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£5.95 NOVEMBER 2020 ISSUE 195

Never stop believing Jeff Smith dreaming of Classic glory with Alcohol Free


First-crop foals

Sires to watch at the sales

Malcolm Denmark

‘I’ve never fired any of my trainers’

Yearling market

John Boyce’s exclusive analysis

BATED BREATH 2007 b h Dansili - Tantina (Distant View)




BLACKTYPE performers

IN 2020

Bated Breath has broken his yearling sales record for the third time in 2020 Yearlings have sold for

290,000gns, 280,000gns, 260,000gns, 170,000gns

Contact Shane Horan, Claire Curry or Henry Bletsoe +44 (0)1638 731115

Yearling average of

102,800gns for Tattersalls October Yearlings Books 1 & 2 (15 Sold) 10x his 2018 fee


Welcome Editor: Edward Rosenthal Bloodstock Editor: Nancy Sexton Design/production: Thoroughbred Group Editorial: 12 Forbury Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1SB Twitter: @OwnerBreeder Instagram: ownerbreeder Equine Advertising: Giles Anderson/Anna Alcock UK: 01380 816777 IRE: 041 971 2000 USA: 1 888 218 4430 Subscriptions: Keely Brewer 01183 385 686 The Owner Breeder can be purchased by non-members at the following rates: 1 Year 2 Year UK £60 £100 Europe £90 £150 RoW £120 £195 The Owner Breeder is published by a Mutual Trading Company owned jointly by the Racehorse Owners Association and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association is a registered charity No. 1134293 Editorial views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the ROA or TBA Our monthly average readership is 20,000 Racehorse Owners Association Ltd 12 Forbury Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1SB Tel: 01183 385680 •


Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stanstead House, The Avenue, Newmarket CB8 9AA Tel: 01638 661 321 • Fax: 01638 665621 •

£5.95 NOVEMBER 2020 ISSUE 195

Never stop believing

Jeff Smith dreaming of Classic glory with Alcohol Free


First-crop foals

Sires to watch at the sales

Malcolm Denmark

‘I’ve never fired any of my trainers’

Yearling market

John Boyce’s exclusive analysis

Cover: Alcohol Free and Oisin Murphy capture the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket for owner Jeff Smith Photo: Edward Whitaker

Edward Rosenthal Editor

Smith hoping to toast Classic success with Alcohol Free J

eff Smith’s long-standing investment – financial and emotional – in British bloodstock has been rewarded with some outstanding runners over the past 45 years, encompassing sprinters, milers, middledistance performers and stayers. Each decade has unveiled yet another superstar to race in the famous purple and blue silks, with Chief Singer, Dashing Blade, Lochsong, Persian Punch, Lochangel and Arabian Queen all making their mark in the top races. To that roll of honour you can add the name of Alcohol Free, winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in September. Smith is yet to win a British Classic but perhaps Alcohol Free will be the one to change that statistic, with her owner targeting next year’s 1,000 Guineas. Chief Singer finished second in perhaps the best 2,000 Guineas there’s ever been, in 1984, when he chased home El Gran Senor, clear of Lear Fan and Rainbow Quest. While Smith takes great pleasure in the horses he produces at his Littleton Stud in Hampshire, Alcohol Free was purchased as a foal at Goffs for the princely sum of €40,000, having been picked out by Stud Manager David Bowe. “Now I’m no judge,” Smith tells Julian Muscat (The Big Interview, pages 28-32). “I have a fair idea after all these years but that’s as far as it goes. Yet to my eye the filly looked well worth the money when she arrived here. “I wondered how David had managed to get her for forty grand. He didn’t know either – and it was euros.” Time will tell whether Alcohol Free stays the 1,000 Guineas trip – “Andrew [Balding] has been convinced she is a miler in the making” – but her owner has never been afraid to “have a go”, as he puts it. It’s a strategy that has paid dividends on numerous occasions, whether it’s Chief Singer scoring on debut in the 1983 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, or 50-1 shot Arabian Queen upsetting Derby hero Golden

Horn in the 2015 Juddmonte International. Another British owner-breeder, Chris Wright, has also enjoyed a fabulous autumn with a filly bought at the sales for – you guessed it, €40,000. Wonderful Tonight, identified by trainer David Menuisier at Arqana and named after Eric Clapton’s 1977 ballad, achieved a superb Group 1 double by taking the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on Arc weekend and following up in the Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day (The Big Picture, pages 22-23). Remarkably, Wright has yet to see Wonderful Tonight run in person, having been content to watch her top-level triumphs on the

“His ‘have a go’ strategy has paid dividends on many occasions” television to date. Hopefully he can put that right in 2021 with the daughter of Le Havre set to race on as a four-year-old. The prices achieved at the recent Tattersalls October Sale were reassuringly strong considering the current challenging environment, with nine yearlings breaking the million-guinea barrier in Book 1 (see Sales Circuit, pages 49-64). However, the exploits of Alcohol Free and Wonderful Tonight show that a top-class racehorse need not cost the earth – if you know where to look. Of course, there’s a degree of luck required with any thoroughbred purchase but having supported the racing and breeding industries for decades, Smith and Wright deserve a sprinkling of good fortune from time to time.




TRIPLE GR.1 HERO, CLASSIC WINNER AT 3 AND GROUP WINNER AT 2 1st Prix du Moulin de Longchamp Gr.1 - 1st Prix d’Ispahan Gr.1 1st Poule d’Essai des Poulains Gr.1 - 1st Prix du Muguet Gr.2 1st Prix de Fontainebleau Gr.3 - 1st Autumn Stakes Gr.3 at 2 2nd Prix du Jockey Club Gr.1 - 3rd Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Gr.1 NEW IN 2021


November 2020


News & Views ROA Leader Embracing syndicate ownership

TBA Leader Bringing back the buzz is vital

News John Oxx calls time on career

Changes News in a nutshell

Howard Wright Collective pat on the back merited

Features continued 7 9 10 16 26

From Longchamp and Ascot

The Big Interview With owner-breeder Jeff Smith

First-crop foals Sires out to make their mark

Yearling market Exclusive analysis



Tattersalls defies expectations

Sales Circuit Yearlings take centre stage

Caulfield Files Pivotal's awesome autumn

The Finish Line Malcolm Denmark savours Cesarewitch win

Update on racing behind closed doors

Great British Bonus 20

Latest news and winners

TBA Forum 28

Five candidates standing for election

Breeder of the Month 34 42

47 49 67 96

Forum ROA Forum

Features The Big Picture

Breeders' Digest

Review of the year to date

Vet Forum Carpal sheath issues in focus

72 80 82 88 93




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At the ROA we work tirelessly to support, protect and promote the interests of racehorse owners everywhere. We collaborate across the industry to make sure that owners’ voices are heard within racing – making it a more open, enjoyable and rewarding sport for everyone. SUPPORTING YOUR OWNERSHIP JOURNEY AT EVERY STEP. DISCOVER HOW - ROA.CO.UK










ROA Leader

Charlie Parker President

Embracing syndicate ownership is essential C

hampions Day gave us a glimpse of the future of racing. We saw the first two races on the card won by horses owned by syndicate/partnership teams – very well done to them. We also saw Hollie Doyle grabbing the headlines with two winners. Both of these stories point towards a more inclusive, modern future, where syndicates become more and more important as a route to ownership and female jockeys are centre stage as superb role models to the younger generation. These trends could be seen as huge drivers for increased involvement in our sport, attracting the next generation of participants, racegoers and owners. We have also seen remarkable returns from the recent yearling sale in Newmarket. British racing, even in these worrying times, always seems to provide a welcome distraction and a glimpse of a much brighter future. That future must continue to put ownership at the centre as we look to recover and grow. Ownership is the beating heart of horseracing and the current situation necessitates that we look at how we retain existing owners and, crucially, attract more owners into the sport. The promotion and regulation of syndicate and partnership involvement has to be a crucial plank in the future of ownership in Britain. Syndicates are certainly gaining a higher profile and we need to help grow this engagement and promote their provision. The basic sharing of the financial burden, the extra emotional enjoyment of sharing the experience with friends or fellow members, offers the industry a way forward in terms of maintaining horse numbers and keeping the show on the road. In these times of financial constraint, reducing the financial barriers to ownership is surely a solid route to market that we should pursue. I know we at the ROA are already focussing on that growth with new projects around promotion of syndicates, how they are marketed, accredited and treated within racing. The ROA is piloting the promotion of trainer-managed syndicates next year whilst we continue to work with Great British Racing on the new syndicate promotion platform. A key aspect is obviously the protection of the syndicate/partnership/club member and the work that the BHA is doing on the regulatory framework and accreditation will certainly help to protect owners and their investments whilst raising standards for syndicate provision. As an industry we must be more proactive and racing has to be more accepting of this model of ownership. Growth also means the next generation. We have the next generation of jockeys and trainers. The next generation of owners

and racegoers is out there too. We have seen with the popularity of student racedays that there is a huge appetite amongst the younger generations to go racing and have a good time. I know from my own experiences as a student racegoer that this early engagement can lead to lifelong participation and ownership. The next generation of owners, be they in clubs, syndicates or partnerships, have most likely been to the races already, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. As an industry we have to make that transition from enthusiast to participant as easy as possible. All consumer-facing industries have increasingly made use of data on their customers to improve and grow their businesses, yet it is an area in which British racing has not made significant

“Work that the BHA is doing on accreditation will help to raise standards for syndicate provision” progress. This is never more important than when looking at the younger audience. We have to use the enormous amount of information that is available to us to help frame the marketing and promotion of ownership in whatever form is affordable to the individual. That should extend to how we convey the fun of ownership and give better digital access to the product for younger generations – they want a good digital platform to access racing, monitor their participation and be rewarded for loyalty. We have to show racing’s best side and be more interactive. Racing is a fantastic and passionate sport battling for a better future. We have to get going to make the changes that will enable us to retain owners and we must be ambitious to grow both wider interest and ownership numbers.




The TBA, working for breeders, supporting the industry. TBA members can sign up to the Racecourse Badge Scheme for Breeders to receive free SMS and email alerts when horses they have bred are due to run. There’s also events, training courses, employer support, third party public liability policy*, guidance documents, tax/legal hotlines, and much more. Become a member, visit * See policy document for terms of cover


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TBA Leader

Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman

Crowds key to getting racing back on track G

enerally, human beings are sociable animals. We like to share our experiences, see each other’s faces and expressions and interpret body language, and, yes, we make a point of even embracing or shaking the hand of our fellow humans. So, the past eight months, with its lockdown, distancing rules, mask-wearing and general curtailment of social gatherings, has felt extremely strange and frustrating to most of us. It has come as an unexpected and unwelcome shock. For those of us involved in racing and breeding in even the smallest way, the general inconvenience of the new measures has brought an added level of frustration, simply because we are used to the many aspects of socialising at the races and sharing our experiences, whether that involves celebrating success or commiserating over disappointments. All these elements of the regular experience of going racing, which we would normally take for granted, are so much better when shared with others. Bloodstock sales rings form the same function. As evidenced at this normally busy time of year, familiar faces gather to buy or sell, or just to enjoy the atmosphere, and there is a certain camaraderie about being part of this lively environment. Not so long ago, every town in Britain, large or small, thrived on the many farmers who would come in to trade their stock and goods on market day. While that environment has been mostly superseded by bigger agribusiness, it is now often the local race meetings that provide a chance for those people spread around the countryside to meet up and exchange views. Many discussions are had, and many deals done, because so much of what happens in the bloodstock world is created by the opportunity that meeting others offers, whether on the racecourse or around the sales ring. Stallions are syndicated; shares and deals are done over broodmares and breeding stock; and racehorses change hands. Job opportunities and partnerships are often forged in such meetings. This activity – not all of which is pre-arranged – comes about because of the existence of a community of like-minded people with a shared interest and, yes, dreams of success both racing and financial, that centre around the thoroughbred, with whom we so enjoy being involved. So much of the enjoyment of being a part of breeding and racing revolves around the socialising and maintaining a sense of being involved. At the TBA we have done our best to keep this feeling of involvement going, for instance with our annual Flat Breeders’ Awards evening in September.

Even before the ‘rule of six’ was introduced, it was clear we would be unable to host our usual event, but by moving online and retaining the sponsorship of Weatherbys, we were able to recognise the achievements of British breeders from the 2019 Flat racing season. It remains to be seen how we will celebrate 2020, given the debilitating restrictions that at the time of writing show no sign of being relaxed. Treating everyone at arm’s length and retreating behind a mask, so not being part of a crowd on the racecourse, sadly diminishes the involvement, which in turn will lead some people to question why they are taking part at all. We need normality, or something near to what we used to

“Without the interaction of people our sport will lose its attraction to many of those involved” regard as normality, as soon as possible. We need crowds of whatever size is manageable back on the racecourse. We need that familiar buzz around the sales ring, that competitive edge of the auction, which livens up the basic act of selling and buying. Protocols are fine and there is little evidence that wellmanaged sporting events, including racing, spread Covid-19. We must stress to the government that sports and industries that depend on atmosphere and crowds need to be helped, not just financially but directly in their businesses, to get back the thrill and excitement that makes us all want to be part of the scene. Without the interaction of people and the restoration of some form of normality our sport will lose its attraction to many of those involved. If that happens, it will take many years to restore not only the finances but bring back the optimism that inspires owners and breeders to take part.




Training great John Oxx bows out



Oxx will be best remembered for Sea The Stars, who in 2009 completed the unique treble of the 2,000 Guineas,


ohn Oxx, one of the true gentleman trainers and the handler of equine greats Sea The Stars, Sinndar and Azamour, is in the final furlong of a stellar career spanning six decades, having announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. Oxx, who turned 70 in July, feels this is the right month to bring the curtain down on a training career that began in 1979, his first winner, Orchestra, arriving that spring at the old Phoenix Park racecourse. He explained: “In 2021 I will not be renewing my trainer’s licence. It has been my good fortune to have enjoyed a lot of success and trained some great horses. “I am extremely grateful to all the owners who have sent me those horses to train since 1979, to all the great jockeys who rode them and to all the exceptional staff who have worked for us over the last 41 years. “Over the years and right up to date, I have been privileged to have some wonderful owners and I will greatly miss training for them, but now is a good time for me to stop. “My concern at the moment is that our staff can find alternative employment as our training business will cease at the end of this turf season in November.” It is a business which for all those connected with it down the years has reaped some rich rewards, with Oxx the mastermind behind Classic victories and numerous other Group 1s, while forging a reputation all the while as a consummate, well-liked and respected professional.

Ridgewood Pearl supplied John Oxx and Johnny Murtagh with Breeders’ Cup Mile glory



Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in an awesome unbeaten campaign. His achievements arguably stand alone in recent years as a benchmark, given Sea The Stars also won the Eclipse, Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes, proving his worth over distances from a mile to a mile and a half. Sea The Stars, who was owned by the Tsui family, was ridden throughout his career by Mick Kinane, who said of Oxx: “He’s a fantastic trainer and an outstanding gentleman. I loved every minute I spent with him.” Before Sea The Stars came along, Oxx would have been forgiven for thinking he would never train a more outstanding racehorse than Sinndar, winner of the Derby and Arc nine years earlier. For good measure, Sinndar also triumphed in the Irish Derby, and as a two-year-old had landed the National Stakes. In a situation not dissimilar to Sea The Stars, Sinndar was defeated just once in

Stories from the racing world

Sinndar: outstanding performer won the Derby, Irish Derby and Arc in 2000

Two years earlier, Oxx’s astute handling of Alamshar enabled the Aga Khan to again enjoy his summer, with victories in the Irish Derby and King George. The duo also enjoyed success in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Enzeli in 1999. While Oxx was winning Classics in the eighties – he struck in the 1987 Irish St Leger through Eurobird and two years later with Petite Ile in a race he would also win with Kastoria in 2005 – Ridgewood Pearl was the first to come along to win multiple Group 1s. The Coughlan family’s homebred bagged the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes, Prix

du Moulin and Breeders’ Cup Mile in a memorable campaign in 1995, those four victories of course coming in different counties. Other highlights included Timarida’s 1996 Irish Champion Stakes success, back-to-back Irish Oaks wins with Ebadiyla and Winona in 1997 and 1998, and Namid’s success in the 2000 Prix de l’Abbaye. Oxx’s career suffered a blow when the Aga Khan stopped sending him horses in 2013, while the Tsui family did likewise three years later, having decided to withdraw their string completely from Ireland. The County Kildare man’s Group 1 career tally stands at 33, and he was crowned champion trainer in Ireland in 1995. Oxx masterminded the career of the exceptional Sea The Stars, culminating in victory in the 2009 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe


his career and was partnered by only the one rider, Johnny Murtagh. Murtagh, himself now a Group 1-winning trainer, said: “It is the end of an era, I rode for John for many years and he was just a brilliant trainer. “I joined him as an apprentice when I was 15, we won at the Breeders’ Cup together, we had great success together and I think we worked well together. “He was a father figure to me, someone I looked up to. As a jockey I was privileged to ride for him and when I set up training he was a big influence on how we set up our business. “When he got those good horses he was able to keep them on the boil for the whole season – more importantly he was just an absolute gentleman. “I wish him all the best, hopefully he won’t leave the industry because a person with so much knowledge needs to be involved.” Sinndar raced in the colours of the Aga Khan, the owner with whom Oxx has been most synonymous. Among numerous star horses saddled by Oxx in the famous green and red silks, Azamour and Alamshar also stand out. Azamour won the St James’s Palace Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes as a three-year-old in 2004, and the following year came back to dominate at Ascot again, lifting the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, to the immense satisfaction of his owner.


