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Yesterday, social media all over the world reacted positively when a video taken at Team Snowden’s yard in Sydney revealed that stable favourite Dothraki had been retired and was magnanimously given to his strapper to have as a gift for ever more.

That touched so many people and global giant Godolphin has followed suit in the most delightful way.

The best horse to have carried the Godolphin blue in Australia, HARTNELL, will bow out of racing after he crosses the line in the Gr 1 $2million MacKinnon Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

And he will go to the home of a man who just loves and adores him, Reg Fleming.

When told of this, it too was captured on the camera and the emotion shown by Fleming is just wonderful.

He had no idea what was about to happen.

Fleming is a Racing Foreman at Godolphin and it had been decided that a horse the calibre of the great Hartnell should stay in the hands of a trusted Godolphin employee under their Flag Bearer Program.

Only the elite horses from Godolphin make this team.

And because Fleming loves him to bits he was chosen.

Jason Walsh, the Racing and Bloodstock Manager at Godolphin, approached Fleming at work and explained to him what Godolphin had planned.

“We have decided that Hartnell, because he is so special to so many people here, should stay with Godolphin and that you, Reg, be his custodian.”

The big man was rocked. He looked at Walsh and with a faltering voice said, “You’re joking.” He paused, and added “I don’t know what to say. It’s a great honour.

“I’m lost for words, mate. I can’t believe it. He started his career in Australia at the same time I did and without him and the other horses, we all wouldn’t have a job.

“Horses have given us so much and they deserve to be given a good life. I just love him,” said Fleming.

Hartnell, who won 13 races (may even by 14 if he salutes on Saturday) rewarded Godolphin with $7,289,488 in prizemoney which would have been massively more had he not raced in the era of Winx.

She whipped his handsome butt on 5 occasions at the highest level.

None of which mattered to Fleming. His cheeks turned red and he was shaken to the core by the generosity shown by Godolphin.

It was a spectacular gesture and a glorious moment to watch.

Pure joy does that.

 
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