Home Forums Archive Topics Celebrity Q&A’s SIMON CRISFORD Q&A

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  • #12983
    • Total Posts 9995

    I’m absolutely delighted to announce that our next particpant in the Celebrity Q&A series will be Golphin’s long serving Racing Manager, Simon Crisford.

    Prior to his time at Godolphin, Simon spent time with Sir Mark Prescott and John Dunlop, in addition to being appointed Newmarket correspondent for the Racing Post when that paper launched in 1986.

    Please post your questions in this thread.

    Simon has now sent in all his answers and very comprehensive they are too. Many thanks are due to Simon for taking the time to do these, very much appreciated by all at The Racing Forum.[/color:vjqfu0ez]

    The Ante-Post King
    The Ante-Post King
    • Total Posts 8795

    Mr Crisford,my question is;-Please tell me after

    Al Zir

    has won the Racing Post trophy,will he be trained for the Derby or the 2000gns?.I believe this colt is special,he would have won the Dewhurst had he run.Godolphin obviously expect him to get a trip next year,so long as its not to America for the Kentucky Derby as his breeding would suggest!Many thanks, Gord.

    Unfortunately, he was well beaten in the Racing Post Trophy! But we still like him a lot and we will see how he is over the winter. We hope the colt will be good enough to be aimed at the English 2,000 Guineas next year but realistically he will need to improve a lot on what we saw in the Racing Post trophy for him to win at Newmarket.


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    David Loder once expressed severe dissatisfaction at having horses, owned by associates of Sheikh Mohammed, removed from his yard following the conclusion of their juvenile season. Do you think it’s fair that Godolphin benefit from the work, preparation and dedication of others? Are such switches ever pre-planned?

    Sheikh Mohammed’s willingness to buy up leading two-year-olds is also well documented, but who is responsible for the horses he purchases and are you satisifed with the record these horses have under Saeed Bin Suroor? Shamardal, Doyen, Papineau, Bull Run and Fast Company are recent examples of horses whose careers have been cut short following the switch to Godolphin – how do you respond to criticism based on the lack of longevity of high-profile purchases (I appreciate Bull Run was owned by Sheikh Mohammed) such as these?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, Simon.

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    Hi Simon. A few quick questions here.

    Sheikh Mohammed was quoted in June as saying, with regards to Sea the Stars "Anyone would want a horse like that. We are always looking for good stallions and we will talk to the owner"

    Did such talks take place, and if so how far did the talks go ?

    What are Godolphins plans for Jealous Again ?

    And finally…

    What in your view sparked the apparent ill feeling between Godolphin and Coolmore ?

    Thank you.


    Black Sam Bellamy
    • Total Posts 448

    Simon – where is Midshipman ?

    • Total Posts 1573

    Sam he will be running over the dirt at the Breeders cup.


    • Total Posts 140

    Hi Simon,

    In your opinion, could Sea The Stars have touched Dubai Millennium over 10 furlongs?

    It would have been an interesting race but match races favour the front runners so we might have had the edge. Wishful thinking perhaps, but I think he would have found it hard to get past us.


    • Total Posts 2115

    Hi Simon.

    1) in broad terms, what analytical tools do Godolphin use to evaluate the form/requirements of their horses and to plan those horses’ campaigns?

    2) if Godolphin had not existed, what state would British racing be in now?

    3) can you suggest a sire – possibly one with which Godolphin is already connected – to look out for in the next few years?


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    Thanks for answering our questions Simon.

    Godolphin tells it how it is. Not thinking about spin to big-up a stallion’s career. Pointing out negatives as well as positives. Remember Grandera’s quirks were not hidden under the “ego” banner. And every horse (whatever the distance) is not described as “shows so much speed”. Thanks.

    I think Godolphin’s reputation is lower than it should be with punters, due in part to a poor start in most recent years. Not getting going until Royal Ascot these days.

    Is there anything Godolphin are planning to do differently next time?

    I know some two year olds over-wintered here last term,

    did it pay off?

    If the weather is good on arrival in Britain,

    do horses acclimatise better and show their form sooner?

    Will bringing them over sooner (likely colder weather) backfire?

    A friend of mine has a friend who was an experienced work rider with Godolphin. Very happy with how he was treated, so no grudge. He believes Godolphin work their horses harder than any other yard. Almost having races at home (am not talking about “trials day”). Some horses don’t seem to be able to cope with the regime there.

    Could this be a reason why so many Godolphin horses get injuries?

    As others here have said, a significant number of Godolphin buys are never or rarely seen again.

    Do we expect too much from Godolphin?

