RAC­ING

The Star Early Edition - - RACING -

GONE but not for­got­ten – and now to be re­vived.

The fa­mous ma­roon and white silks syn­ony­mous with so many turf cham­pi­ons, in­clud­ing Oh So Sharp, Peb­bles and Singspiel, are be­ing brought back to Britain's race­courses by Sheikh Mo­hammed.

The sport’s big­gest owner will con­tinue to front the global Godol­phin op­er­a­tion – in whose blue silks Harry An­gel won the Dar­ley July Cup on Satur­day on the sheikh's 68th birth­day – but a part­ner­ship linked to his daugh­ter, Sheikha Al Jalila, now has a string of horses in train­ing at New­mar­ket with John Gos­den who will soon be­gin to ap­pear on tracks.

The colours of ma­roon, white sleeves and ma­roon cap with white star were listed in the lat­est edi­tion of the Rac­ing Cal­en­dar as reg­is­tered to Sheikha Al Jalila Rac­ing.

In a fur­ther nod to nos­tal­gia, the blue and white colours car­ried to vic­tory by Hatta, Sheikh Mo­hammed’s first win­ner as an owner at Brighton 40 years ago, have been reg­is­tered to the Dubai ruler's son Sheikh Zayed.

Sheikh Mo­hammed told the Rac­ing Post: “These colours rep­re­sented for me many dif­fer­ent chap­ters of my jour­ney in the rac­ing world. They were as­so­ci­ated with some of the most joy­ful mem­o­ries and will be for­ever con­nected to some of the great­est equine leg­ends and in­spir­ing train­ing and horse­man­ship.

“I am so proud to pass them on to my chil­dren, Jalila and Zayed, who both share my pas­sion for horses, love of this sport, and are de­vel­op­ing the great­est re­spect for the rac­ing fam­ily.”

The ma­roon and white be­came some of Flat rac­ing’s most dom­i­nant colours dur­ing a golden era through the 1980s into the late 1990s. Many of Sheikh Mo­hammed’s ma­jor stars at the time were trained by Henry Ce­cil and Michael Stoute, who both at that point had still to be knighted, and achieved fame un­der rid­ers such as Steve Cau­then, Wal­ter Swin­burn and Pat Ed­dery.

Peb­bles

Un­der Ce­cil’s tute­lage at War­ren Place – now owned by Sheikh Mo­hammed and set to be­come a train­ing yard for Godol­phin – Oh So Sharp com­pleted the fil­lies’ Triple Crown in 1985, sweep­ing the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger to se­cure a place in the an­nals of rac­ing.

Af­ter be­ing ac­quired by Sheikh Mo­hammed fol­low­ing her vic­tory in the 1,000 Guineas, the Clive Brit­tain-trained Peb­bles achieved ar­guably even greater stand­ing, when in the same year as Oh So Sharp’s Clas­sic hat-trick, she daz­zled in the Eclipse, Cham­pion Stakes and Breed­ers' Cup Turf.

The last-named race was also won in the sheikh’s old colours by In The Wings, trained by an­other long-time ally An­dre Fabre, who sent out Carnegie to win the 1994 Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phe in ma­roon and white.

A few years ear­lier In­dian Skim­mer had been an­other mare to achieve su­per­star sta­tus for Sheikh Mo­hammed, whose out­stand­ing Bri­tish-trained colts in­cluded cham­pion sprinter Aj­dal, dual Derby hero Old Vic, bril­liant miler Barathea and, most re­cently, glo­be­trot­ter Singspiel, whose string of tri­umphs fea­tured the Dubai World Cup, Ja­pan Cup, Cana­dian In­ter­na­tional and Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional.

By the time Singspiel was win­ning those races Godol­phin had al­ready an­nounced it­self with a big bang, mean­ing that over the fol­low­ing years the ma­roon and white be­gan to dis­ap­pear from pub­lic view.

The last year they were reg­u­larly seen in Britain was 2007, when they were car­ried to suc­cess on 58 oc­ca­sions, al­though they con­tin­ued to be used in Ire­land for some time af­ter that.

Sheikh Mo­hammed is look­ing for­ward to see­ing his daugh­ter Sheikha Al Jalila, who ac­com­pa­nied her father and mother, Princess Haya, dur­ing what proved to be a hugely suc­cess­ful Royal As­cot for Godol phin, car­ry­ing on a fam­ily tra­di­tion.

Sheikh Mo­hammed said: “My daugh­ter Jalila is pas­sion­ate about rac­ing. She spends hours in the sta­bles, happy to feed and groom. She fol­lows the horses’ work and dis­cusses it at great length with me. - RacingPost.com

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