“His Group 1 tally stands at 33 and he was champion trainer in 1995”




Cheltenham’s new mares’ race will be a Grade 2 contest over 2m4f

New mares’ race for the Festival This season’s Cheltenham Festival will contain a new race, the Grade 2 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, which replaces the Listed novices’ handicap chase that had been run on the opening day of the meeting. Last month’s announcement ended much speculation and discussion over which contest would be displaced. A wide variety of views had been expressed but ultimately the unusually narrow range of the handicap in the Listed novices’ chase may have been a decisive factor. In any case, that race will be saved, and instead be held at Sandown’s Imperial Cup meeting on the eve of the Festival. The new two-and-a-half-mile mares’ contest, which will be registered as the Liberthine Mares’ Chase, will be run on Gold Cup day, with the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase moving to the Wednesday and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (better known as the Fred Winter) moving to the opening day. Cheltenham Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse said: “We’re looking forward to being able to bring the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase into the racing calendar for the Festival. Not only is this a great example of the sport working together to boost the mares’ race programme in Britain to benefit the industry, but we also now have an improved mares’ population providing quality competition. “Deciding which race to replace was not an easy decision and it was



important we took into account all the factors and feedback we received. But when we evaluated the other novice chase opportunities at the Festival, as well as the importance of maintaining the current balance of chases and hurdles over the four days, this was considered the best option.” Ruth Quinn, Director of International Racing and Racing Development at the BHA, added: “The addition of a Grade 2 mares’ chase is another tangible, positive step in the efforts being made to encourage owners and trainers to continue to enhance the population of

quality jumping mares. “Having such a tempting target to aim for is sure to have a long-term impact on breeders, owners and trainers when it comes to thinking about buying a mare or keeping a mare in training and campaigning her over fences.” Inevitably there were contrasting opinions from within the training ranks, but 11-times champion Paul Nicholls was in favour and said: “It will no doubt have been a tough decision in choosing which of the races to lose, but in this case at least those horses will have lots of opportunities elsewhere.”

Levy Board digs deep as fixtures for first four months of 2021 released A total of 448 fixtures – three less than the corresponding period this year – will be staged in the first four months of 2021, the BHA has revealed. While the number of Flat fixtures has reduced, from 208 to 202, the number of races will remain unchanged with more races being staged on cards at floodlit meetings. The number of jump meetings has increased by three from 243 to 246. Confirmed dates of all fixtures featuring Pattern races for the full year have also been published, alongside provisional dates for racecourse fixtures for the remainder of 2021. The Horserace Betting Levy Board has allocated £31.9 million to racing

between January and April 2021, including £24.4m to prize-money, a 46% increase on the normal level paid by the Levy Board in this period. Having delved into its reserves in order to bolster prize-money since racing resumed in June, the Levy Board’s 2021 contribution will be welcomed by all in the sport. However, HBLB Chairman Paul Darling sounded a huge note of caution, stating: “This level of funding from the Board is unsustainable beyond the short-term. “We continue to urge the industry’s constituents to work together on future plans, recognising that our contribution will have to return to more normal levels in due course.”

An eye for success

November 2020

visit studlife online:

KAMEKO JOINS TWEENHILLS STALLIONS Kameko, the fastest ever Guineas winner, is to retire to Tweenhills at the end of his three-year-old campaign. Kameko became Qatar Racing’s third European Gr.1 Classic winner after Simple Verse and Just The Judge. He was also an impressive winner of the Gr.1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at two and successfully gave weight to world-class older horses in the Gr.2 Joel Stakes in September. The son of Kitten’s Joy – the same sire as Qatar Racing’s late world champion

Roaring Lion – joins Zoustar, Champion First-, Second- and Third-Season Sire in Australia, Gr.1-winning sire Havana Gold and champion older miler Lightning Spear at Tweenhills for the 2021 breeding season. Kameko will run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He will then be paraded for breeders, along with other Tweenhills stallions, at Longholes Stud in Newmarket during the Tattersalls December Mare Sale. His 2021 stud fee and syndication plans will be announced in due course.

LIONS TO RUN WILD AT TATTERSALLS Tweenhills will consign top-quality drafts at both the Tattersalls December Foal and Mare Sales. Among the 37 fillies and mares will be this year’s Listed winner Run Wild, Listed winner Gorgeous Noora (in foal to Zoustar) and Princess Guest, dam of this year’s Gr.3 winner Dubai Station.

STAFF PROFILE Sally Evans Stud Hand

How it started… I grew up in Worcestershire and have always been into horses – it came from my grandad as he had Shires and Thoroughbreds. I did low-level eventing and started freelancing when I got a bit older. I’ve always known I wanted to work with horses. I worked for a sport horse stud in Shropshire and last year went to the National Stud and Coolmore Australia. I then saw there was a job opportunity at Tweenhills. How it’s going… I started here in January and assisted Sammy with the foaling until June. I just love foaling and am especially fond of Stella Blue and her Zoustar filly (both pictured with Sally) – the mare has a great personality and I foaled her down.

Among the 23 foals will be both colts and fillies from the sole crop left by Roaring Lion and first Northern Hemisphere crop of Zoustar. Go to for all the latest sales info.

Credit: Tattersalls

I also really enjoyed going on trips to Newmarket with mares being covered – one of those was Sparkle Roll, who I adore. I’m already looking forward to next year’s foaling season. And away from horses… I like travelling and history. I love France and have been quite a bit. I’ve obviously been to Australia but would like to see New Zealand – the scenery looks amazing. Ancient Egypt really fascinates me too. I’m also into Heavy Metal – my favourite band is Iron Maiden.

N HERE COME S THE SU ledge weanling filly Know Roaring Lion ex Common ub ’ born at Tweenhills. st ‘c with a halo. She was the fir

Tweenhills, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BG

PICTURE PERFECT grapher Melanie Sauer at It was great to have photo ungstock. of yo Tweenhills taking pictures

RA INBOW ’S END How cool is this photo from Sammy Gri esel? The white-faced colt is by Kitten’s Joy out of Stakes per former Special Purpose .

W: T: + 44 (0) 1452 700177 M: + 44 (0) 7767 436373 E:


Timeform stops press on annuals Older generations can be forgiven for thinking that racing, not to mention the world as a whole, looks increasingly alien, and news last month that Timeform is to stop printing its Racehorses and Chasers & Hurdlers annuals was another move in that direction. Buying, or better still receiving as a present, one of Timeform’s thick, glossy, hardback annuals was a real treat. You may not have agreed with all of the ratings, squiggles or comments, but there was nonetheless a respect accorded to the annuals that few, if any, rival publications could match. The purchase of Portway Press Limited, which traded as Timeform, by Betfair in 2006 led to arguably a more commercial outlook, but publication at least continued unaffected until last month’s announcement. Company Director Nigel Townsend said: “The whole publishing industry has been transformed in recent years. Timeform has successfully refocused itself as a digital-first business and the past six months has seen a further significant shift in the behaviour of our customers towards our online services. Closing our mail order operation will allow us to allocate more

resources to those.” The Racehorses series dates back to the founding of the company by Phil Bull in 1948, and the 73 volumes combine to provide an encyclopaedic history of Flat racing in the modern era. Townsend continued: “Timeform annuals are the first place people turn to learn about both the greats and the lesser-known horses. “Working on the annuals has been the epitome of a labour of love for the team involved. Geoff Greetham, who worked on 97 annuals, ensured they maintained the highest standards throughout, and his outstanding contribution was rightly recognised with the presentation of the George Ennor Trophy by the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association in 2016.” Publishing Editor Greetham, who leaves Timeform after 52 years, added: “When the history of the pandemic comes to be written, the demise of the Timeform annuals will merit no more than a footnote, but to the band of loyal readers and to the generations of writers and photographers who have worked on ‘racing’s bible’ this will undoubtedly be a low point.

Collector’s item: last annual

“Nothing lasts forever but the annuals have stood the test of time for longer than most and will still remain as a permanent written history of the sport. Innovation will find a way of continuing this tradition.”

Racing League to kick off at Newcastle in July Dates and venues for the new Racing League, the delayed summer team competition that guarantees £1.8 million in prize-money, have been revealed, with Newcastle chosen as the launchpad on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Newcastle will also host the final leg of the six-event series, with Doncaster and Windsor set to hold one meeting each, while a further two will be contested at Lingfield, meaning ARC tracks will be used exclusively. Racing in bespoke team colours, 12 teams – each consisting of two to four trainers working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses – will compete across 36 handicaps (rated 0-90 and run over distances ranging from five furlongs to a mile and a half) each worth £50,000, with all six meetings broadcast live on Sky Sports. Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of Sky Sports Racing, said: “In recent years Sky Sports has been instrumental in



ARC tracks will be used exclusively for the Racing League in 2021

helping mainstream sports grow their fan bases exponentially, appealing to a broad audience of sports enthusiasts and innovating in the process. “We are confident that we can achieve something similar with horseracing, so partnering with an exciting new initiative like the Racing League makes absolute sense. If the Racing League and Sky Sports Racing’s coverage encourages the

person who goes racing once a year to go again, then I would consider that a success.” 2021 Racing League dates • July 29 Newcastle • August 5 Doncaster • August 12 Lingfield • August 19 Windsor • August 26 Lingfield • September 2 Newcastle

New in 2021

WOODED GROUP 1 WINNING SPRINTER BY WOOTTON BASSETT “WOODED stood out from the day he arrived for his good looks and ability. He’s always been very sound, never missing a day’s work. As a racehorse he had so many qualities, class, courage and speed and he fully deserved his Gr.1 win this year.” Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard

AL SHAQAB SIRES 2021 1st 2-year-olds in 2021

1st 2-year-olds in 2021

At stud 2015




Prix Jacques-le-Marois Gr.1 winner at 3, like Dubawi & Kingman before him

Dual Gr.1 winner, Gr.1 winning 2-year-old from the Montjeu sire line

Sire of dual Gr.1 winner WATCH ME & Group winning 2-year-old ETONIAN

At stud 2015

1st 3-year-olds in 2021

At stud 2015

1st 2-year-olds in 2021





Invincible Spirit’s best 2 year-old performer - Ever

One of the highest % of 2-year-old winners in Europe, inc. Royal Ascot & July Stakes Gr.2 winner TACTICAL

Sea The Stars’ fastest Gr.1 winner, Chantilly Racecourse track record holder over the mile

Sire of multiple Gr.1 & Breeder’s Cup winner IRIDESSA from a small first crop


. Haras de Bouquetot, France . +33 (0)2 31 32 28 91 . .


Racing’s news in a nutshell

People and business Hollie Doyle

Glen Shiel’s success in the Sprint Stakes on Champions Day gives the rider her first win at the top level.

Saffie Osborne

Apprentice jockey set for spell on the sidelines after sustaining a broken arm, broken ribs and a punctured lung in a fall at Windsor last month.

Racehorse Relief Fund

Lester Piggott

Legendary jockey to sell 70 trophies won by himself and family members over the past 130 years in an online auction this month.

William Hill

Bookmaker set for takeover by US casino giant Caesars Entertainment in a deal valued at £2.9 billion.

Johnny Murtagh

Trainer’s best ever year rewarded with news that he will receive yearlings from the Aga Khan for the first time.

David Cottin

Former French champion jump jockey wins the first Grade 1 of his training career with Paul’s Saga in the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil.



Fund launched to support the needs of racehorses whose owners are suffering financial hardship due to Covid-19.

James Bethell

Philip Freedman

Owner, breeder and administrator is appointed Chair of charity Trainer whose career began in 1975 will Retraining of Racehorses, next year hand over to his son Ed at succeeding Paul Roy. Thorngill Stables in Middleham, from where he trained Mine to win three Bunbury Cups.

Horse obituaries

Hand Inn Hand 24

Talented chaser, winner of eight races including the 2004 Grade 1 Ascot Chase for owner-breeders Patrick and Roslyn Burling.

Thundering Blue 7

High-class middle distance performer for Clive Washbourn and David Menuisier, winner of the Group 2 York Stakes and runner-up in the Canadian International.






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Visit to learn more about our nominations and racing programs. 2 02 1 S TA L L I O N N O M I N AT I O N S D E A D L I N E : D E C E M B E R 1 5 , 2 02 0 N E W LY R E T I R E D S TA L L I O N S H AV E 9 0 DAYS A F T E R T H E I R F I R S T COV E R .

When you nominate a stallion to the Breeders’ Cup you are creating a legacy of success, increasing the value of your stallion’s progeny and ensuring that they can be eligible for up to $31 million annually in Breeders’ Cup purses and awards. All 2022 foals will be eligible for nomination.


M E M B E R S . B R E E D E R S C U P . C O M


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B C N O M I N AT I O N S @ B R E E D E R S C U P . C O M · F A X : 8 5 9 • 2 2 3 • 3 9 4 5

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Racehorse and stallion

Movements and retirements Sottsass

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner is retired aged four to take up stallion duties at Coolmore in Ireland.


Son of Street Sense, a four-time Grade 1 winner on dirt, is retired aged five to stand at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky.


Khalid Abdullah’s star mare, winner of 15 races including 11 Group 1s, is retired to the paddocks aged six after failing in her bid to win a third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.


Irish 2,000 Guineas winner is being aimed at the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland before heading to a stud career in Japan.


Champion juvenile in France last year is retired and will begin his stud career at Kildangan Stud in Ireland.

Golden Horde

Son of Lethal Force, winner of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, is retired due to injury aged three.


Godolphin’s star five-year-old, winner of this year’s Coronation Cup, Eclipse and Juddmonte International, is retired to Kildangan Stud.


High-class performer for owner Paul Jacobs and trainer Henry Candy, winner of the July Cup and Prix de la Foret, is retired aged eight.

Dame Malliot

High-class mare for the Ed Vaughan stable, winner of the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes this year, is retired to join her owner Anthony Oppenheimer’s broodmare band.



Exceptional two-year-old who took this year’s Prix Jean Prat is retired to his owner Sheikh Mohammed’s Dalham Hall Stud.


Son of Wootton Bassett, winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye last month, is retired to join the roster at Haras de Bouquetot in France.

Breeder of Itsagame, winner of the 1990 Brocklesby Stakes for trainer Simon Dow, and Karinga Dancer, successful seven times under Rules.

Arthur (James) Whitehead 84

Long-time permit holder based in Shropshire who enjoyed plenty of success with horses in France and Sweden.

Simply Ned

Stable star for first-season trainer Donnacha O’Brien, winning the Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes, is retired after suffering an injury.


John Cresswell 85

Bryan Smart-trained sprinter is retired aged nine; by far the biggest of his eight wins came in the 2018 Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.

