A victory in the affair would be all the more meaningful for connections, who mourn the recent loss of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, head of the global Shadwell empire that still sets the standard for top-class racing and breeding operations. The Shadwell blue and white have gone to the winner’s enclosure in the renowned classic twice prior: 1989 with the great Nashwan and 1994 with the brilliant Erhaab.
“For obvious reasons, it would be a very emotional day if Mohaafeth was able to win the Derby so soon after HH Sheikh Hamdan sadly died,” Gold said. “As everybody knows, Sheikh Hamdan put an enormous amount of money, time and thought into his racing and breeding empires and was passionate about all aspects of the Thoroughbred business for well over 40 years. He and his brothers, together with other family members, have been amongst the greatest benefactors the Thoroughbred world has ever seen and it would be especially poignant to win another Derby for him and his family 27 years after Erhaab won him a second Epsom Derby.”
Fresh off a 2020 season that brought home a seventh owner’s championship in Britain, Shadwell is in the enviable position of having multiple top-class runners currently competing or on the verge of doing so throughout the nation at the G1 level. This includes a reasonable chance of sweeping both the English Derby and Oaks, as well as having a major player in the prestigious Coronation Cup (G1) at the same Epsom meeting. After that, all eyes will be on Royal Ascot in the UK and then Saratoga in the USA in July, as star filly Malathaat returns.