Â£5.95 JULY 2020 ISSUE 191
Derby demolition Serpentine and Emmet McNamara dazzle on the Downs
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£5.95 JULY 2020 ISSUE 191
Derby demolition Serpentine and Emmet McNamara dazzle on the Downs
Cover: Serpentine and Emmet McNamara hold a clear advantage over their rivals as they round Tattenham Corner in the Investec Derby at Epsom Photo: George Selwyn
Edward Rosenthal Editor
Real drama to enjoy from the comfort of your home F
rom famine to feast; the stories of the racing season are now flowing thick and fast, played out in front of silent stands and deserted winner’s enclosures. Hopefully this odd arrangement will soon be consigned to history. Royal Ascot, for many people the social and fashion event of the year, was purely about the horses in 2020 – no bad thing, you might say – and it delivered some superb action (The Big Picture, pages 14-23). Star of the show, for me anyway, was Stradivarius winning his third Gold Cup, the evergreen six-year-old putting to bed emphatically the ideas that he doesn’t win by far, or like testing ground, with an eased down ten-length triumph on going officially described as soft. Owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen is reaping the benefits of keeping his son of Sea The Stars in training at an age when the majority of Group 1-winning males are exerting themselves in an entirely different way. British racing is lucky to have this brilliant stayer around for another season. Frankie Dettori turns 50 later this year but, like his Gold Cup-winning partner, he appears to be getting better with age. It was simply business as usual at his favourite racecourse. The Italian ended the week as leading rider with six victories – the same number as Jim Crowley but Dettori had more second-placed finishes – taking him level with Pat Eddery on 73 winners. A first success in the Coronation Stakes aboard the Niarchos family’s Alpine Star for the Jessica Harrington stable saw Dettori capture the full set of Group 1s at the royal meeting. Dettori’s long-time ally, John Gosden, captured the trainers’ trophy, while Sheikh Hamdan was the leading owner, his haul of six winners headed by brilliant sprinter Battaash taking the King’s Stand Stakes. Royal Ascot also saw a winner for the Queen in the shape of Tactical in the Windsor
Castle Stakes, a record-breaking 150-1 upset courtesy of Nando Parrado in the Coventry Stakes, and debut strikes from Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand, two outstanding young riders who also happen to be partners. From Royal Ascot to Epsom, and another case of business as usual for master trainer Aidan O’Brien and super-sire Galileo, supplying another Investec Derby winner in the shape of Serpentine (Epsom Classics, pages 26-29). Yet the manner of the victory was something out of the ordinary; Serpentine and Emmet McNamara established an early lead, were left alone out in front, quickened
“Like Stradivarius, Dettori appears to be getting better with age” the pace approaching Tattenham Corner and effectively had the race won with half a mile to run. An outstanding performance from horse and jockey on the day, certainly, and time may well prove we saw an exceptional animal at Epsom on July 4. However, it’s also possible the superstar we watched that day was not Serpentine but Love, his stable companion and a quite brilliant winner of the Investec Oaks. Love’s nine-length triumph over the 12-furlong trip, which followed her decisive success in the 1,000 Guineas, was completed in a quicker time than Serpentine and suggests great things lie ahead for the rest of the season. I can’t wait to watch, even if it’s from the sofa.
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
News & Views
The Kitten's Joy story
Heed the horsemen
News Aftercare of racehorses in focus
Changes News in a nutshell
The Finish Line 72
Breeder of the Month Godolphin for Lord North
Great British Bonus
Owners return to the racecourse
Huge boost for the industry
New incentive scheme welcomed
The Big Picture
Derby and Oaks review
With trainer Donnacha O'Brien
Features Royal Ascot action
Preparation key to success in the ring
Breeze-up season begins
Howard Wright Tracks feel the heat
TBA Leader Retaining breeders and broodmares vital
US stallion's rise up the ranks
TBA Forum British-bred success around the globe
Vet Forum 30
Diarrhoea in the adult horse
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SUPPORT AT EVERY STEP
Charlie Parker Acting President
Horsemen hold the key to rebuilding racing I
n writing my debut Leader column for Owner Breeder, I would like first to thank Nicholas Cooper for his outstanding work as President and particularly for his calm leadership that has taken the organisation from strength to strength in recent years. Racing has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. From watching the racing on TV and being given the task of trying to work out my father’s Yankee returns, to owning and breeding horses – and sometimes winners – it is a true passion. Taking on this role is an absolute honour. Representing your voice, both inside and outside the industry, is fundamental to ensuring owners’ and breeders’ views are not only heard but also acted upon. I come to the role in the middle of one of racing’s most perilous periods. The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing suspension of the sport threatened businesses, jobs and communities, as well as severely impacting owners and breeders. For racing to endure this crisis we have to come together. We must rebuild together and we must create an industry and a sport that works for all of its participants. As President, my focus will be on growing the sport of racing. That means increasing public interest in the sport to get more people going racing. It means growing ownership: getting more people to fall in love with the experience of owning a horse, expanding syndicate participation and representation, and engaging with the next generation of racing enthusiasts and hopefully owners. It is a thrilling, exhilarating and captivating experience that should be open to all. To achieve this we must grow the revenues of the sport and secure their fair distribution. The current crisis has exposed many of the shortcomings of our sport’s structures and how systematically it has allowed horsemen’s interests to be derogated and transparency to be lost. However, the crisis may have given the entire sport an opportunity to reassess and realign. We must take this opportunity to reboot our sport with new impetus, to properly analyse where our sport can be improved to reward its participants and to encourage its growth. All stakeholders – owners, breeders, racecourses, jockeys, trainers, stable staff, the regulator – have to align their interests, grow the pot and see the value of a bigger, better product. The first order of business has to be to negotiate a new set of revenue sharing agreements. We need to negotiate and agree a fair set of long-term deals that recognise the role of horsemen and fairly remunerates them for the income they generate and the investment they make. Our aim is to work collaboratively with the racecourses to establish these agreements and convince racecourses to see the value of proactively engaging with
horsemen on such an integral and existential issue for the future of racing. This issue isn’t new. Since the judgement by the European Court of Justice over 15 years ago, racecourses were recognised as the beneficiaries of the media rights created at their venues. At the time, it was agreed that a share of this new income stream should be to the benefit of the participants in those pictures, originally on a 60:40 basis. That recognition formed the basis of the first agreements. However, where we sit today, the concept of a legitimate and fair share of this media rights income has evaporated to nought. We need to recapture the balance between racecourses and horsemen.
“The current crisis has exposed many of the shortcomings of our sport’s structures” To date, the support from people I’ve seen (socially distanced of course!) at the sales and elsewhere has encouraged me that this is the primary issue and that a wide range of horsemen feel the same. As we move to the next stage of resumption, I am determined that the sport’s participants continue the campaign to see horsemen fairly remunerated. Without horsemen there is no sport and no industry. Passion alone cannot be enough to sustain us. The ROA and Horsemen’s Group will be working tirelessly together to ensure that owners, breeders and all horsemen are properly represented and treated fairly. Our sport is at a crossroads; to rebuild successfully it must listen to the people that make it what it is.
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Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman
Crisis looms if breeders decide to walk away F
irst, the good news: the Great British Bonus (GBB) is up and running. Promoted by the TBA, the scheme was implemented as soon as racing returned on June 1 after the Covid-19 lockdown, and it has been particularly rewarding to see several small breeders, such as Kevin Nicholson and Simon Chappell, win £20,000 bonuses with the progeny of mares they raced and then kept for stud. These are the breeders and owners we so badly need to keep in racing and GBB has been established as the perfect vehicle to encourage them and many others to support the industry in Britain. The recent wide-ranging TBA survey showed that 84 per cent of breeders retain an interest in a horse in training. Encouraging them with a scheme such as GBB is therefore vital for the future. Now, the not-such-good news: there is no point in believing that racing and all the activities associated with the sport can return to normal even in the medium term of the next three to five years. Fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the cracks, caused by the relatively low level of prize-money in Britain, that have been ‘papered over’ for many years. Losses sustained by our breeders are likely to leave a scar across the racing and breeding industries that will take many years to heal. Despite the ROA’s best efforts to maintain current levels, it must be expected that the number of owners will decline in the immediate future, and, if the recession of 2008 is any guide, prices at the autumn sales will be down substantially, exacerbating the losses of the 66 per cent of breeders for whom the exercise is already unprofitable, and adding to the numbers leaving the industry. To most people involved in the industry this current crisis feels worse and more immediate than that caused by the last recession, when between 2008 and 2012 the combined foal crops of Britain and Ireland dropped by 35 per cent. With a tight horse population-to-runner model already in reverse, a similar fall could have drastic consequences for a number of years. Modelling by the TBA executive has suggested that a fall in the number of runners of around 20-25 per cent in Britain is probable, unless major efforts are made to encourage the breeding industry and breeders not just to stay in the sport but also to race their progeny as owners or part-owners of the foals they produce. Foal numbers have not recovered to the 2008 level of 18,339 foals; in 2019 the combined total for Britain and Ireland
was just 14,043. With limited imports from the USA and France, this crop was required to service an ever-expanding fixture list in Britain, and so there is very little slack in the system. Any decline in the foal crop will impact racing through the number of runners much sooner than in 2008. The impact of Covid-19 will be felt around the world and many nations expect there to be a substantial fall in the size of their foal crops. Britain cannot expect to import meaningful numbers of horses to fill the gap, especially under our existing prize-money regime. Indeed, export is more likely. Figures have yet to be finalised for 2020 but the British foal crops for last year and this year are expected to have dropped by about five per cent per annum, which will adversely affect
“Fallout from Covid-19 has exposed the cracks that have been ‘papered over’ for many years” the horse population and make racecourses’ desire to run the current or an expanded fixture list look difficult over even the next two years. The Great British Bonus represents a good start in supporting breeders, and, as a self-help scheme that does not cost the industry anything but realigns prize-money to support those who buy and race British-bred horses, it is particularly effective when income within the sport is tight. Efforts should be made to enhance GBB as soon as possible. The betting levy, media rights, racecourses and a large part of the rural economy depend on British breeders surviving and thriving. Every breeder and broodmare needs to remain active if we are to stave off a real crisis in the industry. Great British Bonus feature, pages 30-33.
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Funding for aftercare of racehorses in focus
Horses such as former talented miler Top Notch Tonto can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life after their racing days are over
he Horse Welfare Board (HWB) has launched its strategic review into funding for the aftercare of racehorses. Undertaken as part of a set of recommendations made by the HWB’s ‘A Life Well Lived’ strategy, the review will focus on ensuring the aftercare sector is financially sustainable and can consistently provide care and activities for racehorses beyond their careers on the track over the longer term. The project is supported by the Racing Foundation. The HWB’s ‘A Life Well Lived’ strategy has put in place a plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing to, amongst other areas, build public trust with its welfare processes and demonstrate its lifetime commitment to horses and their welfare. The review announced this month is a key project recommendation of the new strategy, assessing and ensuring the funding of aftercare is fit for purpose and highlighting areas for improvement. A wide-ranging consultation process will be undertaken by the review team, through a series of interviews with key stakeholders within racing and racehorse aftercare. The review will be supported by a steering group
comprising racing, finance and horse welfare experts from the industry. The process should be completed by September 30 with findings and recommendations published at a later date. Barry Johnson, Chairman of the HWB, said: “This review is a vital first step in the implementation of the Horse
“This review will identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of the system” Welfare Board’s strategy. Ensuring that the aftercare sector is adequately, consistently and sustainably resourced is essential in ensuring that horses bred for racing are cared for beyond their racing careers. “This review will identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of the
current system, as the basis for a longer-term funding and development strategy for the sector. “I encourage all those contributing to the review to do so openly, and in a spirit of collaboration, to help us to grow our collective understanding of funding in this area, in order to ensure effective underpinning of horse welfare. British racing has a strong commitment to aftercare and this review will help us to support and sustain this crucial sector long into the future.” Racehorse Owners Association Chief Executive Charlie Liverton, also a member of the HWB, added: “I am so pleased to see the implementation of the recommendations from the HWB’s strategy starting. There’s a lot of work to do, but the body of work around funding will be so important to putting welfare at the heart of racing. “For owners, we know welfare is central to the ownership journey, with the welfare of their horses during and after racing a top priority. Progress across the welfare strategy will further confirm to those in racing, and those interested in racing, that welfare matters. I look forward to seeing the results of the review and the recommendations being put into action.”
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Stories from the racing world
The AHT played a vital role in equine disease surveillance
Animal Health Trust closes The Animal Health Trust (AHT), which has carried out vital equine disease surveillance and specialist veterinary research for the thoroughbred racing industry, will close following confirmation from its trustees that the charity has been unable to secure the significant funds needed for a viable future. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) and Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) met earlier this month with the Racing Foundation and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) to discuss a plan in response to the closure. It was decided that the BHA would lead the racing industry’s efforts to maintain surveillance and testing
capability. The AHT’s surveillance programme also covered the whole horse population of the UK and as such, the BHA will aim to work with a range of other bodies, including the British Horse Council, the British Horse Society and the British Equestrian Federation. Racing provides annual funding of around £700,000 to the AHT, of which the HBLB provides some £400,000. In addition, the current HBLB research investment is around £2.8 million, with research projects at various stages covering virology, bacteriology and other disciplines. An additional £700,000 was allocated by the HBLB in 2020 after financial difficulties at the AHT became apparent. This was a conditional grant that has not yet been paid but is
available if a solution for providing the essential disease control and veterinary research services can be agreed. A BHA spokesperson said: “The Animal Health Trust has played an important role in maintaining the high standards of equine health and welfare in the racing industry and the equine sector. Its staff, led by Director Richard Newton, responded superbly when we faced an equine flu outbreak last year. We recognise their world-leading expertise in epidemiology and veterinary research and do not want to see this lost to the British equine sector. “We believe that if the horse sector maintains the strong collaborative approach it has adopted in combating disease and engaging government over issues such as Brexit, it should be possible to maintain an effective surveillance programme and the specialist veterinary research capability.”
Dual Grade 1 winner Kelly calls time on riding career Record-breaking jump jockey Lizzie Kelly announced her retirement from the saddle this month with the news that she and husband Ed Partridge are expecting their first child later this year. Kelly became the first woman in Britain or Ireland to ride a Grade 1 winner over obstacles when Tea For Two, trained by her stepfather Nick Williams, won the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton in 2015. The 27 year-old continued to make a name for herself, becoming the first female in 33 years to compete in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when partnering the same horse in 2017, though it was to prove an anti-climax as the duo got no further than the second fence, when Kelly was unseated. A year later, however, she was to claim her first Cheltenham Festival winner, Coo Star Sivola in the Ultima Handicap Chase in 2018, and she followed up in 2019 when riding Siruh Du Lac to win the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. Kelly
Lizzie Kelly: expecting her first child
also combined with Tea For Two to win the Grade 1 Bowl at Aintree in 2017. Looking back on a successful 11 years in the saddle, the Devon-based Kelly said: “I will miss riding in races, the weighing room and everyone in it. Having two Cheltenham Festival winners is definitely something I will remember forever. “I’ve had a career that I could never have imagined and I’ve been blessed to be associated with the horses that I’ve ridden.
“The big winners are an important part of a jockey’s career; it’s what you put all your hard work and efforts into getting. The part of the job I enjoyed the most was riding young horses on their first time on the racetrack and looking after them. “I will remain heavily involved in racing and pre-training. The long-term goal is to train, but I am sure there is nothing that will replace riding in races.” Ladbrokes quoted Kelly at 8-1 to train a winner under Rules before January 2022. The firm made her 3-1 to make a comeback and partner a winner under Rules before the same month, while she was priced at 20-1 to be on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021, and 40-1 to be on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Kelly also told Great British Racing: “In the time I have been a jockey the number of female riders has grown enormously, and I think there are a huge amount of opportunities for women coming into the sport. I think everyone gets good opportunities now.”
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Racing’s news in a nutshell
People and business Anglo-Irish jump classifications
Al Boum Photo and Cyrname are the highest-rated National Hunt performers for the 2019-20 season, each allotted a mark of 173.
Jump jockey announces his retirement from the saddle aged 40 after a career that yielded 121 Grade 1 victories among 1,920 Irish and British jumps winners.
York’s headline Group 1 race has its prize find cut to £275,000 from an intended £1 million due to the current challenging environment.
BHA’s Director of Equine Health and Welfare will step down before the end of 2020 to return to his native Australia.
Trainer sends out his 1,000th winner with Sudona in a handicap at Pontefract under long-time ally Danny Tudhope.
Peak audience figure for Epsom Classic hits eight-year high of 2.3 million on ITV Racing.
Eyrefield Lodge Stud
Curragh property that produced Pretty Polly, Marwell and Marling is put on the market by the Loder family.
New President of the Racehorse Owners Association joins the board of the British Horseracing Authority.
British European Breeders Fund doubles its contribution for the month of July to £238,000.
Follows breakthrough Royal Ascot success on Scarlet Dragon with first Pattern win on Dame Malliot in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes.
Horse obituaries Manduro 18
Outstanding racehorse, winner of three Group 1s for owner Baron Georg von Ullmann, and sire of top-class stayer Vazirabad.
Grade 2 winner over fences for both Charlie Mann and Nick Williams, later prolific in points, scoring three times as a 15-year-old.
Promising son of Zoffany trained by Donnacha O’Brien suffers fatal injury in the Irish Derby.
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Two of the most exciting young sires in the world. From Royal Ascot winners come Royal Ascot winners
Frankly Darling | by Frankel
Palace Pier | by Kingman
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Racehorse and stallion
Movements and retirements
Breeding rights to impressive Irish 2,000 Guineas winner sold by Juddmonte.
Tiz The Law
Belmont Stakes victor, a son of Constitution, will stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky upon the completion of his racing career.
Winner of the Group 3 Classic Trial and placed in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot is sold to continue his career in Hong Kong.
Popular sprint handicapper, winner of 12 races, including eight at Ripon, is retired aged ten, having earned almost £175,000 during his career.
Son of Candy Ride, winner of two Grade 1s on dirt this year, will join the roster at Spendthrift Farm when his racing days are over.
Talented stayer for the Martyn Meade stable, winner of the 2019 Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak, suffers a career-ending injury in the Gold Cup.
West End Girl
High-class stayer for Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, St Leger and Long Distance Cup, is retired aged five.
Daughter of Golden Horn, a Group 3 winner for Alan Spence, is bought in a Tattersalls online auction for £420,000 by Cayton Park Stud.
People obituaries Danny McNab 83
Racecourse bookmaker in the south and south-west who also operated at Bristol greyhound track.
Lady Dorothy Nelson 75
At her Tibthorpe Stud in the Yorkshire Wolds she bred Algol (Dim Sum), a dual Group 1 winner in Hong Kong, and Listed scorer Valonia.
Liam Treadwell 34
Jockey who partnered Mon Mome to success in the 2009 Grand National at odds of 100-1 and rode over 300 winners in his career.
John Cleverly 86
Manager and Clerk of the Course at Beverley racecourse between 1973-2000, he was also a board member of the BHB and RCA.
Johnny Greenaway 98
Northern-based jockey who rode around 600 winners and captured the Manchester November Handicap and Gosforth Park Cup.
Rose Paterson 63
Chairman of Aintree racecourse who was a member of the Jockey Club’s Board of Stewards.
Maureen Brittain 87 Helped husband Clive run a successful stable in Newmarket for many years having started out together in 1972.
