Bobby Zen

Royal Ascot and Dubai Carnival winners feature among 48 lots set to be offered by Godolphin at the 2024 Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) Racing in Dubai Sale, which will be staged at Meydan Racecourse on Tuesday, March 26, four days before the Dubai World Cup meeting.

Godolphin have sold over 450 horses at the ERA Racing in Dubai Sale since it was introduced in December 2015. They include the former Charlie Appleby trainee North America (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who later won at the top level for Satish Seemar having been bought for AED140,000 (approximately €35,000) in 2016.

Drafted (Field Commission) was another high-profile graduate after being purchased for just AED40,000 (€10,000) in 2017 as he went on to become a five-time winner at Meydan, notably landing a pair of Group 3 races at the track. He was trained by Doug Watson, who has since enjoyed more success with a similar recruit in Golden Goal (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), a Group 2 winner following his sale for AED210,000 (€53,000) in 2018.

Of the 48 lots consigned by Godolphin this year, 22 of them are by Dubawi, including the five-year-old Secret State (Ire) (lot 41), who gained his biggest success when winning the 2022 King George V H. at Royal Ascot. His sire is also represented by the likes of Goldspur (Ire) (lot 32), who won the G3 Zetland S. at Newmarket as a juvenile and still has relatively few miles on the clock for one of his age, and First Ruler (GB) (lot 36), a full-brother to Ghaiyyath (Ire) who was successful at last year’s Dubai Carnival. Venetian Style (GB) (lot 40), who topped the 2021 Tattersalls December Foal Sale at 1.8 million gns, is also catalogued after being placed recently at Chelmsford.

As for proven performers at the 2024 Carnival, Ruling Dynasty (GB) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) (lot 46) is set to go under the hammer having been among the winners at Meydan as recently as last month, while Highbank (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) (lot 47) should also attract plenty of interest having been beaten just a length when filling the runner-up spot on his most recent outing at the track.

“Marie Sullivan [Godolphin’s bloodstock sales manager] said that these are the best of the horses that Godolphin are selling,” summed up Sam Shinsky, the ERA’s head of integrity and regulation. “They sell a lot of horses, but the best ones that they’re going to sell are kept for this sale.

“I think there are 22 sons of Dubawi and they’re obviously well sought-after, versatile horses who go on both surfaces. A lot of the time with these horses–as we’ve seen with North America–they’re untried on dirt, so some of them really take to it and end up having a second lease of life out here. Every year a decent horse or two comes out of it. This year we’ve got 48 lots and I’m sure something from it will go on to be a success.”

The ERA Racing in Dubai Sale was first introduced with the main objective being to increase racehorse ownership within the UAE. As such, there is a condition in place which prevents horses purchased at the sale from being exported until the completion of the 2024/25 racing season [April 2025].

Explaining why the restriction is in place, Shinsky added, “These horses could be sold back in the UK and probably make more money there. But the idea is to try and increase or maintain our thoroughbred population and give people who are living over here–or anybody who wants to race a horse over here–an opportunity to buy a well-bred horse at a discounted rate compared to what you’d have to pay elsewhere.”

Mike Kaye, the founder and principal of Touch Gold Racing, is a big advocate of what the ERA is trying to do with a sale which has been the source of two of the syndicate’s most successful horses, Raven’s Corner (Ire) (Raven’s Pass) and Leading Spirit (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}).

G3 Dubawi S. winner Raven’s Corner was bought for AED135,000 (€34,000) by trainer Satish Seemar in 2016, while Leading Spirit was secured for AED400,000 (€101,000) in 2018 and now has his sights set on the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night having guaranteed his place in the field with victory in the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity for a syndicate like us,” Kaye said of the sale. “The horses are very well-bred and every sale produces a few horses that go on to be competitive at Group level and even run on World Cup night.

“The sale has definitely become more popular, and the prices seem to rise year on year, but hopefully we’ll still be able to find some value. More importantly, the sale helps boost the quality of the local horse population, so it’s definitely important that they continue to enforce that the horses can’t be immediately exported to race elsewhere.”

Looking ahead to this year’s sale, Kaye added, “We’ll do the work as usual and then see how the prices are. There are plenty of nice types on paper, but you never really know until you see them in the flesh whether they look like they will take to training and racing on dirt. It would certainly be nice to find another Raven’s Corner or Leading Spirit, though!”

The post Classy Godolphin Runners to be Sold at ERA Racing in Dubai Sale appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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