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.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker