Australia becomes a focus for Godolphin   Leave a comment

Australia becomes a focus for Godolphin
March 22, 2015 – 10:51PM

Chris Roots
Group 1 hopeful: Hartnell, with James McDonald on board at Rosehill, returns to western Sydney on Saturday for the BMW.

Group 1 hopeful: Hartnell, with James McDonald on board at Rosehill, returns to western Sydney on Saturday for the BMW. Photo: Anthony Johnson
The drain on racehorses out of Crown Lodge heading to Europe could be a thing of the past as Godolphin plans to send more horses like Contributer and Hartnell to Australia, which has become a focus for the global operation.

Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson made the trip to Australia for the Golden Slipper only a week from Godolphin’s biggest event of the year, the Dubai World Cup. Ferguson didn’t get to take another Golden Slipper back to Dubai on Saturday night, but the second group 1 win of Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes has only built the confidence that they are targeting the right horses from Europe.

“It’s great to see Contributer winning group 1s and for Godolphin to have four home-bred Golden Slipper runners, even though they didn’t figure [in the finish] is a great sign,” Ferguson said. “We have been very happy with the way things have gone over here and the operation is performing strongly.”

Godolphin have so far sent three Europeans to John O’Shea since rebranding the stable at the start of the season. All have won and Hartnell will attempt to become the second group 1 winner in the BMW at Rosehill on Saturday.


“He has really pleased us and we have been delighted with his runs [so far],” Ferguson said. “We are looking forward to him [in the BMW]. It is amazing that horses like Hartnell, whose best trip in England was a mile and six [2800m] and two miles [3200m], can be sped up when they come here.

“I find it really interesting that trainers in this country can get them to perform at shorter trips and of course it helps they have the benefit of the preparations in Europe.”

The trend had previously been for horses from Australia to head to Europe to bolster the Godolphin team there but Ferguson made it clear it would take a special horse to be sent north in the future. “As far as horses from Australia going abroad, obviously you have races in England and Europe that suit them from a stallion point of view but you take each one individually,” Ferguson said.

“In my opinion racing in Australia is so healthy you have to think very hard before moving horses. Now that Godolphin is here and it is a Godolphin team, we want it to be successfully in Australia. At the end of the day Sheikh Mohammed is really interested in Australian racing and Australia generally.”

Ferguson could return for the Championships and the Easter Sales but the strength of the breeding operation in Australia would mean he would not be too active in the market. He returned to Dubai after visiting the Darley properties in the Hunter and two-time group 1 winning three-year-old Brazen Beau, which will have a stallion career in the Darley operation after racing, as he spells in preparation for Royal Ascot.

Ferguson will watch Hartnell from Dubai before the World Cup meeting where African Story will attempt to become the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups on Saturday night.

“The great thing about him was his improvement from his first start [on the sand] to his second start. It was huge,” Ferguson said. “If he can carry that on he will be competitive but we have good horses coming over from America.”

Posted March 23, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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