Exhilarates the face of generation next for Godolphin

Godolphin won the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday and will look to the next generation of its Australian operation when Exhilarates steps on to the Rosehill track for a two-year-old race on Saturday.

Change in philosophy: Exilarates was purchased by Godolphin for $600,000.

Change in philosophy: Exilarates was purchased by Godolphin for $600,000.Credit:Bronwen Healy

Just looking at Exhilarates' breeding shows a change in Godolphin's philosophy. The Snitzel filly is out of a Blue Diamond winner Samaready. She was one of the first yearlings Godolphin bought at the Magic Millions Sale earlier in the year as the stable broadens its horizons away from home-breds.

The $600,000 paid for Exhilarates represented an investment in the racing stock and the future of Godolphin in Australia

“It was the first time we have been back in the market for about eight years and it is about supporting the breeders, even if we aren’t buying horses by our own stallions,” Godolphin boss Vin Cox said.

“The numbers are about where we want [to be] with our broodmares now and it gives us a chance to buy some more mares to develop different bloodlines to what we have got already.

“Hopefully we’ll see them race well. We are targeting black-type and premium races with the yearlings we are buying with the thought of the breeding barn in the case of the fillies.”

Exhilarates carries a Magic Millions entry and has only been seen once outside public barrier trials, a second to Crystal Falls at Randwick last month, but she has still been installed as a $2.25 favourite by BetEasy.

“We think she is smart. She has trialled very well and has always shown us something along the way,” Cox said. “She is by Snitzel out of a champion two-year-old, so she looks an obvious one to be an early runner but until they get to the races you don’t really know.”

Exhilarates just edges Lindsay Park’s colt Sebrakate out at the top of betting. Sebrakate has won twice in Adelaide and is also targeting the Gold Coast. He is at $2.60 with Kiamichi, another filly from James Cummings’ blue army, at $6.

“He has got the winning feeling but obviously Sydney is another level,” Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said of Sebrakate. “He has topweight but has been working well on his Sydney leg and he should go well.”

If Exhilarates can make it back to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions Classic in January, it would be a homecoming for Cox, who left the sale company last year to take up the head role at Godolphin.

“That would be sensational to go back there with a good two-year-old. I have been part of growing that carnival and to have Godolphin there would be exciting for everyone,” Cox said.

“It seems like a long time since I finished at Magics, but what a year it has been. Cross Counter was something else [in the Melbourne Cup] on Tuesday and this is a pretty good job at the moment.”

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