    It’s some time since we’ve had a star in blue, Ramonti being about the best recent runner. Yet Saeed Bin Suroor still has a better strike rate than any other trainer in Britain. Using Timeform Statistical Review, 22% over the past four years, that’s 1% better than Sir Michael Stoute and Sir Mark Prescott. He also tops the table for 2 year old strike rate, 2nd for 3 year olds, top in median rating and most horses rated more than 100.

    British racing would be a lot worse without Sheik Mo and Co’s continued support. Recently Sheikh Mohammed has had better success in USA and has an ambition to win the Kentucky Derby.

    Is Britain still a priority, are we going to see less of Godolphin’s influence in future?

    His support is very much appreciated.

    Is Kirklees alright after his run in Australia and will he be back next year?

    Always striked me as a Group 1 winner in the making, disappointed he did not run in the Champion. Echo Gordon’s question,

    are there any likely to be aimed at Kentucky?

    What do you look for in such a horse?

    (I backed both Aljabr and Shamardal at 33/1 for the Guineas, so you owe me one) :wink: .
    A final, purely selfish question Simon. You’ve done very well with two year olds this term.

    Which two year olds (exposed, once and unraced) do you have highest hopes for and why?

    Come on, prove my first paragraph right, tell us all you know! :lol:

    Q2. Vale Of York could be aimed at the Kentucky Derby next year following his recent success in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. A decision about his 2010 campaign will be made towards the end of the winter. To have the right profile for the race, they need to have had lots of match practice, with plenty of ability to be competitive at the top level and we have to believe they will handle the dirt surface at Churchill Downs.

    Q3. We have high hopes for a number of the current two-year-olds. Of the exposed horses, Al Zir, Poet’s Voice and Passion For Gold look like genuine contenders for some of the good races next year, whilst Sahara Kingdom and Burj Nahar strike me as two promising types of the less exposed ones. However, I wouldn’t recommend backing any of these for any of the Classics until all of our plans are finalised, as so much can change over the course of the winter and the picture will become much clearer at the end of next spring.

    Thanks Simon.

    value is everything

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    We’ll get Simon’s responses some time next June the way Mark’s going.

    • Total Posts 24716

    We’ll get Simon’s responses some time next June the way Mark’s going.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Nice one Equi. Will try and think of some more.

    value is everything

    • Total Posts 1300

    1) The retirement of Sea The Stars has brought the whole issue of the top 3yos being packed off to stud (as an inevitability) into focus once again. Would you support measures that changed the economics to an extent and encouraged the top 3yos to stay in training as 4 and 5yo s? Ideas mooted on this forum include introducing valuable races restricted to horses sired by a Stallion that has won a Group race at 4yo+ – (maybe even the Classics) – or the abolition of the wfa scale for Group 1 races to make it harder for 3yos to walk away with races like the Arc and King George. (For what it is worth, I think Godolphin’s main contribution to racing has been in nurturing and improving some outstanding older horses – oh for the days of Daylami, Fantastic Light and Swain….

    2) What is he score with Gladiatorus? How can a horse that has destroyed several Group 1 horses in Dubai prove such a relative disappointment in Europe? Can we trust Dubai Carnival form – and if not, why not?

    Final note – excellent work from cormack to get this Q+A on TRF and many thanks to Simon Crisford for taking the time to answer our questions.

    Q2. Gladiatorus will winter in Dubai and he will race again at the Carnival. Perhaps his efforts last winter were too hard and he just did not fire in Europe. I agree he was a disappointment but not every horse can hold his form all the time. I think overall it has been safe to trust the Carnival form although, with reference to the 2010 Carnival, please remember we will be racing on Tapeta (not dirt as before) and Turf, at the new Meydan racetrack.

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    I have to hand the credit to my TRF colleague James Haycock for the recent bout of top Q&A sessions.

    More to come – watch this space!


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    Could you give an assessment of the following five maiden winners:-

    Bint Almatar
    Sahara Kingdom

    At this stage would you be thinking handicaps or something better – Sahara Kingdom was the one I was most impressed with.

    Anhar – Looks like a middle-distance prospect and is a high-end handicapper in the making.
    Sahara Kingdom – A promising colt, will step up in class next year and needs to improve on what we have seen so far but I think he has the potential to do well.
    Burnett – Weak and has to progress. Needs to strengthen and improve a lot over the winter.
    Saboteur – He will race in Dubai and looks a solid handicapper.



    Neil Watson
    • Total Posts 1421

    Simon, Would Godolphin ever consider having Jumps horses in the future?

    No, our owner wishes to focus only on flat racing

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