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Frankie Dettori: I'll ride as long as I can

Robert Havlin and Shalaa go clear to win the Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket from Steady Pace.
Image: Shalaa: Likely to have Dettori in the saddle at Glorious Goodwood

Frankie Dettori's dream season has left thoughts of when the ever-popular Italian might hang up his boots the furthest from his mind.

Dettori, 44, has been back at the top of his game this year, picking up the ride on the unbeaten Golden Horn to win the Investec Derby and following up in the Coral-Eclipse.

Just a week after his Epsom heroics, Dettori again teamed up with John Gosden for Classic glory as Star Of Seville claimed the Prix de Diane.

He will be reunited with the latter for the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on August 1.

Dettori said: "The plan with Star Of Seville is to go to the Nassau. The trip in the (Epsom) Oaks was too far and I think we got the trip right last time out and she is a mile-and-a-quarter filly.

"To land on Golden Horn, to win the Diane, ride my 50th winner at Royal Ascot, win the Diamond Jubilee and to win the Eclipse with Golden Horn - I couldn't have imagined that at the start of the year."

Dettori credits Sheikh Joaan and his Al Shaqab Racing operation for his resurgence.

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He said: "Three years ago I was on the verge of retiring, but I thank Sheikh Joaan for giving me a second chance. He came up with a good offer (to be number one rider) and he wanted to expand, he brought me back to where I was a while ago.

"I'm enjoying things, I'm fit and well and 50 is only a number - I'll go on as long as I can."

Among Dettori's best chances of a winner for Sheikh Joaan at Goodwood - a meeting he sponsors in a multi-million pound deal - is the Gosden-trained Shalaa, successful in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

Dettori elected to ride Eltezam in that race, but is looking forward to being back on board the Gosden colt.

He said: "Shalaa will go for the Richmond, I've been riding him out at home for a long time and I knew in my heart of hearts he would be the big danger at Newmarket.

"When he came past me I thought 'that's not meant to happen', but the good thing is I'll be riding him next time out."

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