The global racing and breeding empires of the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, are set to merge into one seamless operation under Godolphin in the New Year.
John Ferguson, currently bloodstock advisor to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, has been appointed Chief Executive and Racing Manager to the re-shaped and streamlined Godolphin, it was announced yesterday.
Darley, under which all Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock holdings formerly operated, is now to be used solely as a brand to promote stallions.
Ferguson, a highly-successful jumps trainer in the UK -- he is currently fifth on the trainers' list -- has simultaneously announced that he will hand in his licence at the end of April 2016 in order to devote more time to Godolphin.
The best of his horses, who were almost exclusively recruited from Godolphin and Darley and ran over jumps in the ownership of Bloomfields, will now re-join Godolphin at Charlie Appleby's Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket.
Ferguson's stable staff at Bloomfields will be invited to join Godolphin.
Ferguson said: "I am extremely proud of the team at Bloomfields and the excellent job they have done over the past five years. They are a fantastic group, who have given everything to the stable and I am very grateful for their hard work."
He noted the changes were simply building on the evolution of Godolphin over the past two years.
"It is an exciting new chapter in the Godolphin story. Our long-term objective is to improve on Godolphin's results on the racetrack. I feel honoured to be appointed Chief Executive and Racing Manager, but I realise that it will require more of my time and attention.
"I will miss the training. Jump racing has always been one of my sporting passions, and I love the involvement.
"I am very grateful to Sheikh Mohammed for giving me the horses to send jumping in the first place. In fact, he wanted me to continue, but I could see that Godolphin must always be a priority and requires my undivided attention.
"It makes sense for the racing and breeding operations to merge. One is sourcing the other, and a well-planned, common strategy can only strengthen both.
"We must ensure that Godolphin continues to represent excellence in racing, and that the brand serves as a constant reminder of the vibrancy and energy of Dubai," he said.
Godolphin has 2,000 horses in training worldwide, 2,500 breeding stock and employs 1,500 staff.