Darley horses will run under the Godolphin banner and carry the prestigious royal blue silks from the start of the 2014/2015 racing season on August 1.
Darley-owned horses in Australia have traditionally raced in maroon and white silks, but John Ferguson, the Bloodstock Advisor to Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, revealed in a statement this morning that those colours will be replaced by the famous Royal Blue of Godolphin; in a move that he believes emphasises Godolphin’s commitment to racing in Australia.
“Over the last fifteen years, Sheikh Mohammed has led Darley’s development and investment in Australia with incredible success and this announcement is a natural next-step,” Ferguson said.
“Godolphin represents the crown jewels of Sheikh Mohammed’s horseracing operations and the establishment of a permanent presence in Australia is not only testament to his on-going commitment to the racing industry, but also to the country at large.
“As we have seen, Emirates Airline has an ever-growing presence here in Australia with the Qantas partnership, and as Godolphin’s main sponsor, it would be a missed opportunity to not have a home here.
“We have some fantastic horses in Australia, and with John O’Shea at the helm, we’re in good hands.”
John O’Shea, who replaced Peter Snowden as Darley Head Trainer at the end of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, has been named as Godolphin’s Head Trainer in Australia and he revealed that he was delighted to be given the opportunity to continue the success that Godolphin has had right around the world.
“Godolphin is the most prestigious thoroughbred stable in the world and one of the most successful,” O’Shea said.
“His Highness is a true horseman himself and I consider it an honour to be given this responsibility.
“I look forward to the start of the season and to contributing to Godolphin’s continued global success.”
Sheikh Mohammed established Godolphin in 1992 with a small team of horses, but they quickly developed into the biggest racing operation in the world; with stables opened in both Dubai and Newmarket in England.
Godolphin has won Group 1 event in 12 different countries, including the 2008 Caulfield Cup (2400m) with All The Good, but have been unable to win the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) despite bringing horses to Australia for the race since 1998.
Darley was first established in the Australian market in 2001 and they acquired stud farms in Aberdeen in New South Wales and Seymour in Victoria before they became the largest racing operation in Australia by purchasing the Woodlands Stud Farm and complete racing empire of the Ingham brothers.