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Have a read of this

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  • #4133
    • Total Posts 444

    I’ve run this by a couple of TRF members (won’t mention names for fear of them being evicted! ;)) and they have said they think it’s a decent article, with a couple of suggestions.

    I’ve only really put this up cos of the Godolphin topic that was started earlier. But read, enjoy, and if you have suggestions, corrections, or info that may help, please feel free to post on send me a message. Thanks

    (currently without title – can’t think of anything catchy)

    Ever since Godolphin were founded in 1994, however brilliant their horses have been, they have been blighted by misfortune, highlighted most recently by the untimely loss of Electrocutionist. They have also produced little success through their own breeding set-up, and have often been found spending huge amounts of money at season-close for horses from other stables to use as their own for the next year.

    Just at the end of last season, Sheikh Mohammed opened his cheque book several times for high-profile horses such as Shawanda, Electrocutionist, The Geezer, Iffraaj and Silca’s Sister. However, as good as these horses have been in previous seasons, the ‘boys in blue’ have failed to reproduce this form with many of their acquisitions. Shawanda has had several setbacks and hasn’t run, and Leo, Goodricke, Imperial Stride, Stepping Up and Winged Cupid have had identical seasons to the champion filly so far. The St. Leger 2nd The Geezer, Opera Cape, Palace Episode, Proclamation and Silca’s Sister have all run once or twice this year, but again, they have been huge disappointments, and as a result, their stud prospects have surely been damaged.

    Even high-profile Godolphin horses from the past didn’t start their racing at Godolphin. Daylami, Marienbard, Refuse to Bend, Snow Ridge, Cherry Mix and Kazzia were all bought from other stables before reaching superstar status.<br>They have rarely had good 2-year-olds bred themselves, and many have disappointed. Eta Draconis, a one-time Derby and Guineas hope, was lucky to win his maiden, before finishing 4th of 4 in a Class 3 race last time out. The $1 million Capricorn Run hasn’t run this year after a disappointing juvenile season, and Emily Bronte, who at one time featured prominently in the Oaks market, also hasn’t been seen.

    The apple of Sheikh Mohammed’s eye, Dubai Millennium, died very early into his stud career, producing just 1 superstar in Dubawi, and other potential stallions in Annus Mirabilis, Snow Ridge and Blues and Royals all died before they even started at stud.

    Their horses have always been inconsistent, and many have had several setbacks. As good as Balanchine was, she suffered a life-threatening bout of colic, and she was never the same again. Mark of Esteem was hugely disappointing twice in Group 1s, finishing way behind in the St. James’ Palace and Breeders’ Cup Mile. His stud career has been lifted by Sir Percy and dual-Group 1 winner Reverence, but is still not seen as a great stallion. Cape Verdi destroyed the field on-route to the 1000 Guineas in 1998, but after a poor-show in the Derby, she reappeared a year later, but ran very poorly without explanation twice.

    Cape Cross often ran a poor race, and his stud career has very much been built on the success of Ouija Board. Doyen, a one-time galloping machine, who broke the Ascot track record for 12 furlongs, was a huge let-down as a 5-year-old, and Darley has priced him at just £10,000 at stud.

    Stallions such as Bertolini, King’s Best, Tiger Hill, Lomitas and Xaar are not working out as well as had been hoped for, and Noverre has so far been  disappointing with his first crop. Halling, despite having progeny such as Hala Bek, Norse Dancer and The Geezer, still hasn’t produced a winner at the top level.

    Although Singspiel and Red Ransom have produced Group 1 winners, they’ve not done so with the frequency as Sadler’s Wells and Danehill at Coolmore, and while Godolphin may be successful at stud with Shamardal, Refuse to Bend and Doyen, they are all by Coolmore stallions, and in turn are shining adverts for their rivals in County Tipperary.

    The 2006 season may seem to have been a successful one on the surface, but the string of bad form for the stable at the start of the season meant they lost out on several opportunities – their 2000 Guineas runner Opera Cape finished last, they failed to even have a runner in either the Oaks or Derby, and now, they have lost the stable’s biggest star in Electrocutionist. However, it is worth noting that Electrocutionist had been aimed at either the Juddmonte International or Irish Champion Stakes, but further setbacks meant his participation was ill-advised. Even their 2-year-olds are way behind in their training, and Simon Crisford, racing manager of Godolphin, stated recently that ‘75% of their 2-year-olds would not race this year.’

    So I put forward the question – do Godolphin over-train their horses? Many of their runners often have setbacks, and with horses such as Shawanda, Leo, Goodricke and Imperial Stride not even seen on a racecourse due to so many problems, this seems a fair question. It’s obvious that horses get injured, it happens every day, but for them to have so many, it seems more than a coincidence.