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The Big Picture
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Frankly unique event The absence of racegoers due to restrictions around Covid-19 has led to some unusual scenes at racecourses since the sport resumed in June, none more so than at Royal Ascot. Out went the pageantry, pomp and ceremony as even Her Majesty The Queen was unable to attend her favourite meeting of the year. Despite the strange atmosphere, Frankie Dettori can be relied on to provide some fireworks, here performing his famous flying dismount on Anthony Oppenheimerâ€™s filly Frankly Darling after victory in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes on the opening day. Photo Edward Whitaker
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The Big Picture
THE OWNER BREEDER
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Three and easy Stradivarius had captured his two previous Gold Cups by margins of a length (2019) and three-quarters of a length (2018) but it was a different story this year under regular rider Frankie Dettori. Bjorn Nielsenâ€™s remarkable six-year-old brought up the hat-trick by defeating Nayef Road by ten lengths despite the testing ground not playing to his strengths. Stradivarius, expertly trained by John Gosden, joined Sagaro as a three-time winner of the 2m4f prize and may now try and match Yeatsâ€™s record tally of four Gold Cup triumphs. Photos Edward Whitaker and Alan Crowhurst
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The Big Picture
Winning couple Henry Ponsonbyâ€™s syndicates enjoyed a fabulous Royal Ascot with two winners, both trained by Alan King, who sent out three winners over the week. Scarlet Dragon and Hollie Doyle (right) struck first in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap before Hollieâ€™s partner, Tom Marquand, also made his breakthrough at the royal meeting aboard Who Dares Wins (below) in the closing race, the Queen Alexandra Stakes. Photos Alan Crowhurst, Julian Finney and Edward Whitaker
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Clockwise from top: Kevin Stott enjoys a first Royal Ascot winner and Group 1 strike aboard the Kevin Ryan-trained Hello Youmzain in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes; Sheikh Hamdan’s Battaash defies his Royal Ascot demons with victory in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes; Sheikh Zayed’s Lord North continues his rapid progression with a decisive success under James Doyle in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes; Circus Maximus (blinkers) sees off Godolphin’s Terebellum in a terrific finish to the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes; Golden Horde and Adam Kirby surge up the rail to take the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup for owner AlMohamediya Racing and trainer Clive Cox; the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpine Star, owned by the Niarchos family, romps home in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes under Frankie Dettori
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The Big Picture
20 THE OWNER BREEDER
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Palace pips Pinatubo Last year’s leading two-year-old Pinatubo (centre) may have reversed 2,000 Guineas form with Wichita (left), the pair having filled the places behind Kameko at Newmarket, but both were unable to deal with Palace Pier in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes. The John Gosden-trained colt, racing for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, was making his debut at Pattern level, his previous start coming in handicap company on Newcastle’s Tapeta surface. The son of top sire Kingman is now unbeaten in four races. Photo Julian Finney
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The Big Picture
Dandalla delights Nick Bradley Racing look to have a top-class two-year-old on their hands in the shape of Dandalla, six-length winner of the Group 3 Albany Stakes under Ben Curtis. The daughter of Dandy Man, trained by Karl Burke, followed up her Royal Ascot success with a head victory over Fev Rover, also owned by a Nick Bradley syndicate, in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on July 10. Photos Julian Finney, Alan Crowhurst, Edward Whitaker and Megan Ridgwell
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Royal Ascot Terrific two-year-olds from top to bottom: The Queenâ€™s Tactical takes the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes under James Doyle; US raider Campanelle, trained by Wesley Ward, provides another winner for Frankie Dettori in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes; Nando Parrado and Adam Kirby cause a 150-1 upset in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes for owner Marie McCartan and trainer Clive Cox; Oisin Murphy celebrates after Qatar Racingâ€™s The Lir Jet, trained by Michael Bell, flies home to deny Golden Pal in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes
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The Howard Wright Column
Cash concerns put tracks under pressure G
or even in the medium term. Horsemen will want to race for sustainable prize-money; racecourses will want sustainable businesses. The latter may need to heed the words of retail boss, and racehorse owner, Sir John Timpson. Discussing the removal of lockdown restrictions in the Daily Telegraph, he wrote: “Smart shopkeepers will use the next three months to learn how to thrive in this new world. They will soon get used to providing a safe environment and… many will discover new ways to make money.” Part of this exercise for racecourses could involve examining a two-tier grading system – a Premier grade and a Standard grade. It works in other service industries, and what is horseracing if it is
rading of British racecourses to reflect different standards of service officially disappeared several years ago, when the need for a level playing field on prize-money came into vogue. Now may be the right time to re-examine the idea, given the deck clearing that has gone on under the necessary Covid-19 restrictions. The unique exercise of racing behind closed doors has produced some unexpected advantages beyond getting the show back on the road thanks to an admirable display of responsible behaviour among professionals. The value of having 72-hour declarations for Royal Ascot, for one; restricting jockeys to one meeting a day, thereby removing the stress and extended working hours that come from charging out of an afternoon fixture to an evening meeting, being another worth keeping. But the early evidence of three months of so-called emergency fixtures allocated on an alien basis still gives a false impression of what may be to come, when paying spectators return and Levy Board hand-outs towards prize-money are scaled back. The June-to-August programme comprised a redrawn model of BHA fixtures, enabling the governing body to set individual race conditions to meet the requirements suggested by owners and trainers. The intention was that the abandoned racecourse fixtures would be accommodated by up to 70 per cent for those tracks that applied. The principle seems to have worked well and 31 courses are sharing 263 meetings over the three months, with Newmarket (21 fixtures), Lingfield (15) and Windsor (14) the busiest. For a variety of reasons – some financial – Brighton, Carlisle, Ffos Las, Nottingham and Wetherby have declined the invitation to race. However, this situation cannot be maintained indefinitely,
Newmarket has been busy since racing returned in June
Opportunity knocks in the Emirates Concentration on Covid-19 seems to have obscured other emerging equestrian news, particularly in the UAE, from where two notable stories appear to have gone under the radar in Europe so far. Perhaps it was inevitable that one would be obscured, since it involved the often contentious sphere of activity known as endurance, in which the FEI imposed a record 20-year ban on Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Faisal al Qasimi, a member of the Sharjah ruling family, following an incident in which his horse had to be put down after sustaining a catastrophic injury after being injected with a banned sedative for a 90km race in France. Maybe it is no surprise that the other, thankfully much less traumatic, story has received little attention, for the man at the centre, Dubai Racing Club Executive Director Frank Gabriel, has never gone out of his way to command the headlines, even when he was perfectly entitled to do so. By way of a brief statement that seems to have been sent only to two media sources in Gabriel’s native US, he revealed that he is leaving the UAE to spend more time with his wife Christine and family in Florida. Gabriel has left Dubai before,
quitting as Chief Executive after the 2014 World Cup, but he returned in August that year as Vice President of Racing. There seems to be a greater degree of permanence about his latest move. No racing administrator in the world can be more diligent than the self-effacing Gabriel, who eschewed a defined deputy in 15 years of enormous change at the DRC. Watching him guide spectators into smart lines, handing out bottles of water as they waited to enter Meydan on its official opening day, will remain an abiding memory of his hands-on management style. He leaves with Meydan, the DRC and the governing Emirates Racing Authority at something of a crossroads. Financial cutbacks have bitten deep over the last three years and will not have been helped by the coronavirus lockdown, while the earlyyear World Cup Carnival is in danger of having some of the wind taken out of its sails by competition from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and possibly within a few years Kuwait. However, out of adversity comes opportunity – a big opportunity for an administrator with flair and an understanding of how things work in this intriguing part of the world.
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not a service industry? It’s probably too soon for the 2021 fixture list, which should be completed in a couple of months’ time, but racecourses will soon be assessing the medium-term fall-out from Covid-19, and some may not survive the examination without fresh conditions based around prize-money. Unless the government does a huge u-turn on greenbelt issues, few racecourses are likely to be magnets for total handover to housing developers and resulting closure, which for some could lead on to delving into another observation from Sir John Timpson, who wrote: “Every town centre needs to become a community hub – not just with shops, but also housing, medical services, leisure, entertainment, food, drink, easy access and affordable parking.”
“Some racecourses may not survive without fresh conditions based around prize-money” For ‘town centre’ read ‘racecourse’, many of which already enjoy Timpson’s conditions in abundance. What’s more, links with local communities have been growing in recent years, as evidenced by the flow of entries to various Racecourse Association Showcase categories, and have been enhanced in recent weeks by support for a wide range of initiatives during the coronavirus lockdown. Of course, support for local effort is not always reflected in a business’s bottom line. The element of giving can overwhelm that of receiving, but corporate responsibility, which enables an organisation to make a positive impact on society and the environment, trumps inactivity every time and can be turned into a profit. The racecourse community manager may have to become as important as the marketing manager before long.
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A most unusual Derby
nspirational ride? Brilliant horse? Misjudged efforts by the other jockeys? Or perhaps even a combination of all three? Whatever your view on this year’s Investec Derby victory of Serpentine and Emmet McNamara, run in front of empty stands at Epsom, there’s no doubt it will live long in the memory. Serpentine, one of six Derby runners for Aidan O’Brien, had only broken his maiden a week before Epsom, storming home by nine lengths at the Curragh. Overlooked by the main Ballydoyle jockeys, it was Emmet McNamara, at the time of writing winless in Ireland this year – though he finished a closed second on Tiger Moth behind stable companion Santiago in the Irish Derby – that was called up for the mount. Like the unheralded Padraig Beggy before
him, successful on Wings Of Eagles for the same connections in 2017, McNamara found himself on a live outsider in the Classic, one with a blue-blooded pedigree by a Derby winner. Having been driven to the front after leaving the stalls, it quickly became apparent that none of Serpentine’s 15 rivals were prepared to take him on for the lead. The two main home fancies, 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko, a doubtful stayer on breeding, and English King, emerging from the dreaded inside gate, were dropped in and, in truth, never looked like featuring at the business end. At Tattenham Corner, McNamara had Serpentine in a lovely rhythm, well ahead of the opposition, and kicked for home entering the straight. Those watching at home were asking themselves how on earth the field would catch this runaway
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Catch me if you can: Serpentine and Emmet McNamara have built up an unassailable lead rounding Tattenham Corner in the Investec Derby at Epsom
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Epsom Classics ››
leader; the answer was they couldn’t, and Serpentine galloped on powerfully to score by five and a half lengths. Khalifa Sat and Amhran Na Bhfiann, the closest pursuers to Serpentine after a couple of furlongs, maintained those positions to finish second and third, just ahead of Kameko and English King. By far the biggest success in the career of McNamara, it was a record-breaking eighth Derby for O’Brien, following Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017) and Anthony Van Dyck (2019). For John Magnier, latterly joined in the Coolmore fold by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, it was an 11th Derby, having owned all O’Brien’s winners, 2011 victor Pour Moi and been involved in The Minstrel (1977) and Golden Fleece (1982), both successful in Robert Sangster’s silks. Galileo, quite simply the best stallion in the world, also enjoyed a history-making afternoon, with Serpentine supplying a fifth strike in the Blue Riband to make him the most successful sire in Derby history. Earlier that day, his daughter Love had followed up her decisive 1,000 Guineas success with an even more impressive performance in the Investec Oaks, defeating stablemate Ennistymon by nine lengths under Ryan Moore. Love became the 49th filly to complete the Classic double and the first since Minding – another daughter of Galileo trained by Aidan O’Brien, who was winning his eighth Oaks – in 2016. Interestingly, Love ran the mile and a half in a quicker time than Serpentine, and will surely be aimed towards an autumn showdown with Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. By that time we should know whether Serpentine is the superstar he looked at Epsom on July 4. Photos by George Selwyn, Bill Selwyn and Dan Abraham
Approaching the final furlong and Serpentine and McNamara remain well clear of their rivals, going on to score by five and a half lengths from Khalifa Sat (white/green) and Amhran Na Bhfiann (purple) to give the rider (inset) his first winner of 2020 and debut victory at the top level. Serpentine’s sire, Galileo, was also responsible for Love (left), nine-length winner of the Investec Oaks under Ryan Moore earlier in the afternoon
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Great British Bonus
The Great British Bonus scheme promised to be a shot in the arm for British bloodstock and it hasn’t taken long for the industry to feel its full effect Words: Nancy Sexton
ust weeks on from the resumption of racing and the rewards of the Great British Bonus Scheme (GBB) are already being felt across the spectrum. A total of 11 bonuses were won during June and come the end of the month, there was clearly a rising interest from trainers and owners looking to target races with their eligible stock. They include owner Kevin Nicholson, who is hopeful of securing a second award after landing a £20,000 payout thanks to the Beverley success of his homebred Brazen Belle, and trainer Amy Murphy, who sent out Gerry Ryan’s Emotional Moment to win a full bonus on debut at Kempton Park. Launched on June 1 and promoted by the TBA, the GBB is an industry-wide scheme with the ability to significantly reward the connections of winning fillies, making it a potentially valuable asset to industry players at a time of uncertainty. To recap, the GBB awards bonuses of up to £20,000 should a qualified filly win an eligible race. Fillies have to be born in the UK and sired by a British-based stallion to win the full bonus. However, a filly who is British-bred yet sired by a stallion standing outside Britain is still eligible to win 50% of an award. Open to fillies bred under both codes, it has replaced Plus10 and NH MOPS and is predominantly funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) alongside registration fee income from owners and breeders. The scheme covers all class 2, 3, 4, and 5 maiden, novices and conditions races for fillies, meaning that there will be hundreds of opportunities for bonuses to be won; the current season may have been impacted by coronavirus but by 2022 it is hoped
Julian Richmond-Watson: ‘the scheme gives everyone a chance’
that the seasonal payout could be as much as £3 million, or perhaps even more. Significantly, multiple bonuses can also be won by a single horse. The GBB was borne out of the findings of the 2018 TBA Economic Impact Study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers that identified the challenges faced by breeders selling fillies at public auction. “We found that 66% of British breeders were losing money,” says TBA Chairman Julian Richmond-Watson, one of the driving forces behind the scheme. “That is pretty frightening. “So we founded a breeders’ strategy group and looked at all the options over a period of 18 months. The GBB scheme was the obvious one to pursue. “When we were talking about it during those early days, we felt it had to be a significant figure – yes, £10,000
is great but £20,000 really does mean something. And one of the great aspects of it is that it gives everyone a chance. “Now breeders have several options if they have a filly. They can sell her or now they have a real chance of being able to either keep, lease or syndicate her.” As the accompanying table (on page 32) illustrates, the bonus split rewards a range of winning connections headed by the owner, who receives 65%. The registered breeder also gains 10% as does the registered owner at the time of yearling registration. “The fact that people can win multiple bonuses gives something for people to aim at,” says Richmond-Watson. “And there could be a real trickle-down effect. Breeders may now look at it and say ‘yes we need a GB suffix’, so more mares will foal in Britain and that in turn will boost employment and help the rural economy. “Obviously, this scheme also replaces
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MOPS for the jumps-bred fillies. The jumps industry in this country is in dire straits and I hope that this helps the situation and encourages people to stand jumps stallions in Britain down the line.” There is no doubt that GBB is living up to expectations as a welcome boost to owners. For example, the early winners include a filly who was bought back as a yearling for £5,000 in Brazen Belle and another, Emotional Moment, who was picked up last October for just 15,000gns. “The scheme was held up but we’ve been able to launch it ahead of the sales season and in the current Covid situation, which is when we need it most,” says Richmond-Watson. “People in racing are optimists and I think hopefully that this gives them a dream.”
A great initiative that offers the “chance to make racing affordable” - that is the view of owner Kevin Nicholson, who landed a £20,000 bonus following the success of his homebred filly Brazen Belle at Beverley on June 11. Nicholson bred Brazen Belle out of Pepper Lane and sent her to last year’s Goffs UK September Sale, where she was bought back for just £5,000. Fast forward nine months and with her debut victory for David O’Meara in the bag, the daughter of Brazen Beau has already netted Nicholson close to
£24,000 in prize-money. “Brazen Belle went to join her halfsister, Infinite Grace, for breaking and training with the very astute David O’Meara and his superb team at Willow Farm near York,” says Nicholson. “She was soon into the swing of things and managed to do everything asked of her with ease. It wasn’t long before she was
“People in racing are optimists and I think this gives them a dream” starting to show a hint of ability and plenty of speed. “Race planning stage commenced – what could possibly go wrong? Enter Covid-19. Plans on hold for three months. “Beverley’s first meeting back had a maiden auction fillies’ race on the card, which looked ideal for her debut, and so it turned out to be, with her winning at her first attempt. The race was covered by the GBB, which is a great initiative, especially for a small breeder like myself;
there is the chance to make racing more affordable and an incentive to race the fillies.” Nicholson was bitten by the racing bug at an early age, his interest fuelled by annual pilgrimages to York’s Ebor Festival, and after taking shares in “one or two small syndicates,” took the plunge in a daughter of Exceed And Excel with building contractor Dave Lumley; the small chestnut filly turned out to be Pepper Lane, the dam of Brazen Belle who went on to win six races, including two renewals of the Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon, and run Listedplaced. “At the end of the 2012 season, Dave decided to cash in so ‘Pepper’ was sent to the sales,” says Nicholson. “When she didn’t realise my estimated valuation, I had a rush of blood and bought her back with the intention of breeding to race the progeny for pleasure. I had her covered by Medicean and she was packed off to Richard and Maggie Lingwood’s family-run Norton Grove Stud, where she still resides to this day receiving the best attention from all the staff.” Pepper Lane’s first foal, Sheoak, never ran while her second, Ever So Sure, died as a young horse, leading Nicholson to remark: “I was beginning to wonder if the advice received about the connection between breeding and insanity was correct.” However, the mare’s third foal, Infinite
Emotional Moment on her way to securing a bonus at Kempton Park
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›› Grace, has won twice for O’Meara, and
winning debut at Kempton Park on June 21. In the process, she earned Ryan a £20,000 bonus, having been picked up for only 15,000gns by Murphy as a Tattersalls October Book 3 yearling. Murphy takes up the story. “We bought her on spec and when her halfbrother, Chief Ironside, won a Group 2 in Australia a couple of weeks later, then everyone was trying to buy her,” she says. “We’re absolutely delighted. She’s basically paid for herself in one run, which is a huge credit to the scheme. “She was one of those fillies that we thought if she ran well first time out but hadn’t quite managed to win, then we would probably go to France and run her over there. But with the bonus, it makes it well worth-while staying here – you probably get more for actually staying here so that’s a massive benefit to someone like ourselves. “It’s also great for Gerry Ryan, it’s great to see him have a horse trained in England and he’s really thankful for the scheme as well.”
remains in training, while now there is the promise of Brazen Belle to look forward to. “We will certainly be trying to win another bonus race particularly as prizemoney is now at the same level it was ten years ago,” says Nicholson. “And then we might look to possibly have a crack at the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.” He adds: “Brazen Belle has a yearling full-brother at Norton Grove Stud, who looks a nice sort, and Pepper Lane is currently in foal to the Aussie phenomenon Zoustar. Fingers crossed for a filly so we can put her in the GBB scheme.”
Trainer Amy Murphy and Australian owner Gerry Ryan are now in the enviable position of being in possession of a filly who not only looks promising but has also paid for herself in one run. The filly in question is Emotional Moment, who made an impressive
Amy Murphy: sent out Emotional Moment to score on debut at Kempton
Pinhooking can be a rollercoaster of a business, a high-risk venture where it isn’t rare to see celebrations and disappointments run hand in hand. As operators on both sides of the market, theirs is a group that owns a real insight into the world of buying and selling stock, and in turn, the valuable role that a sales incentive can play. One such observer is the Hertfordshire-based Jamie Railton, a strong investor at all the major winter breeding stock sales. “If a buyer has two options at a sale,
There are three registration stages for a filly to qualify: • As a foal: £200* due by August 31 in foaling year • As a yearling: £200 due by June 30 in yearling year • As a two or three-year-old: £350 due by February 28 in 2yo year for Flat fillies and August 31 in 3yo year for jumpers. *£300 for non-TBA Members
SARAH FARNSWORTH/GOFFS UK
Great British Bonus
GBB will aid the sale of fillies at auction
one horse that is eligible and one that isn’t, then the one that is eligible will get that extra bid,” says Railton. “If that then means breeders can cover their costs and overheads – which at the moment they can’t – then it is a fantastic initiative. “The attractive aspect of this scheme is the fact a horse can win multiple bonuses. Add in a Tattersalls October Book 1 bonus and then it’s even more – it becomes a very good amount. You’re talking about horses that could go on and win as much as £60,000. “So I think as a trader, you have to factor it in when buying. It’s been very well thought out and a very positive thing for the whole industry.”