Fancy Blue

Top-class sprinter, winner of the Sprint Cup and Golden Jubilee Stakes, is retired ahead of a stallion career at Haras d’Etreham.

People obituaries

Alpha Delphini

Ten-time winner for Nicky Richards including back-to-back renewals of Leopardstown’s Grade 1 2m1f chase over Christmas is retired aged 13.

Hello Youmzain

Adam Kondrat 53 Won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and two King George VI Chases on The Fellow, trained by Francois Doumen.

Annabel Law 60

Proprietor of West Dereham Abbey Stud in Norfolk, inherited from her father Guy Shropshire and which she ran in partnership with her husband Mark Law.

The Big Picture Sottsass supreme This year’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe saw plenty of drama before the stalls had even opened. Trainer Aidan O’Brien took brilliant filly Love out of the race on account of the ground and then saw his remaining quartet ruled out due to a contaminated feed issue. In the race, Peter Brant’s Sottsass and Cristian Demuro (left next to trainer Jean-Claude Rouget) saw off In Swoop by a neck as Enable’s bid for a third Arc floundered on the heavy Longchamp going. Photos George Selwyn


Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe



The Big Picture


QIPCO British Champions Day

Wonderful double A preference for testing ground allowed Wonderful Tonight to secure Group 1s on both sides of the Channel last month. Chris Wright’s filly, trained by David Menuisier, broke through at the top level with a gutsy win in the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on October 3 under Tony Piccone (inset). Fourteen days later the daughter of Le Havre turned out at Ascot in the Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day and recorded a decisive victory with William Buick in the saddle. Photos Dan Abraham and George Selwyn


The Big Picture


QIPCO British Champions Day

Four out of six ain’t bad The Hollie Doyle-Tom Marquand household claimed four of the six races on QIPCO British Champions Day. Doyle struck first, winning the Long Distance Cup on Trueshan for Barbury Lions 5 and the Sprint Stakes on Glen Shiel for Hambleton Racing XXXVI & Partner (top left), the latter her first triumph at the top level. Marquand captured the Champion Stakes on Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum’s Addeybb (main image) and the closing Balmoral Handicap on Irish raider Njord, owned by the Blessingndisguise Partnership. Photos Bill Selwyn and Dan Abraham


The Howard Wright Column

Racing’s ranks deserve credit not criticism M

Hollie Doyle strikes on Glen Shiel at Champions Day at Ascot, staged without crowds but at least able to take place

Last orders for much-loved series Seventy-Two Hours That Rocked the Racing World: it could be the blockbuster sporting movie of the year, except for the fact that Britain’s cinemas, like its racecourses, have been closed off as places of public entertainment by coronavirus restrictions. Enable, Pinatubo, John Oxx and Earthlight were among a batch of immediate or imminent retirements reported within the space of three momentous days in the second week of October. Another announcement, of even more lastingly dramatic consequence, came during this period, but with less of a fanfare. It took up a page on the Timeform website and said: “Timeform will close the remaining elements of its mail-order service from December. This means the Racehorses and Chasers & Hurdlers annual, and the weekly Timeform Black Book, will no longer be printed.” So, make a note of the name Zyon. He may not be top of the list of horses to follow from Paul Nicholls’ stable this jumps season, but he could be the answer to a turf trivia question in a few years’ time. He is the final entry in Chasers & Hurdlers 2019-20, which was published a couple of weeks


of the time, and absolutely no evidence has since emerged to say the Festival could be connected to subsequent virus outbreaks. Yet the Mail dig went on: “The event, at the Jockey Club-owned course, may well have been at the forefront of the government’s thinking as they pulled the plug on the planned return.” Oh yes, and where is the evidence for that glib assertion? Nowhere, I’d say, which is only slightly better than the downright lie that originally linked a virus outbreak in south Wales to a pub trip to Doncaster for the first day of the St Leger meeting, before it was revealed that the coach party had not visited the racecourse at all. All this does a disservice to the diligence of those who have kept British racing ticking over since the June 1 return from lockdown. With 547 fixtures taking place in the five months before the end of October, and the likelihood of their featuring nearly 4,400 races and more than 310,000 runners, no other sport has fulfilled such an extended and demanding public schedule; nor has there been a more safe activity for those taking part. Reminders about Covid-19 procedures from BHA medical consultant Jerry Hill have been heeded, and only a handful of cases of racecourse misbehaviour have found their way to the Judicial Panel, with confusion over the strictly observed owners’ area being the miscreants’ chief line of defence. Jockey Ben Curtis overstepped the mark to continue a promotional exercise and was suspended for two weeks;

ago but, as the death notice made clear, “will be the last in the series of Timeform annuals.” Timeform founder Phil Bull would spin in his grave at the news, but for the fact he was an atheist – not a devout atheist, as one journalist described him and to which “contradiction in terms!” he took great exception – and refused the more regularly framed niceties of burial. Nevertheless, the end of the run represents closure for



ud sticks. Especially when brickbats aimed during the coronavirus restrictions are built from cynical straws blowing in the wind of misinformation. Take a snide remark in the Daily Mail’s Sports Agenda column, referring to Jockey Club backing for racing’s case to the government for financial assistance in the absence of paying attendances. “There was no mention of the staging of this year’s Cheltenham, which many believe helped spread the virus throughout the country,” the item noted. Many? Throughout the country? Give me strength. Cheltenham went ahead under the agreed regulations

Phil Bull: driving force behind Timeform’s popular annuals

SOLID AS A ROCK ! trainer Gary Moore was handed a £750 fine for a Goodwood episode that would have done credit to a Carry On film, while Mark Gillard and his assistant trainer Steven Hosie were stood down for six weeks, after reversing their wristbands to gain entrance to the Newbury owners’ facility that had opened for refreshments 15 minutes earlier than the trainers’ equivalent. Otherwise the crime sheet has involved half a dozen stable staff, one jockey (Matty Batchelor) and one pundit (Andrew Thornton) stood down for attending the races – usually on multiple occasions – without having completed the obligatory online course and falsely declaring they had done so on a questionnaire before entering the course. For the rest, racing’s ability to stay consistently safe under

extremely trying conditions compares hugely favourably with such as football. That the sport has continued to operate, albeit behind closed doors, does great credit to the efforts of so many people – racecourse personnel, from office staff to treaders-in; raceday officials, from starters and judges to stalls handlers and stable-yard attendants; those owners who have braved the restrictions, trainers, jockeys and stable staff, right down to broadcasters and journalists. Everyone involved deserves a collective pat on the back, instead of the kick in the teeth that continues to come from ill-informed and under-appreciative outsiders.

a printing phenomenon, which began with Best Horses of 1942 and was rightly described by venerable Daily Telegraph correspondent Peter Scott as adding “a new dimension to racing writing in this country.” Written and published in its first year by Bull under his pseudonym William K Temple as a 96-page paperback that uniquely examined individually the performances of the Flat season’s 250 best horses, the series quickly grew in size and scope, although the author’s inability to assemble material in timely fashion through racing’s winter break strained early publishing dates. For a number of years Bull took on outside help to write the essays – even if he inserted his own comments where he disagreed with the contributor – but delays came to a head when the 580-page, blue-backed Best Horses of 1947 became the green-backed Racehorses of 1948, reduced to 192 pages, with note-form comments on all 4,728 horses who ran that year, each with a Timeform rating, produced for the first time by Bull’s invaluable but not always recognised right-hand man Dick Whitford. As a collectible, Racehorses of 1948 is the most elusive in what has proved to be a 78-book series and was reprinted in 1984. Anyone fortunate enough to have a library shelf full of the short, squat, tightly-typed volumes that make up the full run of Racehorses, and its accompanying 45 Chasers & Hurdlers that followed from 1975-76, will gloss over the rogue intervention. What’s one blemish in a unique line-up?

“Only a few cases of racecourse misbehaviour have found their way to the Judicial Panel”



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THE OWNER BREEDER 27 Pub_PMC_88x265-Ang_TO&B.indd 1

24/02/20 12:53


The Big Interview


Jeff Smith


Alcohol Free and Oisin Murphy after winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in September, and below, the filly with her owner Jeff Smith, who has his sights set on the 1,000 Guineas


Jeff Smith’s silks have been associated with some of the most popular racehorses of the last 30 years, namely Lochsong and Persian Punch, while his latest star is a bargain buy that could reward her owner with a first British Classic success Words: Julian Muscat



eff Smith has seen most things the game has to offer. He has been to nirvana, courtesy of the surreal racing exploits of Lochsong and Persian Punch, but he had never previously watched one of his horses win a Group 1 race on television. Smith is the kind of owner-breeder who lives every second. He thrives on the sights and sounds of the racecourse, in particular the adrenaline rush ahead of a big race. It has been this way since he bought his first racehorse 44 years ago, yet when Andrew Balding saddled Alcohol Free to win the Cheveley Park

Stakes he was sitting in his armchair at his Hampshire home. “I just didn’t fancy it,” Smith reflects of his decision to forsake Newmarket on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I haven’t been racing all year but those who have tell me it had been soulless. “That’s nobody’s fault; it’s just the way it is,” he continues. “You can’t talk to your trainer or jockey, and you can barely see your horse. The day after the race there was a photograph in the newspaper of the Newmarket stands with everyone standing ten feet apart. Not for me, I’m afraid.” For all that, the former Executive Chairman of AIM Group, a manufacturer of interior fittings for aircrafts, went into orbit as Alcohol Free prevailed under Oisin Murphy. “The winning feeling was still ecstatic,” he says with a beaming smile. The moment had overtures of the time Smith was in the US on business in the 1990s. Persian Punch, the champion stayer that year, was due to contest a Pattern race in his absence, so he rigged up a telephone connection to his California hotel room and listened to the commentary. He must have woken the entire floor at the end of it, with ‘Punch’ gaining another narrow verdict after a pulsating race. “I was on my own and it was five o’clock in the morning,” he recalls. “I couldn’t even reach for a drink.” It’s safe to say Cheveley Park night



The Big Interview ›› at Smith’s residence was anything but

alcohol free. The filly’s Group 1 triumph was a first for her owner since Arabian Queen shocked Derby winner Golden Horn in the Juddmonte International in 2015. The difference was that Arabian Queen was bred by Smith’s Littleton Stud, whereas Alcohol Free, a daughter of No Nay Never, was bought for €40,000 as a foal by Smith’s Stud Manager, David Bowe. Smith remembers the occasion of her purchase vividly. “David rang me from Ireland and said we’d bought one, having rung half an hour earlier to say he was coming home empty-handed,” he says.

Dancing home to victory: Foxtrot Lady takes the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster in September under Frankie Dettori

“I don’t want some other bugger getting a Derby winner at my expense” “Now I’m no judge,” he continues. “I have a fair idea after all these years but that’s as far as it goes. Yet to my eye the filly looked well worth the money when she arrived here. I wondered how David had managed to get her for forty grand. He didn’t know either – and it was euros as well. It wasn’t even proper money.” Even if she never wins again, Alcohol Free is worth around one hundred times her purchase price. “The great thing about the Turf is that people are more or less equal,” he reflects. “Breeding horses is a kaleidoscope. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, which I find endlessly fascinating. The first thing I ever read about it was John Hislop’s book on Brigadier Gerard. So much was down to pure good luck.” The contemporary landscape looks very different to when Smith dipped his toe into racing’s pond back in 1975. With the middle-eastern influx still in its infancy, he would have been stimulated by the deeds of owner-breeders who were then in the ascendant. He had horses with Balding’s father, Ian, not long after Ian had shaped the career of Paul Mellon’s homebred champion, Mill Reef, in 1970. His silks jostled for prominence alongside those of Lord Weinstock, Louis Freedman, Lord Howard de Walden and Sir Philip Oppenheimer, to name but a few. Now he is among the last of a dying


breed among British owner-breeders. Sir Philip has been succeeded by his son, Anthony, while David and Patricia Thompson and the Lloyd-Webbers have joined the fray. Yet he is unique in that he races all his homebred stock. All the others sell yearling colts to redeem some of their costs. The very thought causes Smith’s face to take on a look of angst. “Just imagine it,” he says. “What stops me selling the colts is the thought of some other bugger getting a Derby winner at my expense. “Anthony Oppenheimer put Golden

Horn through the ring as a yearling. He said the colt didn’t raise a single live bid, otherwise he might have lost him. I think I’d weep if that happened to me.” Although the pandemic has obliged owners and breeders to look closely at their bottom lines, Smith has made no such calculations. He has a rough idea what his Littleton Stud costs him each year but those funds are set aside purely for pleasure. “The truth is I don’t actually know – and I don’t want to know, either,” he says. “If I did look at it that way it would be another business, and I have got enough


Jeff Smith

of those as it is. “I would have been worried had I been selling horses this autumn,” he continues, “but the only cost that matters to me is the price of stallion fees. I would think they must fall, which is actually a good thing from my perspective. “If the yearling market recedes by, say, 25 per cent, I think it’s reasonable for stallion fees in general to do likewise – although I have my doubts about whether that will happen.” Covid-19 would only impact on Smith’s passion if he could not go racing for the next ten years. “It’s all very well watching

on the telly but it’s not quite the same,” he says. “Where’s my free lunch, for starters? But seriously, it must be a nightmare for owners in syndicates because I see in my role as Chairman of Salisbury racecourse that they have great fun when they go racing. They absolutely love it.” Industry-wide discontent at prizemoney levels has boiled over during the pandemic. While Smith empathises to an extent, his view is that nobody is ever forced to own a racehorse. People do it of their own volition, fully cognisant of what they are getting into.

Nevertheless, he is emphatic about how the imbalance should be redressed. It is based on historic precedent, rather than Covid-triggered alarm bells. He knows a thing or two about company reports and balance sheets, and through reading those of the betting conglomerates for many years, he believes the answer lies within them. “Racecourses have done their bit by broadening the base, generating more income and providing better facilities,” he argues. “Horsemen have done their bit with the bookmakers, too: they are helping to improve field sizes,




The Big Interview

›› making it more attractive from a betting

perspective. “So we are in a situation where there is nowhere any additional revenue can come from other than the betting industry. It’s as simple as that – and they can afford it.” He feels the annual levy negotiation remains “an unequal struggle” despite racing’s representatives sharpening up their act. But they are still dealing with professional betting executives whose acumen and expertise Smith admires, and who are highly paid in consequence. “But there are also shareholders who receive hundreds of millions of pounds while racing is starved,” he says. “If you took racing away, the impact on the betting industry would be significant. It wouldn’t kill it, but it would be hard.” The solution Smith advances is one being actively pursued by racing’s representatives. “The levy needs to change from [a tax on] gross profits to [a tax on] turnover,” he says. “The gross profit metric is subject to interpretation; it can be expressed in a number of ways. But with a turnover scheme there is no argument.” Otherwise there will be no winners. “In any economic model, what happens next is that racing declines,” he says. “The number of owners will fall and field sizes will fall, which will impact on betting revenues. Everybody can see that’s where we are, so it’s in the interests of government, bookmakers and the racing industry to reach an agreement to head it off at the pass.” Smith addresses the prize-money debate with a weary sigh. It’s a subject that periodically gathers a head of steam; he recalls with alacrity the instance five years ago when racing got over-excited by an announcement from the-then Chancellor, George Osborne, who declared his intention to set up a “horserace betting right”. That would have led to the Levy Board’s dissolution but Smith saw straight through Osborne’s proposal, which never materialised.


Chief Singer makes a spectacular debut under Ray Cochrane in the 1983 Coventry Stakes

Smith’s outstanding trio Three horses owned by Jeff Smith stand out from the rest: Lochsong, Persian Punch and Chief Singer. He chooses his favourite moment from each of their illustrious careers.

LOCHSONG defeating Paris House in the 1993 Nunthorpe

“I suppose it has to be the Nunthorpe because I didn’t see it coming. We’d won the King George V Stakes at Goodwood the time before, when we’d beaten Paris House by a head, but Paris House was 8lb better off at York. I couldn’t see how she could turn that around on the book, but she burst out of the gates and was eight lengths clear at halfway. It was breath-taking to watch.”

