Daylami Esat Digiphone Irish Champion Stakes

  • gr h Doyoun – Daltawa (Miswaki)
  • Foaled: 20 April 1994
  • Races: 22, Wins: 11
  • Breeder: HRH The Aga Khan’s Stud
  • Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
  • Owner: Godolphin

Daylami Thoroughbred Champion Racehorse

Daylami’s racing career began in France in September 1996, where the colt made a winning debut over 8 furlongs at Longchamp. He followed up with a listed win at Evry and ran second at St Cloud

Returning to the track in 1997, Daylami defeated Loup Sauvage at Longchamp in the Prix de Fontainebleau.

However, Daylami’s classic win came the following month when he again defeated Loup Sauvage to win the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) at Longchamp.

Continue reading about Daylami

Following his Classic win, Daylami joined the Godolphin operation to be trained in the UK by Saeed Bin Suroor, and he ran 3rd to Starborough in the St James Palace Stakes at Ascot in June 1997.

Daylami’s next win came in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup at the Curragh in May 1998. Having handled testing conditions really well when gaining his Classic win, his showing here bore out the view of Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford that he would not be inconvienced by a sounder surface.Crisford said: “The Eclipse is the big target for him this summer, but we will have to consider the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes for him now.”

Indeed, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes was Daylami’s next race, where he finished third behind Faithful Son, beaten only two necks.

Revenge followed at Sandown Park in July, as Daylami this time finished ahead of Faithful Son in the Coral Eclipse.

Next the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot, where Daylami ran fourth behind the mighty Swain.

Daylami next headed for the USA.. On a perfect, late-summer afternoon at Belmont Park, Daylami put in an explosive finish from halfway up the straight to win the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes.

Daylami, sent off 5-4 favourite for the 11-furlong event by a well-informed American audience, had to endure a mid-race scare en route to justifying his odds. Daylami completed the distance in 2min 13.18sec under Jerry Bailey and was clearly not all out to get his victory.

Said Bailey of Daylami: “What a tremendous finish. He relaxed early, and he had a lot of kick left at the end. I know there isn’t a lot of early pace in the racing in England, so I needed to keep him interested in the early going, but save him for the end, too. It all worked out very well.”

Bailey was on Daylami when the horse breezed half a mile two days before the race. “I got to know this horse a little bit,” he said. “I knew the key to this race was to get him to relax. I just wanted to keep him patient, and his finish was tremendous.”

Bailey got Daylami out in the clear in the straight after asking him for a bit of run on the final turn, and once the big grey’s motor was running at full tilt, it was quite evident he was going to get home first, even though he was still four lengths off the front with a furlong to run.

Godolphin was represented in New York by Saeed bin Suroor’s assistant Eric Coatrieux, who said: “Daylami normally runs strong with a final burst, so I wasn’t worried because it’s his usual way of running.”

“Possibly the next Swain.” That is how highly Sheikh Mohammed rated Daylami, who he is happy to compare to Godolphin’s dual King George hero. Not surprisingly, Sheikh Mohammed is a big fan. “Daylami is one of my favourite horses and he’s in good form,” he said. He’s a very, very good horse, and is consistent, like Swain, who always tries his best.

“Daylami is going in the right direction now and could be another Swain next year, when he stays in training.”

Daylami signed off 1998 running third in the Champion Stakes behind Alborada. He then headed to Churchill Downs for the 1998 Breeders Cup Turf. He had returned from the US to the UK after the Man O’ War, and ran third in the Champion Stakes. In the end, the travelling proved too much for Daylami, and he was taken out of the race after showing his trainer he was not 100%. Sheikh Mohammed was not going to risk one of his favourite horses who he pledged to keep in training as a five year old.

To open his 1999 season, Daylami headed for the floodlights of Dubai and the Dubai World Cup. Daylami ran a disappointing race to finish unplaced behind Almutawakel. The Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland followed and Daylami, bidding to capture the race for the second consecutive year, was sent off as the even money favourite. However, he found one too good in Henry Cecil’s Shiva, and proved to be the first of the afternoon’s disappointments for Godolphin.

