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Warm Heart heats up at York as bitter Godolphin-Ballydoyle rivalry thaws


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  • James Doyle rides first Group One race winner for O’Brien
  • Dettori switch to ride for rivals had presaged Godolphin split

James Doyle had ridden Group One winners for 17 different trainers before the Yorkshire Oaks here on Thursday, and 14 in royal blue colours of the Godolphin operation. His narrow success aboard Warm Heart in the day’s feature race was thus a source of considerable satisfaction for her rider, as it was his first win at the highest level for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable, which has been Godolphin’s biggest rival in the sport’s most prized events for the last three decades.

The battle lines were once drawn fairly sharply between the sport’s two powerhouse operations. When Frankie Dettori, who was Godolphin’s No 1 rider at the time, rode Camelot for O’Brien in the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it was a sign that his long association with the Dubai-based operation was coming to a close.

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