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mickley stud victorious in the Irish Oaks, the Champion Stakes heroine Alborada, Second Set, who won the Sussex Stakes, as well as the multiple Group 1 winner Albanova amongst other classy offspring. Kent went to work for Cashman and observed at close quarters how to build and develop a successful stallion career right from the foundations up to the ridge tiles on the roof. It is expertise he is applying to the nascent career of Heeraat, who Mickley Stud recently bought outright from Shadwell although the international stud concern has retained breeding rights to the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes winner. “We know Kate [Whitehouse] who used to be Angus Gold’s PA and she was always telling us about this beautiful, high-class colt with a great temperament they had and that we should try and get him as a stallion,” recalls Kent. “Kate said this right from when Heeraat was a two-year-old so we followed her advice and Angus Gold and Shadwell were very good and helpful. They are continuing to support Heeraat and bought two nice yearlings by him at the sales.” The assessment of Heerat’s temperament wasn’t wrong. Mickley is a busy farm with not only the four stallions but mares, foals, yearlings, NH horses and ponies belonging to the couple’s children to contend with. The young Heeraat takes everything in his stride and has been easy for Kent, who takes care of Heeraat himself, to manage. Head girl Sarah Taylor breaks the young horses and looks after everything on the busy yard, based on 700 acres. Most bloodstock people will be used to seeing her leading up the Mickley Stud yearlings and listening to her views on each individual. The yearling Heeraats she has been charged with educating before their racing careers have been very uncomplicated, inheriting their father’s easy-going nature. Kent reveals that Heeraat’s former trainer William Haggas has been a frequent visitor to the stallion when he has been taken to Newmarket for stallion parades, always taking time to spend a few minutes with the horse. Kent points out that the easy-going and relaxed temperament that Heeraat has passed on to his horses has an added advantage for trainers. “The yearlings are being ridden away quietly and now that trainers are especially short of staff and want straightforward horses, if you have a horse with a good temperament and gears then you have a great chance,” Kent says, ever the salesman. It is necessary to be adaptable and flexible

“You see a lot of those Australian horses that are raved about there, but when they come here we don’t know anything about them, their temperament, whether they were injured or anything in order to survive and build a business as an independent stallion farm and stud. Initially in the business of NH stallions, the 2008 recession meant the market for jumps horses collapsed. Due to this difficult situation the emphasis shifted onto Flat sires for Mickley.


aptain Gerrard, at Mickley from 2010, was the TBA’s leading first-season sire in Britain with 31 per cent winners to runners in 2013 and he continues to have a strike-rate of 46 per cent. In launching the career

of Heeraat, Kent has not only called on all those early experiences built at the side of Cashman, but is also armed with the knowledge picked up producing Karinga Bay and Overbury at his former base at Helshaw Grange Stud. Partnerships with other breeders, especially trainers, have become an important method of building up the profile of the stallions. Foal shares with other farms, trading nominations for Heeraat and the other stallions at Mickley with trusted partners at other studs, including Bearstone, allows Kent to develop his client base, while increasing the chances of success for Heeraat. He says: “We have a number of trusted partners and that is vital when you are breeding horses in partnership with other people.” Mickley, though, is far from a one-stallion farm and in Yorgunnabelucky, a winner on the Flat and over hurdles for his owner Roger Brookhouse, it stands one of the most promsingly-bred stallions in Britain. “Yorgunnabelucky is one of the best bred stallions in Britain as a full-brother to Shamardal and out of a half-sister to Street Cry; it is a bloodline I have always loved,” smiles Kent. “He gets lovely horses with great temperaments and good bone – at

Mickley Stud’s head girl Sarah Taylor at the farm’s August open day

Photo by Equine Creative Media


Profile for Thoroughbred Publishing


Stallion Review 2017, including Frankel, Mickley Stud, a wealth of stallion statistics and an interview with Elite Racing Club, owner-breede...


Stallion Review 2017, including Frankel, Mickley Stud, a wealth of stallion statistics and an interview with Elite Racing Club, owner-breede...