ISSUE 47 – OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2014 £5.95
THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE FOR THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THOROUGHBRED
TREATING equine respiratory disease
GUILLERMO ARIZKORRETA Spain’s leading trainer in profile CARDIAC RHYTHM
New technology brings new insights
RACECOURSES To water or not to water?
GILES ANDERSON Europe needs cohesion
HAMPIONSHIP season is upon us! Flat racing is taking centre stage with its key autumn races but I still feel that the wider European scene is missing a trick in bringing cohesion between countries. Yes, there have been welcome changes made to the European Pattern, but the European Pattern Committee can only do so much. To me, there is a sense that courses like to guard their own territory without looking at what could be done to maximise international opportunity. When the British made the move to create Champions Day at Ascot in 2011, I remember hearing from people in France that the enhanced fixture at Ascot would undermine the Arc weekend. Far from it; three years on, I think that both fixtures are enhanced and yet there is still more that we can be doing across Europe to better inter-promote each day. Take a look at football or rugby, sports that get behind different European leagues and championships. In racing we’re not yet hitting the pulse of where we could be, within racing itself or the world that watches racing. Let’s start with Irish Champions Weekend in early September, where a simply mouthwatering card was put together at Leopardstown on the Saturday. In some elements of the industry the traditional positioning of the Ladbrokes St Leger, which took place on the same day on the other side of the Irish Sea, was called into question. The fixture list is, as we all know, gradually condensing key races to the weekend and perhaps this is simply another example of the big race fixture headache spilling across country boundaries, with course executives worrying how the new fixtures will affect their traditional appeal. This particular weekend should be a weekend of opportunity. The timing of the Irish card on the Saturday is cleverly crafted and follows on from the action on Town Moor. But what could really make this day work even better are two key players – Attheraces, who hold the TV broadcasting rights to Doncaster as well as Irish courses; and Ladbrokes, who have significant interests in the Irish Republic and across the United Kingdom. With the welcome news that Ladbrokes have agreed to continue sponsoring the oldest classic for another two years, perhaps they could be the ones to develop something like a Super Saturday bet for their customers to produce the potential of a big payout. n OUR very vigilant readers will have noticed that we gradually shifted our publication schedule this year. This issue will last through until the end of December, after which we will publish the first of our four issues for 2015. We’ve recently made further enhancements to our website – www.trainermagazine.com – where you can now search for subjects we’ve already covered or read back issues online. Wherever your racing takes you between now and the end of the year, good luck! n ISSUE 47 TRAINERMAGAZINE.com 01
WELCOME the movement of American trainers who are lobbying for the elimination of race-day medication in the USA. This subject has been discussed for many years and it is most satisfactory to see that so many leading American professionals are now lending their support to the proposal to phase out race-day medication, starting with two-year-olds from next year and for all horses from 2016. On behalf of the ETF, I pledge our support for drug-free racing in America. It would be a great step forward for horse welfare and, above all, for the wellbeing of the American breeding industry as a whole if these new regulations could finally be adopted. Drugs were in the news in Europe this summer with the positive tests for morphine in the UK. I was pleased to note the reaction of the British authorities, who recognised that the trainers concerned were implicated through no fault of their own and that, accordingly, they received no sanctions. In France all eyes have been on the World Equestrian Games, held in Normandy at the end of summer. I have not had time to follow the events as closely as I would have liked but I have the utmost respect for these riders. Whatever our discipline, we are all horsemen and women. There are plenty of similarities between equestrian sports and racing and I am sure that we could all learn something from each other, while widening our appeal to new audiences.
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I hope that you have all had a successful summer of racing. We have enjoyed some top-class action over the past months and I would like to congratulate the trainers of winners at all levels.
