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Godolphin clocks up 5,000th winner

Expecting to Fly takes UAE stable to new heights

Gulf News

Dubai: Godolphin racked up their 5,000th winner on Thursday after Expecting to Fly, ridden by Hugo Journiac and trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, won a one-mile maiden race at La Teste de Buch in France.

The victory came 25 years and eight months after His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, first created the stable in 1992.

Since the operation’s first win with Cutwater at Nad Al Sheba later that year, Godolphin has won races in 14 countries and four continents.

It took 13 years to reach the 1,000 winners milestone with Cherry Mix in Italy in 2005. The first 1,000 winners included Dubai Millennium, who won the 2000 Dubai World Cup.

Just seven years passed before Godolphin reached 2,000 winners with Certify at Newmarket in 2012.

Jockey Mickael Barzalona, who rode Certify that day, would also go on to ride Godolphin’s 3,000th and 4,000th winners — Manatee at Chantilly in 2015 and Fly At Dawn at Meydan last year.

In total, Godolphin now has 273 Group One winners worldwide, nine Dubai World Cup wins, six Breeders’ Cup honours, the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in Australia, four winners at Hong Kong’s International Races and the Group One Yasuda Kinen in Japan.

Perhaps the most stunning win was the Group One Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont where Frosted won by 14 and a quarter lengths in a track record time.

Among the most recent and arguably the most noteworthy of wins was Masar’s victory in this year’s Epsom Derby, ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby. Earlier this year, Saeed Bin Surour-trained Thunder Snow, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March.

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