Sheikh Mohammed and Ireland: The equine connection

New Approach, the world’s top-rated three-year-old in 2008, raced in the colours of Princess Haya

Jockey Frankie Dettori,  Sheikh Mohammed  and  Princes Haya after winning the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in May 2005. Photograph: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

Jockey Frankie Dettori, Sheikh Mohammed and Princes Haya after winning the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in May 2005. Photograph: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

 

Ireland plays an important role in Sheikh Mohammed’s global bloodstock empire.

The ruler of Dubai’s racehorses run under the Godolphin banner, an operation started in 1994 and which enjoyed immediate success when the Frankie Dettori ridden Balanchine won the Irish Derby that year.

Godolphin currently have over 1,000 horses in training worldwide including with trainers such as Willie McCreery and Michael Halford in Ireland.

Sheikh Mohammed has had a lengthy association with Co Carlow-based trainer Jim Bolger over the last decade and a half. Bolger sold the subsequent 2008 Epsom Derby winner New Approach to him.

New Approach was the world’s top-rated three-year-old in 2008 and raced in the colours of Princess Haya.

The Sheikh owns eight farms in Ireland, including the 1,500 acre Kildangan Stud in Co Kildare which is a central part of his breeding empire operating under the Darley banner.

Kildangan is home to Darley’s 14 Irish-based stallions, including Teofilo and Exceed And Excel, and can accommodate more than 400 horses in all. There are 250 people employed there.

Godolphin is a shareholder and one of the original investors in Curragh Ltd, initially contributing €5 million towards the €81 million revamp of Irish racing’s most famous racecourse.

Between Godolphin, and when his horses ran under his own name, Sheikh Mohammed has won 17 Irish classics at the Curragh. They include four wins in the Irish Derby, the first of which was 30 years ago with Old Vic.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.