The royal blue colours of the mighty Godolphin racing empire might have to play second fiddle when they clash with the blue colours worn by horses under the Aquanita banner when they clash on mainly Victorian tracks.
John Ferguson, the Bloodstock Advisor to Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced during the week that their Australian Darley operation, whose horses raced with the maroon and white colours, would race under the Godolphin banner from the beginning of the new racing season starting in August and carry the well-recognised royal blue silks.
But Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey was quick to point out that the royal blue was similar to the blue worn by Aquanita jockeys.
Because the Aquanita’s colours are registered in Victoria, they will get priority when a clash occurs with Godolphin horses then to carry a different colour cap.
“I’d say the colours might be too similar and the scale of the operations presents major problems. They (Godolphin) would have to find a way to make their horses distinguishable,” Bailey told the Herald Sun.
“If stewards were of the view, after conferring with judges and racecallers, that the colours were clashing Godolphin’s horses would have to wear a different cap.
“On the surface the Godolphin colours are a slightly darker blue than Aquanita’s but our concerns are what they will look like when the horses are 1200m from home. If we don’t think there is sufficient difference we will tell Godolphin to use a different coloured cap.”
“We have spoken to Godolphin and told them that as Aquanita is registered in Victoria it will have precedence.”
The problem will most likely be centred in Victoria when Godolphin will have up to fifty horses in work at Flemington while Aquanita has up to ninety horses in work in Melbourne mainly under the care of Robert Smerdon and John Sadler.
Godolphin has its main Australian racing operation centred in Sydney with approximately one hundred horses under the care of John O’Shea and a clash of the blue colours is only likely to occur at Carnival times.