The Godolphin team still was on cloud nine Monday following the magnificent overall effort of their horses in the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. After finishing one-two in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies with Tempera and Imperial Gesture, Godolphin captured the Turf with Fantastic Light and just missed by a nose with Sakhee in the Classic. Had the Arc de Triomphe winner won the Classic, it would have been one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in racing history. The operation also was vindicated in their controversial decision to run Fantastic Light and Sakhee in their respective races.
Godolphin's manager Simon Crisford told the Racing Post
, "It was a brilliant day, fabulous for our team and a great thrill. It was one of those special days that we will always remember. The whole year is built around big events like this and when you go into battle and come back with results like Saturday's, it is so meaningful for an operation like Godolphin.
"Sakhee lost nothing in defeat. We are all incredibly proud of him and the decision to run him in the Classic has been fully vindicated. Sheikh Mohammed watched the races from Dubai and was absolutely delighted. He said you can now explain to people why we took the decision we did. So many people said that Sakhee's action was not suited to the dirt but we have a team of expert professionals who helped the Sheikhs to make their decision."
Assistant trainer Tom Albertrani also felt vindicated after saying all week he liked the way Sakhee was handling the dirt, despite what the experts said. "Sakhee ran a great race," he told The Blood-Horse
. "Everyone was looking for something. I had a lot of confidence in the horse. I wasn't worried, because I felt he looked better than he did going into the Arc. Everyone wants to see bullet works but they've never seen these horses before or how they usually work."
Albertrani said Fantastic Light may head back to Japan for another crack at the Japan Cup. As for Sakhee, there has been no indication whether or not he'll be retired. The son of Bahri will be heading to Dubai shortly. Albertrani said Express Tour, who finished 10th in the Mile, grabbed a quarter coming out of the gate and threw a shoe.
As for Tempera and Imperial Gesture, trainer Eoin Harty said in the Racing Post
, "We are definitely on the right track and going about it the right way. Tempera and Imperial Gesture will certainly be pointed at the Kentucky Oaks. I expect they will go to Dubai about the first week in December."
Crisford confirmed: "Tempera is by A.P. Indy and will be kept to dirt. She will probably have a couple of runs in Dubai, in the UAE Guineas and Oaks, and then breeze in for the Kentucky Oaks."
Of the two Godolphin runners in the Juvenile, Ibn Al Haitham and Essence of Dubai, Crisford said, "It would have been nice if they had shown up better but we haven't lost faith with our colts. King's Consul, who won on Friday, is a possible Kentucky Derby horse and there are plenty of others to look at over the winter. I hope to win the Kentucky Derby sooner rather than later and we have got a nice collection of yearlings for next year. They are a better batch than this year's."