CHIEF SINGER scoring on debut in the 1983 Coventry Stakes

“It’s straightforward with him: his win in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on his debut. He started at 20-1 but we fancied him; I can confirm the money was down. He missed the break but came through to win by four lengths. None of today’s trainers have got the balls to do that with a horse first time out. I give mine a hard time about it – have a go, I always say.”

PERSIAN PUNCH winning his first Goodwood Cup in 2001

“Many would say his third Jockey Club Cup, where he looked beaten but came back. But to me, his first Goodwood Cup win was pretty special. He and Double Honour went at it hammer and tongs; they went clear from a long way out. On that day he just wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t lie down.”

Smith said in 2015: “I think that, like Mark Twain, reports of the Levy Board’s death are somewhat premature. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Levy Board was still there in ten years’ time.” Nothing has since happened to undermine his prediction. In truth, Smith much prefers to muse over the ebb and flow of events on the racecourse, itself the proving ground for the horses he breeds from 30 mares resident at Littleton. He knows he is most unlikely to breed another in the mould of Lochsong, his champion sprinter and Cartier’s Horse of the Year in 1993. Lochsong threw a pair of Listed winners in Lochridge and Loch Verdi but she has been outdone at stud by her Group 1-winning half-sister Lochangel, whose daughter, Strictly Dancing, has bred two winners of the Group 3 Sceptre

Stakes in Dancing Star and Foxtrot Lady. “Lochsong gave us a wonderful time but with her it was always going to be about what she did on the track,” Smith reflects. “We have five or six of her descendants still on the stud. I have a soft spot for her, of course I do, but you’re hoping for lightning to strike twice. I’m not remotely surprised that it hasn’t.” This time the roll of thunder comes from a different source. Smith has yet to win a British Classic, but Alcohol Free will bid to go one better than Chief Singer, runner-up in the 1984 2,000 Guineas, when she takes aim at the fillies’ equivalent in May. “Since she won on her debut at Newbury Andrew [Balding] has been convinced she is a miler in the making,” he says. “Even if she doesn’t stay, what is there to lose?”


“Even if Alcohol Free doesn’t stay the mile, what is there to lose?”

Jeff Smith

New for


MOHAATHER Showcasing - Roodeye (Inchinor)

I haven't seen as brilliant a closing burst since Dancing Brave mowed down a mega field in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and that was 34 years ago.

- Brough Scott on the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (The Times, 30th July 2020)

#TheBestSonOfShowcasing Also standing Eqtidaar, Muhaarar and Tasleet Discover the Shadwell stallions: | Contact Richard Lancaster, James O’Donnell on +44 (0)1842 755913 or Tom Pennington on +44 (0)7736 019914 | and Ellen Bishop on +44 (0)7826 205155 |

First-crop foals

First IMPRESSIONS The 2019 intake of new stallions to stud was typically strong – and with most represented in the upcoming foal sales, a first auction test now looms Words: Nancy Sexton Photos: George Selwyn


ew topics attract more discussion than the prospects of young sires with their first crops on the ground. The 2019 intake of stallions was typically strong, with the brilliant Roaring Lion heading a list that also included 2,000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior, a Breeders’ Cup Mile winner in Expert Eye and dual QIPCO Champion Stakes hero Cracksman. Below are those stallions with representation at the Tattersalls December Foal and Goffs November Sales (the latter now scheduled for December 18-20).


Frankel - Rhadegunda (Pivotal) Stands: Dalham Hall Stud 2019 fee: £25,000 The first son of Frankel to stud in Europe, this powerful galloper shared the 2018 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Award with Winx following his easy six-length win in that year’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. Cracksman was winning the race for the second time, having triumphed by seven lengths over Poet’s Word the year before. Also successful in the Coronation Cup and Prix Ganay, Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred was unsurprisingly well received in his first season at stud, covering close to 150 mares including 1,000 Guineas heroine Speciosa and the Group 1 producers Kazeem and Posteritas.

Expert Eye

Acclamation - Exemplify (Dansili) Banstead Manor Stud 2019 fee: £20,000 A member of Juddmonte’s Viviana family also responsible for 1,000 Guineas winner Special Duty, Expert


Cracksman: multiple Group 1 winner boasts 18 entries in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale

Eye served early notice that he would live up to that illustrious heritage by winning his first two juvenile starts including the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood by almost five lengths. He went on to justify Group 1 ambitions when closing his career with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile although he arguably also put up a performance of a similar calibre when scything through the field for a wide margin success in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. Expert Eye, who shares his sire with Dark Angel, covered a full book of 140

mares in 2019, among them a dozen owned by Juddmonte. In all, his book consisted of 30 stakes winners and 73 black-type performers and/or producers.

Gustav Klimt

Galileo - Massarra (Danehill) Stands: Coolmore 2019 fee: €7,500 This quick son of Galileo enjoyed his finest moment when overcoming trouble in running to win the Superlative Stakes as a two-year-old,

and also ran well in defeat when Group 1-placed on multiple occasions. Crucially, however, he is a grandson of the exceptional producer Rafha and therefore related to leading sires Invincible Spirit and Kodiac. Another relation, Pride Of Dubai, has also made a bright start with his first runners in both hemispheres.

Harry Angel

Dark Angel - Beatrix Potter (Cadeaux Genereux) Stands: Dalham Hall Stud 2019 fee: £20,000

James Garfield

Exceed And Excel - Whazzat (Daylami) Stands: Rathbarry Stud 2019 fee: €7,000 Another high-profile relation to leading sires Invincible Spirit and Kodiac, James Garfield came to hand early for George Scott, for whom he progressed through a busy juvenile campaign to win the Mill Reef Stakes. He also showed Group 1 form at three when second in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, having previously taken the Greenham Stakes.

The champion three-year-old European sprinter of 2017, Harry Angel possessed blistering pace, which he put to good use when the dominant winner of the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup – the latter by four lengths. He was also highclass at two, when successful in the Mill Reef Stakes on only his second start. By the ever popular Dark Angel, Harry Angel hails from a quick, live family as a half-brother to last year’s Mill Reef winner Pierre Lapin and relation to this season’s Middle Park Stakes scorer Supremacy.

Jungle Cat

Havana Grey


Havana Gold - Blanc De Chine (Dark Angel) Stands: Whitsbury Manor Stud 2019 fee: £8,000 A fast representative of the Galileo sire line, Havana Grey was precocious enough to win the Molecomb Stakes and run second in the Prix Morny at two yet trained on to win the Flying Five Stakes at three. A tough horse who won six races in all for Karl Burke, he has benefitted from the support of Whitsbury Manor Stud, who sent him over 30 of their own mares to enhance his 145-strong first book. They included the stakes producers CopyCat and Satsuma, whose foals are both catalogued to the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.

Iffraaj - Mike’s Wildcat (Forest Wildcat) Stood: Kildangan Stud 2019 fee: €8,000 By the same sire as Wootton Bassett, Jungle Cat was a globe-trotting sprinter for Godolphin who won the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Australia. After a single season at Kildangan Stud, he made a permanent switch to New Zealand.

Kodiac - Querulous (Raven’s Pass) Stands: Tally-Ho Stud 2019 fee: €8,000 The strong inroads made by Kodiac as a sire of sires this season bodes well for the prospects of Kessaar, the first son to stand alongside his sire at Tally-Ho Stud.

Kessaar raced for just a single season at two but packed a fair amount into that campaign as the winner of three of seven starts, including the Mill Reef and Sirenia Stakes. A good-looker in the mould of his sire, he was well supported in his first season, borne out by the presence of 24 entries across the Goffs November and Tattersalls December Foal Sales.

Lightning Spear

Pivotal - Atlantic Destiny (Royal Academy) Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud 2019 fee: £8,500 This admirable son of Pivotal gained his finest success for Qatar Racing in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. Tough and durable, he won seven races during a lengthy career that also featured back-to-back wins in the Celebration Mile and placings in the Lockinge Stakes.


Teofilo - Madany (Acclamation) Stands: Mickley Stud 2019 fee: £5,000 Massaat ran second in both the 2,000 Guineas and Dewhurst Stakes before gaining a deserved Pattern race success in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. As that record suggests, Massaat possessed plenty of pace, as might be expected of an individual who shares his dam, the 6f winner Madany, with Group 1-winning sprinter Eqtidaar.


Kitten’s Joy - Trensa (Giant’s Causeway) Stood: Dalham Hall Stud 2019 fee: £7,500 Hawkbill stood his first season in Britain under the Darley banner at Dalham Hall Stud following a globe-trotting career highlighted by victories in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes and Dubai Sheema Classic. A ten-time winner overall, the wellrelated son of Kitten’s Joy was switched to Darley Japan for the 2020 season.

Expert Eye: Breeders’ Cup Mile hero has been strongly supported by Juddmonte Farms



First-crop foals ›› Master Carpenter

Mastercraftsman - Fringe (In The Rings) Stood: GG Bloodstock and Racing 2019 fee: £2,000 Few horses boast such a durable profile as Master Carpenter, who packed in 53 starts over six seasons. Precocious enough to become Mastercraftsman’s first winner as a two-year-old, he won seven races in total including the Prix Daphnis at Chantilly. He is another member of the prolific Rafha family and after commencing his stud career with GG Bloodstock and Racing, now stands under the LM Stallions banner in Dorset.

Poet’s Word

Poet’s Voice - Whirly Bird (Nashwan) Stood: Nunnery Stud 2019 fee: £7,000 Poet’s Word, who is now plying his trade as a dual-purpose stallion at Boardsmill Stud, was an admirable performer for Sir Michael Stoute, winning seven races including the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and King George, in which he showed a fine atttitude to run down Crystal Ocean. A grandson of Dubawi, he is also a relation to successful sire Inchinor and good-looking to go with it, as his 300,000gns yearling price tag suggests.

Saxon Warrior: 2,000 Guineas hero represents the successful Deep Impact sire line


Saxon Warrior

Rajasinghe, resident at The National Stud, had the likes of Romanised and U S Navy Flag behind him when winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in a quick time. He also shares his sire, speed influence Choisir, with the successful Starspangledbanner and hails from a fast family.

The rivalry between Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion was one of the great themes of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Saxon Warrior had the measure of his old rival on two occasions, namely when capping an unbeaten two-yearold season with a victory in the Racing Post Trophy before landing the 2,000 Guineas at three. He also ran a neck second to Roaring Lion in both the Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. The first son of Deep Impact to retire to stud in Europe, Saxon Warrior is out of a fast Galileo in Maybe, the European champion two-year-old filly of 2011. He covered 165 mares in his first season, including the Group 1 winners and/or producers Cassandra Go, Gilt Edge Girl, Homecoming Queen and Love And Bubbles, and boasts 20 entries across the Goffs and Tattersalls foal sales.

Choisir - Bunditten (Soviet Star) Stands: The National Stud 2019 fee: £5,000

Roaring Lion

Kitten’s Joy - Vionnet (Street Sense) Stood: Tweenhills Farm & Stud 2019 fee: £40,000

Roaring Lion: sole crop will be popular


A brilliant and versatile performer, the much-missed Roaring Lion captured the hearts of the racing public with wins in the Juddmonte International, Eclipse, Irish Champion and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Sadly, the charismatic grey succumbed to colic during a shuttle trip to New Zealand after just one season at stud. According to early returns received by Weatherbys, there are over 100 foals on the ground from that sole crop, among them the progeny of Group 1 winners such as Giofra, Golden Lilac, Just The Judge and Simple Verse. The latter, a filly, is one of seven entries for the sire to the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.

Deep Impact - Maybe (Galileo) Stands: Coolmore 2019 fee: €30,000

Sioux Nation

Scat Daddy - Catch The Blues (Oasis Dream) Stands: Coolmore 2019 fee: €12,500 One of the busiest first-crop sires of 2019 as the recipient of 241 mares,


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First-crop foals ›› Sioux Nation owes much of his

popularity to the fact that he is a good-looking son of Scat Daddy who possessed the precocious talent to pull off the Phoenix - Norfolk Stakes double. He was also a Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed at three. It’s a commercial profile and indeed, there will be no shortage of opportunity to secure a foal by the stallion this winter given he has close to 40 entries across both sales.

Young stars add spice to French ranks Cloth Of Stars: Group 1 winner also ran second in the Arc

Smooth Daddy

Scat Daddy - Prairie Maiden (Badger Land) Stands: Starfield Stud 2019 fee: €5,000 Another representative of the everpopular Scat Daddy, himself already well regarded as a sire of sires via the deeds of No Nay Never, Smooth Daddy was a high-class turf runner in his native US where his four victories included the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park. He covered 71 mares in his debut season.


Showcasing - Bird Key (Cadeaux Genereux) Stands: Nunnery Stud 2019 fee: £6,000 Tasleet was bred to be fast as a Showcasing relation to Battaash and he proved to be exactly that for William Haggas, winning five races over six and seven furlongs. A tough horse, he won stakes races at two, three and four years, notably the Duke Of York Stakes as a four-year-old; that productive season also included placings in the Haydock Sprint Cup, Diamond Jubilee and British Champions Sprint Stakes. Tasleet was full for his first season in 2019 with a book that included 17

As a champion son of Sea The Stars from the Classic Niarchos family of Light Shift, Cloth Of Stars (Haras du Logis) offers a significant package against a relatively lowly fee of €7,500. He enjoyed his finest moment when successful in the Prix Ganay yet his lengthy race record also ranges from a Group 1 placing at two to a pair of placed efforts in the Arc. Sea The Stars is also the sire of Mekhtaal (Haras de Bouquetot, €4,000), the 2017 Prix d’Ispahan winner who is related to Group 1 sires White Muzzle and Almutawakel. Cloth Of Stars and Mekhtaal sit among an interesting group of stallions with first foals who stood for €4,000 or above in either France or Germany. Champion miler Recoletos (Haras du Quesnay, €8,000) is another to boast an enticing Group 1 profile. Effective over a mile to 10f, he won the Prix du Moulin and Prix d’Ispahan in a career that consisted of seven wins. Durability was also a theme in the career of Taareef (Haras du Meeray, €6,000), who won consecutive

stakes performers. He is particularly well represented in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale as the sire of 23 entries.

U S Navy Flag

War Front - Misty For Me (Galileo) Stands: Coolmore 2019 fee: €25,000

Tasleet: well supported in his first season

This regally-bred son of War Front became the first horse since Diesis 35 years before to pull off the Dewhurst - Middle Park Stakes double. Not only that, those performances came at the

renewals of the Prix Daniel Wildenstein. Grosser Preis von Berlin winner Dschingis Secret (€4,000) was another to mix it with the best over a long career. The highest-rated son of Germany’s champion sire Soldier Hollow, he was one of two new horses to Haras de Saint Arnoult for the 2019 season alongside Seabhac (€5,000), a Grade 3-winning son of Scat Daddy. Scat Daddy blood is also represented by Champagne Stakes winner Seahenge (Haras de la Haie Neuve, €5,000). Also third in the Dewhurst Stakes, he covered 104 mares in his first year. Of the stallions who were available in Germany, Iquitos (Gestut Ammerland, €6,000) brings elite form to the table as a triple Group 1 winner who defeated 22 Group 1 winners during his career. Gestut Hofgut Heymann, meanwhile, stood Prix du Muguet winner Jimmy Two Times (€5,000), prior to his switch to Haras de Montaigu. He shares his sire, Kendargent, with this year’s leading French first-crop sire Goken.

end of a busy 11-race juvenile season which preceded a three-year-old campaign highlighted by a win in the July Cup. U S Navy Flag’s terrific pace was utilised to great effect that day as he made all under Ryan Moore, yet he was also versatile enough to finish second in the Irish 2,000 Guineas over a mile. Out of a dual champion in Misty For Me who also produced multiple Group 1 winner Roly Poly, U S Navy Flag covered 119 mares in his first season, including 22 black-type performers.



First-crop foals ›› Unfortunately

Society Rock - Unfortunate (Komaite) Stood: Cheveley Park Stud 2019 fee: £7,500

All eyes on Triple Crown hero Justify

The only son of the much-missed Society Rock at stud, champion Unfortunately further emphasised his sire’s loss to the European stallion industry by winning the Prix Morny in the fastest time for a decade. Also winner of the Renaissance Stakes at three, Unfortunately was well supported in his first season by owners Cheveley Park Stud, whose Tattersalls draft includes a relation to Golden Horde. He stood the past season at Oak Lodge Stud in Ireland.

