwood Cup on soft ground after Stradivarius was a late non-runner, drifted to 6-1 (up from 3-1) for this year’s race on Tuesday as Britain endured a record-breaking heat and with the Goodwood bottom rated good to firm, good in places.

However, trainer Alan King hinted that he would be keen to run Trueshan if the ground is good next week, adding, speaking to the Racing Post front runner: “He worked a bit on Saturday and will work on Wednesday. He’s exactly where we want him to be.”

Whether Mojo Star competes is more uncertain as trainer Richard Hannon plans to speak to owner Kia Joorabchian before making a final decision.

“I don’t know yet what we’re going to do,” he said. “I’ll have to speak to the owner again about this, but I would say at this point I doubt we’ll take him there.”

Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Appearances (July 26)

SkyBet: 5-2 Kyprios, 11-4 Stradivarius, 4 Mojo Star, 6 Trueshan, 8 Manobo, 10 Eldar Eldarov, 14 bar

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