FRANKIE DETTORI said goodbye to his ‘good friend’ Stradivarius as the great stayer left John Gosden’s yard for the final time.
Emotions were running high in Newmarket as the eight-year-old left Clarehaven Stables to start his lucrative stallion career – just three miles down the road at the National Stud.
Frankie Dettori rode Stradivarius on 26 of his 35 starts
Dettori was in the saddle for each of Stradivarius’ three Gold Cups
Among those on hand to say farewell were his owner Bjorn Nielsen, the entire Gosden family and, of course, his regular jockey Dettori.
The Italian was in the saddle for 26 of Stradivarius’ 35 career starts and they shared 15 wins – though they were also involved in some controversy.
He came under fire for his rides on Stradivarius in both the 2021 and 2022 Gold Cups at Royal Ascot, when the horse finished fourth and third respectively.
But Dettori never hid his affection for the horse, and on news of his retirement last month he hailed him as a ‘once in a lifetime’ horse.
He said: “I’ve never ridden a horse with so many Group wins under my name, I think we did 14 together.
“It was an honour for me to ride him and I will miss him a lot, he’s been a good friend and a fabulous horse to have, one of a lifetime.
“I wish him a happy retirement and hopefully he’ll become a great stallion in the future.”
Dettori was on hand to see him arrive at the National Stud, where he will cover mares at a fee of £10,000 a pop.