AS I look back on the past month of the Godolphin Flying Start Programme, it’s a moment to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve had so far in Ireland and how we have most recently delved into the heart of the UK’s racing world.

Our time in Ireland concluded with farewell to our yearlings that we had been breaking in Kildangan Stud since early September. They have now moved on to their next stage of pre-training and I eagerly anticipate following their careers in the future.

A fitting conclusion to our Irish chapter, we hosted our first conference which was based on the future of the Irish Derby. Key industry stakeholders, including Brian Kavanagh, the CEO of the Curragh Racecourse, were present as we shared our market research and innovative ideas, paving the way for exciting possibilities for this renowned festival.

UK Unveiled

We kicked off our UK phase on October 30th in Newmarket with a captivating tour of Dalham Hall Stud. The highlight? Witnessing the brilliant new addition to the roster, Modern Games, alongside the legendary Dubawi. It set the stage for a series of insightful talks, visits, and experiences that enriched our understanding of the thoroughbred racing industry in the UK. We have been very fortunate to hear from some industry experts. Hugh Anderson (Managing Director, Godolphin), Sam Bullard (Director of Stallions, Darley Europe), Liam O’Rourke (Stud Director, Godolphin), and Richard Wayman (COO, BHA) generously shared their invaluable insights. To learn from such influential figures was a privilege.

Charlie Appleby

Our journey took us to Godolphin Stables, Moulton Paddocks, Banstead Manor Stud, and The National Stud. Meeting Frankel at Banstead Manor Stud felt like encountering a celebrity. We were also lucky enough to get the chance to speak with Charlie Appleby after watching a lot work out on the gallops at Moulton Paddocks. A tour of Newmarket Racecourse provided a fascinating peek into the work that goes on behind the scenes for a race day, from the track to the private boxes and inside the weighing room.

A visit to Godolphin Rehoming highlighted the importance of aftercare and welfare – a key area of interest for me and something I am very passionate about. Witnessing how Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter has settled into his new re-training regime was amazing to see. Our exploration continued to the Jockey Club Estate, offering a look at the gallops and training facilities around Newmarket along with an exclusive look inside The Jockey Club Rooms.

Our third week in the UK concluded with a very informative and unique visit to Newmarket Equine Hospital where we had the opportunity to witness a surgery being performed. Along with that we took a look at some of the amazing diagnostic technologies on offer such as the X-ray, MRI and scintigraphy machines.


Our racing adventures included witnessing the final day of flat turf racing at Newmarket Rowley Mile and experiencing an all-weather night-time meeting at Chelmsford City. A special highlight was our time in the stewards’ box, gaining insights into the intricate process of stewards’ inquiries.

We began our rotations which consist of a week in the British Racing School, a week in the Godolphin Offices, and a week spent with a trainer. For me this was time spent with Kevin Phillipart de Foy in his racing yard. I thoroughly enjoyed the week. It was a great experience to be out on the gallops with Kevin and his assistant, Ross, and to contribute by lending a hand in the yard.

A highlight for me was observing the yearlings cantering for the first time. On another occasion, Kevin took us to his office where he explained form and the process of entries/declarations. I appreciated gaining insight into this aspect of a racing yard, as it was something I had always wanted to learn about, making it incredibly helpful. Kevin and Ross proved to be excellent teachers, and the entire staff was both friendly and welcoming. Our next rotation through the Godolphin offices provided a comprehensive view of the inner workings of HR, nominations, marketing, and the racing office.As we continue our journey, our experiences will enhance our leadership skills and shape our understanding of the racing industry globally. Here’s to the next leg of our adventure.