Godolphin (racing)

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Racing silks of Godolphin
Godolphin Stables in Newmarket, UK
Thatched barn at Godolphin Stables

Godolphin (Arabic: جودولفين) 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.[1]

Godolphin's headquarters are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It operates two racing stables in Newmarket, UK, two in Sydney, Australia, one in Melbourne, Australia, and also has horses in training with independent trainers in Great Britain, Australia, France, Japan, the United States, and Ireland. UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the driving force behind Godolphin.

The family's breeding operation, Darley, is named in honour of another of the three original Thoroughbred stallions, Darley Arabian. Darley breeds horses in Australia, France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 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, stood at Dalham Hall.

Godolphin has won over 5,000 races worldwide[2] and numerous awards[3] since its inception in 1992, marking their 5,000th win in August 2018. Its most successful years numerically are 2015 (650 wins), 2017 (607 wins), 2016 (597 wins), and 2014 (361 wins).

Godolphin was leading owner at the Dubai World Cup Carnival on eleven successive years from 2008 to 2018, and crowned British Champion Owner on twelve occasions - 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Saeed bin Suroor trained his 200th Dubai World Cup Carnival winner when the aptly-named Very Special won the G2 Cape Verdi on 26 January 2017.

Godolphin won an Eclipse Award for top North American owner at the 39th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in 2010. It was the first time that Godolphin won the award for top North American owner. The stable has had winners in 14 countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the USA). Godolphin would again win the award for top owner at the Eclipse Awards in both 2012[4] and 2020.[5]


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.

Godolphin's operations are based in Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE and in Newmarket, United Kingdom, at Godolphin Stables (former Stanley House Stables, built in 1903 by Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby) and the historic Moulton Paddocks.[6] Godolphin also has three stables in Australia, two in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Godolphin also operates the Darley Japan [ja] in Hidaka, Hokkaido, which manages a breeding farm and the Castle Park training facility for horses being trained in Japan.[7][8]

To date, Godolphin has won a total of 288 Group One races around the globe. Godolphin registered its 100th Group One win with Sulamani in the 2003 Arlington Million. 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 Group One Dubai World Cup on ten occasions, thanks to Almutawakel (1999), Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002), Moon Ballad (2003), Electrocutionist (2006), Monterosso (2012), African Story (2014), Prince Bishop (2015) and Thunder Snow (2018 and 2019).

Numerous major North American wins include six 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; Wuheida in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (2017); Talismanic in the Breeders' Cup Turf (2017); and Cody's Wish in the 2022 and 2023 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

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.[9]

In 2013, stable jockey Frankie Dettori departed the organisation.[10] In the same year, the British Horseracing Authority disclosed that Godolphin employee Mahmood Al Zarooni (who had joined Godolphin as a trainer a few years earlier) had been charged with doping after 15 Godolphin horses he was training had tested positive for anabolic steroids. Sheikh Mohammed declared he was "appalled and angered" and would 'lock down' the stables with 'immediate effect'. Al Zarooni was quickly dismissed, and all 15 horses were later cleared to race.[11] Godolphin commissioned an independent inquiry into Al Zarooni's activities, and subsequently a major reorganisation took place within Godolphin's UK operations[12] On account of the scale of Godolphin's operations, and as doping activity is generally extremely rare in flat horse racing (robust anti-doping procedures mean detection is highly probable), the incident was described by The Economist as "the biggest doping scandal in racing history".[13]

In late 2014, it was announced that Godolphin is to have a permanent presence in Australia.[14][15] William Buick and James Doyle were appointed stable jockeys in early 2015,[16][17] joining Mickael Barzalona, who joined the team in March 2012, and is Godolphin's retained rider in France.[18]

In September 2016, Saeed bin Suroor reached a landmark 2,000 winners worldwide when Sky Hunter won the Listed Foundation Stakes at Goodwood.[19]

From Saturday, 17 March 2018, all horses currently racing in the JRA in the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will race in the name of Godolphin.[20] The racing silks carried in Japan will change to royal blue with a lighter blue band on the sleeve.

On October 2023, James Doyle announced that he would be leaving Godolphin to become the retained jockey at Wathnan Racing.[17]


  • Godolphin has three principal retained trainers; Saeed bin Suroor (UK & UAE), Charlie Appleby (UK & UAE) and James Cummings (Australia), along with numerous horses in training with external independent trainers in Australia, Japan, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
  • Godolphin has William Buick and Mickael Barzalona as their retained jockeys.


Some of Godolphin's top horses include:


  1. ^ Findlay, Cait (26 June 2023). "Horse buried near Cambridge over 250 years ago that started iconic breed". Cambridgeshire Live. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Dubai-based Godolphin saddle 5,000th winner in France". The National. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ Godolphin, Team. "Godolphin - Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards". www.godolphin.com.
  4. ^ "2012 Eclipse Award winners". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ "50th Eclipse Awards: Authentic named Horse of the Year". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  6. ^ Godolphin, Team. "Godolphin - Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket". www.godolphin.com.
  7. ^ "Castle Park". Godolphin. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  8. ^ "Darley Japan | Japan". www.darley.co.jp. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  9. ^ "ハートレイク (Heart Lake) | 競走馬データ". netkeiba.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  10. ^ Cook, Chris (21 October 2012). "Frankie Dettori to split from Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin next year". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  11. ^ Walker, Guy (22 April 2013). "Godolphin rocked by Al Zarooni revelations". Cambridge News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Sheikh Mohammed tells of fury over Al Zarooni doping scandal". Cambridge News. 24 April 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Giddy nags".
  14. ^ Sophia, Mary (17 July 2014). "Dubai's Godolphin Sets Up Permanent Stable In Australia". Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  15. ^ Dubai and Australia: A partnership built to last at the Wayback Machine (archived May 20, 2015)
  16. ^ "William Buick". Godolphin. Retrieved 4 February 2024. William Buick became a retained Godolphin jockey in January 2015...
  17. ^ a b "James Doyle: Jockey to leave Godolphin for Wathnan Racing". BBC Sport. 30 October 2023. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  18. ^ "Mickael Barzalona". Godolphin. Retrieved 4 February 2024. Mickael became a Godolphin jockey in March 2012 and is the team's principal rider in France.
  19. ^ Riddle, Geoffrey (21 September 2016). "William Buick rides Sky Hunter to impressive victory as James Doyle's standing at Godolphin tumbles". The National. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  20. ^ "モハメド殿下所有馬の名義がゴドルフィンに 日本でもロイヤルブルーをイメージした勝負服に". netkeiba.com (in Japanese). 14 March 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2024.

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