THE BIG INTERVIEW
Nick Townsend talks to John Gosden about his hopes for season
In late March, it required just over 24 hours for Gosden & Son, the newly-established Newmarket training partnership to deliver an immediate, ominous statement of intent to all its rivals.
The day after champion trainer John Gosden and his son Thady officially became joint licence-holders at Newmarket’s Clarehaven Stables, under a new BHA initiative, the credits on the new balance sheet began to swiftly accumulate with the proceeds of an Anglo-Dubai five-timer.
That quintet included the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, won by Mishriff, and the Dubai Turf, claimed by Lord North – both partnered by Frankie Dettori – at Meydan, securing a cool £4m prizemoney for their owners in the process.
For added measure, at a slightly more modest prizemoney level, the training partnership also won the Unibet Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster with Haqeeqy, ridden by the stable’s 18-year-old apprentice Benoit de la Sayette – a poignant victory for owner Hissa Hamdan al-Maktoum, whose father Sheikh Hamdan had died a few days’ earlier.
Even for a revered master of his craft, responsible for the majestic mare Enable, now retired and in foal to Kingman – also trained by Gosden – and the now seven-year-old Cup king, Stradivarius, who will bid this season for a fourth consecutive Ascot Gold Cup, it could hardly have been a more auspicious start under joint names.
“I think it’s a dream come true,” he reflects on that lucrative Dubai raid. “We hadn’t had a winner there since 2017. It’s not easy, these huge international races to have the right horse. But to go and win the Sheema Classic and the Dubai Turf, two of the most valuable races in the world, was what I’d call a pretty unique double for us. You hope they might run well, and hope you might win one of them. You don’t expect to win both races.”
That form has continued with the stable, at the time we speak, on a winning strike rate of 30 per cent. While some father and son business combinations can end up sparring like
Harold and Albert Steptoe, all the