August 17, 2007 at 19:35 #4877apracingParticipant
- Total Posts 3105
I’ve been thumbing through a few of my old racing books recently and came across the story of the sale of the great Vaguely Noble in a biography of Noel Murless, written by Tim Fitzgeorge-Parker.
Vaguely Noble won the Doncaster race now known as the Willian Hill Futurity in 1967 and was put up for sale after that as his owner had died.
The record price for a horse in training up to then was 47,000gns, but Vaguely Noble fetched 136,000gns at Tattersalls, bought by an American agent for a famous Californian plastic surgeon who later sold him on to Nelson Bunker Hunt. Vaguely Noble justified his price by winning the 1968 Arc.
However, what jumped off the page was the name of the underbidder in this auction, described in the book as ‘French bloodstock agent Godolphin Darley’.
Reading this now in 2007, the immediate reaction is that it must be a spoof – but the book was published a year before the Maktoums had their first winner in the UK and long before the names Godolphin and Darley came to prominence.
Was this Frenchman a visionary – did his parents have second sight – or was he christened something more mundane only to change his name to fit his profession?
Does anyone know more of the story of Godolphin Darley?
APAugust 17, 2007 at 21:45 #111636AdrianParticipant
- Total Posts 1041
The Darley Godolphin agency were a bona fide operation based at 76 Champs Elysees back in the 60s and 70s. I don’t know the personnel involved but they attended sales – particularly Deauville – and were French representatives for Laurel Racecourse who then hosted the Washington DC International.August 17, 2007 at 21:55 #111637witParticipant
- Total Posts 2155
The Paris bloodstock agency Godolphin Darley seems to have been well-enough established to have merited the publication as early as 1950 by H Dupuy of Paris of what seems a guide to racecourses by "GODOLPHIN DARLEY et ses collaborateurs : Bruneteau P, Delacourt J, Gab L.F, Karle P, ThÃƒÂ©ron A, ect."
Available for Euros 39 here:
or call PrÃƒÂ¨s de la Fontaine, Michel Pagani – Avignon – 04 90 86 98 72. (I have no connection with the seller and am not on commish).
I wonder if its an agency name rather than the name of any individual – a bit like a book by say "Tattersalls with contributions by…".
Dare one suggest that if France was not so historically antithetic to the Turk, the agency might have covered all the bases and called itself Godolphin Darley Byerley, rather than sticking to just the two Arab foundation sires ?
The Godolphin Arabian was once a gift to the King of France but was pulling a water cart in Paris when purchased by Edward Coke.
There’s also this passing reference in paragraph 2:
and this from Thoroughbred Times:
The French agency Godolphin Darley (not to be confused with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s operations, which use both those names separately) paid $70,000 for Speedy Idiot, Fast Line’s 1973 colt by Tom Fool, at the 1974 Saratoga sale. Trained in France, Speedy Idiot won 4-of-57 starts and ran third in the Prix de Saint-Firmin as a two-year-old.
mind you, a similiar query to yours on a French forum did elicit precisely that confusion:
witAugust 18, 2007 at 10:19 #111673apracingParticipant
- Total Posts 3105
Thanks for the info – an agency name certainly makes more sense than an individual called Godolphin Darley!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.