The resurgence of Godolphin continues as Sheikh Mohammed’s operation have this week purchased a half share in the much lauded French three-year-old, Persian King.
Despite now already having such classic hopes at their disposal as Line Of Duty, Royal Meeting, Royal Marine and Quorto, the Boys in Blue have added to their ranks in order primarily to keep up with the Coolmore operation in Ireland and to boost their stallion books.
Former top miler Kingman is proving to be a very productive sire and this horse, trained in France by Andre Fabre, crowned an awesome year as a juvenile by winning the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, beating a horse who in turn went on to Group 1 glory.
It is probably that, despite how good Persian King obviously is, that Godolphin have an eye on the future. Their new star will be following in the footsteps of 2,000 Guineas winners Zafonic and Pennekamp who won at Newmarket as 2yo’s before landing the big one for Fabre, but this year’s Guineas looks extraordinary.
Quite brilliant Royal Ascot winner Calyx and the operation’s own Quorto, a fine scorer at Group 1 level in Ireland, are as big as 8/1 for the first classic in May given the strength of John Gosden and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s exceptional colt Too Dar Hot, a current best priced 6/4 favourite.
Although the Dubai based operation have only bought a half share, part of the deal is that Persian King will run in their colours this season and we will carry with him quite the weight of expectation.
Whether he goes down the Newmarket route or perhaps stays in France before going to the Curragh for the Irish Guineas nobody knows yet, but regardless of how the division splits it looks like making for a spectacular clash at this year’s Royal meeting in the St James’s Palace Stakes and a massive strengthening of the mile division overall.