The difficulties facing small breeders are well known; after all, this scheme was launched in reaction to the harsh findings of the TBA Economic Impact Study of 2018.
100% GBB jumps filly/mare: • £20,000 bonus: specified mares-only hurdles and chases • £10,000 bonus: specified hurdles and chases open to both sexes • £10,000 bonus: specified mares-only NH Flat races • £5,000 bonus: specified NH Flat races open to both sexes For a 50% GBB filly, bonuses of 50% are payable
New registrations for the 2019 and 2020 foal crops are available on greatbritishbonus.co.uk. Discounts are available for TBA members. British-bred two-year-old fillies already paid up for Plus10 have been transferred over to GBB as have those fillies and mares already registered to NH MOPS.
100% GBB Flat filly: • £20,000 bonus: specified fillies-only Flat races • £10,000 bonus: specified Flat races open to both sexes
• 65% to the registered owner at the time of the filly’s win • 10% to the registered breeder • 10% to the registered owner at the time the yearling registration was paid • 7.5% to the trainer • 5% to the jockey • 2.5% to the stable staff www.greatbritishbonus.co.uk
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“Any owner, old or new, is going to be excited to win such a bonus” Lincolnshire also envisages an uptick in breeders racing their own stock. And should that happen, other areas of the industry could be poised to benefit. “It will help sell fillies but also now there’s an incentive to keep them to race,” he says. “Maybe now it will help some people get back to breeding racehorses - people may now think ‘yes I’ll back my judgement and use that stallion to breed a racehorse as I could
win £20,000 to help with the costs’. And then that might boost some of the smaller established stallions.” Elusive Bloodstock is home to Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Falco, the sire of Triumph Hurdle hero Peace And Co, as well as the regally-bred stakes winner Sun Central. In 2020, the stud foaled down 13 jumps mares and another 11 for the Flat, meaning that it is well versed in the market intricacies of both spheres. “MOPS worked really well and we supported that,” says Gray. “But the additional bonus of winning a prize as a breeder is really good. The GBB tightens up a lot of the other schemes and I like the adjustment they made of rewarding different stages, particularly the idea that the breeder still gets a breeders’ prize. “Hopefully it encourages more people to use British stallions. £20,000 is a big figure, it’s the golden ticket, and it could cover a year’s worth of training fees, especially in the National Hunt world. For a syndicate, it could really change things. “I’m grateful and impressed by all the work that the TBA has put into it.”
Less than two weeks following the resumption of racing and there was a welcome bonus win for one of the newer owners in racing, Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad al Khalifa, son of the King of Bahrain. Sheikh Nasser’s colours were carried to victory at Chelmsford City on June 9 by Concessions, a daughter of Muhaarar purchased by Oliver St Lawrence at Book 1 of last year’s Tattersalls October Sale. The Richard Hannon-trained filly subsequently gained valuable blacktype when second to fellow GBB bonus winner Time Scale in the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket.
ROA Board member Sam Hoskins wears many caps, including as manager of Hot To Trot Racing and Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds. He also breeds on a small scale, and so is well aware of how this incentive might help alleviate the challenges associated with selling fillies at auction. “As a small breeder myself, I know how difficult it can be if you get a filly,” he says. “Now, fillies have a market. “I have an Ardad filly going to the sales this autumn and if she doesn’t end up making her value, I would now be encouraged to race her myself. The incentive to do that is there now, and if you get a good one that can defy a penalty, then you can go and win another one – the idea of winning multiple bonuses is very appealing.” James Gray of Elusive Bloodstock in
Jamie Railton: GBB supporter
St Lawrence, who also acts as Chairman of the Federation of Bloodstock Agents, described the scheme as “a shot in the arm for British breeders” and sees it playing an important role when it comes to marketing fillies at auction. “Any owner, old or new, is going to be excited to win such a bonus, which can virtually pay the year’s training fees in one go,” says St Lawrence. “It is a shot in the arm for British breeders and should encourage buyers to target eligible fillies at the sales, which in turn should help make British-born filly foals more commercial. Hopefully more mare owners can therefore turn a profit, meaning there is a knock-on effect of British stallions gaining further patronage. “As an agent, the scheme will definitely encourage me to target buying more eligible fillies at the sales with the added selling tool of the Great British Bonus to promote to owners. As a stud manager myself and as an advisor to a number of breeders, we will definitely have to really consider which country our mares foal down in and look more closely at using British-based stallions.”
THE GREAT BRITISH BONUS ROLL OF HONOUR: JUNE 2020 Name
Date won, track
Pelekai Sacred Valpolicella Undertake Sands Of Time Concessions
June 2, Newcastle June 4, Newmarket June 4, Newmarket June 6, Lingfield Park June 7, Lingfield Park June 9, Chelmsford City
Brazen Belle Time Scale Emotional Moment Blackberry She Do
June 11, Beverley June 15, Chepstow June 21, Kempton Park June 24, Hamilton Park June 30, Doncaster
Newsells Park Stud Limited Cheveley Park Stud Limited Stratford Place Stud Cheveley Park Stud Limited Miss K. Rausing Front House Syndicate & Wilgerbosdrift (UK) Ltd K. Nicholson The An Ghalanta Partnership W. & R. Barnett Ltd S. E. Chappell New England Stud, A. Nicoll & Sir P. Vela
Newsells Park Stud Limited Cheveley Park Stud Limited C. N. Wright Cheveley Park Stud Limited Miss K. Rausing H. H. Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa K. Nicholson Qatar Racing Limited Gerald Ryan S. Chappell & Partner W. J. & T. C. O. Gredley
% bonus won
50 50 50 50 100 100 100 100 100 100 50
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The Kitten’s Joy story
Initially shunned by breeders, Kitten’s Joy is today one of the world’s elite stallions, a rise that is testament to the passion of Ken and Sarah Ramsey Words: Nancy Sexton • Photos: George Selwyn
en Ramsey had a choice to make. Kitten’s Joy and Roses In May had taken his famous Ramsey colours on a Grade 1 whirlwind, between them racking up four wins at the highest level, and now stud plans were in the offing. Interest from Japan was strong. Which one to sell? “The Japanese wanted to buy both of them but I only wanted to sell one,” remembers Ramsey. That was back in 2005 and not once have Ramsey and his wife Sarah had cause to regret his decision since then. As Dubai World Cup winner Roses In May headed to Japan, Ramsey used the money from that transaction to fund the Kitten’s Joy
project, installing the son of El Prado at his Ramsey Farm in Kentucky and compiling a weighty broodmare band with which to support the horse. Today, 15 years on and fuelled by the drive of his owner, Kitten’s Joy has risen to become a top sire in North America, despite evolving as a predominantly turf influence in a market underpinned by dirt racing. All the while, he has developed a keen following in Europe, where the deeds of Roaring Lion have preceded that of his current star, Kameko. Roaring Lion was a true champion for Qatar Racing, capturing the Juddmonte International, Eclipse, Irish Champion and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during an outstanding three-year-old
Ken Ramsey celebrates the Breeders’ Cup win of Stephanie’s Kitten
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Kitten’s Joy: an international influence at stud in Kentucky
season. Yet in 2,000 Guineas hero and Derby fourth Kameko, another Keeneland September Sale purchase, the Qatar team have unearthed a son of similar stature. It’s a remarkable story for a stallion who was initially shunned by breeders. When Kitten’s Joy retired to Ramsey Farm in Kentucky in 2006, the Ramseys could stand behind a homebred who was an Eclipse Award-winning champion and earner of close to $2.1 million. Trained by Dale Romans, he had won nine races including the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. Then there was his pedigree. One of the finest sired by Adena Springs’ El Prado, Vincent O’Brien’s winner of the 1991 National Stakes, he was a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Precious Kitten as well as the dam of champion American juvenile Dreaming Of Anna. On paper, their dam, the Lear Fan mare Kitten’s First, was only a minor winner but in reality she had actually flashed talent in a career cut short by injury. “We bought Kitten’s First as a yearling,” says Ramsey. “She was a very fast filly. Bill Mott had her. “I remember Bill wanted to run her first time at Belmont Park against the colts. I thought it was the wrong thing to do but anyway she ran and she won. So we decided to send her to Monmouth Park for the Junior Champion Stakes. Coming out of the gate, she banged herself and broke her hip. She was pulled up in front of the stands, loaded into the horse ambulance and taken back to the barn. “When we got to the barn, the vet wanted to put her down. She was lying down but we got her to stand and Bill’s assistant at the time, Tom Albertrani, offered to stay with her for the night. The next morning when we came by she was happy enough to be eating some hay. “She came home after about 40 days and then came the question of which stallion to breed her to. Our farm manager suggested that we use a small stallion. We bred her and she had a foal. But then she lost a couple and the vet recommended we stop with her. I suggested that we might try a caesarean and that’s how Kitten’s Joy came to be – we sent her to El Prado and he was born with the vets by caesarean.” The idea at that time that the resulting foal might develop into a champion on the track would have been perceived as a far-fetched dream. Yet Kitten’s Joy came to be crowned North America’s champion grass horse of 2004, and then with the help of those around him, including farm manager Mark Partridge, Ramsey set about developing him into a champion sire.
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The Kitten’s Joy story Roaring Lion: a champion for Qatar Racing
“We ended up with three Grade 1 winners at the same time – Kitten’s Joy, Roses In May and Nothing To Lose,” he says. “We didn’t have many mares at the time and I had sold Roses In May, so we used the money from that to claim mares for Kitten’s Joy. I was determined to give him every opportunity. “He started at an affordable price [$25,000] and I felt he was cheap. He was a champion, he’s a grandson of Sadler’s Wells and the first five stallions in his sire line are all champions. But no one wanted to use him as he was a turf horse.” Kitten’s Joy covered 127 mares in that initial season but the majority belonged to Ramsey Farm. “Very few of those mares were claimed for more than $50,000,” says Ramsey. “We thought with his pedigree that bringing in more Northern Dancer would be a good cross for him and so it has proven.” The Ramseys went on to breed each of Kitten’s Joy’s first 16 stakes winners and today can boast to have bred 66 of the the stallion’s 98 overall. Among them are several heavyweights including Real Solution, Big Blue Kitten and Admiral Kitten, who between them swept the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Sword
Dancer and Secretariat Stakes during an outstanding afternoon in August 2013. Breeders’ Cup winners Bobby’s Kitten and Stephanie’s Kitten, successful in the Turf Sprint and Filly and Mare Turf in their respective years, later followed. All the while, international breeders began to pay attention. George Strawbridge was one of the first outside names to reap the rewards of patronage as the owner-breeder of Grade 3 winner Kitten Point, and by the time Kitten’s Joy’s fee had hit $100,000 in 2014 following his first North American sires’ championship (he was champion sire again in 2018), the horse had secured support from the Queen, Aga Khan, Niarchos family and Juddmonte Farms. Recent seasons have featured an emerging affinity with Qatar Racing but the Maktoum family have also enjoyed success with his progeny, notably via Hawkbill, an Eclipse Stakes winner for Godolphin, and Group 2 winner Taareef, one of Sheikh Hamdan’s better French colts of 2016 and 2017. And not only is 2020 just about Kameko since Joseph O’Brien’s yard houses last month’s Gallinule Stakes winner Crossfirehurricane, who races as a homebred for Scott Heider.
Growing international band of sons out to provide further joy European breeders gained an early opportunity to tap into Kitten’s Joy with the retirement of top sprinter Bobby’s Kitten to Lanwades Stud in Newmarket. Yet another major Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred by the sire, Bobby’s Kitten defeated No Nay Never when successful in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and was the near ninelength winner of his sole Irish start, the Listed Cork Stakes over 6f, for Dermot Weld. Bobby’s Kitten retired in 2017 at a fee of £12,500 and is already off to a bright start with his first crop of two-year-olds; at the time of writing, he had sired two debut winners in Sands Of Time, successful at Lingfield Park for Kirsten Rausing and Mark Johnston, and Miami Joy, who got up to win at Kempton Park for Ismail Mohammed. Sands Of Time was an appropriate first winner for her sire in that she descends from Rausing’s Sushila family and is therefore a member of one of Lanwades Stud’s’ oldest lines. “I was thrilled to have the first son of Kitten’s Joy to stud in Europe and I’m delighted with the start that he has made,” says Rausing. “I have two with Mark Johnston, including Sands Of Time, a nice filly with Sir Mark Prescott named Alambrista and another with Marcus Tregoning named Alcachoca – both Alambrista and Alcachoca belong to the Alruccaba family. Of the others, I also bought a filly out of All Mine and she is with Richard Fahey. “Bobby’s Kitten himself has a very steady temperament and he seems to pass that down – they’re nice, co-operative horses.”
Bobby’s Kitten, in whom the Ramseys have retained multiple breeding rights, remains the only son of Kitten’s Joy available in either Britain or Ireland. In that, there is the great sadness that the brilliant Roaring Lion is no longer with us. The charismatic grey succumbed to colic in New Zealand last year after covering 133 mares in his debut season at Tweenhills Farm and Stud in Gloucestershire. His book included 82 stakes winners and/or producers, among them big names such as Just The Judge and Simple Verse, and obviously members of that sole crop will be highly prized commodities. By contrast, another former British-based son, Darley’s two-time Group 1 winner Hawkbill, covered 39 mares in his first season in Newmarket last year and has since been switched to Darley’s base in Japan. France, meanwhile, is home to Group 2 winner Taareef, who stands at Haras du Mezeray, and the Group 1-placed Luck Of The Kitten, who stands at Haras d’Annebault. Nevertheless, the most fertile source of Kitten’s Joy understandably remains North America. One of the earliest sons to retire to stud, Arlington Million hero Real Solution, has sired a handful of stakes winners in his first three crops. He stands at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, whose support of the line extends to another Grade 1-winning son in Big Blue Kitten. His first crop includes the three-parts sister to Kameko who sold for £200,000 to David Redvers at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale in Doncaster last month. Hopes also run high for Oscar Performance, a multiple Grade 1 winner and record-setting miler who has propelled
36 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
A new dawn
There was a danger, however, of Kentucky breeders not quite realising what they had access to until it was too late. In the autumn of 2017, Ramsey announced that the horse would likely leave Kentucky to continue his stud career in Newmarket. Ramsey was speaking in the aftermath of that year’s Keeneland September Sale, where Kitten’s Joy’s yearlings had sold for an average of around $112,000 - not a figure that
allowed much breathing space off a fee of $100,000. A lack of commercial respect had dogged Kitten’s Joy up until then and so a switch to Europe for the stallion’s twilight years was mooted. John Sikura of Hill ’n’ Dale Farm, however, had other ideas.
“His offspring have helped us reach unbelievable heights” “I read that Ken Ramsey was disappointed in the sale reception to the horse and that he was going to go to Europe,” says Sikura. “And the decision was quite far along the road. But I had tried to buy into the horse earlier in his career and Ken had listened back then, so I thought well I have nothing to lose if I ask again. “Kitten’s Joy had made Ramsey Farm,
the historic Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky back into the stallion industry. Supported by a powerful syndicate that include his breeders John and Jerry Amerman, George Strawbridge, the Coolmore-affiliated Orpendale, Glennwood Farm and Mike Ryan, Oscar Performance has just completed his second season at a fee of $20,000. “He got almost as many mares in his second season as he did in his first,” says Mill Ridge’s Price Bell. “Many people who bred to him in the first year bred back in the second year, and then a couple of the shareholders who were originally down to breed one or two mares ended up sending more. “He’s an attractive horse with a lot of charisma and presence, and from what we’ve seen, his first foals are the same.” A particularly enticing aspect of Oscar Performance’s race record is the fact that the $2.3 million earner ran free of Lasix in a career that featured eight wins, including the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at two, Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and Secretariat Stakes at three and Grade 1 Woodbine Mile at four. “There is a brilliance to Oscar Performance,” says Bell. “He had a quickness from the gate that saw him forwardly placed in his races. He won four Grade 1 races and broke Elusive Quality’s 20-year track record in the Poker Handicap. For us, it was wonderful to have raised him and then for him to come back and stand with us.” Respect should also be garnered by Divisidero, who retired to Airdrie Stud in Kentucky for 2020 as the winner of seven races including back-to-back renewals of the Grade 1 Churchill Downs Turf Classic. The horse, who is inbred to Sadler’s Wells, stands for $7,500.
he had been the heartbeat of that farm, driven the enthusiasm of the staff. It’s very hard to find a horse like him; he’s as good a sire as Bold Ruler or Storm Cat, except his surface is turf not dirt. I said to Ken that he might never find another one like him. He’s a horse that produces multiple Grade 1 winners every year – he throws great offspring. So we made the deal.” Ramsey adds: “It was a done deal for him to stand in Newmarket. The stud made an offer I couldn’t refuse. “But I cut the deal without consulting with my wife or family. And my wife said ‘no, I do not want my horse to go to Europe’. It wasn’t until then that I realised just how much the horse meant to my family, not just the horse himself but his progeny and all the memories that go with it. “I interviewed five different farms in Kentucky before settling on John Sikura. He’s young, he’s a go-getter and has great European contacts.” So Kitten’s Joy made the short journey across Kentucky to Hill ’n’ Dale for the 2018 season. His fee was dropped to $60,000 and he has been booked full every season since, latterly at $75,000. “The internationalisation of the horse was key to our programme,” says Sikura.
Oscar Performance: strongly supported
“His name has been prophetic because he has brought so much joy,” says Ramsey “We have won 33 leading owners titles at Churchill Downs, a record, and we recently celebrated our 504th win. That would not have happened if it weren’t for Kitten’s Joy. His offspring have helped us reach unbelievable heights and have taken us all over the world. “What makes him so great is their will to win. His standout feature is his consistency. He’s had 28 Grade 1 performers and 14 individual Grade 1 winners. No stallion has produced two Grade 1 winners in every year for the past eight years. And he’s been a top three sire in each of the last five years. He’s just so consistent.”
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 37
›› “That was the purpose of our strategy, to
bring the horse to the attention of various international breeders and then it’s up to the horse to bring that plan to fruition. We dropped the fee to a level that was below what we felt he was worth but we wanted to offer value and get the seasons in.
