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New Godolphin shake-up as Osborne returns to former Irish role

Joe Osborne: will revert to former role as head of Godolphin's Irish operation
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Godolphin have shaken up their senior management team for the second time in ten months with the news on Tuesday night that Joe Osborne, appointed group chief executive last summer, is to revert to his former role as head of the Irish operation.

The position of chief executive is being abolished. A managing director in each country where Godolphin operate will now report instead to a board of directors.

Osborne was appointed chief executive of Sheikh Mohammed’s powerful racing and breeding operation in June of last year following the departure of John Ferguson.

Ferguson’s position had become untenable, a fact highlighted by publicly voiced criticism of him by trainer Saeed Bin Suroor in the days before his departure.

Osborne was quickly put in acting charge of Godolphin’s worldwide operations, with his appointment to the post made permanent by Sheikh Mohammed during Royal Ascot last year.

But his tenure in the role has come to an end with the release of a statement which read: “Godolphin announces that the role of group CEO has been discontinued from March 2018. Responsibility for each operation around the world is now vested in the local managing director and his board of directors. As such Joe Osborne has resumed his role as managing director, Godolphin Ireland, and, in addition to his role as a leading public trainer, John Gosden remains responsible for Godolphin bloodstock purchases."

While Godolphin enjoyed a highly successful year on the track in 2017, matching their previous record tally of 18 Group 1 victories around the world, the new management arrangements were understood to have proved problematic, with clashes between some of the key personnel.

The change announced on Tuesday night will be seen as an attempt to start afresh before the international Flat season gets into full swing, beginning at Meydan on Saturday week with the running of the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Gosden, a long-time ally of Sheikh Mohammed’s, will clearly play a pivotal role in the future success of the operation, with confirmation that he will be the key decision-maker when it comes to Godolphin’s inevitably lavish spending at the sales and on private purchases.

Osborne, whose family has an equally lengthy association with Sheikh Mohammed in Dubai and elsewhere, will run the extensive Kildangan operation, as well as the other Godolphin properties in Ireland and the Flying Start education programme.

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In addition to his role as a leading public trainer, John Gosden remains responsible for Godolphin bloodstock purchases
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