Washington DC

Zoffany - How’s She Cuttin (Shinko Forest) Stands: Bearstone Stud 2019 fee: £6,000 Precocious enough to break his maiden in April of his juvenile year, Washington DC went on to win the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot to open a career that would ultimately consist of six wins in 32 starts. Along the way, he also struck in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes and was Group 1-placed in the Prix de l’Abbaye, Commonwealth Cup and Phoenix Stakes. The sole son of Zoffany at stud in either Britain or Ireland, Washington DC hails from the further family of successful sire Grand Lodge.


Northern Meteor - Zouzou (Redoute’s Choice) Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud 2019 fee: £25,000 Zoustar is not technically a first-crop sire, having begun his stud career in Australia. But such has been his success Down Under, where he was champion first and second-crop sire, that co-owners Qatar Racing took the decision to shuttle the Group 1-winning sprinter in 2019. To date, Zoustar is the sire of 15 stakes winners headed by Sunlight, who led home a sweep of the top three placings for the stallion when successful in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes at Flemington. Zoustar covered a full book of 149 mares in his first season at Tweenhills Farm & Stud, including 60 black-type performers, and is represented by 23 entries in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, among them a half-sister to Golden Horde.


Justify: first foals by the Triple Crown hero look set to be extremely popular

All eyes in North America will be on the first crop of Justify (Ashford Stud; $150,000), who has 20 entries catalogued across the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton November Sales. The only undefeated winner of the Triple Crown, breeders can’t get enough of the imposing Justify, as illustrated by a first book that consisted of 252 mares. Adding further fuel to Justify’s profile is his status as the best son of Scat Daddy. That same blood is also on offer at Ashford via Mendelssohn ($35,000), a $3 million yearling who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and UAE Derby. Not only that, he is a half-brother to Into Mischief, the dominant North American stallion of the current era; little wonder then that Mendelssohn matched Justify’s popularity in his first season as the recipient of 252 mares. Another major three-year-old player of 2019, Good Magic (Hill ’n’ Dale Farm; $35,000) attracted 164 mares in his debut season. A million-dollar yearling, the son of Curlin was crowned the champion North American twoyear-old of 2019 and won the Haskell Invitational after running second to Justify in the Kentucky Derby at three. It also promises to be an important winter sales season for Lane’s End Farm, which launched the stud careers of three high-profile names in 2019. In $5.6 million earner City Of Light ($40,000) the farm offers a four-time Grade 1 winner over 7f-9f who is a son of their own excellent stalwart sire Quality Road.

West Coast ($35,000), by Flatter, also won close to $6 million, his championship record fuelled by wins in the Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby. In terms of earnings, however, no new horse of 2019 could match the farm’s concluding member of the trio, Accelerate ($25,000), the winner of $6.7 million. A tough son of Lookin At Lucky, Acclerate won five Grade 1 races during a golden five-yearold campaign that was capped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Justify wasn’t the only Kentucky Derby winner to retire in 2019 since WinStar Farm welcomed the arrival of Always Dreaming ($25,000), the 2018 victor. With 165 mares in his first book, he was another popular newcomer of 2019, as was Spendthrift Farm’s dual Grade 1-winning two-year-old Bolt d’Oro ($25,000), who covered no less than 214 mares. From a European standpoint, it could pay to keep an eye on multiple Grade 1 winner Oscar Performance (Mill Ridge Farm; $20,000), a track record-setting miling son of Kitten’s Joy who raced without the assistance of the raceday medication Lasix. Airdrie Stud’s Collected ($17,500) should also be of international interest given he is the best son of City Zip, a stallion who produces winners on all surfaces, and from the family of Blushing Groom. Grade 1 winners such as Arrogate and Accelerate were among Collected’s victims during a career that was highlighted by a win in the Pacific Classic.

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Yearling market 2020

Navigating CHOPPY WATERS The surprising resilience of the Tattersalls yearling market offers encouragement for the future - but it wasn’t all plain sailing for vendors Words: John Boyce

“The elite market has seen a fall in average of just 14%” 42 THE OWNER BREEDER



he future psychological benefits of fighting back strongly at the end of a losing game are recognised in most team sports. And there are obvious parallels with this year’s yearling market in Britain and Ireland. Had not Tattersalls’ Books 2 and 3 fared as well as they did under the current climate, the mood going into the next round of reinvestment – both for 2021 nominations and foals to resell next year – would be a great deal gloomier. Always save the good news until last. Or, should I say, the least bad news if not the wholly good news. In the difficult circumstances that prevailed throughout the year, it’s a huge compliment to all involved that yearling trade not only took place at all, but did so with the sober realisation that horses needed to be sold. Cash flow needed to be maintained. Money needed to be freed up, if not to look to future investments then at least to cover existing costs. The first bit of good news for Tattersalls’ clients was that a higher proportion of yearlings sold in 2020 (83%) than did a year ago (81%) across all four sections of their yearling sales. Tattersalls can thank their Book 3 offerings for that strange turn of events, with an 85% clearance rate compared to 80% last year,

This 2,700,000gns Kingman colt was a highlight of a memorable Tattersalls October Sale

while Book 2 maintained its 85% score from last year. Its flagship Book 1 fell by three points to 79% this time around. If you were presented with the Book 3 results in isolation, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a normal year of trading. Yes, the top two decile averages were down – by 4.4% and 2% respectively – but virtually every other decile showed growth from last year’s sale. And Book 2 posted an increased average price for its top two deciles (+3.7% and +0.9%) of its market, while holding setbacks to under 10% for the next 50% of its yearlings. It was only the bottom 30% that inched above a decline of 10% in average price.

The lifting gloom wasn’t altogether apparent during the first week at Tattersalls. True, the bigger battalions were in town to shore up the elite end of Book 1, but trade was more difficult for those with a yearling that could have been in Book 2. Overall, the sale’s average sagged by 13% but that figure perhaps masked the difficult time most vendors were enduring. Outside of the top decile, which was down just 3%, all other segments were collectively about 18% shy of where they were a year ago, with decile three hardest hit with a 26% reversal. Those yearlings just off the radar of the big buyers really did suffer most. That was the not-so-bad news. Further



Wootton Bassett: 93% of his yearlings sold so far this year have proved profitable


afield at Doncaster, which hosted Goffs’ two Irish sales and the Goffs UK Premier Sale, the returns were a good deal starker, particularly for Ireland’s transferred boutique sale. In the Covid mayhem, some key buyers were either not present or couldn’t find horses they liked. The upshot was that Goffs’ better yearlings sold cheaply compared to last year’s counterparts. All told the average slipped by 35%, with the top three deciles bearing the brunt of the falls, contracting by 49%, 26% and 25%. Goffs Sportsman’s Sale didn’t escape the melee either. Hosted at Doncaster ahead of its select counterpart, it suffered the double whammy of a very low clearance rate (68%) and average and median prices that were down by over 20%. It was a similar story for the Goffs UK Premier Sale, which saw a drop in clearance rate of five points to 85% – still excellent in the circumstances – but the drop of 35% for its top 35 yearlings set the tone. The next 60% of prices were short of the 2019 average by 23%. All of these numbers might paint a frightening picture, but there is one metric that offers plenty of hope. The elite market, consisting of Tattersalls Book 1 and 2, Goffs Orby, Arqana and the Goffs UK Premier Sale at Doncaster, collectively has seen a fall in average of just 14%. Back in the spring we would have grabbed that prospect with both hands. The reduction in other sales, such as Tattersalls Ireland and Arqana, are harder to quantify. The traditional Fairyhouse September Sale was transferred to Park Paddocks but lost over 200 lots mostly from the lower end, while Arqana extended its boutique sale and we’ll need to wait for the Arqana October results to get an accurate picture of the French yearling market. Using yearling sales where like-forlike comparisons can be made, namely Tattersalls Books 1-4, Goffs Orby and Sportsman’s, plus the Goffs UK Premier, we can deduce that the average and median prices recorded this year haven’t been lower since 2015. But it’s not just the fact that prices tend to improve incrementally each year in normal times, we also have to consider the upward pressures exerted by the cost of production, which brings the discussion around to stallion fees. It’s not so much that stallion studs have individually been hiking fees in recent years. They, more than anybody, have to be sensitive to market pressures and have to ensure big quality books to get their charges away to the best possible start at stud. No, it’s the sheer number of


›› high-priced stallions that have joined the

European rosters in the past six years. Ten years ago only 13 of the top 30 stallions in Britain and Ireland assessed by book quality stood at £20,000/€20,000 or more. By 2019 that number had risen to 22 out of 30. Another way to explain it is that the cheapest fee of the top 30 stallions in 2009 was £15,000 and by 2019 it had risen to £30,000. With more expensively produced yearlings entering the market year on year, it had already put profitability under pressure, even before Covid further muddied the waters this year. Moreover, when you consider that the quality of the broodmare population has remained pretty stable in the period, it’s all too easy to understand that even in a rising market, sellers’ expectations haven’t always been met. To illustrate the point, we can use the core British and Irish sales listed above. In 2018, 2,517 yearlings were sold at these seven sales, but only 52% made enough to cover their sire’s advertised fee, plus £20,000 in production costs. A year later, the 2,543 yearlings sold included only

49% that were profitable by the same criteria. This year it is absolutely brilliant that as many as 2,336 found new homes from these seven sales, but the margins were squeezed so much that only 44% cleared the advertised-fee-plus-£20k hurdle. And, of course, not everyone shared the pain in equal measure. The sad truth of the matter is that breeders had a 50-50 chance of at least breaking even if they used a £20k-plus stallion, but for those using sub £20k stallions those odds tumbled to a 35% probability of making money and went even lower for the cheaper stallions. As always, the yearlings by proven sires sold at a premium, with Galileo, Dubawi, Kingman, Frankel, Sea The Stars and Lope De Vega the leaders by average price. Those with yearlings by Kingman (conception fee £55,000) and Lope De Vega (conception fee €60,000) did particularly well. Among the new sires so far this year with Arqana October not included, France has provided the top stallion for the second straight year as Almanzor followed Shalaa with the only


Yearling market 2020

Profitability has dropped further this year

average above £100,000. The Coolmore pair Churchill and Caravaggio followed, while the best British first-season sire was Cheveley Park Stud’s Ulysses. The three stallions with the highest percentage of profitable yearlings – the only stallions scoring over 80% – were Wootton Bassett (93%), Night Of Thunder (88%) and Kingman (85%). The best three by fee multiples were Kingman (7.3 times his fee), Sir Percy (7.2) and Farhh (6.8).

STALLIONS RANKED BY 2020 AVERAGE YEARLING PRICE (European sales, 5+ sold) Sire

Galileo Dubawi Kingman Frankel Sea The Stars Lope De Vega Invincible Spirit Siyouni Teofilo Dark Angel Wootton Bassett No Nay Never Almanzor Fastnet Rock Churchill Camelot Oasis Dream Night Of Thunder Shalaa Caravaggio Kodiac New Bay Le Havre Sea The Moon Showcasing Golden Horn Pivotal Farhh Ribchester Ulysses Australia Starspangledbanner

To Stud




2002 2006 2015 2013 2010 2011 2003 2011 2008 2008 2012 2015 2018 2005 2018 2014 2004 2016 2017 2018 2007 2017 2010 2015 2011 2016 1997 2014 2018 2018 2015 2011

25 25 31 40 52 78 26 59 10 97 55 65 45 19 73 35 32 47 32 71 122 35 32 37 71 16 15 17 78 39 65 57

22 20 26 28 47 65 20 41 7 76 45 57 37 18 59 31 25 40 26 55 108 29 24 34 57 14 13 12 62 32 56 50

88.0 80.0 83.9 70.0 90.4 83.3 76.9 69.5 70.0 78.4 81.8 87.7 82.2 94.7 80.8 88.6 78.1 85.1 81.3 77.5 88.5 82.9 75.0 91.9 80.3 87.5 86.7 70.6 79.5 82.1 86.2 87.7


High £

Avg £

Med £

Fee £

3,570,000 2,274,228 2,835,000 2,100,000 735,000 945,000 630,000 714,000 325,000 441,000 630,000 682,500 262,500 252,000 367,500 357,000 450,000 262,500 304,500 215,250 441,000 420,000 341,250 504,000 325,500 367,500 189,000 136,500 367,500 336,000 603,750 378,000

712,653 584,545 401,328 357,667 207,411 187,947 184,034 183,797 147,170 117,734 113,272 112,704 110,434 105,508 92,235 90,540 89,854 89,378 86,179 83,916 81,224 77,550 76,764 75,912 72,656 69,720 68,223 68,177 66,638 65,855 65,184 57,998

332,966 420,000 236,566 201,739 157,500 136,500 138,750 136,454 162,750 92,250 81,872 72,000 90,969 90,825 73,500 56,401 50,000 74,250 53,540 70,000 51,250 36,000 63,678 43,050 52,000 46,000 65,000 50,925 47,700 43,050 42,000 35,875

Private 250,000 55,000 175,000 119,813 53,250 106,500 66,563 35,500 75,438 17,750 22,187 31,062 62,125 31,062 26,625 30,000 15,000 24,406 31,062 39,937 17,750 53,250 15,000 35,000 60,000 40,000 10,000 26,625 30,000 31,062 13,312

Fee (+20k)


Private 12 22 14 26 49 10 30 4 36 42 43 29 9 35 18 12 35 17 40 49 14 9 20 26 2 8 8 31 15 23 28

- 60.0 84.6 50.0 55.3 75.4 50.0 73.2 57.1 47.4 93.3 75.4 78.4 50.0 59.3 58.1 48.0 87.5 65.4 72.7 45.4 48.3 37.5 58.8 45.6 14.3 61.5 66.7 50.0 46.9 41.1 56.0

AvgXFee MedXFee

- 2.3 7.3 2.0 1.7 3.5 1.7 2.8 4.1 1.6 6.4 5.1 3.6 1.7 3.0 3.4 3.0 6.0 3.5 2.7 2.0 4.4 1.4 5.1 2.1 1.2 1.7 6.8 2.5 2.2 2.1 4.4

1.0 2.6 0.8 1.3 1.8 0.6 1.4 1.3 0.9 3.1 2.7 2.5 1.3 1.6 1.9 1.0 4.6 1.9 1.9 1.1 1.8 0.9 2.5 1.1 0.6 1.6 2.9 1.3 1.2 1.3 2.5

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Breeders’ Digest

Nancy Sexton Bloodstock Editor

Lifeline of hope as Tattersalls market defies expectations



or a moment during the second week of the Tattersalls October Sale, it was as if there was nothing untoward going on in the outside world. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, there were concerns as to whether there even would be any autumn sales calendar. And when it was confirmed that sale companies were in a position to stage auctions with all the required protocols in place, the industry then braced itself for a sharp drop in the market. A contraction of around a third was the general expectation across the industry and while those fears went some way to be realised as the premier yearling market stuttered into life at the Goffs Orby Sale in Doncaster, it went on to defy all expectations in Newmarket with a strength of trade that offered much hope for the future. Tattersalls’ flagship yearling sale, October Book 1, ended with an average and median that was only 13% adrift of last year. As expected, it was selective in parts but the top end held up well thanks to nine seven-figure lots led by the 3,400,000gns Galileo sister to Japan and Mogul, yet another auction star out of Newsells Park Stud’s Shastye. But it was how Book 2 unfolded that was really astounding. While there was some value to be had at Book 1, there was a real depth to Book 2 that contributed to a clearance rate of 85%, an average of 75,922gns that fell

A 3,400,000gns sister to Japan led a memorable Tattersalls October Sale

only three per cent behind last year and the presence of 19 lots that made 300,000gns or more, compared to 11 in 2019. Even Book 3 stood up remarkably well, with its average falling by only one per cent to 16,051gns. Plenty of pinhookers also had a better sale than was expected, with just over half of those bought as foals returning a significant profit. Pinhooking is a precarious business even in good times, and a number of those horses that missed the target did so on account of failing to progress well enough into their yearling year or being the product of a sire that had fallen out of commercial favour – both factors at play in a normal year. Fuelling trade, particularly at Book 2, was a keen participation from the Maktoum family that had previously

been less pronounced during the early round of yearling sales in Europe and North America. For whatever reason, they threw their weight behind the October Sale; Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin spent 16,430,000gns at Book 1 while Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell stepped up at Book 2, coming away with 36 yearlings at a cost of 5,327,000gns. Considering everything that is going on in the outside world, not to mention the ongoing issue of the appalling levels of British prize-money, the feeling at Park Paddocks during those few days was one of incredulity and naturally relief. Sheikh Hamdan’s Racing Manager Angus Gold summed it up best. “I cannot believe there is a person who foresaw what was going to happen over the last three days,” he said. “And it is fair play to everyone who has supported this – there is no prizemoney, no crowds, not a single thing to look forward to on the face of it, it is just the wonderful optimism that the whole thing is based on! I do think people have just thought they have had to get stuck in – hence prices are what they are.” Whatever the reason, the enthusiasm behind Books 1 and 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale threw a lifeline of hope to many breeders. It will also have allowed many pinhookers to reinvest at this year’s foal sales, and thereby keep the wheel turning during what is likely to be a long winter.