“He’s as good a sire as Bold Ruler or Storm Cat, except his surface is turf” “Ken Ramsey made the horse. A lot of Kitten’s Joy’s success is of his own making. But when you have that situation, no matter how successful the horse is, people might not feel a part of it; I think that was part of the problem at the sales. “He’s a great stallion. Galileo is on another planet but I think you can stand
Kitten’s Joy up against any other sire in Europe. Europe has the best turf horses in the world so for him to be regarded as a Classic sire there is a unique achievement. It’s very rewarding for us and very rewarding for Ken Ramsey.” Kitten’s Joy will turn 20 next year but the story is far from over. His books will be tightened in light of his advancing years as Hill ’n’ Dale seeks to “look after and respect him” but against that, his popularity continues to swell. And when that glorious stud career comes to a close, a place in retirement is assured at Ramsey Farm. Kameko: Guineas hero is a new star for his sire
The Kitten’s Joy story
John Sikura: Kitten’s Joy ‘offers value’
“Kitten’s Joy will come back here once his stud career is over,” says Ramsey. “He can live here alongside Catienus, one of our first stallions, and we also have plans to bring Roses In May back from Japan. “He has been a horse of a lifetime for us. Everyone involved with him has made money and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”
OSCAR PERFORMANCE Kitten’s Joy - Devine Actress by Theatrical (IRE)
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Key SUPPORT From supplemental aids that complement feeding to good farriery, there is plenty to consider when it comes to an effective sales preparation
Words: Carl Evans
e are what we eat’ goes the saying, but that is also true of the food we give horses. If you add in a physical challenge, the need to focus on the type, quantity and quality of food becomes more acute, particularly when preparing foals and yearlings for the sales. In an ideal world these young horses need to be physically fit, look good, appear bright and switched on, yet sensible and willing. Get the diet wrong and those aims are likely to be found under the column marked ‘not sold’. Feed, and increasingly supplements, play a key role in the weeks or months of ‘prep’ which lead to a date with the auctioneer. Polly Bonnor, Director of Thoroughbred Nutrition for Kent-based Saracen Horse Feeds, says feeding for
Supplements have a key role in helping a yearling peak for their date in the ring
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the sales “is more of an art than people realise,” and since a horse can change shape or condition in little more than a day, having a feed specialist to turn to can rescue a potentially damaging reduction in a horse’s value. Can there be anything more dispiriting for a consignor or breeder than to find their foal or yearling goes on hunger strike when they arrive at the sales complex? Louise Jones, an equine nutritionist for 20 years and now Head of Equine for feed manufacturers Connolly’s Red Mills, agrees that the food given to foals and yearlings is often more tailored than that for our children, but she points out: “We are not expecting our children to turn into elite athletes.” She adds: “These horses are going to be on the track as young animals, so we are not only feeding them to look good at the sales, but also to provide those foundations for the athletic endeavour they will face in the future. For instance, bone health – it is critical that we get the nutrients right so young animals have those foundations to build on when they go into training.” For those of us who grew up loving the smells of the feed room – the sweetness of molasses and the Hovis smell of oats and bran mash – a freshly-opened bag of feed is a pleasant trip down memory lane. You won’t find many chaff cutters or vats of simmering barley in contemporary feed rooms because manufacturers have condensed the best of yesteryear into easy-to-
feed nuts or cereals that have all the old qualities and none of the labour. Horse owners simply have to settle on a supplier, but that presents a challenge in itself. Aren’t all manufacturers’ feeds the same, but in different packaging? Saracen’s Polly Bonnor disagrees, saying: “We believe we are different because we feed to a body type, so we feed a yearling who is destined to be a sprinter very differently from one who will
“Feed for young stock will contain more quality protein” run over middle distances. One is a short, butty, easy-to-muscle type that could get fat if given the wrong type of feed, but if you try to feed the tall, rangy type in the same way as the sprinter you would struggle to build them up. We do the same with racehorses, so why not start the process before they go into training?” Giving a layman’s guide to the nuances of feeding, Connolly’s Red Mills’ Louise Jones says: “There’s a massive range of feed on the market, but the majority of companies break them down into segments for end users. “For example, feed for young stock will contain more quality protein and higher levels of vitamins and minerals than you would find in
leisure horse feed. “Companies will then segment further. For example, feeds designed for sales prep are typically higher in oil to give a nice coat condition and may also have higher levels of antioxidants to support the immune system. I would say to anybody who is prepping horses for the sales, give your feed company a ring because they will have the experts that can advise on individual circumstances and help you get the best from your youngstock. “Good nutritionists will also analyse your forage. During prep time this means looking in particular at the digestibility, nutrient and mineral content of conserved forage such as hay and haylage. You need to know what’s in such forage in order to select the most suitable hard feed and supplements.” While on forage, can’t foal vendors simply rely on mother’s milk and a good crop of grass to make the best start in life? Jones says: “Mares’ milk is obviously important, but at around three months old the nutritional value starts to decline.” She adds: “High-quality grass is a good source of calories and protein, but we have done a lot of research into grass and know for example that it‘s short of copper – which relates to joint health – and zinc, which ties in with hoof health.” Jones recommends that foals receive a suitable hard feed, saying: “For foals that are doing well a nutrient-rich balancer such as Grocare Balancer may be all that’s required, while for others needing a higher-calorie diet we would recommend
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Sales supplements ›› Foal & Yearling Cooked Mix or Premier
Yearling Cubes.” When it comes to creep feeding, weaning or sales prep, why not ask the expert? Jones says: “Our entire team has a strong equine background and are backed up by nutritional specialists. We provide our customers with regular nutritional reviews, particularly during key periods such as youngstock prep.”
Celebrity chefs may vie to unlock the secrets of the kitchen, yet most chefs pride themselves on having a few trade secrets which give their dishes an x-factor. It seems feed manufacturers are no different, priding themselves on being able to offer customers the best ingredients cooked in state-of-the-art mills, while gaining an edge in the cooking process and after-care service. Louise Jones of Connolly’s Red Mills says: “There are a lot of good feed companies out there, but the specialism comes in when you are building on basic requirements and thinking about optimal nutrition and specific ingredients that will help an animal. “With our low-starch Horse Care range we include a care package to help support stomach health and hind gut health, immune function and hoof condition. Prepping a horse for sale is such a tight timeframe that you want to make sure you are crossing the Ts and dotting the Is to get there in the best health.” Polly Bonnor believes a cross-Atlantic arrangement has given Saracen an edge, and says: “We teamed up 20 years ago with Kentucky Equine Research, a world leader in the advancement of breeding and athletic performance through nutrition. “There are certain
From kitchen to table, and mill to stable
elements we ship from America that give us some patents other companies don’t have. The digestibility of the nutrient and how available it is to the horse is one example. “As a member of [rock band] The Clash once said, ‘we’ve all got the same instruments, but it’s how we put the notes together to make our songs that count’. It’s the way we combine feed materials that makes it work for horses.” Such an analogy can be brought closer to home says Catherine Rudenko, a nutritionist who advises Saracen. She says: “People say feed is simply oats or barley, but my comparison is Jamie Oliver’s cook book. Even with that book I don’t cook as well as him, and it’s the researchers and formulators behind the scenes whose skills at cooking a recipe makes the difference – and it does.” So while feed manufacturers do not employ celebrity chefs, their staff range from experts in buying raw materials, converting it into feed, testing it for purity and then advising wholesalers and endusers alike.
Supplementing the feeding programme
It is probably fair to say that many foals and yearlings go through the sales preparation process on a relatively simple diet of good quality feed, water and hay or haylage. However, supplements give consignors other options when horses develop issues that can inhibit their Farrier Simon Curtis
performance, for instance going off their feed, showing signs of joint issues or presenting behavioural challenges. Even the most amenable colt or filly can have a bad day at the office, but unlike humans they can’t reach for a cigarette or glass of wine. Cereal-free feed such as Re-Leve is an option says Polly Bonnor of Saracen, for it maintains a more-trainable temperament. This is key at the all-important inspection stage when points are deducted by prospective buyers if yearlings jig-jog or swing their heads and hindquarters around. “Some horses stay on Re-Leve all the way through the prep stage,” says Bonnor. Rudenko says: “In racing and even in sales prep horses need high-carbohydrate feed because of the workload, which is so different to that given to horses in the leisure riding world. If you reduce the starch level and raise the fat profile you can alter the horse’s system so they are less reactive.” Feed and exercise can also be used to adjust the look and outline of a horse, says Bonnor, so, for example, a mature filly can retain an image of strength, keep her shape without ‘overmuscling’ and stay feminine. The aim with all sales prep horses is to make them look racy, but without putting strain on their joints. Supplement specialist Foran Equine is a sister company to Connolly’s Red Mills, whose Head of Equine, Louise Jones, says: “Supplements play a big role during sales prep. For instance, if you have an anxious colt that’s going to stress in the sales environment you might consider a lower starch feed and a calming supplement like Nutri-Calm, or for an underdeveloped youngster, a hydrolysed protein supplement such as Muscle Prep can be immensely beneficial.” Feed provides the foundations of the diet, says Jones, but adds: “Supplements
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sympathetic ympathetic to the developing digestive system n Stand out condition without the stand up! n Calorie dense for reduced volume feeding TARGETED AT Those prone to excitability when fed traditional prepping feeds Foals and youngstock needing to gain condition and top line Consignors looking for a simple all-in-one feed solution Thoroughbred Manager - Simon Venner 07977 441 571 Nutrition Director - Liz Bulbrook 07850 368 271 Tel: 01371 850247 www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk
Sales supplements horses or address specific concerns.” On that theme, Rudenko says: “There is no need to supplement from a nutrient point of view. Feed will provide vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids, which is your core nutrition. Supplements deal with environmental problems and help to change the horse’s physiological response. That could be related to digestive health, to physitis [the swelling around growth plates of bones in young horses], to coat quality. They are examples
“Thoroughbred feet are more delicate than those of native breeds” not of nutritional needs, but supplement needs.” The process of sales preparation, particularly for yearlings, inevitably means stepping up their exercise and the amount of feed they consume. This can lead to hind gut issues, which is where a supplement that acts as a hind gut buffer has a role. EquiShure is a commonly used acid buffer from Saracen, while Synovate supports joint health through the preparation process. As Bonnor says: “The aim is to help the horse feel comfortable and maintain their stride length so they walk well, look well and sell well.” With yearling sales taking place in September and October horses start their preparation in July or August, and even in northern Europe that can mean exercise in hot weather. Adding an electrolyte to a horse’s feed helps prevent dehydration. Restore SR is Saracen’s electrolyte, and Rudenko says: “Electrolytes are the supplement, but you can also feed beet pulp and mashes such as Recovery Mash. If horses are stressed through travelling or being at the sales, and don’t drink properly they can look whippety and tucked up. “Getting your horse used to having beet pulp or mash in a feed will help them keep their frame at the sales.”
Size matters – ask any feed company
Foals and yearlings tend to arrive at sales via one of two routes – those who
were prepped at the stud where they were born and those who join specialist consignors for six to eight weeks (occasionally longer) of fine tuning. The result is that some yearlings go under the auctioneer’s hammer having eaten just one brand of feed, while others will have switched at the start of preparation. Polly Bonnor says that can influence the advice they give clients. When it comes to feed quantity, she says: “What type of exercise will the yearling be given? Some will just go on a walker, most will be lunged, others will be hand-walked across the downs, around fields or along lanes. “Secondly, are they homebreds [being prepped by their breeders] or have they come in exclusively to spend six to eight weeks being prepped? If a homebred yearling has been in a good nutritional environment all the way we’re working on a rising plain of nutrition, but if a horse comes in solely for prep a consignor may have to feed at a higher rate.” Other factors abound, such as the very warm, dry weather Britain experienced in April and May this year, following a very wet winter and frosts in March which affected grass growth.
Farriery – it’s all about foot fall
Most of us will have experienced the misery of sore feet at some time, if only through wearing new shoes that blistered heels and toes. It takes little imagination to transfer that to the feet of horses, and while they are spared strappy high heels and flipflops they can suffer soreness in a variety of ways. Add in the inspections feet are given at a bloodstock sale and neat, symmetrical, healthy-looking hooves are a key element. “Thoroughbred feet are more delicate than those of native breeds,” says Newmarketbased farrier Dr. Simon Curtis, an Honorary Associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. “The hoof wall is about ten per cent thinner and lighter than those of a similar-sized horse. “The hoof is at the end of the pendulum, and more energy is expended flinging something heavy in front of you – no one set out Polly Bonnor: ‘feeding is an art’
to breed thinner-hooved horses, but that is the consequence of breeding this extraordinary athlete.” Good farriery and good feed are a necessity for the young thoroughbred’s feet, while diligent stable management has a place, too, and there are also supplements that can aid the consignor’s path to the sales ring. Curtis says: “Top professional stud farms call upon their farriers when foals are one month old, and then every month. Feet at that age are growing fast, and can grow out of shape fast. If there is a perceived problem the front feet may be checked at two weeks and then every two weeks. Trim early and trim often is now the norm and is extending to young horses in other disciplines. “The horse is the only animal that stands on one digit, one toe, and all the force goes through that. Weight is never evenly distributed, and that can push a hoof out of shape. The farrier’s job is to keep the foot evenly and symmetrically shaped, which helps the loading up through the limb. At the sales there will be some nit-picking, but the vast majority of horses have extremely good conformation.” Farriers cannot correct an off-set knee, although they may be able to improve a mild case, and they can improve a bend in the bone or the joint, says Curtis, who adds: “When a foal is young and developing and the growth plates are active we can have a big effect. For instance, a horse who is back at the knee can be improved by trimming the heels so they are further
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If farriers can keep good hooves healthy and attractive, and help with issues that may arise, what about feed, supplements and other hoof-care products as part of a uniform approach? Curtis says: “Thoroughbreds are fed so well they rarely suffer from a lack of nutrition, and while there are supplements that are designed to maintain healthy feet, and you will find the occasional yearling at the sales with a crack in a hoof, it’s not common. “I do recommend Hoof Hardener [from Keratex] although I once said to the founder of the business that it wasn’t a good promotional name because people associate hard with brittle. It [Hoof Hardener] chemically recombines the keratin and is very good on brittle hooves. It’s good for preventing foals getting footsore, and when I’ve rasped hooves that have been treated with Keratex they sound different. Lanolin-based hoof oils will control moisture loss. “A problem that is developing in yearling preparation is the use of [mechanical] walkers which are rarely cleaned spotlessly and means horses are walking around in their own urine and faeces. Uric acid will dissolve hoof, as a result of which thrush [bacterial infection of the frog] has become a problem. Silver Feet [a barrier protection and hoof balm] is a product I have used that works.” Does walking yearlings during sales prep cause hoof problems? Curtis says: “The perfect pattern is five weeks before the sales shoe them in front, one week before the sale carry out the final shoeing. Yearlings’ hooves are growing faster than adult horses, and this way you have quite a bit of hoof to work with to get them spot-on for the sale. Any more than that is unnecessary, but in dry summer when the ground is hard you want to avoid hooves cracking out. Hind feet don’t carry as much weight, but some people like yearlings shod behind at the five-week stage.” The ability to stick shoes to hooves, has been a useful innovation for farriers, says Curtis, and while glues have improved in their efficiency they can restrict movement of the hoof wall. Glue Charlie Vigors: ‘keep it simple’
›› back to give more support.”
Yearlings require certain feed and supplements when out at grass
can therefore be a useful ally, rather than a replacement for nails. Copper nails, which are anti-microbial, are an alternative to traditional steel nails. Other innovations include hoof putty, which can plug a small puncture hole, and products which can patch broken hoof horn. Accidents happen, and while perfect feet look good buyers at a sale will forgive a patched hoof.
“Keep it simple when it comes to feeding,” says Hillwood Stud’s Charlie Vigors, who with his wife Tracy is a leading consignor of yearlings based in Wiltshire. He buys from Saracen, and says: “We feed each horse individually, using a cube with all the key ingredients. We might add some speedy beet [Rapid Beet] or oil if we feel that would help certain horses – beet is useful if a horse runs up a bit light – plus chaff which we buy from Dengie. “We try not to over-face them. It’s no good piling food into a horse because that way you suppress their appetite. How would you feel if you were given a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, followed by another one a few hours later?” Lincolnshire-based Bumble Mitchell is another fan of simplicity, and says: “We have fed Dodson & Horrell Stud Cubes for years and our horses have always done well on it. Oil keeps things moving in their gut, and we feed the yearlings small amounts of Suregrow while they are out at grass in the summer.
“We use a supplement called V-Biotic [now rebranded as Everyday Vitamin & Mineral] that we buy from Equine America and which tops up everything we need. The yearlings get it all year round, and come in from grass for the final preparation looking really well.” Bumble preps and sells foals and yearlings, and says: “We use Keratex Hoof Hardener on the foals’ feet. Foals work much harder than yearlings at the sales because more people want to inspect them. They are not wearing shoes and can get foot sore, but Keratex seems to work.”
Thumbs up to NAF
Few jumps trainers had a more gratifying win last season than Christian Williams, the Welshman who in his fourth season landed Chepstow’s Welsh National with Potters Corner. Glamorgan-based Williams feeds Dodson & Horrell racehorse and conditioning cubes, plus a range of supplements which are sourced from his yard sponsor NAF Equine. He is working with jumpers of racing age rather than pre-sale youngstock, but his views are worth hearing. “We use NAF’s Raceon range, including Gastro Form, a pellet for ulcers which means we scope horses less often, Clean Wind, which reduces snotty noses and coughs, and Rapid Recovery, which picks them up after a race, especially if they have had a long journey,” he says. “Our strike-rate at Fakenham, which is seven hours in a lorry from here, indicates it works. “One of our horses, Uno Mas, was second at Doncaster and then won at Catterick the next day having been fed Rapid Recovery overnight.” From calming supplements to joint health, and skin and hoof products, NAF’s range has something for most foal or yearling consignors.
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
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Fruits of GBB poised to assist in this difficult year
GREAT BRITISH BONUS
s highlighted in the earlier pages of this magazine, the welcome effects of the Great British Bonus (GBB) have already been felt across the industry spectrum. A total of 11 bonuses were won during June and at the time of writing another three had been paid out in July, including a first jumps prize. In the case of Kempton Park winner Emotional Moment, a mere 15,000gns yearling purchase by trainer Amy Murphy, Gerald Ryan’s filly paid for herself in one swoop. As for owner Kevin Nicholson, he is looking forward to targeting other GBB races with homebred Brazen Belle, who won her connections a full £20,000 when successful on debut at Beverley. We all know the economic hardships that face the smaller British breeder. It was revealed within the TBA’s Economic Impact Study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and released in 2018, that a breeder could expect to suffer an estimated average loss of £12,000 on a National Hunt-bred yearling filly. Similar scenarios also lurk within the Flat world, particularly in the middle and lower markets. And given the challenging world outside our own bubble brought on by Covid-19, those realities could become even more brutal as time goes on. So the idea that this scheme, which was driven by the findings out of that TBA study, will do something to alleviate the challenges of selling a filly at auction is very welcome. In an industry where low levels of prize-money remain a hot talking point, a single bonus worth £20,000 is a real shot in the arm, not only for owners but for everyone associated with the horse; described by James Gray of Elusive Bloodstock as being akin to “a golden ticket”, it will filter down through the system as time goes on. For the smaller syndicate there is suddenly the chance to cover costs or even make money off racecourse performance. Trainers, owners and agents now also have a greater incentive to buy fillies at auction. Perhaps that will filter down to pinhooker behaviour. Similarly, the idea of retaining a filly
A total of 11 bonuses were paid out through the Great British Bonus in June
to race has perhaps become now more appealing for owner-breeders. It also may encourage the increased patronisation of British-based stallions. We have seen how various incentives can impact buyer behaviour. The Tattersalls October Book 1 bonus, worth £25,000 to the connections of a winning horse, is a case in point when you consider how some trainers have targeted that sale with the intention of stocking up on eligible horses. The beauty of GBB, however, is that qualified fillies land a bonus for every win in an eligible race; thus, there is scope for an individual to become a multiple winner under both codes. Perhaps it’s too much to ask for GBB to sway the thinking of buyers completely. However, it’s an excellent place to start and with support and time it should become an invaluable tool in the armoury of British breeding.
A strange Derby in a strange year. Serpentine’s winning performance at Epsom had many dumbfounded, with his display of relentless galloping taking him more than five lengths clear of the pursuing pack just days after he had broken his maiden at the Curragh. As far as Galileo is concerned, however, the Derby was just business as usual. Records are there to be broken in Galileo’s world and thanks to Serpentine the great Coolmore stallion is now the most successful Derby stallion in history
with five winners. The previous record of four was jointly held by Sir Peter Teazle, Waxy, Cyllene, Blandford and Galileo’s late stud companion Montjeu, who died at the relatively young age of 16. The Derby landmark came just weeks after Galileo had claimed another record courtesy of Peaceful’s victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly was Galileo’s 85th winner at Group or Grade 1 level, thereby surpassing the record set by Danehill, and appropriately arrived in the same Classic that had set this momentous run in motion 14 years ago. The plaudits on that May afternoon in 2006 belonged to Dermot Weld’s Nightime, who recorded a six-length success to become Galileo’s first winner at the top level. Now the tally stands at 86, 50 of them raced by the Coolmore partners. In addition to the five Derby winners, there are the four Oaks heroines, a tally that was also bolstered this year by the brilliant Love; appropriately, the last time a stallion pulled off a sweep of the Epsom Classics was Sadler’s Wells back in 2001 courtesy of Imagine and Galileo himself. Yet quite simply, Galileo’s dominance can be summed up by the 11 British and Irish sires championships; a 12th already looks assured this year. Indeed, it is not too hard to envisage him one day becoming the most successful championship sire of all time ahead of Sadler’s Wells. Before then, there are more records to be broken.