Daylami was turned out again for the Coronation Cup at the Epsom Derby meeting. This time the grey came home first defeating the well backed Royal Anthem to add another Group 1 success to his impressive collection.

Daylami profited from a cute piece of team play in the Vodafone Coronation Cup to provide the Godolphin operation with its 43rd Group One.

The grey five-year-old may have seized the first prize in the £200,000 contest but the triumph was engineered by his stablemate Central Park.

The Godolphin second-string dictated a slow gallop that counted against the true stayers in the race.

As a result Daylami, rated a doubtful stayer, was able to use his finishing pace to cut down the favourite Royal Anthem and win by three-parts of a length.

The French hope Dream Well came from a long way back under Cash Asmussen to finish a further half-length away in third with last year’s winner Silver Patriarch fourth.

Frankie Dettori, winning the Coronation Cup for the third time in four years, said: “The other horse is a good horse in his own right but there is no doubt the slow pace helped us. It was good team play.”

Godolphin’s Simon Crisford said: “Daylami wouldn’t have minded a faster pace but they definitely played into our hands.”

Daragh O’Donohoe was the architect of the victory, quickly taking his mount to the front and then immediately slowing the gallop.

None of the other jockeys wanted to go on but Kieren Fallon wisely kept Royal Anthem, the 2-1 favourite, on the heels of the leader.

Silver Patriarch was much further back while Dream Well was occupying the rear.

Royal Anthem eventually moved to the front but he had no answer when Daylami swept by in the final furlong.

Crisford added: “It was a fantastic display by Daylami. The slow pace helped both him and Central Park

Next came the The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, where his thrashing of seven worthy opponents was a spectacle. As the grey accelerated past Nedawi with well over a furlong of the mile-and-a-half Group One, he proved that he was the class horse his owner and trainer had always believed.

While Dettori has never been blase about victory, this one left him hardly able to contain himself.

“Come on, me!” he shouted entering the post-race press conference before silently punching the air at the end of it.

“I had goosepimples down my back – I could not believe that a horse in a tough King George like today could produce a turn of foot like that.

“He has a turbo – I couldn’t believe it.

“I knew the horse was in great shape – Saeed prepared the horse very well – and he got here feeling absolutely 100%.

“In all his races he takes a furlong to find his top gear. Round the turn I was niggling along, but as long as I was in contact with the front ranks I knew if I am good enough, I am going to win.

“I got into the straight, I got him balanced, I gave him a crack with the whip and the turn of foot was instantaneous.

“I went by Gary (Stevens, on Nedawi) and he shouted, ‘Go get ’em, Frankie!’ But his voice was getting longer and longer away.”

Addressing the question of the five-year-old’s stamina – at three he won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains over a mile when running for Daliapour’s owner, the Aga Khan – Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford was assured.

“We were always confident that the horse did stay a mile and a half,” he said.

“There was a lot of talk that he was a better horse over a mile and a quarter, but I think we knew the horse well enough to know that a mile and a half was within his compass.

“A lot of people were making a lot of the tactics and the questionable pace. We were probably less worried about it than most other people.

“He would certainly be as good as any of the horses we have had because he is so versatile. Between a mile to a mile and a half, it makes no difference.

“Before today he was just a racehorse. Today he is a champion. He still had something to prove – today he proved it.”

“He had a cloud over him leading up to the Irish Derby and he has obviously got that problem today. There was no kick.”

