Godolphin two-year-olds dominated the headlines last season, not only in England, but also in France.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Pinatubo remained unbeaten in five starts in the UK and Ireland, lifting the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, while in France, the André Fabre-trained Earthlight also remained unbeaten in five starts, winning not only the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville but also the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
As to Victor Ludorum, also trained by André Fabre, he was unbeaten in three starts and finished his two-year-old season with a victory in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère on Arc weekend.
Unsurprisingly, Godolphin were top of the list in the the owners’ championship at the end of the 2019 season in France and Lisa-Jane Graffard, Godolphin’s racing manager in France, said: “It was fantastic. And it was the second year in a row. It involves a lot of work across the board from everyone. The two-year-olds really did well last year. It is what everyone dreams about, to go into the winter with exciting two-year-olds.
“Having three unbeaten sons of Shamardal, one in England and two in France, was something everyone really appreciated. Everyone loved Shamardal, he was so tough on the racecourse and he had done so well at stud. There was an emotional investment in him.”
While Earthlight suffered a little setback and will not line up in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Godolphin is hoping that their promising two-year-olds have developed into classic champions and it is Victor Ludorum who will start their classic quest when he lines up in the French 2,000 Guineas on Monday.
Here, Lisa-Jane Graffard kindly tells Liz Price of attheraces.com about Godolphin’s top prospects in France for 2020.