Racing manager and chief executive to Godolphin, John Ferguson, has quit the operation for good after considering his position within Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing and breeding empire as untenable.
This shock exit comes just days after it was revealed that relations between long-serving trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and Ferguson had broken down.
In a statement, Ferguson said: “At times such as these, what matters is the future and my stepping down will allow everyone to draw a line under things and move forward.
“The course of action is best for everyone.
“All the staff at Godolphin are wonderful people who work so hard for the greater good and I want to thank each and every one.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has given me so much over the years – trust, opportunities, key experiences and perhaps most importantly kindness and counsel.
“For all of these things, I thank him with all of my heart.”
Over a 25-year period, Ferguson had worked at the heart of the operation including bloodstock adviser, a post he took up at the beginning of 2014 replacing Simon Crisford who turned his attention to the training ranks.
During this time he was a fully-fledged jumps trainer supported by Sheikh Mohammed and working under the banner of Bloomfields.
In just six seasons with a licence, Ferguson sent out 224 winners the majority of which were recruits from the Flat sphere.
I thank him with all of my heart
At the end of 2015 he wound down his training operation to focus on the position of racing manager and subsequently CEO.
Godolphin fielded three runners in last weekend’s Epsom Derby, a race they haven’t won since 1995 with Lammtarra. Dante runner-up Benbatl fared best of the Bin Suroor trio by finishing fifth.
Sheikh Mohammed’s global enterprise saw another shake-up last month in Australia. John O’Shea, Godolphin’s Australia trainer, quit less than three years on from his appointment. He has subsequently been replaced by James Cummings.