Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, has lauded the news that the most famous name in world thoroughbred racing, Godolphin, will become a resident in local form guides as a major tick for Australian racing globally.
Carpenter’s comments come following today’s announcement that Sheik Mohammed’s Australian racing operation will compete under the name of Godolphin, his international racing brand, from 1 August 2014.
Sheik Mohammed’s Australian stable has competed under the Darley brand since his expanded foray into Australian racing last decade. The Darley brand will now be exclusively used for Sheik Mohammed’s breeding operations which include a major stud at Seymour, an hour north of Melbourne.
The change will see Sheik Mohammed’s Australian runners carry the famous Godolphin Blue instead of the maroon and white colours that have been carried to Group 1 success in Victoria by the likes of Earthquake, Sepoy, Appearance, Long John, Guelph and Helmet.
Carpenter said the arrival of the Godolphin brand, which is positioned globally as the representative team of Dubai, would benefit the Australian racing industry on multiple levels.
“As the most recognisable racing stable in the world we welcome today’s announcement that the Godolphin brand will become a resident fixture in Australia from next month. This is a show of faith in Australian racing and a long term commitment that the industry welcomes,” Carpenter said.
“Godolphin have been a regular visitor to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival over the past two decades and the brand is synonymous with the world’s best thoroughbred racing which we believe we offer here in Australia.
“There are other benefits of this transition. International betting on Victorian and Australian racing is a significant growth opportunity for our industry and we believe the Godolphin brand will resonate well with punters looking to bet abroad on our product.
“We look forward to seeing horses running under the Godolphin name all year round in Australia and personally seeing whether the world’s most famous stable can fulfil its long-held ambition to win the world’s best staying race, the Emirates Melbourne Cup.”
In welcoming the announcement, RV has clarified the circumstances under which the stable’s colours will be integrated into Victorian racing, noting some concerns raised in media regarding similarities with the Victorian-based Aquanita Racing.
For clarity, Godolphin stable runners will wear Godolphin Blue in all Victorian races and be described in form guides as such. Aquanita will continue to wear their colours which are registered in Victoria as Aquanita Blue, White Collar, Cuffs & Peak.
Whilst noting that they are different shades of blue, should Godolphin and Aquanita have runners in the same Victorian race then RV’s standard raceday procedure will ensue. That being, the stewards will consult with the judge and racecaller on whether they believe the colours are too close for them to effectively discharge their duties on the day and if so, then preference will be given to Aquanita who were first registered in Victoria.
In such circumstances the Godolphin runner will be asked to carry their second set of registered colours, that being a Godolphin Blue jacket with a white cap – as they have done previously in Victoria with multiple runners in an Emirates Melbourne Cup.