Ever since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed founded his Godolphin racing stable just over a quarter of a century ago, the famous royal blue silks have been carried to victory in many of the world’s most sought-after races and on Sunday, 12 May, 2019, the milestone figure of 300 wins at the highest level was reached when Castle Lady won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp.
Outstanding filly Balanchine was the very first, landing the G1 Oaks at Epsom in 1994. She would of course go on to successfully take on the colts in the G1 Irish Derby later that year, with Cezanne completing the Godolphin G1 hat trick when victorioua in the Irish Champion Stakes.
The 90’s also saw Fantastic Light outbattle Galileo in the Irish Champion Stakes in one of the races of the decade, plus Street Cry winning his Dubai World Cup. He would go on to become a leading sire, standing on the Darley roster in the US and Australia, and his legacy continued through his incomparable daughter Winx.
To this day, Dubai Millennium’s demolition of the field in the 2000 Dubai World Cup remains one of the most significant G1 wins for Godolphin.
Widely recognised as the greatest racehorse of his time, Dubai Millennium went on to sire another Godolphin flagbearer in Dubawi, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas and, like his sire, the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois. Dubawi is now the world’s preeminent stallion and no fewer than 12 of his sons and daughters have contributed to the Godolphin tally of G1 wins.
Godolphin’s 100th G1 win was recorded in 2003, when the ultra-consistent performer Sulamani landed the Arlington Million in Chicago. A true globetrotter, he won five G1 contests for Godolphin including the Dubai Sheema Classic in Dubai and the Juddmonte International in the UK.
2005 saw not only the aforementioned Dubawi enjoy a superb three-year-old campaign, but also Shamardal. He won both French 2,000 Guineas and French Derby, before storming to a three-length win in the St James’s Palace Stakes, relocated to York that year. Fittingly, Shamardal is the sire of Castle Lady.
200 G1 wins were reached in 2013, with victory for Sajjhaa in the Jebel Hatta. She followed up a few weeks later with a win in the Dubai Duty Free (now known as the Dubai Turf) on Dubai World Cup night.
Godolphin have recorded multiple G1 winners every year since 1994, however 2018 was the very best yet.
An outstanding 12 months saw an incredible 30 G1 wins in eight different countries, starting with the C F Orr Stakes for Hartnell in Australia, a first G1 victory in the blue in Japan courtesy of Fine Needle and a magnificent four-timer on Dubai World Cup night, thanks to Jungle Cat, Benbatl, Hawkbill and Thunder Snow.
The success continued throughout the year and two poignant wins were undoubtedly Masar’s Derby and Cross Counter’s Melbourne Cup, both firsts for the team and races that had been very much on the radar for some time.
2019 has started in a similar vein, with a historic second Dubai World Cup victory for Thunder Snow, and a first Golden Slipper win (and an astounding Godolphin 1-2-3 in the world’s richest two-year-old race) thanks to Kiamichi.
In all, Godolphin have recorded G1 winners in 12 countries, for 20 different trainers and 59 jockeys.