African Story and Prince Bishop, winners of the last two Dubai World Cups, have both been retired and are to spend their future days actively occupied in a Godolphin yard, albeit at a low-key level.
John Ferguson, Bloodstock Adviser to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, said: “They have both been remarkable racehorses over the years. Both are eight-year-olds, they have both run on Dubai World Cup night each of the past four years. They have both won the biggest prize in world racing.
“They retire having given the Maktoum family many days of great pride and enjoyment. Sheikh Mohammed felt it was the right thing to retire them from the racetrack but not to abruptly end their involvement in day-to-day activity in the stable, which they enjoy immensely.
“I am not sure of the logistics as yet, but they will be in one of the Godolphin stables and in all probability will be ridden every day in the immediate future,” Ferguson added.
The parallels in the racing careers of African Story and Prince Bishop are amazing. Both started their racing days with champion French trainer Andre Fabre. Both joined Godolphin after several outings in the old maroon and white silks of Sheikh Mohammed, and they each won in excess of £4.5m during extensive racing careers which encompassed European and Middle Eastern seasons.
African Story, a son of Pivotal, won eight of his 21 starts for £4.7m in prize money. To underline his versatility, he won the Godolphin Mile and Dubai World Cup, both on Tapeta at Meydan, but much earlier, on 2 July 2011, he was beaten a head by Moonlight Cloud in the seven-furlong Prix de la Porte Maillot at Longchamp on turf.
Prince Bishop, who is by Dubawi, went on to win 11 of his 28 starts for just over £4.5m in prize money. He ran in three Dubai World Cups at Meydan, winning the 2015 edition on sand. The irony was that he hated the kick-back from the sand but was so far out of touch early that he was able to avoid it after swinging wide in the second half of the race.
He also won two runnings of the September Stakes on Polytrack at Kempton Park.
Fabre commented: “Both African Story and Prince Bishop showed great ability from their earliest days. I am pleased they both went on to realize the potential they displayed when with me.”
Saeed bin Suroor trained both African Story and Prince Bishop for their respective Dubai World Cup victories. “They were very tough and reliable racehorses. Both geldings, they could adapt quickly to their environment no matter where in the world they were taken to race.
“The fact that they could each compete in top races on Dubai World Cup night four years on the trot says a lot for their class and durability,” the trainer added.
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