48 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Sales Circuit • By Nancy Sexton
Sense of relief as breeze-up season opens in solid fashion A sense of relief pervaded the Tattersalls Craven Sale in Newmarket, the belated opener to the breeze-up season. With scores of two-year-olds, mostly pinhooks, to move on this spring, the breeze-up community have been among the chief sufferers of all the ramifications of Covid-19, with their sales calendar pushed back by over two months. None could be blamed for choosing to sell what stock they could privately. On the other hand, others opted to take their chance at public auction. The end result was a depleted Craven catalogue of 84 lots - down from an original entry of 154 - staged in an arena at Park Paddocks governed by strict protocols. Johnny Collins of the County Cork-based Brown Island Stables admitted that he could have easily sold his Night Of Thunder colt privately in the days before the sale. Instead he took the brave decision to sit on his well regarded youngster, a move that paid off in spades when he went on to top the sale at 575,000gns to the bid of Tom Biggs of Blandford Bloodstock. Not only did the transaction turn a fine profit on the £72,000 that Collins had paid for the colt at last year’s Goffs UK Premier Sale but it also provided a
Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale
This colt by Night Of Thunder topped the Craven Sale, selling for 575,000gns
landmark achievement for the vendor, for whom it was a first sale-topper. “I had a good one by Night Of Thunder last year [dual winner Path Of Thunder] and really wanted to get another to join the team,” said Collins. “He went through the ring very early at Doncaster and looked like an April 28 foal. “The time delay this spring has probably helped him, but he has always been a powerful galloper.” Bred in Britain by The Flying One,
the colt is the third foal out of triple winner Thurayaat, a Tamayuz granddaughter of 1,000 Guineas and Oaks heroine Midway Lady. Plans call for the colt to be trained in Newmarket, as Biggs explained. “He will stay in Newmarket,” he said. “It was a little more than we had wanted to spend, but you have to pay for this sort of horse. He is a lovely horse, he did a very nice breeze and his sire is doing so well.” Also staying in Newmarket was a
Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale Top lots Sex/breeding
c Night Of Thunder - Thurayaat
Brown Island Stables
c American Pharoah - Harlan’s Honor
f Hard Spun - Lemonette
Cool Silk Partnership/ Stroud Coleman
c Kodiac - Life Of Pi
Church Farm & Horse Park Stud
c Kodiac - Honeymead
Chris Dwyer, agent
Buyer Blandford Bloodstock Simon Chappell
Three-year tale Year
Top price (gns)
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 49
Sales Circuit joined Simon Crisford after selling for 400,000gns out of the Star Bloodstock draft to an online bid from owner Simon Chapell. Picked up for $170,000 at Keeneland last September by Byron Rogers and Newminster Bloodstock, the colt is out of minor American stakes winner Harlan’s Honor. Big prices aside, no one could pretend that it wasn’t a challenging day for some vendors. The closing figures showed a drop in trade across-theboard, with 70 lots selling for a total of 6,649,500gns, down 36% from 2019, and at an average of 94,993gns, a drop of 22%. The median fell by 28% to 61,000gns. Barely half the pinhooks offered turned a profit (taking into account those that sold on their last auction appearance) although against that, 82% through the ring were listed as sold. The Craven Sale was the first auction at Tattersalls in over a decade to offer
›› popular son of American Pharoah, who
Johnny Collins: celebrated a first sale-topper with a colt pinhooked for just £72,000
internet bidding and although there were teething problems, its addition helped aid a welcome level of international participation. As
Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony outlined in his closing statement, buyers from an array of different countries made their presence felt. “We should equally recognise the huge contribution made by today’s purchasers,” said Mahony. “Even in these extraordinary times we have had buyers active from all corners of the world including Australia, Bahrain, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Qatar and Spain and the domestic demand has also exceeded expectations.” He added: “We would like to pay tribute to each and every individual who has worked so hard to make sure that the 2020 Craven Breeze-up Sale took place under almost normal conditions. “In particular we should recognise the patience and commitment of the breeze-up consignors who have worked with us every step of the way and have adapted to the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown at people in every walk of life.”
Staged immediately following the Tattersalls Craven Sale almost three months later than originally intended, the Tattersalls Ascot Breeze-Up Sale provided further illustration of the resilience of this industry with a set of figures that fell only marginally adrift of last year. In all, 50 lots – 88% – changed hands for a total of 1,000,440gns. The average fell by just three per cent to 20,009gns while the median actually posted an improvement from 2019, rising by 21% to 15,750gns. They are not levels from which consignors will ever become rich but horses were being moved on, a key aspect in today’s challenging Covid-19 world. With The Lir Jet’s win in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot the preceding week still fresh in the memory, it was no surprise to see the progeny of his young sire Prince Of Lir keenly sought after. Indeed, The Lir Jet had himself been originally catalogued to the sale as Lot 40. His early withdrawal by Robson Aguiar, understandably keen to make the most of his charge’s precocious talent, left five by Prince Of Lir to choose from and they duly proved popular, with two colts leading the way at 92,000gns and 70,000gns. Heading proceedings was a half-brother to the Listed-placed Andhesontherun who sold to Mark
50 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Tattersalls Ascot Breeze-Up Sale
A colt by Prince Of Lir headed the Tattersalls Ascot Breeze-Up Sale, selling for 92,000gns
McStay of Avenue Bloodstock for 92,000gns, a fine markup on the €10,000 that vendor Thomond O’Mara of Knockanglass Stables had paid for the colt at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland September Sale. Meanwhile, the Cool Silk Partnership, which raced Prince Of Lir himself, went to 70,000gns for a colt out of the
six-time winner Little Italy from Micky Cleere’s M. C. Thoroughbreds. A fine turn was also recorded by the sale of a Starspangledbanner colt, who joined Jessica Harrington after falling to the BBA Ireland at 58,000gns. Antonio Silva paid just 10,000gns for the youngster at Book 3 of last year’s Tattersalls October Sale.
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 50
Tattersalls Ascot Breeze-Up Sale Top lots Sex/breeding
c Prince Of Lir - Harvest Joy
c Prince Of Lir - Little Italy
M. C. Thoroughbreds
Cool Silk Partnership/Stroud Coleman
c Starspangledbanner - Mysterious Burg
A. & N. Bloodstock
Three-year tale Year 2020
Arqana Breeze-Up Sale
In a spirit of real entente cordiale, Goffs UK and Arqana took the unprecedented step to amalgamate their breeze-up sales into a single day of selling. Initial plans outlined for the auction to take place at the Goffs sales paddocks in County Kildare but as concerns grew over the ease of movement between the UK and Ireland, the companies altered course and shifted the sale to Doncaster. While the move marked a return to original territory for Goffs UK, it obviously broke new ground for the French-based Arqana, which conducts the majority of business from the rather more glamorous setting of Deauville. Not that it mattered. Vendors commended sales officials for an excellent job in attracting a volume of buyers that in turn contributed to a pleasantly surprising buoyant level of trade highlighted by an average of £140,698, up from €129,798 the year before. The sale hit the ground running when the first lot into the ring, a More Than Ready colt who had been a $130,000 pinhook by Longways Stables, made
A £650,000 daughter of War Front became a first European buy for US owner Larry Best
Kerri Radcliffe: signed for the sale-topping War Front filly on behalf of OXO Equine LLC
£265,000 to Michael Bell, and within the hour there had been two further major transactions in the £650,000 sale of a War Front filly to Kerri Radcliffe and a £460,000 Shalaa colt to Bill Dwan, signing on behalf of Trimblestown Stud. The War Front filly provided Brendan Holland’s Grove Stud with a second sale-topper in as many years after the €1.1 million colt Ocean Atlantique, subsequently a Listed winner for Andre Fabre. She also turned an excellent profit for Holland, who had paid $185,000 for the filly out of last year’s Keeneland September Sale. Bred by Joseph Allen, who bred and raced her illustrious sire, she is the second foal out of Grade 3 winner Beauty Parlor, an Elusive Quality mare from the noted Gerald Leigh family of Infamy. The filly was also a first European purchase for American owner Larry Best of OXO Equine LLC. A major player at the top end of the market in the US, Best tasted Grade 1 success only days after the sale with the victory of his
Instilled Regard, a $1.05 million breeze-up purchase himself, in the Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park. “She will head to Saratoga but I am not sure who will train,” said Radcliffe. “I met Larry at the sales in America and he kept telling me ‘ring me when you see something exceptional’, so I rang him on Sunday night. I am delighted for the vendors, who have done an amazing job keeping the horses so long in such uncertainty.” It was another Keeneland September Sale pinhook, a son of Darley’s Street Boss, who provided the other major touch of the day when selling near the close of the session for £620,000. Secured by vendor Malcolm Bastard for $120,000 as a yearling, he changed hands this time around to agent Matt Coleman on behalf of Hong Kong-based trainer John Size. Fresh from topping the Tattersalls Craven Sale, there was also further success for Johnny Collins of Brown Island Stables as the vendor of an Exceed
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Sales Circuit ›› And Excel colt who made £525,000 to
Jamie McCalmont, acting on behalf of MV Magnier. Collins had paid just €43,000 for the youngster, a half-brother to the stakes-placed Born To Be, at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale. “A few weeks or even days ago, we wouldn’t have dared hope for such results,” commented Arqana President
Eric Hoyeau and Executive Director Freddy Powell in a joint statement. “The dominant feeling is immense relief that this sale, which was initially scheduled almost two months ago, has been allowed to take place and we are thrilled that the vendors are being rewarded for their patience. Our heartfelt congratulations go to the pinhookers who have showed unbelievable resilience,
maintained their faith in Arqana and Goffs, resisted private offers and adapted the preparation of their horses to the changing circumstances. “In one word, this sale has produced the best of what this industry is capable of when faced with unfavourable circumstances: unity beyond quarrels, creativity and cool head to overcome all obstacles and optimism against all odds.”
Arqana Breeze-Up Sale Top lots Sex/breeding
f War Front - Beauty Parlor
Kerri Radcliffe/OXO Equine LLC
c Street Boss - Undo
Stroud Coleman/John Size
c Exceed And Excel - Duquesa
Brown Island Stables
Jamie McCalmont/ M V Magnier
c Shalaa - Besotted
c Shamardal - Darysina
Alex Elliott, agent
Three-year tale Year
The tone for a rewarding renewal of the Arqana Breeze-Up had been set earlier in the day by a similarly satisfying Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale. In keeping with other breeze-up auctions, the sale suffered from a sizeable number of withdrawals that led to 99 of the 165-strong original catalogue passing through the ring. But of those, 89 found new homes and at an average of £44,667, only marginally down from last year’s record. The median posted a slight improvement, rising to £28,000. The nature of the breeze-up sale circuit dictates that not every pinhook will be successful and as ever, vendors at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up were not immune from such challenges. But against that, there were plenty of good turns to celebrate, notably the sale-topping son of Kingman, who blossomed from a £120,000 yearling into a £290,000 breezer for Jim McCartan of Gaybrook Lodge Stud. In an illustration of the growing international allure of this sale, the colt was purchased by Jamie Lloyd of Meah/ Lloyd Bloodstock to join the Californian stable of Richard Baltas on behalf of owner Calvin Nguyen.
Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale
This son of Kingman turned a good profit for Gaybrook Lodge Stud, selling for £290,000
The sole representative of Kingman catalogued, he boasts a fine female family as a half-brother to the Group-placed two-year-olds Marsh Hawk and Hairy Rocket. The French-based agent Nicolas de Watrigant also made his visit to Doncaster worthwhile, signing on behalf of Al Shaqab Racing at £200,000 for a son of Dandy Man from the extended family of Street Cry and Shamardal. The colt had been sold to Glenvale Stud for 80,000gns as a foal but was retained as a yearling
at 75,000gns and came to be reoffered at Doncaster through Willie Browne’s Mocklershill. Special mention must also go to former jumps jockey Andrew Lynch, who enjoyed a memorable result as the vendor of a Mehmas colt who sold for £165,000 to Alastair Donald on behalf of King Power Racing. County Meath-based Lynch, who sold the colt under his Kilbrew Stables banner, purchased the youngster privately after he failed to sell for €19,000 at last year’s Goffs Sportsman’s Sale.
52 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
yearling sales not far away. “It has been a huge team effort to get to this stage and it has been a real joy working with Arqana to hold this event. “However, the real credit for today’s achievements lie with the vendors. They have been extremely supportive during the planning of today’s sale and have kept these horses in top form for an extra two
“It’s been a very long journey to enable us to hold this sale and there have been many twists and turns along the way but we are absolutely delighted with what has been achieved today,” said Goffs UK Managing Director Tim Kent. “To deliver those results is way beyond what we could have imagined, and the timing could not be better with the
months before today. Many have resisted the temptation to sell privately and have instead shown huge faith in what we’re doing, only to be well rewarded as a result. We are nothing without our vendors and this has never been more evident than in the last three months, meaning that we are indebted to them for their loyalty.”
Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale Top lots Sex/breeding
c Kingman - Asaawir
Gaybrook Lodge Stud
Meah Lloyd Bloodstock
c Dandy Man - Light Glass
Al Shaqab Racing
c American Pharoah - Gitchee Goomie
c Mehmas - Alexander Alliance
Three-year tale Year
Keeneland Select Horses of Racing Age Digital Sale
Keeneland broke new ground with the launch of this online auction, the first sale to be hosted in a digital format by the historic Kentucky sales house. Aided by a popular draft of horses from Juddmonte Farms, the auction turned over $829,500 for 12 horses sold (including private sales), at an average of $69,125 and a median of $32,750. A top price $327,000, paid by St. Elias Stables for the well-connected Juddmonte-bred filly Trapezium, was cause for satisfaction but at the same time, only 11 of the 31 horses offered changed hands within their alloted slot. Those that failed to meet their reserve included two-year-old Queen Arella, the four-length winner of her debut at Gulfstream Park for whom
bidding stalled at $475,000. According to Keeneland officials, approximately 100 buyers registered and obtained credit prior to the sale and over 400 bids were placed. Trade was fuelled by horses catalogued from Juddmonte Farms, with the vendor accounting for five of the top six offerings. Juddmonte families are held in high regard worldwide and in the sale-topping Trapezium, a Hard Spun half-sister to Grade 2 winner Honorable Duty, buyers were offered a rare chance to tap into the revered Toussaud clan. She duly attracted a volume of attention, eventually selling to Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables, who plans to send the filly to Todd Pletcher’s barn in New York. “Trapezium comes from one of Juddmonte’s elite families,” said
Top price (£)
Garrett O’Rourke, General Manager of Juddmonte Farms. “I wasn’t sure in this format buyers would recognize her value. I was wrong. Our phone began ringing very early on; people were paying attention, doing their homework and she sold accordingly. “The online sale format was well received and embraced by buyers. There were some growing pains with registering to bid but buyers adapted quickly. It was productive and went very smoothly. We needed to move some horses and it was a big help to us.” Next best was recent Belmont Park maiden winner Eloquent Speaker. The daughter of Flatter initially failed to sell but later changed hands in a private transaction for $200,000 to Anthony Mitola.
Keeneland Select Horses of Racing Age Digital Sale Top lots Name/age/sex/breeding
Trapezium 3 f Hard Spun - Mesmeric
St. Elias Stables
Eloquent Speaker 3 f Flatter - Spoken Not Broken
Niall Brennan Stables
Oak Room 3 c Into Mischief - Privet Hedge
Steven Young, agent
Valletta 3 f Into Mischief - West Riding
Big Dom Racing Stable
Top price ($)
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 53
The special section for ROA members
Owners back on track FRANCESCA ALTOFT
uly saw the return of owners to the racecourse for the first time in 15 weeks, with a restricted number able to watch their horses run as part of a phased resumption of racing behind closed doors from Saturday, July 4. This followed a successful trial at Kempton Park and Southwell on July 1. This return applied to racecourses in England and Scotland. At the time of writing British racing was continuing to engage with the Welsh government regarding the return of owners at behind closed doors fixtures. Owners have been required to follow specific protocols when attending fixtures. The protocols were produced by the ROA, RCA and BHA who have supported evolving guidance to owners with a view to creating a more integrated raceday experience at the earliest opportunity. Over the phased introduction, the ROA, BHA and RCA liaised to develop specified ‘debrief’ areas, enabling conversations to take place between owners and trainers (and other connections) while respecting social distancing and without the need to physically move between controlled areas. Some owners expressed a degree
The atmosphere may not be the same but owners can now watch their horses in action
of frustration at what they found an apparent discrepancy with non-raceday hospitality activity, which was permitted from the same date of July 4. This scenario exists as racecourses have to comply with a range of legislation and licences that are currently in place. Some of these are only relevant when certain activities take place on the racecourse. On racedays only, racecourses are covered by the Safety at Sports Grounds Legislation and also by the Covid-19 Stage 3 guidance for Elite Sports. These two sets of legislation are very specific about the standards that should be met with regards to how the venue is operated for behind closed doors racing. On other days (i.e. non-racedays), racecourses can operate under their Liquor Licence and hence, under the Covid-19 regulations, able to offer a wider range of service including food and beverage provision. The only option open to racecourses was to follow the government’s
guidance around Elite Sports. The industry is united in demonstrating that racing can take place safely and doing everything possible to work towards the next stage. Many owners who have followed the protocols have reported a positive experience. Barbara Hester, owner of Sangha River, noted at the trial day at Southwell on July 1: “It was all incredibly well organised and executed and was a very safe environment. “I was able to speak to my trainer and jockey from the other side of ‘the garden fence’ after the race and get the very important debrief. “Being able to view Sangha in the parade ring before and afterwards in the winner’s enclosure was amazing. “I am so grateful for the hard work that the ROA has done on behalf of owners to allow us to return to racing and watch our amazing horses compete once again. The staff at Southwell were welcoming, courteous and helpful.”
PROTOCOLS FOR SALES
Tattersalls: new sale in August
In line with government guidelines relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tattersalls and Goffs sales houses have produced a set of safety protocols for all those attending upcoming sales. Latest news, sales dates and details of the protocols for visitors can be found at tattersalls.com and goffs.com respectively. Goffs has launched ‘Goffs Online’, a new online-only sales facility that will hold its first sale for horses in training immediately following the Doncaster
Summer Sale. The Summer Sale, which for 2020 replaces the Spring Store, Spring HIT/ P2P and August Sales, will be held on July 28-30 at Doncaster and the first Goffs Online Sale will be held later the same week with dates and times to be released in the coming weeks. Goffs Online Sales will be timed auctions held over a 48-hour period. Contact details for every horse will be listed for each lot so prospective buyers can inspect horses prior to
54 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
With racing taking place behind closed doors, owners have shown ingenuity and creativity around communicating with each other and their trainers to stay connected to their horses. During ITV Racing’s coverage, owners have been featured on Zoom calls before and after their horses have raced, adding a novel dimension for viewers. The ROA liaised with owners on behalf of ITV Racing and we are very grateful to all owners who took part, those who were featured and those who made themselves available in case an opportunity arose during coverage. Positive feedback was received by some of racing’s regular viewers and the coverage reached a new audience, tuning in at a time when other sports were waiting to restart. The ROA set up a daily ebulletin to members with access to dedicated resources to support owners with runners and in the first phase of owners returning to the racecourse. Daily
Zooming in for the races
Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds’ Sir Busker (white cap), winner of the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, is cheered on by his owners via Zoom (left)
ebulletins have been sent since June, providing links to racecards, raceday photographers and websites where racing could be viewed and reviewed. Please let us know if you would like to receive our ebulletins by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at roa.co.uk.
the auction and all horses will be sold with veterinary certificates to ensure transparency and confidence in the medium. Entries for the first Goffs Online Sale will be coordinated by Goffs UK following the Goffs/Arqana 2020 Breeze-Up Sale and published online only in advance of the Doncaster Summer Sale. Tattersalls will stage a new mixed sale to be held at its Park Paddocks base in Newmarket for two days on August 25-26. Similar to the popular Tattersalls July Sale, the August Sale will primarily comprise horses and fillies
in training and will also be open to all other categories including breeding stock. Commenting on the decision to stage a new fixture, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented: “The decision to stage an August Sale is entirely in response to the unique Covid-19- related circumstances we all find ourselves facing. “We were acutely aware as we took entries for the July Sale that the absence of racing was posing major difficulties in terms of assessing the merits of stock and what was suitable for entry in the July Sale.
