Global Weekly Review: Godolphin trainers set out their stalls for 2017

J A McGrath

There can be no mistaking the excitement and anticipation generated in the major racing capitals of Keeneland, Chantilly and Newmarket at this time of the year.

Spring is the season of discovery -- the first foals of a potential star stallion, the first gallop in a three-year-old's Classic campaign, the first Group 1 examinations of the season.

Godolphin trainers have already shown they have plenty of fire power for the months ahead, sending out a series of significant winners over the Easter weekend.

It was the tale of a famous training triumvirate based in America, France and Britain. Kiaran McLaughlin enjoyed a triumphant day at Keeneland, Kentucky, that he described as "a top five day" in his distinguished racing career, one to sit alongside his success at the Dubai World Cup and Breeders' Cup.

McLaughlin became only the third trainer since 1936 to train four winners in a single day at Keeneland. 

Todd Pletcher and Bill Mott had both done it, but what set McLaughlin apart was that he sent out all four winners for the same owner, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin stable.

Dickinson, the well-performed daughter of Medaglia D'Oro, landed the G1 Jenny Wiley Stakes, Watershed took the G3 Ben Ali Stakes, Zennor won an allowance race, and Tasteful chalked up a maiden victory.

"It was a fabulous day," McLaughlin said. "What made it special was that it is in the heart of the best breeding area in the country, and it is just across the street from where the Darley stallions are standing.

"Also, they were four home-breds. I feel very honoured to be part of Godolphin," McLaughlin said.

Andre Fabre, 24 times the champion trainer of France, has already sounded a warning to rival stables that his team are well forward and ready to make an early impact on the new season.

The win of Godolphin's Soleil Marin in the G3 Prix Noailles at Chantilly on Sunday was of particular interest as he is a three-year-old son of Kendargent out of a Montjeu mare and stuck on very well in a close finish.

He will almost certainly be even better over slightly longer than the 2,100m distance of the Noailles. He looks a bright Classic prospect.

Saeed bin Suroor, whose team having been bang in form in recent weeks, produced another top class stayer in the making when sending out Winning Story for an impressive win in the Betway All-Weather Marathon at Lingfield Park last Friday.

Saeed now plans to send the New Approach gelding to Chester or York in coming weeks.