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Godolphin gear up for Champions Day under the watchful eye of Joe Osborne

The racing operation’s new chief executive travels to Ascot on Saturday to watch the likes of Harry Angel, Ribchester and Barney Roy

How many horses do you need before you can hope to have three fancied runners on a £4m card like British Champions Day at Ascot? The answer, if the Godolphin experience is any guide, is 4,000. “That’s everything around the world, mares, foals, yearlings and racehorses,” says Joe Osborne, who took over as chief executive in June and has spent much of the intervening time travelling to see Godolphin bases in France, the US, Australia and Japan.

How on earth does one begin to manage the careers of so many animals, bearing in mind that the good ones must be identified by the time they’re two years old, or three at the absolute latest? “It’s about having good people managing them,” responds the unruffled Osborne, a 54-year-old Irishman with decades of experience in bloodstock, “and we’ve good people all the way through the ranks, every job that they do. Having good people makes it work. Once you have proper people and proper systems, everything else should fall into place.”

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