    Discreet Cat is the stable’s leading light at the moment, but he too has had very long gaps inbetween his racing, and connections have been very shady with him, not committing him to any races, swerving the big events such as the Triple Crown races. It’s all very suspicious.

    With only 4 Group 1 wins, coupled with the lack of 2-year-olds to aim at the juvenile prizes, this must be one of the worst seasons Godolphin has ever endured, if not the worst. In order to guarantee success for next year, Sheikh Mohammed must once again go out and spend big for high-profile horses to both race for next year, and use at stud, but this is always risky as many horses don’t train-on, a point exemplified by Doyen. And with their closest competitors, if not their superiors, Ballydoyle dominating the juvenile ranks year-in and year-out, this will once again be a very difficult challenge for Sheikh Mohammed.

    To make matters worse, Ballydoyle is in the process of reforming their old tactics of retiring their best horses at 3, Godolphin needs to spend big just to compete. Dylan Thomas, Yeats, Alexandrova and Aussie Rules all look set to stay in training for next year, making Godolphin’s task even harder, and the juveniles Holy Roman Emperor, Eagle Mountain, Trinity College and Nell Gwyn are all owned by the trio of Magnier, Tabor and Smith, and all feature prominently in the betting for the first Classics of the season.

    Their influence on racing is certainly not unnoticed. They have ploughed millions, if not billions, into the sport, and everyone recognizes and appreciates this. The Dubai World Cup was founded by Sheikh Mohammed, and his Darley stable often sponsor Group 1 events such as both the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks. But it seems that they are fighting a losing battle with the Ballydoyle-Coolmore partnership, and if they want to win this battle, they will certainly need more success on the racecourse, as well as 2 or 3 stand-out stallions to do the job that Sadler’s Wells, Galileo and Storm Cat do at Coolmore.

    When Danehill passed away 3 years ago, although I’m sure saddened by the news, Godolphin must also have been slightly relieved. The sire of 122 Group 1 winners and one of the greatest ever sires, left this year’s 2-year-old crop as his last, leaving Coolmore a very big void to fill. The most successful sire of all time, Sadler’s Wells, will be 27 next year, meaning that he too will be coming close to the end of his life, thus leaving an even bigger hole. Coolmore will of course be needing replacements, but with High Chaparral, Hawk Wing, Rock of Gibraltar, Johannesburg, One Cool Cat, Oratorio and Powerscourt, the options are endless.

    Giant’s Causeway has proved a huge success, notably with Godolphin ace Shamardal, 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand and Coronation Stakes winner Maids Causeway, another Godolphin acquisition.

    Johannesburg and Rock of Gibraltar have had encouraging starts to their new career, siring Richmond Stakes winner Hamoody and Eagle Mountain respectively, but with many of their progeny still unraced, the chances of further success are great.

    Darley is lagging behind in all divisions, and this is crippling them badly. Godolphin need to find a super stallion they can use at stud, as they fail to have one who can produce Group winners on a regular basis as Juddmonte, Aga Khan Stud and Coolmore do, with Dansili, Sinndar and Sadler’s Wells respectively.

    The potential for Godolphin to challenge Coolmore and Ballydoyle is there, but they must also buy shrewdly. Michael Tabor bought both Montjeu and Hurricane Run towards the middle of their 3-year-old careers. Montjeu, after winning the French Derby, Diamond Stakes and L’Arc, sired Motivator, Papal Bull and Scorpion amongst other big names, and is still producing top performers.

    His most famous son, Hurricane Run is disputing favouritism for what could be his second L’Arc, after winning the Diamond Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup and Irish Derby, meaning that he is sure to be in very high demand at stud. Godolphin lack this talent that Tabor clearly has.

    The ‘boys in blue’ have to put in a lot of time and effort if they are to challenge Coolmore anywhere in the future, and the way Coolmore and Ballydoyle are headed, it seems impossible that any stable or person can mount a challenge. In 2002, High Chaparral and Hawk Wing finished 12 lengths clear of the field in the Derby. In 2006, it seems that Coolmore and Ballydoyle are the two giants 12 lengths clear.

    (Edited by jackane24 at 11:11 am on Sep. 17, 2006)<br>

    (Edited by jackane24 at 11:15 am on Sep. 17, 2006)

    The Market Man
    • Total Posts 396

    Excellent article.

    I for one can’t stand Godolphin as I’ve said on here before and this flat season has been all the more enjoyable for me due to the terrible season Bin Suroor and his boys have had. Best part of the season for me Sir Percy winning the Derby after the Packenham’s refused to sell him. Top class.

    Personally I hope Godolphin take their entire operation to the U.S., I certainly wouldn’t miss them over here.