Daylami’s unstoppable run next took in the Irish Champion Stakes, with a target to amass more points for the Emirates World Series Racing Championship. Here, Daylami staked his claim for the accolade of top horse of the decade as he swept aside Royal Anthem and the rest with contemptuous ease. The £675,000 Group One contest had been billed as a showdown between Daylami and Royal Anthem. But in the event it turned into a lap of honour for the dazzling grey – and a fabulous day for the Godolphin enterprise – as Daylami stormed home by nine lengths. Royal Anthem collapsed in a heap after making the running and trailed in fifth beaten more than 13 lengths. Instead it was left to Dazzling Park to come home second with Dream Well back in third. The triumph for Daylami came just 35 minutes after Godolphin had secured its 50th Group One success when Mutafaweq denied Royal Anthem’s stablemate Ramruma in the Rothmans Royal St Leger at Doncaster. The five-year-old’s jubilant jockey Frankie Dettori said: “I was just a passenger most of the way. I’ve ridden some good ones but this one might be the best – he is a true champion.” Royal Anthem had just edged it in the betting market, being sent off 11-8 with Daylami at 6-4 and for a time all was well with the winner of the Juddmonte International Stakes. The favourite was soon in the lead, though he was being harried by the Godolphin pacemaker Lord of Men. But as the field approached the home straight with two furlongs to travel Royal Anthem was clearly in trouble. At this point, Daylami quickened past and the race was already as good as over. Frankie Dettori spent the last furlong already saluting his imminent victory as Royal Anthem backpedalled. “I was confident today. I thought Royal Anthem was flattered by his win at York as they went too fast,” said Dettori. “Daragh (O’Donohoe) did his job well on Lord Of Men as he made sure Royal Anthem didn’t get an easy lead. “I gave him something to think about when I moved alongside with two furlongs to go. I said to Gary Stevens how much have you got left and he did not answer so I thought I had him beaten.” Sheikh Mohammed, who established Godolphin in 1994, said: “We knew he was very good and we gave him a nice rest after his last race so that he came back fresh. I’m delighted that he’s proved himself again.” Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “You’d have to say that this horse has done even more than Swain. “He’s consistent and versatile as he’s capable of beating the best of one and a quarter miles and one and a half miles and on any ground. “Where he runs next is still undecided but whatever happens he will be retiring to stud at the end of the season.” The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is an unlikely an option as it is not part of the Emirates World Series. With this victory and the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Daylami is a clear leader in the series which carries a first prize of US1million. Daylami next took his chance in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on 3rd October 1999. The decision to run was made at the last minute in unsuitable ground after days of rain. Daylami was one of the first horses beaten and trailed in ninth. No-one was surprised at his performance in such terrible ground. At the end of 1999, the curtain came down on Daylami’s illustrious career when he took the Breeders Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park. In doing so, Frankie Dettori erased the memory of Swain’s defeat at Churchill Downs 12 months. Last year Dettori left the Breeders’ Cup dejected and wounded by media criticism of his riding of Swain, who traversed the track uncorrected in finishing third to Awesome Again. His post-race performance on the Saeed bin Suroor-trained grey after the defeat of old adversary Royal Anthem could not have presented a happier contrast. Following the five-year-old’s two-and-a-half-length beating of Royal Anthem, having his first outing for Bill Mott after leaving Henry Cecil, Dettori screamed at the 45,000 crowd: “What about Swain? What about Swain?” Launching his skullcap into the air, Dettori gave his most exuberant flying dismount before jumping up and down uncontrollably. “It has been a long 12 months and I have been waiting for this,” he told pressmen. “I am back. “They say revenge is a dish best served cold and I am tasting it freezing cold right now. They tried to kill me for six months and this is a great relief. “I made a mistake but you can’t write off a 10-year career on that one ride. “I was in tears for the last 100 yards – I could’t believe it was true. “I was nervous this morning. I was fine until I got to the races and then my heart started pumping. “I had three good rides and I was hoping God would give me a good path. “The first two were knocking on the door but no-one opened it but Daylami is fantastic and has done me proud. I gave him a good pat. “I hope they have got plenty of champagne on the plane – I am going to have a thick head tomorrow.” Daylami is now assured of the first Emirates World Series. “The horse does all the speaking for himself, doesn’t he,” said Crisford. “We always knew how great he was and this is the pinnacle of his career. A brilliant performance and a great effort. The weather and the track conditions were in our favour but, more importantly, the horse was giving us all the right signals.” Shortly after his victory, the curtain came down on his careerHe is to stand at stud for £20,000.00 IR. Although the horse finished his career in the Godolphin blue, his breeder The Aga Khan has always retained ownership and is to retire him to his Gilltown Stud in Ireland.