Known as the “great communicator” Godsen is one of the most successful trainers of his generation with a reputation for honesty and openness. Boasting both national and international success he’s had nine British Classic wins including at The Derby twice, The Oaks twice, the 1,000 Guineas and four times at the St. Leger Stakes.
Having trained 3,000 winners worldwide, he’s currently the only trainer to have won three Cartier Awards for Three-year-old Filly, Three-year-old Colt and Horse of the Year in the same year.
Born near Lewes, East Sussex, Godsen is the son of trainer John ‘Towser’ Godsen. He attended Cambridge University where he studied Economics and worked in land development in Venezuela before turning to horseracing. He began his training career as an assistant to legendary trainers Vincent O’Brien and Sir Noel Murless. After a number of prestigious wins, Godsen moved to California where he worked with trainer Tommy Doyle before obtaining his licence in 1979.
After a decade of success in the United States he returned to the UK in 1989 to train at Stanley House Stables, Newmarket. There he forged a prosperous partnership with jockey Frankie Dettori, together winning hundreds of races including the St. Leger Stakes in 1996 with Shantou.
In 1999 he moved to Manton Stables in Wiltshire where he quickly enjoyed success including at the 1,000 Guineas Stakes with Lahan. After huge success at the stable including wins at the Prestige Stakes with Nannina and the Royal Lodges Stakes at Ascot, he confirmed a return to Clarehaven Stables.