GROWING AUSSIE DEMAND ADDS FURTHER SPICE One key factor behind the strength of the October Sale for which the British and Irish industries can take pride in is the ongoing allure of our bloodstock. American interests have worked recent editions of the sale to great effect, notably agent Mike Ryan and owner Peter Brant. Despite the difficulties in travel, Ryan was among a welcome group of American-based buyers to again make the trip, and he made it worthwhile by spending 4,490,000gns on 17 lots. Also greatly encouraging was the level of Australian interest. Tried horses out of Europe have long captured the imagination of Australian buyers and after an early foray into the yearling market by agent Jeremy Brummitt and Australian trainer Danny O’Brien yielded this year’s South Australian Derby and Underwood Stakes winner Russian Camelot, one of the best horses currently in training Down

Under, Australian interest in our yearling sales is on the rise. This year’s sale set a new benchmark with at least 30 yearlings purchased to run in Australia. Brummitt again worked the sale hard, coming away with four lots in conjunction with O’Brien. Other trainers Mick Price and Brad Spicer were also active. The refreshing aspect of this growing interest is that Australian buyers tend to target middle-distance stallions – their purchases included yearlings by Australia, Camelot, Nathaniel, Sea The Stars, Sir Percy and Ulysses – in contrast to our domestic industry, which remains dangerously transfixed on speed. As Brummitt remarked when interviewed by Tattersalls, maintaining the allure of those middle-distance influences is a side of the business that needs support. So long may their interest in those horses continue.


Sales Circuit • By Carl Evans

Relief as October yearling trade holds up in Newmarket

Newsells Park Stud’s Shastye threw another auction ring star in this 3.4 million guineas filly

Newmarket. This was a phenomenal result for breeder Colin Murfitt of Pantile Stud, a builder and property developer of substantial wealth, but


Confidence in the market grew as this sale unfurled over three days, and at the final session the clearance rate went up and the other key indicators almost matched 2019 levels. From a catalogue involving 17 fewer horses, the overall figures saw a 20% drop in turnover to 82,385,000gns. There were also 13% falls in the average (223,266gns) and median (130,000gns), while a 79% clearance rate was three points down. Seeing turnover fall below 100,000,000gns for the first time in three years was a disappointment, but if that proud sequence had to end, it did so in a year dictated by a worldwide pandemic, rather than through a loss of interest in racing and breeding. Otherwise the figures were remarkably good and demand for the cream of the crop was unwavering. The key to that – as has been said over so many years – was participation from the Maktoum family, backed up by investment from Coolmore and other large-scale racing operations, many with breeding interests, too. At this sale the appeal of European bloodlines could be seen in the 17 purchases for just under 4,500,000gns by US-based agent Mike Ryan. Into the sphere of major-league buyers we can now add members of Bahrain’s royal family, who are making sizeable contributions to European racing and bloodstock auctions. Acting for Bahraini clients, bloodstock agent Oliver St Lawrence purchased four lots for 3,070,000gns, including a 2,700,000gns Kingman colt who headed the first session and will go into training with Roger Varian in


Tattersalls October Sale Book 1

Anthony Stroud: signed for 16,430,000gns worth of stock on behalf of Godolphin

TALKING POINTS • A glorious foal-to-yearling pinhook is a wonderful thing, but surely it is more satisfying to achieve a big-time mare-to-foal-to-yearling pinhook. Colin Murfitt’s purchase of Galicuix for 8,000gns at the December Sale in 2013, followed in 2018 by a Kingman mating, led to the sale of a 2,700,000gns yearling at this sale. Meanwhile, James Cloney’s purchase of Entreat for 14,000gns at the 2016 December Sale, and a cover by Zoffany two years ago, led to a filly who made 580,000gns to M V Magnier. Luck, and skill, it seems.

whose jackpot result derived from his purchase of the 8,000gns mare Galicuix at the 2013 December Sale. The Paco Boy foal she had delivered earlier that year became Galileo Gold, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, and Galicuix – a daughter of Galileo no less – is now hot property. While Murfitt and his Stud Manager, Bo Hicks-Little, deserved to top the first session’s podium, pushing them for the gold medal was the late Duke of Roxburghe’s Floors Stud, which sold colts by Frankel and Dubawi for 1,100,000gns and 2,100,000gns. Such brilliant results were tempered by the news that Floors Stud is to close its operation at Floors Castle near Kelso, although it will operate under the same banner from a stud in England. The Duke’s youngest son, Lord George Innes-Ker, 23, with the backing of his mother, Virginia, has acquired his father’s passion for racing and breeding and is keen to retain parts of the broodmare band, but at this stage of his life, having just begun a career in London, is in no position to be more hands-on. Tattersalls will handle a partial dispersal of the late Duke’s mares at the December Sale. Sheikh Mohammed bought the two seven-figure horses from Floors Stud on his way to the position of leading



Sales Circuit

›› purchaser, involving 22 yearlings for an aggregate of 16,430,000gns. Bidding through Anthony Stroud, the Sheikh also bought a Frankel half-sister to Golden Horn from Norelands Stud for

honours, and provided a bittersweet moment for the stud’s Manager, Julian Dollar, who was grateful for the money that would keep powering the stud onwards, but sad to lose such a valuable racing and breeding prospect. Of Newsells Park’s 24-strong draft, nine were unsold in the ring, and Dollar echoed the views of many who had experienced ups and downs during Book 1. He said: “It’s been a difficult week, and it will be a difficult week next week [at Book 2].” Was he right?


M V Magnier purchased this 2,800,000gns Galileo filly from Barronstown Stud

2,000,000gns, a 1,450,000gns daughter of Kingman consigned by Lynn Lodge Stud, and a Highclere Stud-consigned Dubawi colt out of Group 1 winner Intricately for 1,100,000gns. The Kingman filly was bought inside the Listed-winning mare Sante when she was sold at the December Sale in 2018 for 310,000gns. Buyer Mags O’Toole was acting for Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, which can now add ‘seven-figure yearling producer’ to a CV that includes Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning owner. The sale-topper appeared on the final day, although she was odds-on to take the spotlight, being a daughter of Galileo and Newsells Park Stud’s mare Shastye, the dam of Group 1 winners Japan and Mogul. At 3,400,000gns, the world’s highest price this year for a yearling filly, she was sold to M V Magnier, who earlier in the session gave 2,800,000gns for another daughter of his champion sire. This one was foaled by Prize Exhibit, a 775,000gns purchase by David and Diane Nagle’s Barronstown Stud in 2017, but whose value has risen sharply this year through the exploits of her Showcasing full-brother, ace miler Mohaather. The sale of Shastye’s yearling lifted Newsells Park Stud to top vendor

Mike Ryan: American agent went to 1,400,000gns for a daughter of Galileo

Tattersalls October Sale Book 1 Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (gns)


F Galileo – Shastye

Newsells Park Stud


M V Magnier

F Galileo - Prize Exhibit

Barronstown Stud


M V Magnier

C Kingman – Galicuix

Pantile Stud/Houghton Bloodstock


Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock

C Dubawi – Cushion

Floors Stud



F Frankel - Fleche D’Or

Norelands Stud



F Kingman – Sante

Lynn Lodge Stud



F Galileo – Vasilia

Old Mill Stud


Mike Ryan

C Frankel – Attraction

Floors Stud



C Dubawi – Intricately

Highclere Stud



Figures Year


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)
































Godolphin’s purchase of the Lope De Vega colt for 675,000gns led a strong Book 2 trade




This sale will live long in the memory, for it had nowhere to hide and yet produced astonishingly good results. ‘Nowhere to hide’ because it took place on its planned dates and venue, ‘astonishingly good’ because from the moment Covid-19 arrived and shut racing down in March, the general longterm prediction for horses of all types was that while the very best would always find a home, the rest would struggle. Given subsequent closeddoor racing across the world and dire predictions for economies, what hope was there for vendors of middle and middle-to-upper tier yearlings? That theory was blown out the water on the first day of Book 2, a session which seemed to pick up on the momentum generated as Book 1 drew to a close the previous week. Held under strict protocols and requiring all attendees to pre-register and pass a temperature test at the gate, Book 2 was to provide the definition of a ‘human (bloodstock) bubble’, for events inside it seemed so removed from the outside world. By the close of the third day there was a sense of euphoria, and while handshakes were not allowed and shared bottles of champagne had to be kept to tables of six, the relief for vendors was palpable. The knock-on effect may be negligible, but it might encourage wavering breeders to send a mare to stud, it will certainly have paid a few bills for pinhookers and breeders who put their yearlings through the ring at this three-day auction, and it can only have been a shot in the arm for upcoming foal sales. Hopefully all sales companies in Europe will benefit from that, and not


Tattersalls October Sale Book 2

Angus Gold: purchased 36 lots out of Book 2 on behalf of Shadwell Estate Company

• Shadwell’s Angus Gold went out on a limb during Book 2 when putting on record his view that selling at bloodstock auctions in Britain needs speeding up. A headline in the following day’s European Bloodstock News read, ‘Gold calls for speedier selling’, although it could just as easily have stated, ‘Gold calls for speedier buying’, because he had called for industry action, rather than put the blame at Tattersalls’ door. The company’s Chairman, Edmond Mahony, referred to selling rates which had “regrettably been slowed by new bidding arrangements” in a statement at the conclusion of Book 4. Social media response suggested support for Gold’s plea. “I think these days are too long for the staff,” he said, with concern for grooms in mind following two sessions which started at 10am and ended at 9.30pm, and another that concluded at 9pm. Apportioning some blame on buyers he said: “If we want to buy a horse we should get on and buy it,” before turning his spear towards auctioneers and stating: “There’s too much time with buyers being asked ‘Are you sure, are you sure?’ It adds to the atmosphere, but not when you have 1,000 horses to sell.” It will take a mind-set change to turn this particular ship around, and to get buyers and auctioneers working in faster vein – they have no problem at US auctions – but Tattersalls pointed to some mitigating circumstances, including the need to take bids outside the ring via spotters due to Covid-19 spacing requirements, and online bidding. In both cases the auctioneer cannot see if a bidder has shaken their head or walked away, and has to keep the bid live for longer than might otherwise be the case. Remarkable competition for horses, often with low reserves due to presale vendor expectations, was another factor, but the tradition of walking horses around a relatively large ring like the one at Tattersalls might also need reconsidering. If the hammer falls as the horse passes the exit it takes another lap before the next lot enters, and that can add minutes to proceedings over a long day. Standing in the middle of the ring, and then walking straight to the exit on the hammer fall, might be worth trying, not least because some grooms – especially those who work in racing stables and have not been trained to encourage horses to walk out on a lead – can be clueless in a sales ring.



Sales Circuit company deserves praise for getting large numbers of horses, vendors and their staff, plus buyers, in and out of the door to such good effect at a hugely challenging time. No one could have predicted an 85% clearance rate or turnover of 48,362,500gns, figures that matched the 2019 sale. A three per cent fall in the average price to 75,922gns was hardly tough medicine, and the median decline of 10% to 50,000gns was better than expected. A million-guinea filly headed trade at the 2019 sale – the first time a sevenfigure sum had been achieved at Book 2 – but the failure to top that was one of the few u-turns this sale experienced. A 675,000gns Lope De Vega colt from Newsells Park Stud was the high on the latest occasion, and Sheikh


›› just Tattersalls, although the last-named

Hubie de Burgh: active on behalf of leading American owner Glen Hill Farm

Mohammed’s Godolphin operation was once again the buyer. Not that Godolphin became leading purchaser, for just three horses went down to the team in blue. Meanwhile,

the Sheikh’s ringside buyer, Anthony Stroud, continued signing for yearlings on behalf of unnamed clients with the result that his Stroud Coleman Bloodstock headed purchasers with 29 lots for 5,420,000gns. Sudden changes in who is buying what for whom are not uncommon at high-end bloodstock auctions, but if vendors were selling horses that was the priority. Shadwell’s buyer Angus Gold was busy throughout and gained 36 horses for 5,327,000gns, while Newsells Park Stud completed a Books 1 & 2 double of leading consignors, trading 25 horses at this sale for 2,938,000gns. At the sale’s conclusion Tattersalls’ Chairman Edmond Mahony reflected on the nine sales held to that point at Park Paddocks since the last week of June, describing it as “a mighty achievement” relying on “a huge collective effort”.

Tattersalls October Sale Book 2 Top lots Sex/breeding


C Lope De Vega - Loch Ma Naire

Newsells Park Stud

Price (gns)




F Frankel - Love Is Blindness

Norelands Stud


De Burgh Equine/Glen Hill Farm

C Kingman - Allez Y

Norelands Stud



C New Bay - Need You Now

Ballylinch Stud


Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

F Dark Angel – Extricate

Yeomanstown Stud


David Redvers

C Starspangledbanner - Violet’s Gift

Ballyhimikin Stud


Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

F Churchill - Date With Destiny

Newsells Park Stud


Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

F Dark Angel – Delevigne

Highclere Stud



F Camelot – Matorio

Baroda Stud


Gainsborough Thoroughbreds

F Churchill - Pussycat Lips

Croom House Stud


Gainsborough T’breds/M V Magnier

Figures Year


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)



















Tattersalls October Sale Books 3 & 4

The feelgood factor generated at Tattersalls’ Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale continued at Book 3, where the closing figures were little short of amazing. Pinhooker Johnny Hassett from County Clare summed up the thoughts of many when saying: “This business doesn’t seem to be related to the economy.” Seven fewer horses walked the ring, yet turnover gained five per cent at


7,367,200gns. The clearance rate picked up five points to hit 85%, while the median rose 10% to 11,000gns. A one per cent fall in the average to 16,051gns was pretty much irrelevant. That a lower-to-middle tier sale of yearlings could achieve gains in the battering year of Covid-19 was impossible to imagine in advance, and hard to comprehend in conclusion. It should be regarded as a sweet tonic for racing, at least in the short term, for the majority of buyers were not major-league racing

and breeding operations with substantial funds, but trainers with orders for twoyear-old racehorses, and pinhookers whose faith in next year’s breeze-up sales will have been given a boost by demand for yearlings at the October Sales. That Book 3 proved so successful will also have sent a positive note to breeders of foals whose realistic aspirations as yearlings are at that level. Four horses shared the position of sale topper when making 130,000gns, opening with a Mehmas filly who shot





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up in value from €11,000 as a foal. Her pinhookers were Kitty Cowhey and Luke Barry, his buyer was Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop. The three other joint-top lots were bought by breeze-up pinhooker Brendan Holland, agent Matt Coleman and stud owner/sales advisor Joe Foley. Holland bought a Hazelwood Bloodstock-consigned Night Of Thunder colt whose valuation was elevated from 20,000gns as a foal, Coleman gained a choicely-bred son of Farhh from Car Colston Hall’s illustrious Wiener Wald family, while Foley was acting for the Clipper Logistics racing operation when buying a Churchill filly from Keith Harte. A 90,000gns son of Authorized, bought by agent Alex Elliott, headed the second and weaker day of Book 3, and while an 11,000gns high at the small Book 4 catalogue was an indication of the


Sales Circuit

Matt Coleman of Stroud Coleman won the battle at 130,000gns for this Farhh colt

Yearling Sales, creating turnover of 138,268,200gns. That figure was down on the previous three years, and some 20,000,000gns below the sum achieved in 2019, most of it missing from Book 1.

talent on offer, a 65% clearance rate (42 of 65 sold), up 11 points, maintained the theme of demand for yearlings. A total of 1,507 yearlings were sold over the nine days of the October

TALKING POINTS • While sales regulars were chewing over the strength of business at the October Yearling Sales, Tattersalls’ Chairman Edmond Mahony suggested Newmarket as a venue was a key factor. Referring to the town as “the hub of European racing and breeding,” he added: “The heritage of Newmarket is a priceless commodity and has without doubt played a huge part in the strength of the market over the past two weeks.” Détente between sales companies has been a feature in 2020 due to the presence of Covid-19 and a need for flexibility and liaison on sales dates – auctioneers have even helped out by taking the gavel at rival companies auctions. However, something approaching normal service and competition will resume one day, and you could not blame the Tattersalls Chairman for reminding the world that when it does, there is only one Newmarket. • When Book 4 took place in 2019 the British parliament sat to discuss a possible deal between Britain and Europe

following Brexit. Amazingly, one year on, the matter was still unresolved. • Three days after the conclusion of the October Sales, Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced a six-week lockdown in Ireland in a bid to slow the rate of cases of Covid-19. The news will have been grim for many, and potentially irreparably financially damaging for small businesses. It was a reminder that life was about to get tougher for many, but also how fortunate are those who earn an income from the racing and breeding industries? They may be restricted by Covid regulations, but for most work goes on, often in healthy fresh air far from congested cities. Summing that up in typically jovial form at the October Sales was Irish-based trader Johnny Hassett. Recognising hardships for others, and pre-empting the Taoiseach, he said: “There could be a bleak winter ahead with lockdowns,” before adding: “That won’t make much difference to me because I don’t leave the farm in winter anyway!”

