The Godolphin bloodstock operation is undergoing a large-scale worldwide “pruning”, a senior official at Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding empire has admitted.
Despite the number of horses going through the ring, team members insisted there will be no significant reduction in the number put into training.
The downsizing, which has been the talk of the bloodstock industry in recent months but has not hitherto been acknowledged, began in Australia earlier this year, continued at the Tattersalls July Sale and has now reached the United States, where more than 60 yearlings are entered in the ongoing Keeneland September Sale.
At the heart of the move, which has been directed by Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson, is a desire to refocus Sheikh Mohammed’s vast racing and breeding operation on quality rather than quantity.
Explaining the cutback for the first time, Dan Pride, chief operating officer of Godolphin’s US base in Kentucky, said: “It’s really a matter of right-sizing our herd.
“For a number of years, we’ve been breeding horses, buying mares. As you can imagine, they multiply. So it’s really part of a global plan for Sheikh Mohammed to stay focused on quality.”