“On behalf of the ETF, I pledge our support for drug-free racing in America. It would be a great step forward if these new regulations could finally be adopted” In a similar vein of promoting racing’s image, I was delighted to be invited to a dinner in London recently, organised by the Magic Millions Racing Women Association. Former World Champion event rider Zara Phillips is patron of this operation, which aims to raise the profile of women in racing, and the dinner was attended by a range of ladies from all spheres of the racing and equestrian world. In addition to Zara Phillips, guests included Katie Page-Harvey of Magic Millions, successful Australian showjumper Edwina Tops-Alexander and Rachel Hood, who is a familiar name to all involved in racing. This initiative represents another way in which we can help to make equine activity more accessible to newcomers and it was an honour for me to participate in this inaugural London dinner. We will hold our annual ETF committee meeting in Paris on the Friday before the Arc and on this occasion will discuss the usual topics of regulations from Brussells, harmonisation of racing’s rules and new member countries for our Federation. n
Reigning in Spain
Leading Spanish trainer, Guillermo Arizkorreta, by Emma Berry
Morning exercise effects on muscle Dr Barbara A. Murphy discusses her research on a horse’s muscle physiology
Celia Marr on new technology that brings new insights
Prohibited natural substances
Dr Catherine Dunnett looks at the recent spate of post-race positives for morphine
Celia Marr on important research funded by the Horseracing Betting Levy Board on the respiratory disease
Thomas O’Keeffe on the use, efficacy and welfare debate of tongue-tying
Quarter cracks can be avoided with proactive management of heels, by Scott Morrison, DVM.
Does summer watering affect going during the winter? by Lissa Oliver
The Racehorse: a veterinary manual
European Trainers’ Federation
TRM Trainer of the Quarter
Harry Fry about his hopes for the future
Trainer on the up
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CONTRIBUTORS Publisher & Editorial Director Giles Anderson Editorial Consultant Frances Karon Circulation/Editorial Executive Louise Crampton Design/Production Neil Randon Advertising Sales Giles Anderson, Harriet Scott Photo Credits: Emma Berry, Horsephotos.com, Shutterstock, Celia M Marr, Lewis Smith/Rossdales, Getty Images, Fiona Crawford Photography, Caroline Norris, Scott E. Morrison, York Racecourse, Leopardstown Racecourse, Saint-Cloud Racecourse, Trillium Place Stables
Cover Photograph Emma Berry
Trainer Magazine is published by Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd. This magazine is distributed for free to all ETF members. Editorial views expressed are not necessarily those of the ETF. Additional copies can be purchased for £5.95 (ex P+P). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed in the European Union For all editorial and advertising enquiries please contact Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1380 816777 Fax: +44 (0)1380 816778 email: email@example.com www.trainermagazine.com Issue 47
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Emma Berry is the Bloodstock Editor of Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder and European correspondent for Inside Racing in Australia. She is married to trainer John Berry and lives in Newmarket with too many horses, dogs and cats. David Crosse is a professional National Hunt jockey. He moved to England from Ireland when he was 16 starting his career as an amateur for Charlie Mann in Lambourn. Champion Amateur jockey in 2001/02, he rode a Cheltenham Festival winner for Nicky Henderson. He then took out a Conditional licence, riding out his claim with 75 winners in 2004. David now rides out for Colin Tizzard, Tom Symonds and Nigel Twiston-Davies and has ridden more than 170 winners. He writes a blog for Love The Races website. Dr Catherine Dunnett BSc, PhD, R.Nutr. is an independent nutritionist registered with the British Nutrition Society. She has a background in equine research, in the field of nutrition and exercise physiology, with many years spent at The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. Prior to setting up her own consultancy business, she worked in the equine feed industry on product development and technical marketing. Professor Celia Marr is an equine clinician at Rossdales, Newmarket. She is a RCVS and European Specialist in Equine Medicine and Honorary Professor at the Glasgow University Veterinary School. She previously worked at veterinary schools in Glasgow, Pennsylvania, Cambridge and London and in racehorse practice in Lambourn. She is Chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s Thoroughbred Research & Consultation Group and Editor-in-Chief of Equine Veterinary Journal. Scott Morrison graduated from the Eastern School of Farriery, Virginia in 1990 and graduated Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. After an internship at Rood and Riddle in 1999, he then started the podiatry center at the hospital. The podiatry center currently employs 5 podiatry veterinarians and 5 farriers. Scott currently provides podiatry services and consultations in the USA and often travels internationally. He has written many papers, articles and book chapters on equine podiatry and still finds time to play polo and work with green horses. Dr Barbara Murphy has held the position of Lecturer and Head of Equine Science at University College Dublin in Ireland since completing a PhD in Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Centre at the University of Kentucky in 2007. Her research interests are in equine reproduction and performance and she is Chairman and Founder of Equilume Ltd, which developed the innovative Equilume Light Mask as a result of her research on light manipulation in breeding stock.