“In a normal year there would be a major yearling sale in the week we have chosen for the August Sale, but with that sale moving to a later date we have been able to react positively and collaboratively for the benefit of all concerned.” Entries are now being taken for the Tattersalls August Sale and should be made online at www.tattersalls.com. The closing date for the sale is expected to be Monday, July 20. At the time of writing, the number of Book 1 bonuses (worth £25,000) for horses bought at Tattersalls last autumn approaches 200.
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Gary and Linnet Woodward are jumping for joy with Pogo
wners were happily back on the racecourse come July 1 and hopefully one of the legacies from Covid-19 will be a higher profile and greater recognition for the biggest contributors to the sport’s coffers. That profile was considerably enhanced by ITV Racing’s Zoom calls with owners, organised by the ROA and which produced many memorable images. One such involved the thrilled owners of Pogo, impressive five-anda-half-length winner of the Listed Midsummer Stakes at Windsor. Gary and Linnet Woodward’s deep roots in ownership can be traced to a golf day through Gary’s work, at which he rubbed shoulders with late trainer John Hills. A potential partnership with a few others in a horse didn’t materialise, but the Woodwards still decided that ownership was for them and pressed ahead on their own, their first horse being Dancing Nugget, by Seeking The Gold. The pair have always tried to be imaginative and creative when it comes to naming their horses, be it through sire or dam (Pogo is by Zebedee) or themes close to their heart, like skiing, places or people that mean something to them – Scarlett Breeze is from two of their daughters’ middle names – or drinks, with Toffee Vodka similarly among one of their earliest. “We started with John [Hills] about 18 or 19 years ago,” recalls Gary. “After we had our first horse, I thought the best way to get around having a second was to buy it as a birthday present for Linnet! We were having lunch at the Vineyard at Stockcross and John and Colin Gorman got the horse delivered to the restaurant! I got away with it, and the rest is history. “We’ve now had about 50 in total, all bar seven or eight as sole owners. When John sadly died, it seemed the natural progression to have our horses with Charlie [Hills].” Linnet says: “It was nice to keep it in the family. We have four girls, and their interest grew from being made to feel
The Pogo team: Gary and Linnet Woodward with jockey Kieran Shoemark in 2019
so welcome by John and Fiona at their yard. The girls became friends with their daughters, and it’s the same with Charlie and Philippa’s sons.” Rave and B Fifty Two were certainly among the horses to provide the Woodwards with some magical moments from their time with John Hills. “Rave, who became Military Attack in Hong Kong, didn’t run as a two-year-
“We’ve always thought highly of Pogo; at four he has grown into himself” old – for various veterinary reasons – but at three he became very good very quickly,” says Gary. “He won at Ascot on King George day, when we had a loge with 20-odd friends. That was a
great day. We had a few offers for him then, one of which we couldn’t refuse. “We were actually hungover on a beach in Deauville with John and Fi when we concluded that deal - B Fifty Two finished runner-up there in a Group 3 behind Dabirsim, and that was another fantastic occasion.” He adds: “Rave, as Military Attack, went on to win two Group 1s and £5 million in prize-money all told, but we had to take a commercial view. We’re not wealthy owners. We never want to sell but that’s the reality.” The Woodwards currently have Pogo – who at the time of writing has won four times and kept good company – and Spoof, a three-time winner including at Chester’s May meeting, having made a conscious decision to focus on quality over quantity. “Pogo was very impressive at Windsor,” says Gary. “We have always thought highly of him. He was beaten by Advertise on debut, ran in the Coventry and has kept good company. He was a late foal and so quite slight, relative to other horses as a two- and three-year-old, but at four he has
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News in brief Virtual lectures on equine health grown into himself.” It is hopefully onwards and upwards for Pogo, while Spoof, a year older at five, is also capable of decent form having been rated 100 when a threeyear-old. “He ran well two starts back at Kempton to be second,” points out Linnet, although Gary admits he is an “enigma”. The couple, who live less than two miles from Ascot, also pick out Bomber Command’s victory at the track as a highlight, and were also keen to include Toffee Vodka in discussing their favourite memories and horses. Indeed, they were so smitten that they branched out into breeding and kept her as a broodmare, racing six of her offspring. There is more to the ownership experience, of course, than having runners and winners on the track, and Linnet says: “One of the loveliest sides of racing and being an owner is early morning on the gallops. It doesn’t matter if it’s chilly, we both just really enjoy that. “Being an owner also offers fantastic opportunities to travel, and we’ve been to Longchamp, Chantilly, Deauville – the sort of place you might not discover were it not for racing – Germany and Meydan.
Owners looking to increase their knowledge of equine health can do so via a freely accessible series of online lectures. The Beaufort Cottage Educational Trust is a small charity that aims to support educational projects and events for those involved in the care of horses and disseminate knowledge of the best veterinary and management practices and thereby enhance horse welfare. With the support of the Gerald Leigh Trust, they have produced a series of 2020 Gerald Leigh Memorial Lectures which are accessible to all. This annual lecture series is supported by the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust in honour of Mr Leigh’s passion for the Thoroughbred horse and its health and welfare. Due to the current situation, the lectures usually held in Newmarket are being hosted online. An example in the series focuses on Minimising Risk from Equine Infectious Disease https://www. beaufortcottage.com/
One of our first trips as a couple was to Paris for the Arc, which was not a bad start!” The Woodwards also feel that much has improved in recent years in terms of facilities at the racecourse for owners; they pick out Newbury, Goodwood and Ascot in particular as offering good experiences, and also administratively, with much less paperwork now than used to be the case. Both feel that owners have been, and perhaps still are, undervalued given the money invested in the sport, but agree that one of the positives to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic relative to racing could well be a greater appreciation of owners, several of whom, like the Woodwards, have become ITV Racing “celebrities”. The Woodwards prefer the Flat – the weather and the fact they enjoy skiing during the winter being a couple of reasons – and jockey-wise, Kieran Shoemark, Callum Shepherd and Richard Kingscote are among their favourites, while former rider Eddie Ahern was also highly rated. Highly rated is certainly an apt description of Pogo, whose Windsor romp elevated his mark to 114 and had his owners bouncing up and down with delight on ITV4. Hopefully, there are many more such magical moments in store.
Owners are to be featured in a new Nick Luck daily podcast, which began on July 1. The podcast covers a range of news, discussion and interviews released before 10am. A link will be shared each day on social media, through Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes.
Discount on silks
Racesafe Limited, well known for body protectors and riding apparel, have launched a new racing silks service, available directly to owners and trainers. They are offering ROA members a 25% introductory discount off their first order. To take up this offer, orders can be placed online https://racesafe. co.uk/collections/racing-silks or by calling 01536 771051. A set of plain silks is £142 (£166 including cap) inc VAT, offering members a saving of £35.50 or £41.50 respectively. See the members’ area at roa.co.uk for the discount code.
Pogo followed up his Royal Ascot third with a Listed victory at Windsor on June 28
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Trainer Gay Kelleway will join the Racehorse Owners Association board after the results of this year’s election were revealed. Sam Hoskins and Alan Spence were re-elected to the board for a further three year-term. Gay Kelleway, Newmarket trainer of 29 years and former successful jockey, said: “I’m delighted and thrilled to be elected to the ROA board. Most of all I would like to help the smaller owners and owner-breeders. It’s so important to support them – they are the backbone of racing.” Sam Hoskins is syndicate manager of Hot To Trot Racing and Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, who enjoyed a first Royal Ascot success with Sir Busker in the Silver Royal Hunt Cup. He said: “I am very honoured to be re-elected to the ROA Board and I have very much enjoyed my first three-year term. I’m passionate about making a difference to the ownership experience and the future funding of racing.” Alan Spence commented: “I am delighted to be re-elected to the Board for a further term. I’m keen to support the board’s efforts to protect and improve prize-money which is vital for the retention of owners and in turn the wider industry.” ROA Acting President Charlie Parker said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to the three successful candidates. “I warmly welcome Gay, who is joining the Board for the first time, and Alan and Sam will be continuing to make their valuable contributions after being re-elected.
Gay Kelleway joins the ROA board
Gay Kelleway: keen to help smaller owners
“I would like to thank the other 12 candidates who stood in this year’s election but were unsuccessful on this occasion. It was a competitive field and I hope that they will consider standing again next year.” The finishing order in the election (voted for online), overseen by Civica Election Services, was: • Sam Hoskins (699 votes) • Gay Kelleway (501) • Alan Spence (488) The ROA board has been pared down to nine elected members from 11 after the retirements of Paul Duffy and Sally Bethell, which followed the retirement of Nicholas Cooper, as reported in May. Paul Duffy served the maximum of nine years on the board according to the Articles, having been elected in 2011, 2015 and 2018. A popular and enthusiastic board member, he had chaired the ROA Audit Committee, the
ROA Raceday Committee and ROA Membership Committee. Sally Bethell joined the board in 2013 and served two terms, representing the ROA on the board of Thoroughbred Owner Breeder. Charlie Liverton, ROA Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of the board and members I would like to convey grateful thanks to our retiring board members. “Paul’s passion for racing combined with his financial planning knowledge proved invaluable in many areas. Sally has provided an important link to the Yorkshire region and blended her experience of ownership with knowledge of ownership from the perspective of a training yard. We wish Paul and Sally well in their future endeavours.”
The ROA Annual General Meeting scheduled for July had to be postponed due to the quarantine restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. The government recently passed legislation, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill Act 2020, which includes an update in relation to voting at AGMs, EGMs and other meetings. This part of the legislation gives organisations the temporary right to undertake these democratic processes entirely in a virtual manner, making use of online meeting and voting systems. Notice of the re-arranged ROA AGM in September will be circulated as soon as details are confirmed. ROA members will be able to vote online on any resolutions brought before the meeting.
Are you reclaiming VAT on the costs of ownership? The ability to reclaim VAT on the costs of ownership is highly valued by owners through the ROA’s Tote owner-sponsorship scheme. The latest scheme, which launched in January, already covers 1,840 horses. Sponsorship allows members to register for and reclaim VAT on their costs of ownership. Members receive an up-front payment of £100 for each horse on the scheme in return for carrying Tote branding on the chest and
collar of their colours. Four 12-month schemes are run during the year and applications for July are now open. Details can be found at roa.co.uk and applications to join can be made online Renewals will be sent out to owners with horses on the scheme, which started in September 2019. Please respond to the renewal invitation if you have a horse on that scheme and would like to be covered for a further 12 months to ensure you are sponsored.
Royal Ascot heroine Dandalla carries the Tote logo
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Breeder of the Month Words Hyperion Promotions Ltd
BREEDER OF THE MONTH – JUNE
A somewhat surreal Royal Ascot followed a familiar routine in one respect at least with the Maktoum family continuing their recent run of success at the world’s most prestigious race meeting. Sheikh Hamdan was named the top owner of the week after six successes, including his Shadwell Stud-bred trio of Nazeef in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Hukum in the King George V Stakes and Khaloosy in the Britannia Stakes. Sheikh Mohammed, however, took the Group 1 breeding honours courtesy of Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North. The son of Dubawi became the first Cambridgeshire winner since former Darley stallion Halling to go on to success at the highest level and his sire’s 42nd Group/Grade 1 winner. The four-year-old runs in the colours of Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed and as a gelding is likely to have many more opportunities to enhance his own Group 1 record. His dam, the dual-winning Giant’s Causeway mare Najoum, has a yearling colt by Postponed and a filly foal by New Approach. The Maktoum brothers had already made a blistering start to the delayed European season following Group 1 successes in France for Godolphin’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains hero Victor Ludorum and Sheikh Hamdan’s Prix Saint-Alary heroine Tawkeel. SPECIAL MERIT AWARD – JUNE
MRS ANITA WIGAN Near silence is often the reception accorded to long-priced winners, but the
Nando Parrado: bred by Anita Wigan
absence of racegoers at this year’s Royal Meeting ensured that was the fate of every winning favourite as well. At 150-1, Coventry Stakes winner Nando Parrado became not only the longest-priced winner in Royal Ascot history but also broke the record for the longest-priced Group winner in Britain or Ireland since the introduction of the Pattern in 1971. Paul and Marie McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud, breeders of King’s Stand Stakes winner Battaash, secured the son of Kodiac for 165,000gns at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale from his breeder, TBA board member Anita Wigan. She had acquired his dam Chibola, a Grade 3 winner by Roy, during a visit she made to Argentina with her husband James, who runs the London Thoroughbred Services bloodstock agency from their West Blagdon home. “We went racing at San Isidro and saw how firm the ground was, and how tough the horses must be as they run on it quite frequently, and I thought to myself I have
to have one of these,” she explained. “So I got in touch with Diego Zavaleta of Haras Embrujo about purchasing a broodmare from Argentina. He sent lots of pictures of potential candidates and I picked Chibola.” Wigan’s interest in the sport came through riding out for Luca Cumani in the 1980s. “I have always loved horses,” she said. “I rode as a child and lived near Newmarket. I started off by looking at pictures in Pacemaker magazine and when I got more involved during my time with Luca I discovered a whole new world.” In Chibola, she has discovered a source of toughness who when bred to European stallions has also produced Muntadab, a 11-time winner still going strong at the age of eight, and Dubai Horizon, Group 3-placed as a six-year-old in February. Previously based at Wigan’s Rushbrooke Stud in Suffolk before its sale in 2015, Chibola is now among the mares her owner boards at Whatton Manor Stud in Nottinghamshire, with other stock residing at Copgrove Hall Stud in Yorkshire and Lushes Farm in Somerset. Despite keeping only a handful of mares at Rushbrooke, she enjoyed conspicuous success with the likes of Group 1 winners The Right Man and Leadership. The latter is out of Louella, the first mare she owned in partnership with James. He also sourced Green Noon, dam of the future Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, another star raised at Rushbrooke. Now 17, Chibola has an Aclaim yearling filly and a Showcasing filly foal. The current plan is to sell the former and retain the latter. Their dam is carrying a foal by Magna Grecia.
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The special section for TBA members
Right Royal results for British-breds
hilst Royal Ascot did not proceed with the usual pomp and pageantry that everyone enjoys, the Royal Meeting at least still went ahead and British-breds performed well, headlined by the performance of Palace Pier in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes on the final day. The son of Kingman, who was bred by Highclere Stud and Floors Farming, showed a sharp turn of foot to score on his first attempt at stakes level. Earlier in the day and Nando Parrado, bred by Anita Wigan, improved greatly from his debut run at Newmarket 16 days earlier to win the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at an incredible starting price of 150-1. The opening Silver Wokingham Handicap was won by Executive Bloodlines-bred Chiefofchiefs (Royal Applause), on his first start over 6f. The opening day of the meeting witnessed five British-bred victories, amongst which was a trio at Group 2 level. Having broken her maiden at Newcastle earlier in the month, Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred Frankly Darling (Frankel) recorded an authoritative win in the Ribblesdale Stakes. The King Edward VII Stakes fell the way of Pyledriver. The son of the former Tweenhills stallion Harbour Watch scored a decisive two-length win. He was bred by his owners Guy and Hugh Leach and Roger Devlin under the name of Knox & Wells Ltd and R Devlin. Completing the treble was Sheikh Hamdan’s rapidly progressive four-year-old filly Nazeef, who won the Duke of Cambridge Stakes having landed the Listed Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton Park. Back in the programme for the first time since 2014, the Buckingham Palace Handicap over seven furlongs was this year’s starter race and it was won by Motakhayyel, a son of Heeraat. The closing contest on the first day was the 2m4f Ascot Stakes, which was won by Coeur De Lion. The seven-year-old, who was bred by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin Hughes, was contesting the race for the third time. Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estates was crowned leading owners with six victories and amongst them was the Cheveley Park Stud-bred Molatham, who saw out the seven-furlong trip strongly to take the Group 3 Jersey Stakes.
Shadwell's homebred filly Nazeef (far side) takes the Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Tactical ensured that there was a royal victory at the meeting when running out a quality winner of the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes. A homebred for Her Majesty The Queen, the colt was backing up off a debut third at Newmarket 13 days previously. The final British-bred 2020 Royal Ascot winner was Scarlet Dragon, who provided a memorable first win at the meeting for Hollie Doyle. The son of Sir Percy, who was bred by Usk Valley Stud, was given a fine ride to land the spoils in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap on the Friday.
The European Classic season kicked off a month later than it should have, but that did not stop British-breds from shining. The first Classic of the year was the Poule d'Essai des Poulains – moved to Deauville – and was won by Godolphin’s homebred Victor Ludorum, who reversed form with his Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau conqueror The Summit to win by a length and a half. Fifty minutes later and across the German border at Cologne, the Essafinaat Ltd-bred bay Fearless King provided Banstead Manor Stud resident Kingman with his second Classic winner when scoring in the Group 2 German 2,000 Guineas. Three weeks later at Dusseldorf and Lancade, bred by Gestut Fahrhof, ensured that the first two German Classics - the German 1,000 Guineas - went the way of British-suffixed horses. Having been
patiently ridden, she swooped through to take the lead inside the final furlong and won comfortably. The Aston House Stud-bred Rodaballo became the fourth Classic winner of the year thus far when winning the Spanish 2,000 Guineas at La Zarzuela the same day.
Success at home and away
British racing was given the green light to start on June 1 and the first Group action of the readjusted Flat season was the Group 3 Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton Park, which was won by the Dansili colt Berlin Tango. In the latter part of the previous month fellow George Strawbridge homebred Call The Wind (Frankel) had made a successful first European start of the campaign when winning the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville at Deauville. On the final day of May, Way To Paris, bred by Grundy Bloodstock, ran out the impressive winner of the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly. The seven-year-old went on to run second in the Group 1 Prix Ganay and then took a well-deserved top-level win in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the end of June. Jean-Claude Rouget had taken the softly softly approach with Tawkeel, with three wins on the all-weather. Her first turf start came in the Group 1 Prix SaintAlary and the Shadwell-homebred readily went clear inside the final furlong to record a five-length win. That same day there was a stakes double at Bro Park in Sweden. Bred
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after Telecaster ran out the impressive winner of the Group 3 La Coupe at ParisLongchamp, while another Group 3 scorer was Brimham Rocks. The gelding was bred by Mr and Mrs David Aykroyd, and was successful in the Tattersall’s Cup at Eagle Farm. Other British-breds winning at Group 3 level included the Kingsclere Stud-bred Ka Ying Star (Cityscape) in the Lion Rock Trophy at Sha Tin, the David and Trish Brown-bred Nkosikazi in the Hoppings Stakes, Runnymede (Dansili), who was bred by Juddmonte, in the Premio Carlo Vittadini in Milan, and Privilegiado (Sea The Moon), who added the Oslo Cup to his Listed Norsk Derby win of last year. All four were winning for the first time at Pattern level. Since the middle of May, there were plenty of Listed victories for British-breds, including Philip Wilkins’s homebred Liberty Beach in the Cecil Frail Fillies’ Stakes at Haydock Park, prior to the daughter of Cable Bay running third in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Another to tune up for the Royal Meeting was Sceptical. Bred by Godolphin, the four-year-old preceded his third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes with victory in the Woodlands Stakes at Naas on June 8, the first day of racing’s resumption in Ireland.
