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A tale of two World Cup stars who became equine role models

J A McGrath

If the G1 Dubai World Cup winner happens to be of the calibre of Champions Dubai Millennium, Street Cry or Singspiel, then retirement from the racetrack automatically brings with it all the trappings associated with being a top Darley stallion.

But, what happens when the winner is a gelding, one not equipped for employment in the breeding barn?

At one time, this may have posed a problem. After all, taking into account the average life expectancy of the thoroughbred racehorse, there could be 15 years or more ahead of an equine athlete, who has trained and raced intensively early in his career before being retired. 

But at Godolphin, a happy solution has been found — now there is, most definitely, life after World Cup triumph, and it’s all part of the successful Godolphin rehoming program, which provides the framework for retraining racehorses for new careers after racing.

For example, African Storyinfo-icon and Prince Bishop, winners of the Dubai World Cup in 2014 and 2015, respectively, have settled into new jobs, teaching by example the vast numbers of young horses broken in and engaged in pre-training in Newmarket.

Both have brought their own individuality to the new role, and both are much loved by staff and riders, according to Kate Grimwade, Manager of Pre-Training for Godolphin.

“They are both very different. African Story is very good. He is a very easy ride, he’s very genuine, and he acts as a good lead horse for the young ones,” Kate pointed out.

“Prince Bishop, on the other hand, can be very naughty. He can drop his rider without much warning.  But we all love him. He’s such a character.

“I suppose you could say one is showing them what to do, while the other is showing them what not to do,” she laughed.

Educating the ‘babies’ as they come through the Godolphin system is a vital part of the process in getting young talent to the racecourse.

There are seven yards at Hamilton Hill and horses can be stabled there from three to 12 months, depending on the progress made by the individual as he or she is learning the ropes, and also the instructions of the respective trainers.

African Story and Prince Bishop have a nice life. They even take a holiday — for five months, no less — at Woodditton Stud, on the outskirts of Newmarket in the British summer. Nobody would complain about that.

For more information on the Godolphin rehoming programme, please visit www.godolphinlifetimecare.com