Tattersalls October Sale Book 3 Top lots Sex/breeding


F Mehmas – Araajmh

Loughmore Stables

Price (gns) 130,000

Blandford Bloodstock

C Night Of Thunder – Dominike

Hazelwood Bloodstock


Grove Stud

C Farhh - Fair Daughter

Car Colston Hall Stud


Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

F Churchill - Purple Glow

Max Ervine/Keith Harte


Joe Foley

C Authorized - Sweet Rose

Castlebridge Consignment



Alex Elliott, agent

Figures Year


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)




















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Sales Circuit Tattersalls October Sale Book 4 Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (gns)


F Equiano - Psychic’s Dream

Llety Farms


F Equiano - Three Ducks

Barton Stud


Rabbah Bloodstock

F Ardad - Bahamian Bird

Genesis Green Stud


Tonino Brai

F Poet’s Voice - Sensible

Houghton Bloodstock


Francisco Castro

C Charming Thought - Daheeya

Hever Stud Farm


Shaun Keightley

Nick Bradley/George Boughey

Figures Year


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)



















Goffs Orby Sale


Goffs travelled its flagship Orby Sale of yearlings to Doncaster, and an 80% clearance rate indicates that the purpose of selling was achieved. Yet this was not the Orby of reputation, a sale bejewelled by topquality yearlings, attracting leading international buyers and generating top-end prices. At the 2019 sale four horses made a seven-figure sum. True, Angus Gold of Shadwell purchased this year’s top lot, a £450,000 daughter of Oasis Dream, but that was his only purchase. Sheikh Mohammed did not invest, Qatar Racing, underbidders on the top lot, bought just one, and the Coolmore machine ticked over with three purchases of colts by Lope De Vega, Showcasing and resident stallion No Nay Never. Bobby Donworth of Roundhill Stud, who offered the Oasis Dream filly, said the price he received in the ring justified his decision to stick with the


An Oasis Dream filly from Roundhill Stud headed the Goffs Orby Sale at £450,000

The sale-topping filly proved to be Angus Gold’s sole purchase on behalf of Shadwell


Orby and sell at Doncaster, but he admitted to thinking long and hard about his decision. It seems other vendors, fearing the effects of Covid-19 and doubts about where and when the Orby would take place, opted to send some or all of their best stock to the October Sales in Newmarket, a series of yearling auctions which from some months out seemed less likely to be moved from date or premises. The Orby catalogue of 474 lots was two more than in 2019, but after withdrawals 40 fewer lots entered the ring and of the 389 who did so, 311 found a buyer. The smaller catalogue and shortage of uber prices saw turnover fall 44% to £21,142,000. The average price was down 35% at just under £68,000 and the median figure of £47,000 was down 18%.

Ironically, one mare could have made a notable percentage difference to turnover had her yearling proved as popular and valuable as her three-parts sisters in 2018 and 2019. In those two years, Green Room’s daughters by Galileo sold for €3.2 million and €3 million, but this time her filly by Sea The Stars was bought in at £775,000. Her owners, Vimal and Gillian Khosla of Ballylinch Stud, are unlikely to be too unhappy at keeping a filly who can continue Green Room’s legacy. Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said in his closing statement: “We absolutely recognise that the returns of the last two days have been hard on many vendors and we share their pain as we have always prided ourselves on delivering the best prices for the lots we offer.” In a year of


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Sales Circuit he also sent good wishes to vendors who were heading on to Tattersalls October Sale, and there was widespread praise and sympathy for Beeby and his team among traders who were present in Newmarket. Hopefully, by the autumn of 2021 Covid will have been supressed, if not eradicated, and the Orby can return to its pomp. Among long-distance visitors to Doncaster was agent Ben McElroy, an expatriate Irishman now based in the USA. He bought a son of Invincible Spirit for £420,000 on behalf of a Stonestreet Stables partnership which races Campanelle, winner of this year’s Prix Morny and Queen Mary Stakes for Wesley Ward’s stable. The new purchase will also be joining Ward with a Royal Ascot mission in mind, said McElroy. A Dark Angel filly generated a six-figure profit for the pinhookers who bought her as a foal for €260,000 and sold her on via Baroda Stud for £400,000. Joey Cullen of Goffs, taking telephone instructions, brought the hammer down and said he was working for CBR Bloodstock, but could give no more details. Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock led


›› détente between rival sales companies,

This £420,000 Invincible Spirit colt is set to be trained in the US by Wesley Ward

purchasers, gaining ten lots for £705,000, while McElroy’s £670,000 spend on four horses placed him second on the list. Dwayne Woods, buying stock for his brother Sean’s new venture at Shalfleet Stables in Newmarket, gained four horses for £542,000, while Demi O’Byrne picked

up two horses for a total of £515,000 on behalf of American Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm. The Hong Kong Jockey Club spent £500,000 on three horses. Heading the leading consignor list was The Castlebridge Consignment, with sales of 35 horses for £2,995,000.

Goffs Orby Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (£)


F Oasis Dream - Princess De Lune

Roundhill Stud


Shadwell Estate Company

C Invincible Spirit - Aimhirgin Lass

Irish National Stud


Ben McElroy

F Dark Angel – Fashionable

Baroda Stud


CBR Bloodstock

F Sea The Stars - Love Magic

Kilcarn/Castlebridge Consignment


Sunderland Holdings

C Dark Angel - The Hermitage

Yeomanstown Stud


White Birch/Demi O’Byrne

C Invincible Spirit - Kate The Great

Airlie Stud


Avenue Bloodstock

F Mehmas - Big Boned

Castlebridge Consignment


Hugo Merry Bloodstock

F Kingman – Knocknagree

Croom House Stud


Juddmonte Farms

C Dark Angel - Layla Jamil

Grangemore Stud


Hong Kong Jockey Club

F Siyouni - Fork Lightning

Castlebridge Consignment


Durcan Bloodstock

Figures Year





Top price

































trained by Charlie Fellowes winning the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot


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Sales Circuit Goffs Sportsman’s Sale

Like the Goffs Orby Sale, this two-day sale of yearlings was transferred from Goffs’ Kildare headquarters to Doncaster in order to ensure buyers based in Britain could attend. Had it been held in Ireland visitors from outside the country would have been obliged to self-isolate for a fortnight. That was not its only upheaval, for in a ‘normal’ year it would have opened the day after the Orby Sale closed, with all the benefits for buyers and vendors. On this occasion it had to be staged in the week before the Orby, which was also destined to be held at Goffs UK’s Doncaster sales complex. There were not enough stables to stage both auctions consecutively. As a result, a number of horses did not travel for the Sportsman’s, their

vendors opting to wait and offer their stock at Goffs Autumn Yearling Sale, which was due to be held in November, but has been put back to January. The figures were down, but not out, and a clearance rate of 68%, a fall of 11 points, was generally accepted as not too bad given upheavals for businesses around the world, let alone this corner of Europe. Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said doubts had lingered over the sale until the final week due to possible regional lockdowns, and in his closing statement he thanked Doncaster Council for “feedback and support” in ensuring the sale was held. He also acknowledged the fall in stats, but added, “the key point is liquidity and the ability to trade”, a sentiment widely endorsed given Covid-19’s influence. The average figure of £13,345 and

median of £10,000 were both down 13%, while a catalogue which, after withdrawals, resulted in 87 fewer lots meant the aggregate figure lost 43% at £2,468,900. It was a fall which Beeby and his team did not deserve given the efforts made to stage the event. A Night Of Thunder filly, pinhooked as a foal by Peter Kelly of Emerald Bloodstock for 21,000gns, headed trade when being resold to Ross Doyle for £72,000. Colts by Dandy Man and Footstepsinthesand were next best, making 50,000gns to Kevin Ross and Mags O’Toole. Ross was acting for Paul and Clare Rooney, racehorse owners who have turned their attention from jump racing to the Flat, but whose purchase of this and other yearlings was a sign of faith in British racing, and welcome in trying times.

Goffs Sportsman’s Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (£)


F Night Of Thunder – Muzhil

Castlebridge Consignment


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

C Footstepsinthesand – Harpist

Rockfield Farm


Kevin Ross

C Dandy Man - Little Kipling



Margaret O’Toole

C Mehmas - Crafty Notion

Kilmoney Cottage Stud


BBA Ireland

F Pride Of Dubai - The Shrew

Lodge Park Stud


Alex Elliott

Figures Year





Top price



















Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale

Relocated from County Meath to Newmarket, this sale held its own, and at a time of nervousness or shutdown in many industries, an 84% clearance rate was an excellent result. Add in a record top price of £325,000 (€358,290), an average on a par with 2019 and the sale of four horses for a six-figure sum – two more than last year but six fewer than in 2018 – and the effort to transfer staff and horses to Suffolk has to be deemed justified. The Hong Kong Jockey Club bought the top two lots last year and its representative, Mick Kinane, was again in pole position when taking the sale-topper in Newmarket. Bred by Jim Bolger and consigned by his granddaughter, Clare Manning of


Boherguy Stud, the colt in question was a son of Teofilo out of Gearanai, and therefore a full-brother to Group 3 winner Guaranteed and smart two-yearold Gear Up. The last-named, a €52,000 Orby purchase by trainer Mark Johnston, won York’s Acomb Stakes in timely style a month before his younger sibling entered the ring, subsequently gaining Group 1 honours in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Bolger and Manning were in unstoppable form, and at the second and closing session their son of New Approach out of dual Group 3 winner Maoineach headed affairs with a £190,000 sale to Robson Aguiar, signing as Ebonos on behalf of Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing. The colt was another beneficiary of an update from a two-year-old brother, in his case

New Treasure who landed the Round Tower Stakes for Bolger under Manning’s father, Kevin. Joe Foley’s day one £190,000 purchase of a colt by leading first-crop sire Mehmas and Ross Doyle’s buy of a Night Of Thunder colt for £155,000 completed the leading quartet of prices. Doyle’s capture of 15 yearlings for £621,000 meant he became top buyer, but there was no apparent participation from the Maktoum family. Boherguy’s four sales aggregated £576,000 and gave Manning’s operation top-consignor honours. Part II of Tattersalls Ireland’s September Sale normally commands a stand-alone session the day after the main event, but after withdrawals the 2020 version became a much-reduced catalogue – 81 offered, down from 237



BU Y E RS IN C LUDED: Shadwell Estate Company Blandford Bloodstock Amanda Skiffington Joe Foley SackvilleDonald Highflyer Bloodstock Karl Burke Racing Richard Fahey Racing A C Elliott/Ralph Beckett Nick Bradley Racing Rabbah Bloodstock Federico Barberini Richard Hughes


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Sales Circuit ›› – and it was tacked onto the end of the

main sale. A £27,000 top lot for a son of Kodi Bear was a clue to the event’s aspirations, but a 69% clearance rate, down five points, was not a bad return, while the average and median were only marginally below last year’s figures



• Foal buyers never have to wait more than a year before putting their horse back on the market in a specialist yearling catalogue. Horses sold at Tattersalls’ December Yearling Sale do so in the same week that many were bought at the previous year’s foal sale, but Ireland’s current lockdown means there will be a 13-month wait for foals bought at Tattersalls Ireland’s Flat Foal Sale on November 16, 2019, and due to go through the ring at the postponed Yearling Section at Fairyhouse on December 16. Meanwhile, foals bought last year will be two-year-olds if taking up a slot at the company’s lockdowndelayed Autumn Yearling Sale on January 12 and 13.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club snapped up this £325,000 brother to the high-class Gear Up

– but about half the sums achieved when Part II hit a peak in 2017. With some vendors reluctant to travel Part II horses to Newmarket, an additional section of yearlings has been

added to Tattersalls Ireland’s Flat Foal and Breeding Stock Sale, which has been pushed back to December 16. Of the 109 yearlings catalogued, 66 were entered in Part II.

Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (£)


C Teofilo – Gearanai

Boherguy Stud


The Hong Kong Jockey Club

C Mehmas - La Cuvee

Beechvale Stud


Joe Foley

C New Approach – Maoineach

Boherguy Stud



C Night Of Thunder - Tuolumne

Meadows Grove Stud


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

C Red Jazz – Bulrushes

Bluegate Stud


Clive Cox Racing

Figures Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)



















*(after conversion to Euros)

Arqana Arc Sale

A memorable Paris weekend for bloodstock agent Michel Zerolo included buying the €975,000 top lot at this sale before Sottsass’s triumph in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Zerolo’s Oceanic Bloodstock bought Sottsass for American Peter Brant with a €340,000 bid at Arqana August in 2017,


but whether he had the same client in mind for this sale’s headline act – threeyear-old filly Virginia Joy – was not made public at the time. Brant has been in free-spending mode at sales this year, and Zerolo bought him the €850,000 top lot Flop Shot at this auction in 2019. Virginia Joy, a wild card entry, was bred and raced in Germany by Gestut

Auenquelle, and she went to the ring with a CV which included a Group 3 victory and a Classic placing with third in the Preis Der Diana. Horses entered for this sale can also run on the following day’s Arc card, and in 2018 Zerolo bought Lily’s Candle for €390,000 a few hours before she won the Prix Marcel Boussac. Two months



Bay 2011 by Kitten’s Joy – Celestial Woods (by Forestry)

A LEADING EUROPEAN FIRST CROP SIRE IN 2020 Sire of 9 individual first crop 2yo winners of 15 races, including Group 2 Beresford Stakes runner-up MONAASIB and multiple winners MIRAGE MAC, MIAMI JOY and MYSTIC MALEFICENT (to 25th Oct. 2020)


Bay 2011 by Sea The Stars – Sanwa (by Monsun)

A LEADING EUROPEAN SIRE IN 2020 2020 yearlings sold at Tattersalls October Sales Book 1 & 2 made 480,000 gns, 210,000 gns, 200,000 gns, etc.,

averaging £154,975 – over 10 times his 2018 fee


Bay 2003 by Mark of Esteem – Percy’s Lass (by Blakeney)

A POTENT MIX OF SPEED AND STAMINA 2020 yearlings sold at Tattersalls October Sales Book 2 made 150,000 gns (x2), 80,000 gns & 50,000 gns,

averaging £112,875 – over 16 times his 2018 fee


Bay 2015 by Deep Impact – Second Happiness (by Storm Cat)

SON AND GRANDSON OF LEGENDS Winner of the “Stallion Making” Group 1 French Derby Supported by Europe’s leading breeders in his first season


i nfo@lanwade s. c om • www. lanwa m • Tel: +4 4 (0 )1 6 3 8 7 5 0 2 2 2


The independent option TM

Sales Circuit ››

The catalogue for this boutique event was notably smaller than in recent years, and while Arqana’s closing statement did not offer an explanation for the reduction, the effects of a pandemic were probably a factor. Nineteen horses were offered, down from 39 the previous year, and 11 were sold (58%). Turnover halved to €3,050,000, but with nine of

later, she was resold for €1.1 million at the Arqana December Sale. Coeursamba, a two-year-old filly from The Wow Signal’s second crop, offered a similar path, but after selling to Paul Basquin for €400,000 on behalf of Mohamed Fahad Al Attiyah she could do no better than a worthy fifth of 12 in the Boussac behind Tiger Tanaka.

the 11 who found a buyer making six-figure sums the median shot up by 73% to €260,000. The average gained 10% to a mark of €277,273. Even Parisians, famous for their taste in luxury goods, would have been amazed by such sums given the constraints under which their city is living.