Alocasia (Kingman) was a wide-margin winner of the Prix Marchand d’Or at Chantilly in June, a second Listed win of the three-year-old’s career, while Heliac took the Noblesse Stakes at Leopardstown earlier in the month. The previous day Franconia (Frankel) broke her maiden at the second time of asking in the Listed Abingdon Fillies’ Stakes at Newbury. All three were bred and are raced by Juddmonte Farms. Other Listed winners over the period included the Meon Valley Stud-bred Dashing Willoughby (Nathaniel), who took the Buckhounds Stakes, run at Newmarket instead of Ascot this year, the Panda Bloodstock-bred Mubtasimah, who was victorious in the Maggie Dickson Fillies’ Stakes, Time Scale (Charm Spirit), who was bred by the An Ghalanta Partnership, in the Empress Stakes, the Rabbah Bloodstock Limitedbred Universal Order (Universal) in the Fred Archer Stakes, and Frankel’s son Restiany in the Prix de Saint-Patrick. Over obstacles, Moscato (Hernando), who was bred by Kirsten Rausing at her Lanwades Stud, romped to victory in the Grade 3 Temple Gwathmey Hurdle at Middleburg, Virginia, while Pour Vous Et Nous took the Grade 2 Criterium di Pimavera at Merano. Results until June 30. Produced in association with GBRI.
by Shutford Stud, the smart Charm Spirit gelding Kick On won the second Pattern contest of his career, the Group 3 Stockholms Stora Pris, while in the Listed Bloomers’ Vase, Freed From Desire gave her sire Heeraat a second stakes winner. The four-year-old filly was bred by Louise Parry. There were a pair of notable homebred Group successes in the early part of June on either side of the English Channel. Ambition (Dubawi), bred by Ashbrittle Stud and Mark Dixon, but raced by James Rowsell of Ashbrittle, gained her biggest victory to date in the Group 2 Prix Corrida. A day earlier at Newmarket, Oxted provided Mayson with his first Pattern winner when taking the Group 3 Abernant Stakes. The fouryear-old was bred by Homecroft Wealth Racing, which is Stephen Piper, who owns the gelding with Tony Hirschfeld and David Fish. Second in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes last year was Speak In Colours. The Scuderia Archi Romani-bred fiveyear-old, who was foaled at Luca and Sara Cumanis' Fittocks Stud, went one better this year to score a narrow victory. The Group 3 Pavilion Stakes made the move from Ascot to Newcastle this year and the 6f race was won by Dubai Station, bred by Hall Of Fame Stud. Meon Valley Stud was left celebrating
Pyledriver proved too good in the King Edward VII Stakes
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TBA Entry 2 Stud Employment Scheme With previous students having had backgrounds ranging from plumbing to the police and the pharmaceutical industry, the Entry 2 Employment Scheme has continued to grow in popularity since the pilot scheme was
launched in 2017. Co-funded by the TBA and the Racing Foundation, the nine-week course sees students take up residence at the National Stud in October and work through to the end of the Tattersalls December Sales.
The 2019 E2SE students visiting Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud
Upon successful initial training, trainees are put forward for an interview with a UK stud farm to start a minimum 6-9 month paid work placement – previous employers to have taken E2SE students include the likes of Barton Stud, Cheveley Park Stud, Godolphin, Shadwell and The Royal Studs. The course provides a unique opportunity for those who otherwise might not find their way into the industry. Open to anyone aged 18 and above, there is no entry criteria other than a physical aptitude for the job, and a drive to learn and work in the industry. Prior experience with horses is not required. “The level of interest and standard of applications for the 2020 course has been very high and we are looking forward to the next round of interviews,” said the National Stud’s Chief Operating Officer Anna Kerr. “We have had really positive feedback from studs who took students from the 2019 intake and are looking forward to getting out to see them all again now that lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease.” The first set of interviews in late April witnessed eight students confirmed, while the next round of interviews will take place at the end of this month for the remaining 12 spaces. There is a reserve list for the 2020 intake and interested applicants are advised to download the application form on the National Stud’s website or to email email@example.com for more information.
Remember to register a change of ownership TBA members are reminded that it is now a legal requirement that all horse owners register their ownership within 30 days of purchase with their passportissuing organisation. Weatherbys is the body that issues all passports for thoroughbreds registered with the General Stud Book. This legislation applies to all equines and so TBA members are reminded to ensure that any other horses in their ownership are also up to date with the requirements. For those pinhookers who are paying the yearling stage of the Great British Bonus (deadline August 31), it would be advisable to check that change of ownership has happened, as any
payout from a winning prize goes to the registered owner at time of payment. Please see below guidelines on the horse passport legislation requirements: - It has been a requirement of the Horse Passport Regulations since 2009 for all equine owners in Great Britain to register their ownership with the government-designated passportissuing organisation (Weatherbys) within 30 days of purchase. - From October 1, 2018 this became a legal requirement and is enforceable by Trading Standards. - The legislation also requires that a horse’s passport is returned to Weatherbys to be updated with the new ownership details. Racing ownerships
have been granted an exemption; however, when a horse comes out of training this exemption no longer exists. - The owner of a horse in training should have previously registered their ownership with Weatherbys before the horse went into training unless they are the breeder, in which case the ownership is already correct. - When a horse comes out of training and the racing ownership is terminated, the Weatherbys ownership (i.e. the ownership registered with Weatherbys before the horse entered training and was registered in the BHA database for racing purposes) becomes the valid ownership recognised by DEFRA and the Central Equine Database.
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Meet the regional reps Every TBA member belongs in one of seven regions, each of which is headed up by a group of volunteer regional representatives, who work tirelessly to help us promote British breeding. Over the past few months these pages have featured a number of these representatives so that members can see exactly who their local contact is and who to look out for at various events around the country.
Tina, who runs her business, Tina Dawson Bloodstock & Racing from home, just outside Oundle in Northamptonshire, is a representative for the east region, and says: “I carry out nomination sales and marketing for Norman Court Stud’s Sixties Icon, as well as advising on breeding plans for a number of clients. “I run the Insignia Racing Syndicate who have horses in training with Mick Channon and the syndicate is about to enter its tenth season and has enjoyed winners every year, including last year with five winners from two horses. "The syndicate is a member of the Racehorse Syndicates Association, of which I am Vice-Chairman. I am also Head of Racecourse Partnerships for racing’s travel specialists RacingBreaks.com. “I have been involved in racing and breeding all my life, starting with my family in Shropshire where the Brisbournes bred, owned and trained many winners. During that time, I had a handful of rides as an amateur.
Since those early days I have worked for Weatherbys, was Managing Director of Huntingdon racecourse and Commercial Director of the National Stud. I have enjoyed working in many facets of the bloodstock and racing industry.”
An active member of the organisation, Joan is one of the regional reps for the south east region. She says: “I joined the TBA in 1989 when I purchased my first mare and became a regional representative for the south east soon after, breeding and producing sprint yearlings and selling in the UK, France and America for over 25 years. “I had to retire owing to my husband’s ill health and miss it very much, but continue to help where I can for the region and at various southern racecourses to encourage members and organise open days.”
One of the regional representatives for the north, Sandra says: “I have
been breeding National Hunt horses for just under 20 years with much success, in conjunction with my ex-husband Bryan, breeding a number of black-type-winning horses, including a triple Gold Cup winner. My proudest moment was seeing Sizing John galloping up the hill and winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. “I live near Malton in North Yorkshire with my partner Michael, along with our mares and two flatcoated retrievers.”
A long-standing breeder, Felicity is a regional representative for the south east and says: “My grandfather, Felix Leach, came to Newmarket from Lancashire in the 1890s as assistant trainer to Matt Dawson, during which time Matt trained three Derby winners. “My Father, ‘Chubb’ Leach, rode for Felix and in the early 1930s took up training in Newmarket himself. I have been involved in breeding for over 50 years and my best horse, owned and bred, was The Whistling Teal.”
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As announced last month, this year’s TBA Flat and National Hunt Awards evenings will go virtual for 2020. Both evenings will showcase and celebrate British-bred success. For the Flat, it will celebrate the 2019 season, while the National Hunt awards will celebrate the 2019-20 season. Members are advised to keep an eye out for communication regarding when each awards ceremony will premiere.
The Flat Awards that will be presented are:
• The Queen’s Silver Cup Leading British-based Flat Breeder (Flat earnings) • BBA Silver Cigar Box Leading British-based Stallion (Flat earnings) • Barleythorpe Stud Silver Cup Leading British-based Stallion (Individual Flat winners) • Tattersalls’ Silver Salver Leading British-based First Season Sire • H J Joel Silver Salver Broodmare of the Year • TBA Silver Rose Bowl TBA Flat Breeder of the Year • Langham Cup Small Breeder of the Year (Flat) • TBA Silver Salver (Special Merit) • European Breeders' Fund Stallion Special Merit Award • TBA Stud Staff Award
The NH Awards that will be presented & shortlisted nominees: • Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy for Leading Chaser De Rasher Counter – Karina Casini Oldgrangewood – Mickley Stud
Santini – Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin Hughes • Distillery Stud Trophy for Leading Chaser Mare Lady Buttons – Keith Sivills Maire Banrigh – Donhead Stud Robin De Carlow – Brian J Griffiths & John Nicholson • Peel Bloodstock Trophy for Leading Novice Chaser Copperhead – Richard & Jane Micklethwait Midnight Shadow – Captain Archie Smith-Maxwell Sam Spinner – Wriggle Valley Thoroughbreds & R Eccleshall • Overbury Stud Trophy for Leading Hurdler Ballyandy – Pleasure Palace Racing Harambe – Lisa Williamson Ronald Pump – Whitley Stud & Tony Meehan • Yorton Trophy for Leading Hurdler Mare Honeysuckle – Dr G W Guy Lady Buttons – Keith Sivills Papagana – Dominic Burke • Mickley Stud Trophy for Leading Novice Hurdler Master Debonair – Malcolm & Cathy Yeo Redford Road – Carol Bowman Thyme Hill – Overbury Stallions Ltd
This year's Awards evenings will be virtual
• Shade Oak Stud Trophy for Leading Novice Hurdler Mare It’s Probably Me – James & Jean Potter Miah Grace – Yorton Farm Stud Midnights’ Gift – Pitchall Stud • Batsford Stud Trophy for Leading NHF Brief Ambition – Tim Wood Everglow – Fawley House Stud Red Rookie – R P Phillips • Midnight Legend Trophy for Leading NHF Mare Legends Rye – Downfield Cottage Stud Midnight Callisto – Simon Dutfield Wynn House – Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin-Hughes • Eric Gillie Special Award • Dudgeon Cup NH Broodmare of the Year • Horse & Hound Cup Leading active British-based stallion by individual chase winners in GB & Ire in 2019-20 • Whitbread Silver Salver Leading active British-based sire by prize-money in GB & Ire in 2019-20 • Queen Mother’s Silver Salver
NEWS IN BRIEF Racecourse Badge Scheme for Breeders
The TBA has implemented a new SMS and email notification service for breeders on the Racecourse Badge Scheme for Breeders (RBSB). For those who have signed up to the scheme, the service sends an alert when a horse they have bred is entered to run. The service is free and allows TBA members to choose whether to receive race entry and/or declaration alerts by both email and/or SMS text message to their mobile phone. If you have not had contact from the TBA this year regarding this new benefit of the Breeders’ Badge Scheme, it means you are not registered. To register, please contact Alix Jones at Stanstead House. Whilst racing takes place behind
closed doors, members will be notified on all races in the race programme. However, when the badge scheme reactivates, notifications will be made for those meetings at which breeders are able to claim free badges.
A series of webinars are planned for members over the course of the next few months, aimed at keeping members informed on relevant topics The series got underway last month with a webinar about the Great British Bonus, which was presented by TBA board member Philip Newton and GBB Scheme Manager Grant PritchardGordon. The informing and engaging presentation was well received and well attended, as was the second webinar, which was titled ‘The TBA’s response to
the Covid-19 outbreak’ and presented by TBA Chairman Julian RichmondWatson and TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard. Open exclusively to members, the free to attend webinars are streamed live and include talks from leading industry personnel, offering the opportunity for members to engage and interact with the panel. Each webinar runs for 20-30 minutes and is followed by a question and answer session. Registration is simple. All members are emailed regarding the latest webinar which includes a link on how to register. No web camera is needed to attend. Other upcoming TBA webinar topics will be announced soon and members are advised to keep an eye out for them on the TBA’s website.
64 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
BREEDER IN FOCUS – Alex Frost Alex Frost, Chief Executive of the UK Tote Group, completes a twohour conference call with one of his company’s business partners and goes to the window of his temporary office. Like thousands of others, he has been working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown; the difference is that home is a 100-acre farm, Ladyswood Stud, near Malmesbury on the GloucestershireWiltshire border. “It’s wonderful to look out on the horses,” he says. “Like so many people involved in racing, we’re normally constantly travelling around, so for all the horrors involved with the virus, it’s been a nice time to spend on the stud. Being at home has probably kept a lot of us sane. “I’ve enjoyed that side of it enormously and so have my children [three girls and a boy] who are very close to the horses. They know them better than most of us on the stud.” He inherited his love for racing from his grandfather Tom, who owned the 1964 Sussex Stakes winner Roan Rocket, and his father, another Tom, who in his own right won the late-1970s Vernons Sprint Cup and Diadem Stakes with Absalom. Father and son, and various partners, have since shared success with such as the Acomb Stakes winner Treaty Of Paris and Land O’ Burns Stakes winner Spring Fling down to the post-lockdown winners Rudy Lewis and Twilighting. Frost praises the TBA and BHA for their efforts on behalf of breeding and racing since the coronavirus pandemic struck. “They’ve done a brilliant job in keeping communications very clear,” he says. “The guidelines have been followed and widely understood across everyone who works at the stud. “Social distancing has been religiously observed because not everyone lives on the stud, and those who come in each day from the village have vulnerable members of family to consider. Studs are run in a very clean environment anyway, but we’ve all got very dry hands from standing by the guidelines! “Of course, lots of things have changed but the stallion operations were very keen to make sure the show was kept on the road. We sent a mare to Ireland to be covered by Blue Point and Lambourn Racehorse Transport handled a slick process very well. As for moving horses around Britain, we bought our own box, which was another cost, but we felt it was very important to manage our
Alex Frost bought Ladyswood Stud in 2017
own destiny.” Frost and his wife Olivia bought Ladyswood from Martyn Meade early in 2017 and he relishes the idea of juggling his high-powered job with running the stud, which he describes as his “great escape,” adding: “The two sit hand in hand, because we’re trying to build a business to finance racing in the UK, and we all know the commercial side of breeding is a hard game at the moment. All these mares with nominations in their tummies that may be very tough to justify in 12 months’ time.” About Ladyswood, he says: “It’s 100 acres with 16 paddocks, so we’re only ever going to get up to a dozen mares and we’ve got nine on the stud at the moment. They include a half-sister to the May Hill Stakes winner and Fillies’ Mile runner-up Powerful Breeze called Lady Of Power, and Wealth Of Words, a halfsister to last year’s Albany and Rockfel Stakes winner Daahyeh. “Then there are two who are resting, including Queen Of Time, whom we sent from Henry Candy to Graham Motion in the States for one run in February and is now in foal to Noble Mission.” As to initial principles behind the stud operation, Frost explains: “Because of our size, we don’t have the luxury of a huge operation where we could perhaps tuck some of the surplus away in a field, so we need to be straightforward and demonstrate we are a commercial stud. “We’ll always keep two or three in training from those we’ve bred but, sadly, we can’t afford simply to breed to race. It’s not a case of trying to make ends meet, because that’s
unrealistic, particularly under the current environment, but we want to get as close as we can to that. You put hundreds of thousands of costs into the operation each year and have got to try and make it all stack up.” Frost’s opening gambit was to send a draft of foals to the 2017 Tattersalls December sale, including the only Shamardal foal sold at public auction in Europe that year. He made 90,000gns but was eclipsed by a Golden Horn colt bought by Godolphin for 210,000gns. The group also included an Exceed And Excel colt who made 70,000gns. Repeating the exercise in 2018 and 2019 was not so fruitful and Frost admits: “We’re going to reassess. Last year’s foal sales were all about pinhookers. It became very niche, much more of a fashion sale than a good individual sale. We’ve got five colt foals on the stud, all lovely individuals and including some by obvious stallions, but we’ve got to be thinking about the end product.” As to the general state of the bloodstock market for the rest of the year, Frost admits: “It’s no secret that the future is going to be unusually challenging. The top end of the market may hold up in the UK; it usually does, because a lot of it is underpinned by foreign demand, but the middle and bottom of the scale is likely to be brutal. “Of course, it’s encouraging to have racing back, although prize-money won’t be at the usual levels for some time yet. That’s what a vibrant Tote is trying to change.” Frost clearly still has his mind on the day job.
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Vet Forum: The Expert View
Diarrhoea in the adult horse D iarrhoea, defined as increased faecal water content, is relatively common in horses and can have a variety of causes. While diarrhoea is often transient, in some cases it may be associated with significant illness or persist for an extended period of time. These cases can present a frustrating diagnostic and management challenge for veterinary surgeons and owners. Why does diarrhoea occur? In adult horses, diarrhoea is usually a result of conditions affecting the large intestine (caecum, large colon, and small colon). The large intestine has important functions in the absorption and storage of fluid, and the digestion of food by microbes including bacteria; complex mechanisms are required to regulate these functions. The microbial population of the large intestine is delicately balanced, and is easily disrupted by a number of factors, including diet changes, stress, and antimicrobials. Any disruption to the normal bacterial flora or to the intestinal wall itself can result in diarrhoea. What are the common causes of diarrhoea? Diarrhoea can result from a number of causes and is usually classified as acute or chronic (Figure 1). Acute diarrhoea can range from transient diarrhoea caused by a sudden change in diet, to profuse diarrhoea accompanied by severe systemic illness including fever, colic, and laminitis. Chronic diarrhoea develops more gradually, usually over the course of seven days or more, and the horse often has no or only mild signs of systemic disease. Salmonella and Clostridium species are the most common bacteria that cause diarrhoea in adult horses. Salmonella can cause severe, acute diarrhoea, and horses will often be severely sick with clinical signs of fever, depression, inappetence and colic (Figure 2). Horses may be exposed to Salmonella in the environment, and some horses may also carry Salmonella bacteria within their gastrointestinal tract without having symptoms of disease. Risk factors for Salmonella infection in horses include colic, general anaesthesia, and antimicrobial administration. Clostridial diarrhoea, due to Clostridium difficile and less commonly Clostridium perfringens, is usually
associated with antibiotic therapy and disruption of normal bacterial flora. Clinical signs include acute diarrhoea, fever, depression and inappetence, and the disease can be rapidly fatal in some cases. Equine Coronavirus (ECoV) has more recently been identified as a cause of gastrointestinal disease in horses. Diarrhoea ranges from mild to severe, however the most common clinical signs are fever and inappetence. This infection often occurs as an outbreak, with clinical signs seen in multiple horses in a herd. Potomac horse fever (PHF), caused by the bacterium Neorickettsia risticii, is most commonly seen in North America, but has been reported in Europe. PHF causes severe, watery diarrhoea and fever, and affected horses commonly develop laminitis. Parasitic causes of diarrhoea include the cyathostomins (small strongyles/ red worms). These parasites migrate through and encyst in the large colon and caecum wall and damage the intestinal lining when they emerge, known as larval cyathostomiasis. Weight loss may occur first, followed by chronic diarrhoea. Rapid emergence of large numbers of encysted cyathastomins can cause profuse, watery diarrhoea and severe protein loss. There is often a history of recent worming in these cases. Faecal worm egg counts are usually unhelpful for diagnosis in these cases, as the larvae are responsible for disease rather than egg-laying adults. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (Bute) and flunixin meglumine (Finadyne) are commonly used to treat a number of conditions. Prolonged or excessive NSAID use, or an adverse reaction, can result in inflammation of the right dorsal colon, known as right dorsal colitis. In these cases, the colon wall becomes thickened and ulcerated, resulting in rapid protein loss and development of either acute
or chronic diarrhoea. Horses will often develop swelling of the ventral abdomen and limbs due to low protein levels. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from infiltration of the intestinal wall by inflammatory cells, and usually affects the small intestine. Clinical signs include progressive weight loss due to malabsorption, and slow-onset chronic diarrhoea. Intestinal neoplasia (cancer) is the main differential diagnosis for IBD. Lymphoma is the most common gastrointestinal neoplasia in horses and can result in signs similar to IBD due to infiltration of the intestinal wall by lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Ultrasonography and rectal examination may reveal thickened intestinal wall, however definitive diagnosis of IBD or lymphoma requires histopathology of intestinal biopsies. There is also a blood test to measure the tumour marker TK1, which may be useful to differentiate lymphoma from other causes of chronic diarrhoea. Ingestion of sand can also result in chronic diarrhoea. This normally occurs in horses eating from the ground, particularly where grass levels are low. Sand accumulation in the large colon causes irritation to the intestinal lining, and large volumes can also cause impactions. Typically, diarrhoea is chronic and intermittent. A sand sedimentation test is an easy test to identify sand in the faeces and involves placing a sample of faeces in a container of water, agitating the sample and then allowing it to settle; the sand will quickly sediment at the base of the container. Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdomen and covers the abdominal organs. Peritonitis typically causes signs of fever, lethargy, and colic, but will sometimes also result in diarrhoea. It can be diagnosed by peritoneal fluid analysis.
