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Dettori to go freelance in 2013

updated 9:56 AM EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
Jockey Frankie Dettori has raced for the Godolphin stable since 1994.
Jockey Frankie Dettori has raced for the Godolphin stable since 1994.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jockey Frankie Dettori leaves Goldolphin stable after 18 years
  • The Italian could continue to race for the stable on a freelance basis
  • Godolphin owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • Dettori is perhaps most famous for winning seven races in a day in 1996

(CNN) -- Racing legend Frankie Dettori will work as a freelance jockey in 2013, ending an 18-year spell with the Dubai-owned Godolphin stable.

The Italian will not be directly employed by Godolphin, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, but will continue to race for the stable.

Read: Frankel storms to farewell victory

"We have had a tremendous association with Frankie over many years," Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford said in a statement.

"He has achieved so much on behalf of Godolphin and has made the difference between winning and losing on so many occasions in the world's biggest races.

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"However, Frankie is looking for a fresh challenge and we felt that the retainer was not really working so this is the best way forward. We have had many great days together and we look forward to working with Frankie in the future and hopefully enjoying more success together.

"He remains a great friend -- the difference next year will be that he will not be our retained jockey and will operate as a freelance instead."

Read: What makes Frankel so special?

Dettori has ridden 110 Group or Grade One winners for Godolphin since claiming the stable's first Classic on Balanchine in 1994.

"I have had 18 wonderful years," said the 41-year-old Dettori as he looked back on his time in the royal blue silks. "Godolphin has been a major part of everything I have achieved in racing and I have loved every minute of it.

"I feel the time has come for a change. My position in the stable has changed a little bit and I need a new challenge.

"Sheikh Mohammed has been an unbelievable boss to me. He had the confidence to take me on board when I was young and we smashed every record together. I will be forever grateful to him for everything he has done for me and for my family."

Arguably Dettori is most famous for riding seven different winners in one day at British racecourse Ascot in September 1996.

Godolphin will retain French jockey Mickael Barzalona and Brazil's Silvestre de Sousa for next year.

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