From any viewpoint, Godolphin’s 2017-18 Australian season, provided outstanding results.
A record-equalling 233 victories, five G1 wins, 23 Stakes successes and the best winning strike rate of any major Australian stable are the stand-out numbers for the racing year that ends on 31 July.
For Head Trainer in Australian James Cummings, his first full season in the job ends with inevitable reflection on his team’s achievements of the past year, but with eyes fixed firmly on the road ahead.
With a new racing season commencing tomorrow, the #TeamGodolphin 2017/2018 🇦🇺 racing season was one for the record books. We had:— Godolphin (@godolphin) July 31, 2018
🏆A record-equalling 233 victories
🏆five G1 wins
🏆23 Stakes successes
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“There are certainly some very satisfying aspects to look back on, but our concern now is for the future, to maintain and improve on the standards we’ve set,” Cummings said.
“Kementari and Alizee are back in work, we have a fabulous crop of two-year-olds coming through and some of last year’s youngsters have been trialling well.
“We have a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.”
Godolphin Managing Director in Australia Vin Cox endorsed what the numbers revealed about his team.
“All credit goes to James Cummings and his staff. We’ve finished the year in outstanding style with one of the best performances ever by the Godolphin team, with the best three-year-old colt and filly in the country and with five G1 wins,” Cox said.
“To build a 20 per cent winners-to-runners strike rate requires a tremendous input from everyone in the organisation, and they performed an extraordinary job.”
A breakdown of the stable’s overall figures shows that Godolphin runners won 123 city-class races, again with the leading strike rate. At its home base in Sydney, Cummings led in 94 winners for the year to be second on the trainer’s championship.
In a season that produced winners at a rate of almost one in every five runners, the leading performer was Alizee.
The daughter of Sepoy won her maiden on the second day of the season and went on to win two G1 races, two at G2 and A$1.36 million in prizemoney. She is expected to target the major mile races of the spring.
Kementari, a son of Lonhro, gained his G1 success in the Randwick Guineas, he won two more Group races and was placed in three others.
He is to resume racing in the G2 Missile Stakes on Saturday, August 4, with consideration being given to a start in Australia’s richest race, and the richest on turf in the world, the A$13 million The Everest on Saturday, October 18 at Randwick.
The past season also confirmed Impending’s position among Australia’s best sprinters. He won his second G1 in the Kingsford Smith Cup in Brisbane.
He will commence stud duties at Northwood Park in Victoria with a race record to match his immaculate pedigree.
The new season will also see the return of Godolphin’s most successful Australian-trained competitor, Hartnell.
The winner of 12 races and A$4.8 million, Hartnell will resume on Saturday, August 18 in the G2 P B Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield, a race in which he made a winning spring debut last year.
#Kementari will run first-up in the G2 Missile Stakes and then is looking to head to the G1 Memsie Stakes @Caulfield.— Godolphin (@godolphin) July 27, 2018
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Benbatl was the impressive winner of the G1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis over 10 furlongs at Munich, Germany on Sunday.
The four-year-old made all the running under Oisin Murphy to win the Grosser Dallmayr Preis in great style, beating Stormy Antarctic by two and three quarter lengths eased down in 2m 6.78s on good ground.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Benbatl has won very well.
“He made all the running and the pace suited him as he was still on the bridle with two furlongs to go.
“He has run on well to win his second G1 of the year.
“I am very pleased with him and we will now look at the various options which include the Juddmonte International (G1, York, August 22), the Irish Champion Stakes (G1, Leopardstown, September 15) and going to Australia (for the Cox Plate – G1, October 27).
“I will talk to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.”
Next year’s Dubai World Cup meeting will be even richer after organisers confirmed the jackpot has increased from $30 million to $35 million.
The event, which is the final meeting of the UAE horse racing season will be held on March 30 next year and enhances its status of being the world’s richest race.
The Group 1 Dubai World Cup receives a $2 million boost to $12 million and boasts a $7.2 million purse to the winner; the highest first-place prize in global thoroughbred racing.
The Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen receives a $500,000 boost to $2.5 million.
At 1200m on dirt, the truly global affair has been won by horses from the United States, UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore among its previous seven victors and becomes the richest dirt sprint in the world.
Enhancing its status as one of the top turf sprints in the world, the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint s will see its purse double to $2 million. The 1200m grass dash will now be among the richest in the world of its kind.
While the Group 1 $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m, turf), Group 1 $6 million Dubai Turf (1800m, turf) and Group 1 $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic (2000m, dirt, Purebred Arabians) all maintain their impressive credentials.
The remaining three races—all Group 2 events—will receive $500,000 purse hikes.
The UAE Derby will become the richest dirt “Derby” in the world with a purse of $2.5 million, consequently raising it to be the second-richest race in the world for 3-year-olds on any surface.