Causes of acute diarrhoea
Causes of chronic diarrhoea
Salmonella Clostridium Coronavirus Parasites (small strongyles) NSAID toxicity Antimicrobial-related diarrhea Potomac horse fever
Parasites (small strongyles) Inflammatory bowel disease Sand ingestion NSAID toxicity Neoplasia Peritonitis
Figure 1: Causes of diarrhoea in adult horses
66 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
By Hayley Chidlow BVSc DipACVIM MRCVS
Figure 2: Horses with acute diarrhoea are often depressed and show signs of colic
Approach to the diagnosis of diarrhoea While many cases of diarrhoea will resolve before the cause can be identified, some conditions cause more serious disease that requires further diagnostics and treatment. In many cases, it can be difficult to identify the underlying cause of diarrhoea, particularly in acute diarrhoea where a specific pathogen or cause may be identified in less than 50% of cases. Faecal samples often provide the most useful information. Faecal samples can be collected for a faecal worm egg count, examination for parasitic larvae or sand, and culture or molecular testing for bacterial or viral organisms that cause diarrhoea (e.g. Salmonella, Clostridium, Coronavirus). Blood tests can reveal evidence of dehydration, degree of protein loss, electrolyte abnormalities, and infection; multiple blood abnormalities including severe dehydration and low white blood cell count may be present in acute diarrhoea, whereas chronic diarrhoea may not result in specific changes. Abdominal ultrasound examination can be performed to evaluate for thickening or oedema of the large intestine wall (Figure 3) or changes in volume or appearance of peritoneal fluid. Rectal examination can also be used to assess intestinal wall thickness, position and size of the large colon and abdominal organs, and abnormalities of lymph nodes. Abdominal radiographs can be obtained to identify sand within the large colon. Abdominocentesis (collection and analysis of abdominal fluid) may reveal bacteria or increased numbers of inflammatory cells. Rectal biopsies can be performed in
the standing, sedated horse, and can give evidence of inflammation of the GI tract, however false negatives are common. Full thickness biopsies of the intestine provide more useful information; however, collection of these biopsies typically requires either general anaesthesia and exploratory abdominal surgery or laparoscopic surgery under standing sedation. In cases of diarrhoea where malabsorption is suspected (e.g. IBD or lymphoma), a glucose absorption test can be performed. How is diarrhoea treated? Some cases of mild, acute diarrhoea will resolve quickly without treatment. For those that do not resolve quickly, symptomatic treatment can be started. Initially, this can include limiting access
to fresh green grass, and encouraging water intake. Electrolytes can be added to drinking water to help maintain electrolyte balance, however normal drinking water should always be available too as some horses will not drink the supplemented water. If a horse appears dull, inappetant, has a fever, or has diarrhoea that is profuse, watery, or doesn’t resolve within 24 hours, then immediate veterinary intervention should be sought. In cases of acute, severe diarrhoea, medical therapy often needs to be implemented before a diagnosis is found. The mainstays of treatment of acute diarrhoea include fluid therapy to correct and prevent dehydration, drugs to minimise the release of toxins into the bloodstream, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications, and laminitis prophylaxis in the form of digital cryotherapy (ice boots) or sole supports (Figure 4). Antimicrobials may be prescribed if a specific bacterium is identified, such as metronidazole for Clostridial diarrhoea or oxytetracycline for PHF. However, given their effects on the normal gut flora, antimicrobials are generally not otherwise warranted unless a horse is severely immunocompromised. Some horses will require intravenous plasma or synthetic protein solutions if their blood protein levels are severely decreased. Binding agents such as Biosponge® (di-tri-octohedral smectite) can be administered to absorb toxins within the intestinal tract. Misoprostal, a synthetic prostaglandin analogue, can help heal and protect the damaged colon in cases of NSAID-induced diarrhoea. In comparison to acute diarrhoea, in cases of chronic diarrhoea it may
Figure 3: An ultrasound image showing an abnormally thickened large colon wall
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 67
Vet Forum: The Expert View ››
be possible to complete some or all diagnostic investigations prior to developing a treatment plan. If inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed, then corticosteroid therapy with prednisolone or dexamethasone may be recommended to reduce inflammation, however the prognosis can be guarded in these cases Management of sand ingestion includes limiting further ingestion by feeding using haynets or raised feeders, and the administration of psyllium via stomach tube or in feed to bind the sand and facilitate its exit from the large intestine. Where parasitic infection is suspected, the horse should receive an appropriate anthelmintic. Moxidectin is the only wormer that reliably kills the encysted, larval stages of small strongyles. Antimicrobials are rarely indicated in cases of chronic diarrhoea and may worsen imbalances in the normal bacterial flora of the intestines. Transfaunation, where fresh faeces from a normal horse are administered via stomach tube, has been shown to be effective in some diarrhoea cases. Codeine phosphate,
only low levels of bacteria, and there are also questions over the ability of probiotic products to deliver these bacteria alive to the large colon.
Figure 4: Intravenous fluid therapy and digital cryotherapy (ice boots) are mainstays of treatment of acute diarrhoea
a drug that reduces gut motility, can be used but may result in constipation so faecal output should be monitored carefully. Probiotics, containing so-called ‘good’ bacteria to help restore the normal bacterial flora of the intestine, have also been suggested to help prevent and treat diarrhoea. However, there is very little evidence as to the effectiveness of probiotic products. Many probiotic products have been shown to contain
Diarrhoea in adult horses can be due to a number of underlying causes, with disease severity ranging from mild to severe. Mild cases of diarrhoea may resolve without intervention or require only diet adjustment and symptomatic treatment at home, however severe, acute diarrhoea is a true veterinary emergency that requires intensive medical therapy. In acute diarrhoea the horse is frequently sick with clinical signs including fever, depression, inappetence and colic. Chronic diarrhoea cases in comparison may be bright with a good appetite, with weight loss the most common associated clinical sign. A number of diagnostic modalities are available, however in many cases of diarrhoea a specific diagnosis may not be found. Symptomatic treatment is therefore the mainstay of treatment of both acute and chronic diarrhoea.
SITE FOR NEW RACING YARD & ANCILLARY FACILITIES
60 boxes, head lad’s cottage, staff accommodation & hospitality (subject to renewal of planning permission). Approx. 1.54 acres (0.623 ha)
GUIDE PRICE £795,000 JOINT AGENTS: Bryant Land & Property Manor Farm, Manor Road, Little Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5HF E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01223 842675 Jackson Stops 168 High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9AJ E: Ed.Russell@jackson-stops.co.uk T: 01638 66223
Purpose built facility Just 10 mins from Junction 15 of M4
Breaking In | Rehabilitation | Pre Training Turnout | Sales Prep/Consigning www.hettastevensracing.com t +44 (0)7867 307599 e email@example.com Vinces Barn, Overtown, Wroughton, Swindon SN4 0SJ
68 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Product Focus BAILEYS PREP-EASE FOR STAND OUT CONDITION WITHOUT THE STAND UP! Prepping yearlings for the sales ring is always a bit of a race against the clock, with generally a matter of weeks to turn a raw youngster into an animal that looks “a million dollars” and is ready for the saddle. And all while keeping them manageable and as content as possible.
SEE THE DIFFERENCE – SUPERB CONDITION
Baileys Prep-Ease contains top quality protein sources to build outstanding muscle and top line, along with a balance of oils, supplied by Baileys’ renowned Outshine high oil supplement, to create head-turning coat shine. It also contains Baileys Stud Balancer to support correct growth and the development of strong bones, tendons and ligaments in the young athlete.
FEEL THE DIFFERENCE – MORE WALKING, LESS REARING
High oil (10%) and high digestible fibre (11%) levels deliver slow release calories, to help promote condition, and just enough micronised cereals are included to ensure timely weight gain, while keeping the starch content controlled (18% compared to 30% in traditional prep or stud mixes).
A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E
fore and hindgut, especially when fed in larger quantities. An increase in hindgut acidity levels compromises the populations of beneficial gut bacteria, reducing digestive eﬃciency, which can cause diarrhoea and an acidic “pear drops” smell. The reduced cereal and, therefore, starch levels in Prep-Ease, mean that acidity levels are less likely to creep up in this way so the bacterial balance stays healthy. This improves the horse’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients as well as keeping him feeling comfortable and less prone to irritability, while droppings look and smell healthier too!
NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE – COST EFFECTIVE, REDUCED VOLUME FEEDING Prep-Ease is cleverly formulated to pack a lot into a single scoop so doesn’t need to be fed by the bucketfull to get results. This is both good for the horse’s digestive system, as it doesn’t get overloaded, and for the bottom line as feed bills need not go through the roof. Baileys Thoroughbred Specialists: Simon Venner 07977 441571, Liz Bulbrook BSc (Hons) 07850 368271 www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Slow release energy, from fibre and oil is less likely to “light up” excitable types, while the reduced cereal content helps control acidity levels in the stomach and reduce the risk of gastric ulceration and the associated discomfort that is often displayed as unhelpful behaviour.
SMELL THE DIFFERENCE – SYMPATHETIC TO THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Cereals are useful for promoting weight gain but can increase acidity levels in the
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
Feeding for Sales Success
he aim of yearling sales preparation is to produce an athletic, well-mannered, sound individual in good body condition to shine in the sales ring. Nutrition plays an important role in yearling prep and planning is critical, from selecting the most suitable forage and hard feed to tailoring supplements to the individual needs. Forage is the basis of all horseâ€™s diets and forage analysis is one of the most powerful tools in a studs feeding regime. Knowing the energy, protein and mineral content of your hay or haylage can help you ensure that your youngstock has an optimally balanced diet and that any deficiencies or imbalances are corrected. Analysing the hygienic quality of the forage is also important, especially during sales preparation, when any adverse challenges to the respiratory system are unwelcome. In recent years, specialist feeds designed for horses being prepared for the sales ring, such as Connollyâ€™s RED MILLS Prep Mix, have become increasingly popular. Prep Mix has been formulated to support growth and condition in youngstock being prepared for the sales. This highly palatable muesli ration includes high quality protein, rich in essential amino acids, to support muscle and topline development. Elevated levels of the RED MILLS Pro Balance vitamin and mineral package is included to support optimal skeletal development. Prep Mix also provides high levels of oil and copper for superb coat condition, whilst added antioxidants aid immune function. In certain situations, a low starch or specialist diet may be required (e.g. horses prone to anxiety/ excitability or digestive disturbances). In these cases, we recommend Connollyâ€™s RED MILLS Horse Care 14 Cubes or Mix. These feeds are formulated to provide a conditioning, yet low
starch feeding option. They also contain a unique Care Package, which includes a natural long-lasting gastric acid buffer, pure protected yeast and two prebiotics (MOS and FOS) to support stomach and hindgut health. Supplements play a big role during sales prep, enabling you to tailor a diet to individual horses. For example, Foran Equine Kentucky Karron Oil, a high quality and easily absorbed oil, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, will help enhance coat shine. Supplements can also help address specific concerns; underdeveloped youngsters may benefit from a hydrolysed protein supplement such as Foran Equine Muscle Prep to help support muscle development to promote topline, whilst Foran Equine Nutri-Calm, which contains a combination of L-tryptophan, B vitamins and magnesium, can be immensely beneficial for an anxious or stressed youngster. For more information and guidance on Sales Preparation, visit https://redmills.ie/blog/expert-advice/Sales-Prep/
70 THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E
New Profeet Range from NAF Numerous environmental threats encountered by the race horse daily can lead to poor horn quality. Years of tactical breeding and genetics means many thoroughbreds have thinner soles and hoof walls which can pose a threat. An increase in farrier visits to care for the tricky thoroughbred hoof, necessary when in training to ensure a wellbalanced hoof that can withstand the pressure of a race, can result in the farrier not having an adequate foot to work with. Add intense workloads, varied weather conditions, moisture robbing bedding and surfaces, or ﬁeld hazards that could lead to puncture wounds; all threaten hoof health and leave areas vulnerable, however, with daily support these can be protected and nourished accordingly. Good nutrition both internally and externally ensures a healthy hoof supports body weight and overall performance.
Also available in NEW FARRIER SOLUTION BY PROFEET a drip free hoof application, providing an economical solution to total hoof care. Packaged in a handy container with a natural brush included for convenience and cleanliness. Comfortably sits in your hand while being able to apply with ease.
Horn quality has visibly improved with PROFEET Farrier Dressing and Farrier Solution, I use this product to finish every hoof to help defend the horn from the environmental threats and to help support growth throughout the short racing cycles. Helping to keep hooves on track to perform to their best! Wesley Powell DipWCF, FARRIER TO MICHAEL SCUDAMORE
RRP £14.99 500ml For further details please call the NAF Freephone Nutritional Advice line 0800 373106 or email email@example.com • www.naf-equine.eu/uk
INTRODUCING NEW FARRIER DRESSING BY PROFEET Formulated with farriers for every hoof, an easy to apply dressing, whatever the weather. Great for use on yards, in a handy bucket container to transport from area to area where convenient. Available in a larger size to cater for yards. Expertly blended to enable deep penetration into the horn and help prevent premature cracking and drying, while protecting the hoof capsule from the outside in. Ultimately helping to defend the hoof from waterborne threats by supporting against contact with anaerobic bacteria. Giving your farrier hooves to work with helping provide a future for every hoof. RRP £12.99 900g / £29.99 2.5kg
THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER
The Finish Line with Donnacha O’Brien Donnacha O’Brien packed a huge amount into an all-too-short career in the saddle, landing two champion jockey titles in Ireland and winning ten Group 1s. Making the switch to training at just 21, owing in part to the inevitable weight issues that accompanied his tall frame, he was only months into his new vocation when saddling Fancy Blue to win the Prix de Diane, the day after his father Aidan completed another Derby and Oaks double at Epsom. Interview: Graham Dench
e thought Fancy Blue had a big chance in the Prix de Diane and thankfully everything fell right for her on what was a fantastic day. She’d had a very good run when second in the Irish Guineas, which we’d kind of used as a prep for one of the Oaks, and we went to France because the prize-money was very attractive and ten furlongs was a logical step, rather than going straight up to a mile and a half. I’d have been quarantined if I’d travelled to France, where there was no real need for me, so I watched from up in the stand at Fairyhouse, where I had another runner. I didn’t go mad, but it was a great finish and I certainly gave her some encouragement! I don’t know Pierre-Charles [Boudot] particularly well – just to say hello to – but when we heard he was available we snapped him up and I think he made the difference on the day. I think Joseph was first on the phone after the race, followed closely by Dad, but they are all great supporters and everyone was delighted for me. Of course there was going to be a sense of ‘unfinished business’ when I retired from riding, but nobody can achieve everything riding, no matter what stage they walk away. There are guys riding at the top of their game all their lives who don’t achieve everything. Where do you draw the line? There comes a point where you have to be
Fancy Blue: Classic winner in France
realistic and put your health above everything. It’s not a sport you want to be greedy in; we all know the dangers of cutting weight, and also of the raceriding itself. I was very lucky as I had a great career and rode some great horses; then when the time came I had the opportunity to train. As a rider I’d have to say that the big races I was lucky enough to win were more important to me than the championships. Every big win was special but Latrobe’s Irish Derby win was a very special day, as it was my first Derby and it was for [trainer] Joseph, who was winning his first Classic. The championships were just for me and nobody else cares too much about them, but for a big race there are a lot of people relying on you, from the trainer, through to the owner and the team at home. It’s more pressure, whereas the championship is a drawn-out thing and realistically it’s only in the back of your mind until three or four weeks before it’s finished. Training is harder in some ways but easier in others. It’s easier on the body, obviously, but it’s much more difficult in terms of the responsibility you have and you are working 24/7, thinking about the horses and what to do with them. But everyone says there’s more satisfaction in training winners than riding them – and I’m not going to disagree. You are so much more involved and so much more commitment is required. You know the horses so much better and it’s your neck on the chopping block if anything goes wrong. If you ride a horse and it goes wrong you might be blamed for about an hour, but then you can move on. Going to France with Fancy Blue, when it would have been easier to keep her for the Curragh, was a big call for me as a trainer. It was nice when it all went right and the owners’ trust was repaid. We’d had a very different experience
the previous weekend with Sherpa in the Irish Derby. He was a lovely horse and one of our flagbearers, so to lose him like that was a big blow to everyone. It was nice that the filly could give the yard a lift like that so soon afterwards. I’m in David Wachman’s old yard and I’m enjoying my new life. There had been an overflow of yearlings at Ballydoyle, which had gone to David’s, and Dad asked me if I’d like to look after them. I said I would and that’s how it started. I was overseeing them as a kind of satellite yard and then I got my licence after retiring from the saddle in November. I’ve got a great bunch of lads to help me. Some were with David until he retired and then went to Dad’s before coming back here. Others were with Dad for a long time before joining me. They are very experienced. We have between 25 and 30 in training here and there’s room for more, although not a massive amount. I’d rather concentrate on quality rather than quantity, spending more time with them, and Coolmore have sent me some very well bred yearlings. I’d rather have the numbers I have of their sort than twice as many lesser-bred horses, and I think I’m in a very good position. I want to train good horses and win big races, taking them around the world to showcase them for the country and for the breeding. I’m not going to pinpoint one race I’d particularly like to win. There are any amount of races I’d love to win one day, whether it’s a Derby, an Irish Champion Stakes or a race at the Breeders’ Cup. I’ll certainly be looking forward to going abroad again if I have the right horse. Dad has a lot of horses and so does Joseph, and I think we have a duty to take them around the world to compete with the best we can and not just completely dry out the Irish races. If one of mine goes and wins a big one it will be amazing.
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By the end of the weekend after Royal Ascot, Night Of Thunder was up to 12 Stakes winners from his first crop. That’s more than any first-crop sire ever – and as many as Dubawi and Galileo had amassed at the same stage of their careers put together. Molatham’s impressive Jersey win was one of Night Of Thunder’s five Royal Ascot winners or place-getters: only his sire Dubawi and maternal grandsire Galileo could match that.
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RANKED BY NUMBER OF GROUP OR LISTED WINNERS BY 21 JUNE OF THEIR FIRST CROP’S THREE-YEAR-OLD SEASON 1 Night Of Thunder 12 2 No Nay Never 9 3 Cape Cross 8 Kingman 8 Zoffany 8 Fasliyev 8 7 Dubawi 7 Lope de Vega 7 Frankel 7 Mastercraftsman 7 Oasis Dream 7 Roberto 7