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Dettori replaced by Atzeni for Stradivarius' Goodwood Cup swansong

19 Jul 2022
Jon Vine 19 Jul 2022
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  • Andrea Atzeni will ride Stradivarius in Tuesday's Goodwood Cup
  • Owner Bjorn Nielsen has decided to replace Frankie Dettori after Royal Ascot criticism
  • John Gosden also confirmed James Doyle will ride Mishriff in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
atzeni goodwood
Andrea Atzeni celebrates after riding Stradivarius to win The Qatar Goodwood Cup in 2017. (Getty)

Andrea Atzeni has been chosen to partner Stradivarius on what's likely to be the last race of his career in Tuesday's Goodwood Cup.

At the beginning of the season, Frankie Dettori would have been looking forward to partnering with Stradivarius for the final time at Glorious Goodwood. Yet, after a second-straight defeat in the Ascot Gold Cup, owner Bjorn Neilsen took aim at Dettori, claiming the horse wasn't to blame for his third-place finish behind Kyprios and Mojo Star.

The following week, John Gosden announced he and Frankie would be taking a "sabbatical", and refused to say when Dettori would be riding for him next. 

The rift between trainer and jockey healed pretty quickly, as Dettori rode winners for the Gosden's at Newmarket's July Meeting. However, while Gosden may have forgotten Dettori's Royal Ascot mistakes in a hurry, it seems Nielsen hasn't, and he's ordered Andrea Atzeni to return to Stradivarius' 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 informed the press today.

"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."

Atzeni and Stradivarius isn't an untested partnership. The 31-year-old guided Stradivarius to Goodwood Cup glory in 2017 and again the following year, when Dettori was banned. 

"Andrea will be no stranger to Stradivarius." Nielsen continued. "They are undefeated together, winning the 2017 and 2018 Goodwood Cups as well as the 2017 Queen's Vase."

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, John Gosden also confirmed that James Doyle would partner Mishriff in Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The unlucky loser on this occasion is David Egan, who had ridden Mishriff to all of his major victories to date. However, owner Prince Faisal decided he no longer wanted Egan as his retained rider over the weekend, and Doyle will now partner John Gosden's five-year-old in Saturday's main event at Ascot.

The betting for both the King George and next Tuesday's Goodwood Cup can be found on our website.

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