Dettori to go freelance in 2013

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

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.

"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.

    Just Watched

    Frankel ends career in dramatic style

Frankel ends career in dramatic style 01:37
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    A second chance for injured racehorses

A second chance for injured racehorses 02:45
PLAY VIDEO

"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.

        Winning Post

      •  Bode Miller (L) and Morgan Miller attend 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

        He's won six Olympic medals on two legs, but Bode Miller's future will ride on four -- can he replicate his skiing success in the "Sport of Kings"?
      • Flanders Mud

        As a jockey, Philip Blacker lived for the thrills and spills of horse racing. As a sculptor, his work captures the horror of World War I.
      • Zebra Mombassa in the English countryside, 1980s.

        Ever thought zebras couldn't be tamed? Think again. Gary Witheford has a remarkable way with wild animals -- which he proved after a pub boast.
      • The internet went wild for so-called "horse yoga" -- but there was something deeper going on that reconnects humans with the animal world.
      • Runners canter before racing during the Laytown race meeting run on the beach on September 08, 2011 in Laytown, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

        The going is always soft and the only permanent building is a toilet block. It's the antithesis to the pomp of Royal Ascot ... welcome to Irish beach racing.
      • The Crow Fair and Rodeo takes place in Montana each summer.

        Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
      • Rider Jon Marc goes for victory in the Indian Relay

        Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
      • Jockey Gary Stevens looks on after a race prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

        Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
      •  An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.

        More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.