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Godolphin Racing, sponsored by Emirates Airline, is the Maktoum family's private thoroughbred horseracing stable and was named in honour of the Godolphin Arabian, who came from the desert to become one of the three founding stallions of the modern thoroughbred. Godolphin is buried at Wandlebury Park in Cambridge, where there is a stone to commemorate this horse in the passageway of the old buildings.
Godolphin's headquarters are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It operates two racing stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, United Kingdom, two in Sydney, Australia, one in Melbourne, Australia, and also has horses in training with independent trainers in Great Britain, Australia, France, The United States of America and Ireland.
UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the driving force behind Godolphin. Godolphin's first runner and winner was Cutwater (GB) at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai on December 24, 1992 while Godolphin's international operation commenced in 1994. The stable has training facilities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Newmarket, United Kingdom, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
Horses are wintered in Dubai, then travel each April to Godolphin's UK-based Godolphin Stables, which is the former Stanley House Stables, built in 1903 by Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby and to the historic Moulton Paddocks which is also located in Newmarket. The Australian string remain in Australia all year around.
Godolphin registered its 100th Group One win with Sulamani in the 2003 Arlington Million and has won a total of 220 Group One races around the globe. Hunter's Light, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, recorded Godolphin's 200th Group One success with an impressive victory in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Sponsored By Emirates Airline at Meydan, Dubai, on Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Godolphin has won the world’s richest race, the Group One US$10-million Dubai World Cup, on eight occasions, thanks to Almutawakel (1999), Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002), Moon Ballad (2003), Electrocutionist (2006), Monterosso (2012), African Story (2014) and Prince Bishop (2015).
Numerous major North American wins include four at the Breeders’ Cup meeting, highlighted by the victories of Daylami (1999) and Fantastic Light (2001) in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Outstrip (2013) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
In keeping with its pioneering international outlook, Godolphin has gained four wins at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races and Heart Lake scored an early Japanese Group One win in the 1995 Yasuda Kinen.
On 22 April 2013 the British Horseracing Authority disclosed that 15 Godolphin horses trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni tested positive for anabolic steroids. All 15 horses were banned from racing for a period of six months and all were later cleared to race. Mahmood Al Zarooni faced disciplinary charges. Sheikh Mohammed declared he was "appalled and angered" and would 'lock down' the stables with 'immediate effect' in the wake of Al-Zarooni being charged. The incident was described by The Economist as "the biggest doping scandal in racing history".
On 16 July 2014, it was announced that Godolphin is to have a permanent presence in Australia. John O'Shea was appointed Godolphin's Head Trainer and the horses in his care began racing in Godolphin's famous royal blue silks on 2 August 2014.
H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also owns the Darley Stud breeding operation. Darley breeds horses in Australia, France, Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. Stallions who have stood at Dalham Hall include the great Dubai Millennium who won the Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba, UAE and the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, UK in 2000.
- Godolphin has horses in training with: Saeed bin Suroor, (UK & UAE), Charlie Appleby (UK & UAE), John O'Shea (AUS), Lee & Anthony Freedman (AUS), Gai Waterhouse (AUS), Andre Fabre (FR), Henri-Alex Pantall (FR), Kiaran McLaughlin (USA), Tom Albertrani (USA), Eoin Harty (USA), Jim Bolger (IRE), Michael Halford (IRE) Willie McCreery (IRE), Dermot Weld (IRE), John Oxx (IRE), John Gosden (UK), Roger Varian (UK), Ed Walker (UK) and Richard Hannon (UK).
Some of Godolphin's top horses include:
- Blue Bunting
- Cape Verdi
- Dawn Approach
- Discreet Cat
- Dubai Millennium
- Fantastic Light
- Kayf Tara
- Mark of Esteem
- Moon Ballad
- Music Note
- Refuse To Bend
- Street Cry
Facts and figures
- Godolphin has won over 2,500 races worldwide and numerous awards since its inception in 1992.
- Godolphin's most successful years numerically are 2014 (361 wins *includes Australian winners), 2013 (228 wins), 2012 (214 wins), 2009 (202 wins) and 2010 (200 wins).
- Godolphin won an Eclipse Award for top North American owner at the 39th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony held on January 18, 2010 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, USA. It was the first time that Godolphin won the award for top North American owner.
- Saeed bin Suroor has been crowned Champion Trainer in Great Britain on four occasions (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004).
- Godolphin has been crowned Champion British Owner on nine occasions - 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012 & 2013.
- Over 300 different jockeys have ridden for Godolphin.
- The stable has had winners in 14 different countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom & USA).
- Moulton Paddocks
- "Statistics: Godolphin's Group and Listed wins". godolphin.com. October 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Walker, Guy (22 April 2013). "Godolphin rocked by Al Zarooni revelations". Cambridge News.
- Wood, Greg (22 April 2013). "Godolphin have 11 horses banned after testing positive for steroids". Sport (UK). The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- "Sheikh Mohammed tells of fury over Al Zarooni doping scandal". Cambridge News. 24 April 2013.
- http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21576709-sport-kings-sullied-giddy-nags Doping racehorses: Giddy nags
- Saeed bin Suroor