It's A Royal Blue World
With bases across Dubai, Europe, Australia and America, Godolphin is one of racing's biggest global thoroughbred breeding and horse racing teams. Founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Team Godolphin's royal blue colours have become recognisable worldwide.
*Team Godolphin. Images courtesy of Godolphin.com
Every modern thoroughbred traces its beginnings to Arabia and the original Arabian stallions that came from East to West - one of which gives Godolphin its name. In operation for over 25 years, Godolphin first tasted high level Australian success in 2008 when All The Good won the Caulfield Cup. They've had a permanent Australian training base since 2014 and the Darley stallion operation continues to grow and strengthen.
With such a strong presence across the industry, Godolphin regularly features in global racing headlines, and the last few weeks have been no exception. Last month John O'Shea resigned as head trainer of Australian operations after 3 years at the helm. As stable foreman Darren Beadman stepped in as interim trainer, social media went into meltdown with speculation over what caused the decision and who would replace John. (James Cummings was later confirmed as the replacement and will commence in early July.)
Then last week, news broke of disruption within the Godolphin's UK camp with John Ferguson announcing he was stepping down from his role as Global Chief Executive after a relationship breakdown with UK trainer Saeed Bin Suroor.
Thankfully the headlines took a turn for a more positive note over the weekend, with both the presentation of the Australian Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards and the team's win of the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben.
First held in Australia in 2015, the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of staff, acknowledging the huge contribution they make to the Australian racing and breeding industry. There are six award categories with an overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award recognising an exceptional contribution to the industry.
I've said before that stable staff are the unsung heroes of this industry so awards like these are a fantastic opportunity for trainers and managers to nominate and publicly thank their most committed staff. In a flash ceremony at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Friday night, Darren Weir's racing manager Jeremy Rogers was awarded the top gong, as well as the Dedication To Racing Award.
"I'm truly blown away," Rogers said. "I didn't expect to win an award, but to walk away with the top award is a true honour."
Less than twenty four hours later, Team Godolphin once again stole the spotlight with Impending taking out the coveted Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben. This chalked up Darren Beadman's first Group 1 win as a trainer and Godolphin's fifth for the season. Despite not being on track due to illness, the win was made even more special by the fact Darren rode both Impending's parents, Lonhro and Mnemosyne, to Group 1 victories over 12 years ago!
No doubt Godolphin will continue to remain in the headlines as Royal Ascot kicks off next week, James Cummings commences his new role and Spring Carnival approaches. It's never easy adapting to a new environment so wishing James, Darren and the team in blue all the very best for the new racing season.
The full list of winners and runners up of the 2017 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards are:
Winner: John Livingston, Operations Manager, Gai Waterhouse Racing (NSW)
Runner-up: Jade Rossington, Stud Manager, Willow Park Stud (NSW)
Winner: Kellie McCarthy, Assistant Manager, Mill Park Stud (SA)
Runner-up: Scott Eeles, Breaking Foreman, Godolphin (NSW)
Dedication to Breeding Award:
Winner: Vikki Cannon, Senior Horseperson, Gooree Park Stud (NSW)
Runner-up: Patrick Sheehan, Foaling Unit, Coolmore Stud (NSW)
Dedication to Racing Award:
Winner: Jeremy Rogers, Racing Manager, Darren Weir Racing (VIC)
Runner-up: Angela Taylor-Moy, Foreperson, Darren Weir Racing (VIC)
Winner: Lyn Dressing, Administration Manager, International Racehorse Transport (VIC)
Runner-up: Sarah Moran, Personal Assistant, Griffiths Racing (VIC)
Thoroughbred Care & Welfare Award:
Winner: Jane Gollan, Racing and Administration Manager, Gollan Racing (QLD)
Runner-up: Lee Purchase, Stable Foreman, Darren Weir Racing, (Vic)
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