The rider and the Sheikh have failed to agree terms for the 1993 Flat season, with Cauthen reportedly unwilling to take a cut on his reputed pounds 1m retainer. The American's riding career, in Britain at least, may now be at an end.
'He wouldn't have any options here,' John Hanmer, Cauthen's agent, said last night. 'Nobody could match Sheikh Mohammed's offer, so if he turned him down he wouldn't accept anyone else.'
Cauthen was an internationally recognised jockey even before he arrived on these shores as a 19-year- old in 1979. He won on his first ride then, at Salisbury on Marquee Universal, and his run of success persuaded Sheikh Mohammed to sign him as retained rider two years ago.
In the subsequent two seasons, Cauthen rode 188 winners for the Sheikh, including seven at Group One, the sport's highest level. Over the years the American has partnered the Maktoum Classic winners Oh So Sharp, Diminuendo, Old Vic and Indian Skimmer.
On the way, Cauthen has been champion jockey in Britain in 1984, 1985 and 1987, during which time he has earned a reputation as being an ambassador for his sport. His words yesterday certainly had the ring of diplomacy.
'I am very grateful for all the success I have shared with Sheikh Mohammed during our partnership and would like to thank him for his support,' he said.
Racing, page 27Reuse content