Godolphin Aiming at 100th Group I Success

Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing is on the verge of a landmark 100th grade or group I winner worldwide - in its 10th anniversary year.

Having started the year with 95 wins in the top-bracket, Godolphin swiftly extended its tally at Nad Al Sheba on March 29 when Sulamani won the Sheema Classic and Moon Ballad the Dubai World Cup.

Since then Godolphin has collected fewer Group 1s in Europe compared to recent seasons with only two triumphs: Dubai Destination in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17 and Leadership in the Gran Premio di Milano at San Siro five days later.

Having been stuck on the 99-win mark for more than six weeks, Sheikh Mohammed was at Goodwood on August 2 to see if the filly Hi Dubai could achieve the landmark win, although after hitting the front in the Nassau Stakes, she faded to take fourth behind Russian Rhythm. Earlier at the same meeting, Godolphin had seen Moon Ballad finish fifth in the Sussex Stakes.

And the anxious wait to achieve the feat continued when Highdown finished an unlucky second in the Grosser Dallmayr Preis-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen on August 3.

The forthcoming Deauville and York Ebor meetings will offer the chance for swift recompense for Godolphin.

So far this season, Godolphin's international raids have been limited, hampered by a lack of representatives in the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, and by the SARS virus, which ruled out a challenge for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.

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