Godolphin principles prove subject to change

 

Everyone else might take a different view, as fatal fissures seem to emerge in his long partnership with Frankie Dettori, but Sheikh Mohammed himself knows that Godolphin's riding arrangements are fairly incidental. Paying such wages, he will never lack a world-class jockey. More fundamental changes are afoot, however, in the supervision of his horses away from the racecourse. And if the Sheikh is relieved that an implied admission of failure is receiving far less attention, then that indulgence is perhaps the least he deserves for quietly grasping some pretty painful nettles.

Confirmation that Dawn Approach is to remain with Jim Bolger, following his success in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, represents one more gust of desert wind erasing the pioneering tracks of Godolphin. One by one, the stable's defining precepts have been abandoned.

Its management has already repented of the theory that Classic contenders might gain some advantage by wintering in the Sheikh's homeland. Nowadays, Al Quoz houses chiefly those horses being aimed at the Dubai Carnival. The core of the Godolphin team for the European campaign remains in Newmarket, and so can only be nominally in the care of Saeed Bin Suroor or Mahmood Al Zarooni. It makes abundant sense, then, for Dawn Approach to remain under the daily watch of such a master as Bolger, rather than some anonymous lieutenant in Newmarket.

In the process, however, the original tenets of Godolphin become ever more faded. Its website proudly lists 13 Group One winners round the world this year, a very respectable haul that testifies to wholesome renewal in the Sheikh's bloodstock empire – both through his own young stallions, and the Coolmore genes circuitously obtained (having been pointedly rejected at public auction) through such purchases in training as Dawn Approach himself.

Of these 13, five were saddled by Kiaran McLaughlin in the United States. Two are now credited to Bolger, another to André Fabre in France. (The decision to lease Reckless Abandon back to his vendors disqualified Clive Cox from adding his name to the list in the Middle Park Stakes, the other Group One prize on Saturday's card.) Since Al Zarooni saddled two in Dubai, meanwhile, he has added Encke and Certify during the European season; and Bin Suroor has contributed just Colour Vision at Royal Ascot.

Promoting Mickael Barzalona to immediate parity with Dettori hardly seemed to get to the root of such years of underachievement as 2008, when the stable mustered a solitary Group One success in Europe. Spreading the training burden, however, seems to be yielding dividends – even if it makes it harder to distinguish between the Godolphin adventure, with its elaborately political self-image, and the pragmatic operation of the other great powers on the Turf.

When the Sheikh bought New Approach, the sire of Dawn Approach, he likewise left him in Bolger's care. But that colt ran in the colours of the Sheikh's wife, Princess Haya, rather than the royal blue that seemed rather incongruous on Kevin Manning, Bolger's son-in-law and stable jockey, on Saturday. Had Manning worn the same silks on New Approach, of course, Godolphin would have been able to claim the Derby itself in that same, excruciating 2008. Raven's Pass, equally, was registered in Princess Haya's name when sold to the Sheikh the same year, and proceeded to win the Breeders' Cup Classic for John Gosden.

Perhaps that experience accounts for the Sheikh's current strategy. Kept with their original trainers, New Approach and Raven's Pass delivered the two races on the planet most likely to produce a stallion, and both now stand on the Darley roster. New Approach has made a particularly impressive start, no fewer than three members of his first crop scoring at Royal Ascot. One of those is now champion two-year-old elect, having emulated his sire to extend Bolger's astonishing Dewhurst record to five wins in seven years.

That spree began with Teofilo, likewise sold to the Sheikh as a precious conduit to Galileo. Teofilo's son, Trading Leather, should possibly be counted a more eligible Epsom contender than Dawn Approach after beating a very strong field in a lesser grade later on Saturday's card. For the time being, at any rate, he remains in Bolger's ownership. The colour of his silks will remain irrelevant to anyone tempted by odds of 16-1 for the Investec Derby, so long as his trainer remains the same. And it seems very much as though the Sheikh is coming round to their point of view.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Jocasta Dawn (3.35 Windsor)

Still unexposed after just three handicap starts, proven in these conditions, and freshened up following a disappointing effort on quick ground last time.

Next best: Future Wonder (1.40 Musselburgh)

Not long with Brian Ellison and excuses for two recent reverses, short of room before staying on last time, and starts handicaps on a fair mark.

One to watch: George Cinq (Michael Bell) ran into a good one when second on his nursery debut at Kempton last week, but had been held up in traffic and looks ahead of his mark.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
The RBS Six Nations trophy at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Ireland vs England
rugby
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West found himself at the centre of a critical storm over the weekend after he apparently claimed to be “the next Mandela” during a radio interview
music
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?