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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Navarro channels inner Clarkson with press conference bombshell

Jorge Navarro (right): runs X Y Jet in the Golden Shaheen
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A morning press conference after track work at a scorching Meydan on Tuesday resulted in some intriguing tales from Peter Miller and Kent Desormeaux. Then, as Jeremy Clarkson would say, came the bombshell.

US trainer Jorge Navarro, sporting his lucky New York Yankees baseball cap, was playing along as usual, intelligently answering questions about his Golden Shaheen contender X Y Jet.

Suddenly, from nowhere, his conversation with Rupert Bell took a rather different route.

Navarro, trainer of Cigar Mile Handicap winner Sharp Azteca, revealed he is seeking a change and would consider a position in the UAE.

He said: “If the opportunity arrived, it would be something I’m keen on. I fancy a change and I’m open to calls – a five-year move would be nice. I like it over here.”

Nobody saw that coming.

One for the future

If you have got the racing bug then you are hooked.

At 4.15am, a whole two and a quarter hours before work, Godolphin Flying Start soon-to-be graduate Tim Donworth was at the track with several other course friends to catch a glimpse of the international stars.

Donworth, who rode 15 point-to-point winners in Ireland, including for Gordon Elliott, harbours ambitions of becoming a Flat trainer.

Tim Donworth (second right): pictured enjoying a day out with fellow Flying Start colleagues at Moonee Valley

He spent two years as pupil assistant to William Haggas at Somerville Lodge, and on completing the course in the summer, intends to gain more experience in the industry before making the leap of faith into training.

Such an attitude to head to the track prior to a morning shift at John Hyde's local breaking-in stables at Dubai Stables, across the road from Godolphin's Al Quoz base, will stand him in good stead.

Early taster

The plane over to Dubai from Birmingham had not even left the tarmac when I gained a first sight of Team Godolphin.

Sadly, or they would think luckily, I was not sat next to James Doyle or William Buick, but I was able to watch 14 videos explaining a range of Godolphin's wide-compassing branches.

Familiar faces: James Doyle and William Buick feature in a Team Godolphin video shown on the Emirates flight to Dubai

Videos on the aforementioned jockeys, the super stallion Dubawi, life after racing for retired racehorses and the journey a youngster makes prior to its debut made for welcome viewing on the Emirates flight and appears a good way to widen racing's appeal and try to attract new racing fans.

If you're reading Mr O'Leary . . .

The wow factor

In one of the videos, Clare Balding recalled asking Sheikh Mohammed for his thoughts on the new grandstand at Ascot in 2006.

He replied: "It is good, but we will build one bigger."

Poet's Word works in front of an impressive backdrop

Following my first visit to the track on Tuesday morning, I can confirm that is an understatement. Spanning 1.5km, it is a monster.

Fellow press colleagues on their first trip to the track labelled it "one and a half airport terminals" and a "space ship".

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I fancy a change and I’m open to calls – a five-year move would be nice
E.W. Terms
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