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By Graham Potter | Sunday, July 30, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

If ever you needed another example of how money does not buy you smooth sailing Godolphin just gave you one.

The multimillion global racing empire hit the headlines this week when Henry Plumptre, their Managing Director in Australia, stood himself down after considering his position with regard to Goldolphin’s non-reporting of a case of strangles last year.

A steward’s inquiry into this serious matter is set to resume on August 4.

Plumptre joins a line of three high profile Godolphin Australian based employees who have passed through the revolving door and had the door hit them on the back in the last eight months.

Their former number one jockey James McDonald was disqualified for eighteen months in December 2016 after placing a $1000 bet on a horse he was riding. Then, at the end of April this year, head trainer John O’Shea left the job, claiming fatigue, only three years into a five year contract ... and now the strangles case, which still has some course to run, has already claimed the scalp of Plumptre.

Racing NSW has confirmed that Plumptre, who has served Godolphin for sixteen years, will still have to front the inquiry when it resumes.

Overseas things have not been any better.

In June this year John Ferguson, Chief Executive and Racing Manager of Godolphin, similarly stepped down saying his position was untenable after his relationship with Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor was reportedly in turmoil, a reality brought home by a no holds barred interview the trainer gave to the media.

Saeed bin Suroor also practically and publically distanced himself from fellow Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby adding further fuel to the in-fighting fire.

As stated at the outset, all this goes to show that weight of money does make anyone immune to unwanted drama, although it probably does give you the edge moving forward ... and Godolphin will move forward.

James Cumming’s, not yet thirty years of age, has taken over the reins as Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia.

It job description reads like a job of a lifetime and for his sake you have to hope it is, but clearly things don’t always play out that way.

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