Thomas O’Keeffe is a graduate of University College Dublin, working in Ocala, Florida. He worked for Rossdales and Partners in Newmarket, UK as a member of their ambulatory racing veterinary team and in their hospital facility. He was also an associate with Scone Equine Hospital, Australia, as resident veterinary surgeon for Darley’s Kildangan Stud in Ireland and worked in Lexington, Kentucky with Dr Ruel Cowles, DVM. Lissa Oliver lives in Co Kildare, Ireland and is a regular contributor to The Irish Field and the Australian magazine, Racetrack. Lissa is also the author of several collections of short stories and two novels. Dr. JoAnn Slack is an Assistant Professor of Large Animal Cardiology and Ultrasound at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her DVM from the University of Wisconsin, completed a 2 year fellowship in equine cardiology and ultrasonography and is board certified in Large Animal Internal Medicine. Research includes equine cardiac arrhythmias and their effects on performance, cardiac biomarkers in the horse and echocardiography in the critical care setting. Current research includes electrocardiographic findings during racing, cardiac arrhythmias during the cross country phase of eventing and cardiac abnormalities during endotoxemia. Josh Slater took a position at the University of Cambridge where he completed a PhD in equine infectious diseases. Now Professor of Equine Clinical Studies at the Royal Veterinary College, London he continues to research equine infectious diseases, in particular strangles and EHV. A former president of the British Equine Veterinary Association and the European College of Equine Internal Medicine Josh is senior vice president of the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations. He was National Technical Official responsible for biosecurity at the London 2012 Equestrian Olympic Games. Andrew Waller moved to the pharmaceutical industry after DPhil studies to develop anti-infective agents for the treatment of antibiotic resistant disease. Appointed Head of Bacteriology at the Animal Health Trust in 2003, he has exploited the emerging genome information towards the development of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for the prevention of equine Strangles and infection with Streptococcus zooepidemicus. He contributes to the HBLB’s code of practice for the control of Strangles and the Strategy to Eradicate and Prevent Strangles (STEPS) by the British Horse Society.
EFT REPS issue 47_Jerkins feature.qxd 23/09/2014 18:44 Page 1
EUROPEAN TRAINERS’ FEDERATION AIMS and OBJECTIVES of the ETF: a) To represent the interests of all member trainers’ associations in Europe. b) To liaise with political and administrative bodies on behalf of European trainers. c) To exchange information between members for the benefit of European trainers. d) To provide a network of contacts to assist each member to develop its policy and services to member trainers.
