Racing: Embassy heads Godolphin team

GODOLPHIN yesterday unveiled the new team it hopes will restore its fortunes to the Classic-winning heights. It is putting its faith in the ex-David Loder filly Embassy and bought-in talent such as Cape Verdi, City Honours and Central Park to help wrest back its supremacy.

Speaking in Dubai, Simon Crisford, the team's racing manager, announced that the Cheveley Park Stakes first and fourth, Embassy and Cape Verdi, will be aimed at the 1,000 Guineas, Central Park at the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby candidate City Honours at York's Dante Stakes.

Daylami, recruited from the Aga Khan, will join a talented crop of older horses including Allied Forces, Predappio and Swain.The success of the last-named in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes provided Godolphin's only Group One win in what was a relatively disappointing 1997.

"We under-performed at Group One level," Crisford said. "We hope our Classic hand does better this time. Last year we over-rated them. They were running in races they didn't belong in."

Godolphin will pick its team for Britain at trials which will take place a week before the Newmarket Craven meeting. Just under 60 will be selected with another 60 two-year-olds, the first of which leave today, joining their "youth-team coach" David Loder. The best will switch to Godolphin at the end of the season.

There was a scare for the team at the weekend when its main 1,000 hope, Embassy, needed a check-up at the equine hospital. "Embassy wasn't comfortable after a normal canter but by the time she got to the hospital she was fine. We don't anticipate any further minor scares but we have to be aware of it," Crisford said.