    • Total Posts 1137

    Well, it’s a big improvement on those articles you posted a while back.

    However …

    (1) IMO, the article doesn’t really go anywhere. It just lists a load of horses and that made it feel very repetitive.

    (2) You still need to work on your writing style. Many of your sentences are clumsily written which makes them difficult to follow and confuses their meaning.

    For example:

    "Michael Tabor bought both Montjeu and Hurricane Run towards the middle of their 3-year-old careers – Montjeu sired Motivator, Hurricane Run and Scorpion after winning the French Derby, L’Arc and King George Diamond Stakes amongst others, and Hurricane Run is disputing favouritism for what could be his second L’Arc, after winning the Diamond Stakes and Irish Derby, and is sure to be a massive success at stud"

    Compared to:

    "Michael Tabor bought both Montjeu and Hurricane Run towards the middle of their 3-year-old careers.

    Montjeu won the French Derby, the King George and the Arc, before going on to sire horses like Motivator, Hurricane Run and Scorpion.

    Hurricane Run has won the Irish Derby, the Arc and the King George and is currently joint favourite to win a Historic 2nd Arc. And, when he retires, is certain to be in great demand as a stallion."

    (3) Finally, "Godolphin are lucky in that Danehill tragically passed away 3 years ago" is just the wrong way of thinking about something.

    Hope this helps.


    • Total Posts 2924

    It’s too long for my attention span……………but the fault for that probably doesn’t lie with you!!:(


    • Total Posts 4491

    I would pretty much echo what Steve says. I also think it is rather harsh to suggest that Noverre has had a poor start to his stallion career. He currently sits third in the fss table on number of wins and second in prize money tables.

    • Total Posts 759

    I agree with stevedvg about the writing style. One or two things leap off the page. "Shawanda has had several setbacks and hasn’t run" shouldn’t be followed by "as have

      ." The phrase "Mark Of Esteem disappointed in imperious fashion twice" jangles as well. What’s wrong with "disappointed badly" or "in spectacular fashion"? "Imperious" is the wrong word.

      I also agree that it’s an improvement, however.

      (Edited by guskennedy at 10:02 am on Sep. 17, 2006)

      • Total Posts 1137


      If you want to work on your writing, there’s a book called "How to write, speak and think more clearly", that’s well worth reading.    

      However, according to, it doesn’t look cheap to get hold of. Prices start at £37, which is a scandal as I bought mine back in New York 8 years ago for $5.99.

      How to write, speak and think more effectively

      However, the same writer has a book called "The Classic Guide to Better Writing", which looks to cover a lot of the same stuff.

      And this is available at Amazon for just £6.58.

      The Classic Guide to Better Writing

      I’ve not read it, but going by his other book, it’s probably well worth a punt if you’re serious about being a writer.

      Hope this helps.


      • Total Posts 444

      Thank you for the tips guys – I’ve edited the original post with (what I’m hoping will be) improvements suggested.

      In terms of the grammar and sentence structure – I’m gonna trawl through it with a fine toothcomb later.

      Thanks again – and I’ll check those books out Steve. Thanks for going to trouble to find them for me.

      • Total Posts 562

      I agree it much better written than previous posts, and it raises some interesting questions – overtraining was never something I’d considered before, and it is fascinating how Godolphin with their enormous budget have been unable to replicate the consistent success of Ballydoyle.

      However, once you have raised these questions you have not made much of an attempt to find answers, retreating into lists of names.  Less evidence of their lack of success, and more evidence for the reasons behind it, would have made a better article.

      I also have a few grumbles about content.  Godolphin and the Darley stud operation are two separate identities, but you have made no distinction between the two.  Darley have had a much better year than some previous, with not only with the Derby winner and Ouija Board but also with good starts for their younger stallions – while Godolphin have had a shocker.  Mixing the two operations together is to the detriment of your article.

      In general the comments on the breeding operation suffer from being manipulated to fit your argument.  Yes, Darley need a big star to compare with Sadler’s Wells and Danehill.  Dansili and Sinndar, however, are not stand-outs for Juddmonte and the Aga Khan – they are pretty much on a par with the other Darley stallions you described as disappointing earlier on.  It’s a good point that some of Darley’s star new recruits are by Coolmore stallions, but it is incorrect to say that Bertolini, King’s Best and especially Noverre have not performed up to expectations.

      IMO, the article could be improved by taking a less scattergun approach and focusing more on Godolphin’s bad year.  Instead of saying ‘it’s all crap’, how about wondering why, when other owners can have Group 1 winners with Darley stallions, Sheikh Mohammed has to buy in proven horses, rather than having success with homebreds – you suggest that in your opening paragraph, then ignore it.  It would help to remember that Godolphin had several fantastic years – was this in spite of the bad luck, and overtraining – or has something gone wrong subsequently?

