Victor
Godolphin's Victor Ludorum. Image Credit: Godolphin

Dubai: Following the resounding success of their Australia wing, Godolphin’s European team swing into action in France on Monday, as the historic Longchamp racecourse stages a stellar card following the go-ahead by the Paris police.

It will be the country’s first race day since March 17, when the coronavirus pandemic for the temporary closure at all its racecourses.

Godolphin will be represented by six runners in total led by 2019 Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Victor Ludorum who lines up in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau.

Eighteen-time French champion trainer Andre Fabre also sends out Syrtis to contest the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt.

As many as 131 horses have been declared across the 10-race card.

Hugh Anderson, Managing Director of Godolphin UK and Dubai told the Godolphin website: “We are delighted that our season here in Europe will start with Victor Ludorum going in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau on Monday.

“We very sadly lost his outstanding sire Shamardal last month and it is very appropriate that we will see one of his brilliant three-year-old colts in action on day one of this season.

“In the UK and Dubai, Godolphin has continued to operate to best effect under the significant restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anderson added.

“For our riders and stable staff, social distancing and sensible precautions have allowed them to train horses much as normal and I am full of admiration for them and the trainers for their incredible patience and hard work under difficult circumstances.

“Saeed (Bin Surour) and Charlie (Appleby) have a lot of talent to work with and I know are ready whenever we get the green light.”

Charitable work

Anderson also pointed out Godolphin’s contribution to staff and people affected by reduction of jobs or opportunities due to COVID-19.

“Away from the yards, Godolphin people have been doing great work in our local community helping wherever we can, from delivering food to vulnerable people to our team in Dubai assisting the Newmarket Academy with the translation of documents for home schooling,” he said.

“Our charities team is also working incredibly hard on the board of the Newmarket COVID-19 Fund.

“The work of the Godolphin Lifetime Care team carries on and is currently being highlighted by our Furlong Factor finalist Lilli Hines, who is helping Racing Welfare to raise much-needed funds. In France, we are supporting Au-delà des Pistes, while in Ireland, work on education initiatives continues,” added Anderson.

“Now, more than ever, I think we all recognise the fantastic work done by the NHS, staff in care homes and all those people who are working tirelessly to keep our services going here in Newmarket and in Dubai.

“For good reason, we have already missed some key events such as the Dubai World Cup and the Guineas and the pandemic will continue to affect us for months to come. All we can do is follow government advice and keep going.

“Godolphin prides itself on always looking forward — we have fantastic staff and fantastic horses and every reason to be extremely positive about the season ahead.”