Celebration time: joy for Godolphin as they register 5,000th winner worldwide
A meeting at La Teste de Buch in France on Thursday took on extra significance when Expecting To Fly triumphed to provide Godolphin with their 5,000th winner worldwide.
The victory of Expecting To Fly, trained by Alex Pantall and ridden by Hugo Journiac, 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 their inception Godolphin have won races in 14 countries on four continents. Their first winner, Cutwater, came in a maiden at Nad Al Sheba on December 24, 1992.
First runner & winner: Cutwater, Nad Al Sheba, December 24, 1992
First winner outside UAE: Seismograph, Newmarket, April 28, 1994
First Group winner: Balanchine (1994 Oaks, Irish Derby)
Best horses (Racing Post Ratings): Dubai Millennium (139), Daylami (138), Mark Of Esteem (136), Sakhee (135)
Since then the operation have won much of what there is to be won around the globe and been responsible for some of the most famous horses of modern times.
Balanchine, Lammtarra, Swain, Kayf Tara, Daylami, Fantastic Light, Mark Of Esteem, Sakhee and Dubai Millennium – the brightest in a galaxy of stars on Racing Post Ratings and a particular favourite of Sheikh Mohammed – are just a few of the greats to have recorded memorable victories, while Dubai Millennium's son Dubawi, himself a Classic winner, has become one of the world's leading sires.
The first 1,000 winners took 13 years in the making, while seven years later came winner 2,000, Certify. She was ridden by Mickael Barzalona, who holds a unique place in the stable’s history, as he also partnered Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th winners.
Godolphin have 273 top-flight winners, including two Derby heroes – Lammtarra and this year's scorer Masar – nine Dubai World Cups, six Breeders’ Cup events, the Caulfield Cup in Australia, four winners at Hong Kong’s International Races, and the Yasuda Kinen in Japan.
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