John Ferguson quits Godolphin operation

Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2 12/10/16
Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2 12/10/16

John Ferguson, for so long the public face of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin racing operation, has resigned confirming deep rifts within the organisation.

Mr Ferguson, who was promoted to the role of Godolphin chief executive in December 2015, said his position with the organisation had become “untenable” and that his resignation was a course of action that was “best for everyone.”

His departure comes after Saeed Bin Suroor, who shares Godolphin training duties in Newmarket with Charlie Appleby publicly made it clear that he no longer reported to Mr Ferguson and could not work under a management structure that had imposed jockey James Doyle on him. He also criticised the quality of the two-year-old horses sent to him in the spring.

Mr Ferguson, a former bloodstock agent, who also worked for Sir Michael Stoute before joining Sheikh Mohammed nearly 30 years ago, said: “My stepping down will allow everyone to draw a line under things and move forward.”

He leaves Godolphin still struggling to compete with the success of Ireland’s Coolmore operation and its trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who so far this season has won the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas and their Irish equivalents and trained the first and second home in the Derby.