Yet another landmark reached for Team Godolphin
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin stable has chalked up its 5,000th winner worldwide.
The memorable milestone was reached when Expecting To Fly, trained by Henri-Alex Pantall and ridden by Hugo Journiac, landed a one-mile maiden race win at La Teste de Buch in France last Thursday (August 16).
The feat comes 25 years and eight months after Sheikh Mohammed created an elite stable of around 60 of his homebreds and a collection of his best horses already with established trainers in Europe.
Since its inception in 1992, Godolphin has won races in 14 countries on four continents.
Godolphin’s first winner came in a six-furlong maiden on dirt at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai on December 24, 1992.
The history-making debut winner was Cutwater, trained by Hilal Ibrahim and ridden by jockey Dennis Batteate.
13 years later, Godolphin reached 1,000 winners courtesy of Cherry Mix, the horse trained by Saeed bin Suroor and with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, sauntered to success at the G1 Gran Premio Del Jockey Club E Coppa d’Oro at San Siro in Italy (October 2005).
While the first 1,000 winners took over a decade, only seven years was need for Godolphin to reach 2,000 race wins — when the very smart Certify (later a G1 Fillies’ Mile winner) won a six-furlong turf maiden at Newmarket on 12 July, 2012.
Certify was ridden that day by Godolphin’s retained jockey Mickael Barzalona, who holds a unique place in the stable’s history, as he would also partner the Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th landmark winners.
The memorable 3,000th victory was chalked up by the Andre Fabre-trained Manatee, ridden by Barzalona, in the G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly in May 2015.
The 4,000th was delivered by the Charlie Appleby-trained Fly At Dawn, again with Barzalona, in the 2,000 Guineas at Meydan in January 2017.
Perhaps Godolphin’s most stunning victory in America in recent years came in the 2016 G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park when stable flagship Frosted annihilated his opposition, winning by 14 and a quarter lengths in track record time.
Among the most recent winners was arguably the most noteworthy — the brilliant Masar, ridden by William Buick and trained by Appleby, who triumphed in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June 2018.