FRANKIE DETTORI’s camp has dismissed rumours of a split with trainer John Gosden.
The partnership between the long-time allies was said to be on rocky ground after a tough and fractious week at Royal Ascot.
Could Doyle be the one to step into Dettori’s shoes with some big rides for the Gosdens?
And after Hollie Doyle’s sensational French Oaks win on Nashwa, Gosden, 71, gave the clearest indication yet about the Clarehaven operation after Dettori and, quite possibly, himself too.
Legendary jockey Dettori, 51, came in for strong criticism after his defeat on Stradivarius.
Both Gosden and owner Bjorn Nielsen openly questioned the Italian’s tactics after the horse finished third in his bid for a record-equalling fourth Gold Cup.
During the race, Gosden was overheard saying: “All that planning, and he ends up there!”
And afterwards, a stony-faced Nielsen said: “I can’t blame the horse, he did nothing wrong.”
To make matters worse, Dettori suffered a narrow defeat on the Queen’s Saga in the Britannia Stakes in the following race.
Rather than try to put the story to bed, Gosden doubled down on his criticism of Dettori in his post-race interview after Inspiral had just won the Coronation Stakes.
He said: “He didn’t overcomplicate it there, which is what he did on Thursday. It’s an awful habit.
“Our hero overcomplicated it and I was clear in my definition of that. I think it’s right to say what you think. It’s over, it’s past, it’s finished and we move on.”
But there is speculation the matter is not finished, after weighing room rumours of a shock split were leaked.
Indeed I am told it was ‘the talk of the weighing room’ on the last two days of the meeting.
While there is no doubt things were frosty for 48 hours both Gosden and Dettori are men of honour and it is not an exaggeration to say the trainer did more than anyone to save the Italian’s career. And, of course, Dettori has paid that faith back in spades.
However it did not go unnoticed by Dettori how fulsome the trainer was in his praise of Doyle after her stunning win at Chantilly.
He said: “The owner-breeder of Nashwa Imad Al Sagar said to me two or three years ago he had a few jockeys he was looking at and wanted to retain one.
He showed me the list and I said ‘Hollie Doyle’, and I know other people would back me on that.
“She’s hugely talented and horses run for her. She’s incredibly meticulous and hard-working and she analyses things properly.”
Son and assistant Thady played a big role in the training of Nashwa and Gosden added: “I’m proud and Thady is proud. It’s the youth team teaming up again.
THADY & HOLLIE COULD TAKE CHARGE
“It’s quite obvious I’ll be surplus to requirements quite soon with the youthful Thady and Hollie!”
Gosden and Dettori formed one of the most formidable partnerships in modern racing history.
The trainer twice came to Dettori’s rescue after his problems with cocaine.
And they hit the heights in 2015 with Golden Horn’s Derby victory.
Plenty of big-race wins, including 11 Group 1s with the wonder mare Enable, and four trainers’ championships followed.
Stradivarius is expected to have his final career start in the Goodwood Cup on July 26.
Dettori will surely be aboard his old pal if he lines up on the Sussex Downs. Despite owner Nielsen’s views, Strad without Frankie would be unthinkable. And, of course, there is the small matter of Emily Upjohn’s Arc bid.
Win that and it would be the ultimate fairytale ending. Then, perhaps, it would be a good time for the youth team to take over.