Dubai World Cup triumphs is only the start of HRH Sheikh Mohammed's new era for Godolphin

Alex Broun 20:11 03/04/2018
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Godolphin is set for an exciting new era with HRH Sheikh Mohammed's clear guidance and vision

Around the globe everyone is fascinated by Godolphin – in and out of the racing world.

According to distinguished The Times racing journalist Marc Souster, who was in the Emirate for the Dubai World Cup, it’s “a fascination aroused by its vast wealth, influence, success, and mystique.”

And after the stunning performance at the Dubai World Cup on Saturday, with Godolphin taking out four races on the day, including Thunder Snow‘s thrilling win in the Dubai World Cup itself, there is now even more interest.

But behind the scenes the past year has seen unprecedented change.

John Ferguson, the CEO for the last 20 years, departed in June last year. Then last week it was revealed that Joe Osborne, the new CEO, would be reverting to his former post as managing director of Godophin’s Ireland operations.

From now on the famous royal blue silk’s racing and breeding entities in Britain, Ireland, Australia, America and Japan will be autonomous organisations run by individual directors and a board.

John Ferguson (r) the former CEO of Godolphin

John Ferguson (r) the former CEO of Godolphin

As Souster revealed “these various entities will report to Hugh Anderson, managing director of the UK operation, who will act as a global filter for reports and information.”

A committee will also be set-up in Dubai, comprised of Emirati experts, which will provide further advice to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and his wife HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain.

What is clear is that the days of a sole chief executive having the same level of authority as Ferguson have finished. Ultimate decision-making, as always, will reside with Dubai’s ruler and the insightful Princess Haya, who exerts a considerable day-to-day influence at Godolphin.

As Souster notes, “the feeling in Dubai was that Ferguson’s involvement began to feel like a throwback to a bygone era when the emirate was emerging from its protectorate status in 1971.”

“Godolphin is about Dubai and its ruler’s vision for its place in a world order being rapidly redefined.”

“Sheikh Mohammed has decided that going back to his roots is the best way forward.”

And as Saturday night’s majestic triumphs displayed, his vision is working. Godolphin also won a record-equaling 18 group one races last season, after a few leaner years.

Sheikh Mohammed has also brought closer to the fold a number of key trusted advisers, people who were there when Godolphin was founded in 1992 and before, including John Gosden, Simon Crisford, André Fabre, Anthony Stroud and David Loder.

“In them Sheikh Mohammed sees people whom he can trust and who abide by his tenets of discretion and loyalty” adds Souster.

HRH also has a wonderful successor waiting in the wings, his popular son Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, so the success is only set to continue.

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