ETF REPRESENTATIVES Chairmanship:
Criquette Head-Maarek Association des Entraineurs de Galop 18 bis Avenue du Général Leclerc 60501 Chantilly FRANCE Tel: + 33 (0)3 44 57 25 39 Fax: + 33(0)3 44 57 58 85 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Hennau FEDERATION BELGE DES ENTRAINEURS Rue des Carrieres 35 5032 - Les Isnes BELGIUM Tel: Fax: +32 (0)81 56 68 46 Email: email@example.com
Christian von der Recke Hovener Hof 53919 Weilerswist Germany Tel: +49 (0 22 54) 84 53 14 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erika Mäder Jentgesallee 19 47799 Krefeld Tel: +49 (0)2151 594911 Fax: +49 (0)2151 590542 Mobile: +49 (0)173 8952675 Email: email@example.com
Mauricio Delcher Sanchez AZAFRAN, 5- 3ºM MAJADAHONDA 28022 Madrid Spain Tel: +34 (0)666 53 51 52 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Josef Vana CZECH JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS ASSOCIATION Starochuchelska 192/16 159 00 Praha 5 - Velka Chuchle Contact: Roman Vitek Mobile: +42 (0)606727027 Email: email@example.com
Rupert Arnold NATIONAL TRAINERS’ FEDERATION 9 High Street - Lambourn - Hungerford Berkshire RG17 8XN Tel: +44 (0)1488 71719 Fax: +44 (0)1488 73005 www.racehorsetrainers.org
Jano Cagan SLOVENSKA ASOCIACIA DOSTIHOVYCH TRENEROV MDZ 48 942 01 SURANY Slovakia Tel: +42 19 03 165 609 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ovidio Pessi U.N.A.G. Via Montale, 9 20151 Milano email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org tel. +39 02 48205006 mobile: +39 348 31 33 828
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Jim Kavanagh IRISH RACEHORSE TRAINERS ASSOCIATION Curragh House-Dublin Road Kildare-Co.Kildare IRELAND Tel: +353 (0) 45 522981 Fax: + 353 (0) 45 522982 Mobile: + 353(0)87 2588770 Email: email@example.com www.irta.ie
Sven-Erik Lilja Eventyrveien 8, 1482 Nittedal Norway Tel: +47 (0) 67 07 14 12 Mobile: +47 (0) 91 12 88 96 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fredrik Reuterskiöld Swedish Trainers Association South Notarp 3228 S-243 92 Hoor Tel: +46 (0)413 55 00 65 Fax: +46 (0)413 55 04 95 Mobile: +46 (0)70 731 26 39 Swedish Trainers Association North Karlaplan 10 115 20 Stockholm Sweden Mail: email@example.com Tel: +46 (0)8 662 46 79 Mobile: +46 (0)708 756 756
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David Simcock landed a memorable Grade 1 double in Canada with Sheikhzayedroad and Trade Storm (right) at Woodbine. Trade Storm won the feature Ricoh Woodbine Mile and Sheikhzayedroad the Northern Dancer Handicap
TRM Trainer of the Quarter
The TRM Trainer of the Quarter award has been won by David Simcock. Simcock and his team will receive a selection of products from the internationally-acclaimed range of TRM supplements worth â‚¬2,000, as well as a bottle of select Irish whiskey. WORDS: HARRIET SCOTT PHOTOS: TRILLIUM PLACE STABLES
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EPTEMBER September has truly been a golden month for Newmarket trainer David Simcock and his Trillium Place team, after achieving an illustrious Grade 1 double at Woodbine with Sheikhzayedroad and Trade Storm. A fourth win this year under Martin Lane, Sheikhzayedroad made a successful North American debut in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes, followed later that day by Trade Storm collecting his sixth win in thirty four starts in the Woodbine Mile. The well travelled bay now looks forward to a possible visit to Santa Anita the first week of November, before heading back to Dubai next year, where the plan will be to repeat his Group 2 Zabeel Mile victory. In the ten years since David and his wife Jennie set up on their own with a handful of horses, things have gone from strength-tostrength for the duo. Their first runner, Cut And Dried, won the day the two got engaged on February 14th 2004, a portentous sign. Now with a string of over 100, Simcock began his career as pupil assistant to Ian
Balding, moving to Lambourn for an enjoyable stint in the employment of legend Major Dick Hern. His learning curve then took in a spell with William Muir at Linkslade culminating in assistant trainer to Luca Cumani at Newmarket. Early success came with Classic Encounter, Listed winner Desert Phantom and Handicapper of the Year 2009, Darley Sun, with fillies Spirit of Dubai and Ahla Wasahl both winning Listed races in the same September weekend at Ascot. The tough but consistent Bushman became their first Group winner, when taking the Diomed Stakes at Epsom. The arrival of Trillium Place at racing’s top table was signalled by the brilliant Dream Ahead in 2010-11. Winner that season of both the Group 1 Prix Morny and the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, the speedster colt ended his ‘classic’ year as champion sprinter in Europe with a thrilling victory in the Darley July Cup and an impressive conquest of star mare Goldikova in the Prix de la Foret – both performances were as good as any seen by a European sprinter in recent times.
