Two great horse racing superpowers have been involved in some gargantuan battles this week in the shape of Godolphin and Coolmore, however rather than jousting on the track they’ve been doing so in the sales ring.
Sheikh Mohammed’s team were at Tattersalls in full force on Wednesday for day 2 of Book 1 of the October Yearling Sales and they managed to sweep their rivals aside at over 3million guineas for the second time in two days.
The subject this time around was a son of Golden Horn and half-brother to Frankel who, after a mammoth fight at ringside, eventually brought the hammer down at 3,100,000gns.
While the major players were in from the start for this incredibly good-looking colt, a few other interested parties tried their luck during bidding which helped to push the price up before it was left to the usual racing overlords to battle things out, Godolphin eventually coming out on top again.
Anthony Stroud, bidding for the team, was said to be extremely impressed with the colt’s pedigree (as we all would be) as well as how he looked. His sire, Derby and Arc winner Golden Horn, is standing with the Sheikh’s Darley Stud and so it goes without saying that they are particularly taken with this particular family line.
2-0 to Godolphin
Back on Tuesday there was a similar to and fro between the English and Irish-based breeding and ownership operations, when the Boys in Blue were victorious once again.
Picked out in advance by Sheikh Mohammed himself, a son of their star stallion Dubawi and half-brother to another of their camp, Barney Roy, was the subject of ferocious bidding before the war ended with the colt going to Godolphin for an incredible 3,600,000gns (£3.43m).
The Godolphin operation has already had a resurgence in recent seasons but it seems the Sheikh well and truly has his mojo back and wants to again have the undisputed best stable and breeding operation on the planet. His squad is only getting better now after it emerged that he has spent tens of millions at Keeneland and in the UK in recent weeks.
Main British trainer for the outfit, Charlie Appleby, has joined Anthony Stroud and David Loder in the sales ring this week but they have also been advised in the past by John Gosden and it seems he is to be sent more Godolphin stock in the future.
Given that he trained Golden Horn famously to great effect, it would be of no surprise to see his offspring heading off to Clarehaven to be trained although future jockey bookings are less clear.
Frankie Dettori is retained by Gosden and of course rode Golden Horn himself, while Godolphin tend to have contracted riders of their own so in the next year or two it’ll be extremely interesting to see what trainer/jockey combinations we find are responsible for these expensive purchases hitting top stride on the track.