Thunder Snow will carry Godolphin hopes as he gets ready to battle his formidable rival Churchill again in tomorrow’s G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The globetrotting star is set to lead Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s team into Britain’s most glamorous and important five-day race meeting.
No three-year-old trained in Europe has embarked on such a demanding international campaign in the first half of the season as Thunder Snow.
The Helmet colt won the G2 UAE Derby at Meydan before his disappointing trip to Churchill Downs, where he was pulled up after 50 yards in the G1 Kentucky Derby.
He then bounced back to finish second to Churchill, beaten two and a half lengths, in the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas at Curragh.
Forty years ago, on 20th June 1977, a filly named Hatta became the very first winner for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, in a race at Brighton.
What began four decades ago has blossomed and flourished into a wide-reaching extension of Sheikh Mohammed’s passion that reaches all corners of the horseracing industry and the sport he loves so much.
Godolphin is the global thoroughbred breeding and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.
John Ferguson has stepped down as chief executive and racing manager of Godolphin – bringing to an end a quarter of a century working for Sheikh Mohammed in various roles.
Following recent reports in the media indicating unrest within the Godolphin operation, Ferguson has described his position as “untenable”.
In a statement issued, Ferguson said: “Given the recent articles in the media, it was clear my position was untenable.
“At times such as these, what matters is the future and my stepping down will allow everyone to draw a line under things and move forward.”
“All the staff at Godolphin are wonderful people who work so hard for the greater good and I want to thank each and every one.”
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has given me so much over the years: trust, opportunity, amazing experiences and, perhaps most importantly, his kindness and counsel. For all these things I thank him with all my heart.”
Joe Osborne, the current managing director of Godolphin in Ireland, will take up the position of interim chief executive of Godolphin’s global operation.