Following the retirement of Dream Ahead in autumn 2011, the stable made its presence felt in North America when I’m A Dreamer won the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park. David and his team enjoyed another fine season in 2013, notching up 89 winners – their best tally yet – in Britain alone. Moment In Time provided the year’s domestic highpoint, winning the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock, later sold for 350,000gns at the Tattersalls December Sale, but the new Trillium Place flag bearer was Trade Storm, who netted nearly £100,000 when taking the Group 2 Zabeel Mile at Meydan. With both Trade Storm and Moment In Time subsequently being placed in Grade 1 events in Canada, Simcock’s ability to campaign his horses successfully all over the globe increased. This season, high profile domestic victories have continued with stand out horses like the three-year-old filly Madame Chiang who won the Musidora Stakes this May and Breton Rock, who after wins at Haydock and Newbury, looks set to head to contest key European contests this autumn. n
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In eight years with a licence, Guillermo Arizkorreta has been Spain’s champion trainer three times and has his sights set on a prime international target.
WORDS AND PHOTOS: EMMA BERRY
UST minutes from the centre of Madrid sits Hipodromo de La Zarzuela, the busiest racecourse in Spain in every sense of the word, including being a base for 33 trainers and around 80 per cent of the country’s racehorses. The track lay closed and abandoned for a decade from 1996 and its reopening eight years ago brought with it the return from England of a young Spaniard who was set to take the domestic training ranks by storm. Now 39, Guillermo Arizkorreta has been champion trainer in Spain for the last three seasons. With six Classic victories to his name – including both the Spanish Derby and Oaks in 2013 – and 65 horses in his care, he is at the head of the country’s largest racing stable. Not that you’d know it if you met him. Modest and self-effacing, Arizkorreta, despite his youth, is very much an old-school trainer. He doesn’t have a website and isn’t tempted by the self-promotional opportunities of Twitter or Facebook, although he may soon have to give in to the urgings of his wife Mila on this subject. Within the tight-knit Spanish racing community, the former champion amateur rider was already widely known before he set up his training business at the end of 2006 and his almost instant success in that sphere has provided its own advertisement. “I’ve been lucky,” he says, typically quick to deflect praise at the speed of his ascent. “People knew me from when I was riding – I won the amateur championship two or three times as a rider so they knew my name. The people here also knew I had experience working for different trainers in England and Ireland and I was lucky to get owners quickly, then the results came.” A native of San Sebastian in the Basque Country, Arizkorreta was educated at a French school in northern Spain and added English to his list of languages by spending summers riding out in Newmarket for Henry Cecil and David Cosgrove, and for Con Collins in Ireland. A short stint with his French-based compatriot Carlos Laffon-Parias also formed part of his racing education which was honed during five years as pupil assistant and then assistant to Luca Cumani. “My family is not involved in horses or racing
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GUILLERMO ARIZKORRETA Reigning in Spain ISSUE 47 TRAINERMAGAZINE.com 13
Spanish Derby winner Rilke at Arizkorreta’s Madrid yard
at all,” he explains. “I learnt to ride at the local Pony Club in San Sebastian with Loritz Mendizabal and the man who ran it owned racehorses so we used to beg him to take us racing with him. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.” Riding at the track at San Sebastian led to a stint on the Fegentri series for amateur riders, but unlike his old friend Mendizabal, Arizkorreta ruled out a professional career in the saddle and set his sights on training. “I wanted to train at some stage and I had contacts here so it seemed the right thing to do,” he says. “If the racecourse here in Madrid had stayed closed maybe I would have tried to set up in France or England but then it would have been harder to find clients.” Most trainers will testify as to the difficulty of finding and retaining owners. For Arizkorreta, the reopening of La Zarzuela initially brought with it a surge of enthusiasm from the Madrilenians which resulted in a boost in support for his fledgling venture. Within a year, however, the global financial crisis had struck. “I’ve been lucky that most of my owners have