      Your piece has the beginnings of an interesting article, keep at it.

      • Total Posts 8798

      Huge improvement Jack! Well done.

      Still a long way to go though but you are definitely on the correct road.

      There are still a significant number of grammatical errors and you need to learn how to spot and avoid these. That comes with hard work and education. If you’re not already doing so I’d strongly suggest you enrol on a writing course and find a friendly tutor who will assist with that. Try writing in different styles, for fun, as that can help. Analysing the technical differences between various writers is also useful.

      But the single most useful thing you can do is read as much as you can. You should be devouring work by the best sports and racing writers. Dissect their articles, analyse how they are put together and compare and contrast styles.  <br> <br>The key improvement, in my view, is that this most recent piece is put together much more coherently than those you’ve done in the past. There is a beginning, a middle and a nice conclusion.

      Loads of hard work ahead Jack but big step forward. Hope you keep at it.

      What I admire most, though, is your courage in posting your articles on here for general dissection! <br>

      • Total Posts 5124

      Echo the thoughts of others: a big improvement.

      As for the grammatical errors I’d suggest googling ‘comma splice’.

      Hope your exams went okay Jackane.

      • Total Posts 1891

      A lot of interesting replies, though Sal’s seems full of instructive material for you to use as a template to refashion the article around.

      A thought that struck me was that Godolphin could yet get a fair number of top Gp I wins before the end of the year. Iffraaj, Proclamation and Imperial Stride to name but 3, seem to me to be likely prospects.  

      The more formal tenour of this article elevates it to a potentially professional level. Well done. I can’t criticise your writing style here, as its clearer than mine.  I don’t mean to damn you with faint praise by the way…!


      • Total Posts 1208

      yeah good effort but here are my suggestions.

      Make sure your articles have structure so that they start somewhere and they lead through a path to a finish.    You could, for example have started with what Godolphin was set up for and then proceed to whether it had suceeded or not and then perhaps raise some discussion as to why it might have failed.  Theres no need to put too many facts or figues in , just enough to prove a point.  


      • Total Posts 2065

      So I put forward the question – do Godolphin over-train their horses? Many of their runners often have setbacks, and with horses such as Shawanda, Leo, Goodricke and Imperial Stride not even seen on a racecourse due to so many problems, this seems a fair question. It’s obvious that horses get injured, it happens every day, but for them to have so many, it seems more than a coincidence.

      Discreet Cat is the stable’s leading light at the moment, but he too has had very long gaps inbetween his racing, and connections have been very shady with him, not committing him to any races, swerving the big events such as the Triple Crown races. It’s all very suspicious.


      Ok …. where is the conclusion? You can’t just say it looks very suspicious without more substance and/ or elaboration. You start to make some good points but don’t really develop them.

      Grammar is getting better but still open to improvement.

      Jack knows I’m not mean really:biggrin:

      • Total Posts 486

      A vast improvement on what I read before, and Sal and stevedg have posted some very pertinent points.

      My quibbles lie firstly with your changing of "Godolphin have" to "Godolphin has". It’s best to stick with either one or the other. If I were writing I would say "Godolphin has" (as Godolphin is one team) or if not "the Godolphin team members have".

      Also I can’t be having your phrase "their horses have always been inconsistent". It is far too sweeping and also incorrect. Each horse is an individual in their own right and for every dodgepot like Doyen and Grandera you’ll get horses like Daylami and Noverre who rarely ran bad races. It’s a difficult statement to back up with statistics, especially for an operation that has run since 1994. You mention Balanchine shortly afterwards and seem to suggest that her colic episode was somewhat the fault of the Godolphin team. I’m not sure whether you intended to imply this but that’s how it reads.

      A  grammatical point: "They have rarely had good 2-year-olds bred themselves" would be better as "They have rarely bred good two-year-olds themselves."

      You appear to take a very anti Godolphin view and a pro Ballydoyle/Coolmore view which is fair enough given that it’s an opinion piece – and you make many valid points –  but maybe it would be better to balance things out a little, particularly concerning the discussion of stallions. In Sadler’s Wells and Danehill, Coolmore have had two very successful and established stallions whereas Darley have largely built their breeding empire on up and coming ones which you mention (like Singspiel, Halling etc). As you point out, they have not had the storming start they would have wanted, and so Darley have been lagging behind due to relatively unsuccessful young stallions. Maybe time for some more refined research?

      But as I said initially, a good improvement, and you clearly know your stuff. I hope you don’t take these comments personally but they’re to be expected after posting them on here, which is commendable in itself.<br>

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