02/25/2014 4:52PM

Crisford no longer Godolphin's racing manager


Godolphin, the global racing powerhouse based in Dubai and headed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, announced several changes to its management hierarchy on Tuesday, including Simon Crisford’s departure as racing manager.

Crisford, a longtime Godolphin employee, will stay on to work for Dubai’s royal family as a global racing advisor, and his position of racing manager within Godolphin has been eliminated. A statement on Godolphin’s website said the operation’s two primary trainers, Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Applebly, “will be the people ultimately responsible for their particular stables,” and that the two “will also serve as the chief spokesmen for their respective stables and Godolphin.”

The statement said the changes had been made “in response to the findings and recommendations from the extensive internal review led by Lord Stevens,” referring to an official review conducted in England concerning the positive steroid tests on Godolphin horses early in 2013 that created a firestorm and led to the firing and 10-year ban of Godolphin’s trainer Mahmood al Zarooni.

Godolphin’s statement Tuesday also said that from now on, U.S.-based trainers would report to “owner representative” John Ferguson.

Murtagh switches roles

John Murtagh, the accomplished Irish jockey, has retired from riding to concentrate fully on his training career.

Murtagh, 43, rode for 26 years and was one of the leading riders in the world for a number of them. Last year, Murtagh began training while he continued his riding career, but he said this week he would give up the saddle to focus on training.