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“Around a third of my runners are in France and we sent horses to Dubai two years in a row – one of them won twice and was the first Spanish winner at the carnival” stayed here with horses but generally racing was hit quite hard as Spain suffered in the recession,” he admits. That struggle is reflected in the fact that currently only 440 of the 750 boxes available at La Zarzuela’s well-equipped training centre are in use. For Arizkorreta, who has two young sons, Iker and Alex, the proximity of the track to his home, and training at the racecourse where much of the country’s racing programme takes place, is ideal.
“Eight months of the year the racing in Spain is just in Madrid so I can be here a lot with my family and not on the road so much like trainers in England,” he says. “But training here doesn’t stop me going abroad with runners. Around a third of my runners are in France and we sent horses to Dubai two years in a row – one of them won twice and was the first Spanish winner at the carnival – it was a great experience.” Though there may be little travelling involved for his domestic runners, the summer racing in Madrid sets quite a punishing schedule for trainers, jockeys and stable staff, starting as it does at 10.15pm, albeit only once a week. The regular Thursday night meeting draws to a close at around 1am and Arizkorreta is back up and at his yard by 6am to oversee his four lots. As with most modern racing stables, there’s an international mix of riders, the locals mixing with workers from France, Venezuela and the Czech Republic. Arizkorreta’s calm demeanour seems to rub off on his staff and horses who go
GUILLERMO ARIZKORRETA Spanish Oaks winner Navarra
A little night racing
The second lot prepare to leave the yard
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The second string (above) go out to the track Antonio and Guillermo watch the morning’s exercise
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about their work amiably and with the minimum of fuss. First lot is conducted in the dark, under the floodlights of La Zarzuela’s synthetic training track. After a gentle warm-up canter, the horses file in to the track’s infield where they circle under the trainer’s intent gaze as he decides on smaller groups to head back out to the fibresand for a sharper piece of work. By the time the next 15 horses and riders are making their way out to exercise, the sun is rising behind the Madrid cityscape, offering an enchantingly cosmopolitan backdrop to the scene of lithe thoroughbreds in action. The third lot consists almost entirely of
GUILLERMO ARIZKORRETA La ZarZueLa revitaLised Having lost a decade of racing in Madrid, the team at La Zarzuela racecourse is working hard to rebuild the connection with local racegoers and to increase the number of trainers and horses based at the training centre. Director of Racing Gerardo Torres says: “We have good horses here and our races are competitive – we have horses who are able to compete at Group and Listed level in France. “Next season we will be improving our prize-money again in the spring and the autumn and I’d like to encourage more trainers to come here – either to train from here or for overseas trainers to run their horses here.” In consecutive weekends in April the track stages the Gran Premio Valderas and Gran Premio Cimera – Spain’s 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas equivalents – followed by the Gran Premio Beamonte-Prosegue (Oaks) and Gran Premio Villapadierna (Derby) in May and early June. Of La Zarzuela’s 47 race days throughout the year, the ‘Noches del Hipodromo’, staged every Thursday night on the synthetic track under floodlights from the end of June to early September, have proved particularly popular. With a laidback party atmosphere, the evening fixtures, helped massively by Madrid’s warm climate, draw a large crowd for the racing, which starts at 10.15pm, followed by music and dancing into the early hours. Along with the Classics, La Zarzuela’s expansive turf track also hosts the country’s richest race, the Gran Premio del Madrid, the equivalent of Ascot’s King George,
The grandstands at La Zarzuela
The parade ring under the trees
which carries Listed status and €120,000 in prize-money. The race was won this year by the Duke of Alburquerque’s homebred High Chaparral filly, Frine, who is also a Group 3 winner in France. La Zarzuela’s horse population fluctuates during the summer months as a number of
Madrid-based horses are stabled temporarily at San Sebastian, four hours north of the capital, while some travel south to race on the beach at Sanlucar. San Sebastian, with its picturesque seaside racecourse is, understandably, billed as ‘the Spanish Deauville’.
