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 Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 13:49 GMT
Grumpy Grandera hits heights
Grandera in action at the Cox Plate in Australia
Grandera has been all round the world in 2002

"This horse is a nightmare because you never know what to expect from him."

So says jockey Frankie Dettori of 2002 world champion thoroughbred Grandera.

Grandera may have a reputation for being moody and unpredictable but he has proved Godolphin's rock this season.

Sakhee was the stable star at the beginning of the year but 12 months later it is Grandera and Marienbard who top the table for Group One wins, with three each.

Grandera's 2002 wins - clickable guide

Marienbard captured the plum European prize of the Prix de l'Arc Triomphe to add to two top-level German successes.

But Grandera proved himself on a truly global stage.

The four-year-old Grand Lodge colt had wins in England, Ireland and Singapore, along with a very respectable third in the Cox Plate in Australia.

It has been a gruelling campaign for Grandera, who was bought by Godolphin out of James Fanshawe's yard after his victory in last year's Dubai Arc Trial at Newbury.

His season has lasted from May to December and taken in six countries on three different continents.

But ironically, his two most memorable performances have come close to home - on British and Irish soil.

He destroyed the field in the Prince of Wales' Stakes at Royal Ascot, winning by five lengths.

Then he had cruised ahead coming into the final furlong but in his next win in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, he could not have left it later.

There he nudged out Hawk Wing and stablemate Best of the Bests in one of the most exciting finishes of the season.

Frankie Dettori performs his trademark dismount off Grandera at Royal Ascot
Grandera and Dettori have enjoyed plenty of success

Grandera has a reputation for being hard to train but he has served his masters well, proving a much-needed 2002 hero for Sheikh Mohammed's operation.

And in winning the World Series, he has maintained Godolphin's 100% record in the global competition, with one of the stable's horses winning every year since the inception of the event in 1999.

Godolphin are firm advocates of international racing and Grandera is proof of this, having competed in five of this year's 14 World Series legs.

Other British stables are beginning to see the prize money that can be earned on the global stage, which can only boost the profile of the sometimes maligned World Series.

And Godolphin's policy of keeping horses in training beyond their Classic (three-year-old) season rather than shipping them off to stud allows horses to build up a following among fans.

So the good news for racing is that Grandera, Godolphin's mean and moody pin-up, will be back to defend his World Series crown next year.


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