Atzeni To Replace Dettori On Stradivarius at Goodwood

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Stradivarius | Scoop Dyga

Andrea Atzeni will take over from Frankie Dettori aboard Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in next week's Qatar Goodwood Cup, according to the legendary stayer's owner, Bjorn Nielsen.

Dettori came in for heavy criticism from Nielsen, who revealed to TDN Europe recently that the man who has partnered Stradivarius to three Gold Cup triumphs ignored instructions at Royal Ascot this year and last year by sitting too far off the pace. 

Nielsen said, “What people don't know is what the riding instructions were. With what happened last year, twice where Frankie sat so far back and down on the rail, he was told, 'Whatever you do, don't sit on the rail and get far back on the horse this year.'

“For some reason, he went and did what he did [at Ascot last month]. By the time we had a chance to get out again, it was an impossible task to make up the ground. If you look at how he was travelling when they turned in and how the winner was travelling, the winner was being ridden strongly and so were some others.”

He added, “The Strad was sitting there on the bridle turning in and through no fault of his own he didn't get a run. It was not a case of the others having younger legs than him. It was a case of he got no run and he was put in a position where he had no chance, unfortunately.”

The John and Thady Gosden-trained 8-year-old has already won the Goodwood Cup four times, including under Atzeni in 2017 and 2018, and Neilsen decided to change things up in the saddle.

“Frankie Dettori, who has enjoyed a great relationship with Stradivarius and ridden him to many brilliant stakes victories, more than he has any other horse, will by mutual agreement give up the ride to Andrea Atzeni in the Goodwood Cup,” Nielsen told Racing TV.

“Frankie remains not only 'the Strad's' biggest fan but a very good friend and of course I look forward to seeing him continue his phenomenal career as one of the greatest big-race jockeys of all time.

“Andrea will be no stranger to Stradivarius as they are undefeated together, winning the 2017 and 2018 Goodwood Cups as well as the 2017 Queen's Vase.”

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