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Arizkorreta’s two-year-olds going through their paces
juveniles and, very much like his former boss Cumani, Arizkorreta is in no hurry with the youngbloods assembled in front of him. They represent a mix of European stallions, including Le Havre, Sea The Stars, Sir Percy, Big Bad Bob and Spain’s popular sire Caradak, whose son Noozhoh Canarias has promoted his worth to a wider audience in the UK. He explains: “I’ve learned something useful from every trainer I’ve worked with. The one I spent the most time with and have probably taken the most from is Luca but it is completely different training in Newmarket to training on the track here in Spain, though the general aspect is the same. Luca gives time to horses and is very patient, which is the important thing. That’s what I try to do. “In Spain the two-year-old programme is not very strong and I don’t like to push two-year-
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olds too hard anyway, it’s just my way. Generally people here would like to try to win the Derby or the Oaks or the good mile-and-a-half races, so there’s not much point in buying very precocious horses.” Last season’s Classic victors, Derby winner Rilke and Oaks winner Navarra, remain within the string and the trainer exhibits a weak spot as the latter walks by. “I just love her, she floats,” he says wistfully of the robust filly, yet another by the prolific Aga Khan-bred Caradak. The only equine member of the team to demonstrate any sign of mischief is the veteran Le Feu Du Ciel, one of the trainer’s very first yearling purchases, who, at eight, is the elder statesman of the string. His penchant for whipping round and dropping his rider on the ground means he is exercised alone but with five consecutive Grand Prix de Pomapdour
victories to his name, plus a third-place finish in this year’s race, his consistency allows him to be forgiven the odd foible. “There’s big pride when our runners go abroad, especially as they are trained here in Madrid,” says Arizkorreta. “Here we do a good job and we like to run in England or France or Dubai. We were all very excited for Enrique Leon and for Spain when Noozhoh Canarias ran in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket this year.” With Noozhoh Canarias now trained in France by Carlos Laffon-Parias, the hunt is on for the next big Spanish star. If Arizkorreta is able to fulfil his ultimate racing goal, he will be hoping that that horse turns up in his stable in the near future. “If I could win one race anywhere it would be the Epsom Derby,” admits the trainer. “I was lucky to ride a couple of times there in the Amateur Derby – I think sixth was my best performance – but it was such an amazing track to ride and obviously you always think of what [Federico] Tesio said about the race. It’s true, it’s still so influential and it’s a unique course – you need a horse that stays and quickens and is very well balanced with a good temperament.” Despite confessing to “worrying all the time – about horses, about injuries”, the Spaniard, in his understated way, still manages to exude an air of quiet self-confidence. It’s an inner balance which clearly has drawn owners to his stable, and he has repaid their faith in him with his diligence and intuitive horsemanship. He has already laid down a notable marker for his country on the international stage in Dubai. Don’t bet against Guillermo Arizkorreta becoming the first Spanish name to appear next to a horse in the Derby line-up at Epsom – this time as trainer rather than jockey, and very much as a professional. n
Published on Jun 23, 2016
Published on Jun 23, 2016
In eight years with a licence, Guillermo Arizkorreta has been Spain’s champion trainer three times and has his sights set on a prime interna...