Arqana Arc Sale Top lots Name/age/sex/breeding


Price (€)


Virginia Joy 3 f Soldier Hollow - Virginia Sun

Gestut Auenquelle


Oceanic Bloodstock

Coeursamba 2 f The Wow Signal – Marechale

Jean-Claude Rouget


Haras du Saubouas

Step By Step 3 c Sidestep – Anavera

Yann Barberot


Narvick International

Dick Whittington 3 g War Command – Loutka

Yann Barberot


Narvick International

Hercule Point 3 g Network - Dam Royale

Hugo Merienne


NBB Racing/Tom Malone

Figures Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)






















or them at



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Perpetuating the Pivotal sire line


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The Gr.3 and Listed winner Aria Importante.

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Caulfield Files

Bloodstock world views

Pivotal’s golden autumn: veteran sire’s influence as strong as ever across Europe


here has always been an understandable tendency to confuse speed with precocity. The reality is that the two do not necessarily go hand in hand – at least not in today’s world. The QIPCO British Champions Sprint acted as a useful reminder of this, with the first three places going to horses aged six, eight and six. Some of the top five-furlong events have also highlighted this phenomenon. For example, the last nine winners of the Nunthorpe Stakes have been aged between four and seven, with sevenyear-olds winning three times. It was the perceived disadvantage faced by three-year-olds against their elders in the King’s Stand Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes that led to the introduction in 2015 of the Commonwealth Cup. The King’s Stand had fallen to only one three-year-old, Equiano, in the previous 12 years. Coincidentally, the King’s Stand and the Nunthorpe provided the career


Six-year-old Glen Shiel holds off eight-year-old Brando by a nose to give their sire Pivotal a 1-2 in the Group 1 Sprint Stakes

highlights of Pivotal, the stallion responsible for Glen Shiel and Brando, the veterans who fought out the British Champions Sprint. Pivotal was only three when he landed both of these important five-furlong events and his speed had also been evident to a lesser degree at two,

“We should not be surprised that Pivotal has proved versatile as a stallion” when he landed end-of-season events at Newcastle and Folkestone. Pivotal displayed more precocity than either his sire Polar Falcon or broodmare

sire Cozzene. A June 1 foal, Polar Falcon didn’t race at two and didn’t become a Group winner until he was four, the year he landed the Sprint Cup at Haydock. It was a similar story with Cozzene, who didn’t race at two and didn’t become a Graded stakes winner until he was five, when he numbered the Breeders’ Cup Mile among his victories. When breeders select mates for their mares, they often try to compensate for any of their mares’ shortcomings. So, if the mare needed a bit of time and distance, a reasonably quick-maturing speed horse like Pivotal has obvious appeal. However, the pedigree of the Cheveley Park veteran isn’t typical of a five-furlong sprinter: his four greatgrandsires were Northern Dancer, Jefferson, Caro and Bustino, all of whom won over at least a mile and a quarter. We therefore shouldn’t have been surprised that Pivotal has proved remarkably versatile as a stallion, with his long list of 32 Group/Grade 1 winners



Caulfield Files distance races as the Oaks, Irish Oaks, Champion Stakes, Dubai World Cup, Deutsches Derby and two editions each of the Prix Saint-Alary and Pretty Polly Stakes. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been too surprised that many of his progeny couldn’t be described as precocious. Partly because the first part of Glen Shiel’s career was spent racing at a mile and beyond, he didn’t become a Group winner until he was six. Then there’s Farhh, who, with his various setbacks, didn’t become a Group winner until he was five. African Story was seven when he won the Dubai World Cup, having first become a Group winner at five; Lightning Spear was also seven when he finally became a Group 1 winner; Maarek didn’t win until he was four and his first Group success came at five, with his victory in the Prix de l’Abbaye coming the following year; and Regal Parade gained his successes in the Sprint Cup and Prix Maurice de Gheest at the ages of five and six. Others, such as the Nunthorpe winner Kyllachy and the Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Brando, didn’t become Group winners until they were four. In fact, there is a distinct shortage of two-year-olds among Pivotal’s Group/ Grade 1 winners. The Deutsches Derby winner Buzzword landed the Group 3 Prix La Rochette in his first season, whereas the St James’s Palace Stakes winner Excellent Art won the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes. The only daughter of Pivotal with a Group 1 success at two to her credit was the Australian-foaled Amanee, who achieved that status in the quieter waters of South Africa. That leaves Siyouni as the only son of Pivotal to have enjoyed Group 1 success as a juvenile, even though his dam Sichilla had been unraced at two. Siyouni was ready to race far earlier than most of his immediate ancestors, two exceptions being his broodmare sire Danehill, who went within a short-head of making a winning debut on July 7, and Pivotal’s dam Fearless Revival, who scored in the August and September of her two-yearold days.

Blistering start

Siyouni’s winning debut came as early as May 4 and by the time he tackled the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin he had added two more victories over five furlongs, including the Listed Prix La Fleche. Although he found Special Duty too speedy in the Papin and Buzzword too good in the Prix La Rochette, Siyouni bounced back with a decisive win in the



›› featuring winners of such middle-

Sottsass, by Pivotal’s son Siyouni, defeats In Swoop in this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, against a field which included the future Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pounced, the future Classic winners Buzzword and Lope De Vega, the Classic-placed Dick Turpin and Beethoven, who landed the Dewhurst Stakes at 33-1 on his next appearance. Unfortunately, Siyouni was unable to beat some of these old rivals when they met again during his winless second season, but his Group 1 success, his good looks and his pedigree earned him a place at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval, albeit at a fee of only €7,000. Other stallion sons of Pivotal, such as Kyllachy, Farhh, Falco, Captain Rio and Excellent Art, proved capable of siring Group winners at two years, with Kyllachy leading the way with the likes of Heartache, Kachy, Supplicant, Dragon Pulse and Altyn Orda. None of them, though, succeeded in siring a Group 1-winning two-year-old but Siyouni is hitting the commercial bullseye by proving himself capable of doing so. His celebrated daughter Laurens won the Fillies’ Mile before taking a further five Group 1 races, including the Prix de Diane. Now the 1,300,000-guinea St Mark’s Basilica has landed the Darley Dewhurst, raising the enticing possibility that he could follow in the 2,000 Guineas-winning footsteps of his half-brother Magna Grecia. Siyouni’s first Classic winner, the 2015 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Ervedya, had been good enough at two to win the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg, in addition to being second to the future Arc winner Found in the Prix Marcel Boussac. Siyouni’s latest winner of the

Pouliches, Dream And Do, won the last three of her four starts at two, including the Group 3 Prix Miesque, so a Group victory for a Siyouni juvenile seems to bode well for their second season. In addition to his two winners of the Pouliches and his victory with Laurens in the Diane, Siyouni has enjoyed French Classic success with Sottsass in the Prix du Jockey-Club. While Sottsass wasn’t tried at black-type level at two, his victory in a 12-runner maiden over a mile at Clairefontaine was gained with the minimum of fuss by three lengths from the future Group 3 winner Flop Shot.

Prospering with Galileo mares

With Sottsass winning the Arc six days before St Mark’s Basilica’s Dewhurst success, Siyouni scored a major double with his progeny out of Galileo mares. A quick look at Siyouni’s pedigree highlights why he is blending so well with Galileo’s daughters. The broodmare .daughters of his sire Pivotal have achieved an extraordinary 31% black-type winners with Galileo, with their 12 black-type winners being led by those terrific fillies Love, Magical, Hermosa, Hydrangea and Rhododendron. Siyouni’s broodmare sire Danehill has a similarly famous relationship with Galileo, with Danehill’s daughters producing no fewer than 16 Group/Grade 1 winners, led by Frankel, Teofilo, Intello, Highland Reel, Japan, Mogul, Noble Mission, Golden Lilac, Maybe and Search For A Song. Without wishing to diminish Siyouni’s achievement in any way, it mustn’t be forgotten that the dams of Sottsass and St Mark’s Basilica had both produced a
















‘Royal ‘Royal Ascot Ascot winning winning 2 2 year year old old by by a a champion. champion. He He was was a a very very fast, fast, precocious, precocious, genuine genuine horse’ horse’ Aidan O’Brien


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Caulfield Files ›› previous Group 1 winner to a different

stallion. Sottsass’ dam Starlet’s Sister managed to do so with the inexpensive Myboycharlie, who is now based in Turkey. It’s a sobering thought that this excellent winner, the champion American turf mare Sistercharlie, was conceived at a fee of €6,500, while Siyouni was available for €20,000 at the time of Sottsass’ conception. That’s the winners of ten Group 1 races produced at a cost

of just €26,500. With the help of St Mark’s Basilica, and of the likes of Ghaiyyath, Battleground, Dame Malliot, Pista, Certain Lad, Dubai Warrior and Military Style, Galileo has a good chance of finally getting the better of Pivotal in their prolonged tussle for the annual title of champion sire of broodmares. Pivotal had succeeded in 2017, with Galileo an honourable third, and again in 2018, when

Galileo was second, and Pivotal made it three championships in a row in 2019, when Galileo again finished third. If Galileo clinches his first title, it will be at the age of 22 but all is not lost if he doesn’t, as his sire Sadler’s Wells was 24 before he recorded the first of his seven consecutive titles in this category. Get used to the idea that Galileo is going to prove equally indomitable in this secondary role.


Tiger Tanaka copes best with the testing going to capture the Group 1 Prix MarcelBoussac at Longchamp

Soft-ground bloodlines come to the fore in France I do not greatly enjoy watching high-class horses struggle to cope with very soft ground towards the end of the season. But there are certain bloodlines that undoubtedly handle extreme conditions better than most, as Champions Day underlined once again. Pivotal, whose stock are very much at home on soft ground, was responsible for Glen Shiel and Brando, first and second in the Sprint, as well as the winner, Addeybb, in the Champion Stakes, and the third, Fujaira Prince, in the Long Distance Cup. Pivotal was also the broodmare sire of those admirable mares One Master and Magical, who respectively finished third in the Sprint and the Champion Stakes. And in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the winner The Revenant has a grand-daughter of Pivotal as his dam, while the close second, Roseman, is out of a Pivotal mare. Someone else who no doubt relishes rain-softened ground is Maurice Burns, who stands Clodovil and his son Gregorian at Rathasker Stud. The diminutive Clodovil has spent his lengthy career at Rathasker after a racing career that began with five consecutive victories, all gained with at least some give in the ground. The ground was very soft when he scooted home by six lengths on his debut. Gregorian, who moved to Rathasker in 2018 after four years at England’s National Stud, also handled very testing conditions better than most. A winner on heavy ground at Hamilton, he later won the Criterion Stakes on soft and the Diomed Stakes on good to soft. He never won on ground firmer than good.


It is therefore surely more than just coincidence that this father-and-son team has been represented by two of the most successful two-year-old fillies in France, where the ground has been pretty soft in late-summer and earlyautumn. Clodovil’s contribution is the remarkable Tiger Tanaka, the former claimer who has thrived on heavy ground. After recording her first Group success in the Group 3 Prix Francois Boutin, she confounded the purists by coming out on top in the Prix Marcel Boussac under Jessica Marcialis. Bought for only €6,500 as a yearling in Ireland, Tiger Tanaka has been beaten only once in seven starts, amassing earnings of €195,136 – providing a huge profit on the €23,789 she cost to claim after her debut win on heavy ground at Lyon Parilly in June. Arguably even more impressive has been Gregorian’s aptly-named daughter Plainchant. After running out of steam close home when a neck second to Fev Rover in the Group 2 Prix du Calvados over seven furlongs, Plainchant has dropped back to six with excellent results. A very easy five-length winner of the Group 3 Prix Eclipse on good to soft, she showed similarly impressive speed and class in landing the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte on heavy. Now a winner of four of her six starts, this €4,000 yearling has so far collected €152,000. Gregorian’s other smart daughter, Queen Jo Jo, is by no means a total mudlark but she also has a Listed win on soft ground to her name.

ROA Forum

The special section for ROA members

Guidance for racing behind closed doors




uch has been reported about the raceday experience for owners with racing behind closed doors and rightly so. It’s such a vital part of the ownership experience. Since owners returned to the racecourse in July, the ROA has been gathering feedback from hundreds of owners on the experience of having a runner. We have been working closely with racecourses through the Racecourse Association and BHA to review various areas currently under British racing’s protocols. These include attendance/badge allocation, overall on-course experience and the facilities available to owners as well as any regional guidance. As any updates are made, these are being communicated through our eBulletins and news pages. The ROA has supported hundreds of owners looking for guidance around Covid-19 protocols, assisting owners and trainers with the steps required in advance of racing. We’ve created easy, step-by-step guidance for owners with a runner behind closed doors and the ROA website now lists details of the number of badges that racecourses are allocating to owners, and any news and updates from the course. You can also find details on how to watch a race live, contact details of the racecourse photographer on the raceday and also where to watch a replay of the race if you are unable to attend. See our updated Racing Behind Closed Doors guidance at raceday/racing. Owners with a runner receive an email via the RCA PASS system at entry stage, and again after declaration. Emails are sent after 2pm on both days and owners can arrange their badges via the PASS website at by 4pm the day before the race. Please note: you will need to have the same email address listed on Racing Admin ( as well as PASS ( to receive emails after entry and declaration. The ROA website includes a guide to filming at racecourses for syndicate managers and trainers so you can bring the vital post-race debriefing to your

Owners have contacted the ROA regarding their racecourse experiences during Covid

owners in the best possible way. ROA members on our eBulletin service have been receiving a dedicated message each morning with news, racecards and links to owner resources including the Racing Calendar. If you haven’t received your memento following your horse winning, we suggest checking with your trainer first and if they don’t have the memento, we suggest owners email the racecourse with details of the horse name and date of fixture to enable the course to send any items direct. Contact details can be found at It is great to have owners back on the course – please continue to share any feedback on your experience with us via email or by completing the relevant feedback form on the racecourse page. Member Paul Proctor attended Huntingdon recent and commented: “I would like the ROA to know how well as an owner we were looked after by the team at Huntingdon throughout the day, being personally welcomed on arrival by Huntingdon’s Chairman Julian Taylor supported by Malcolm Wallace. Indeed all the staff on course were exemplary in all respects and the catering for owners was first class. “Racecourses can come in for a lot of criticism but I have nothing but praise for how Huntingdon managed everything for owners in today’s difficult circumstances. I have attended many racecourses over the years and during this pandemic Southwell, Newmarket, Stratford, Uttoxeter and Huntingdon all behind closed doors. Yesterday was the best experience of all in the current climate and a model for what can be done to make owners appreciated and welcome. Needless to say it was a totally safe environment to boot.”

Julie Fowler reported on a visit to Lingfield Park and said: “Lingfield was well organised, with a nice room, serving drinks and food with direct access out into the stands very close to the winning line. There was also access out to the parade ring and pre-parade ring, lots of room for owners including raised stands so plenty of room. “The staff were excellent, very friendly and made every effort to accommodate any requests. Although there wasn’t access to the winner’s enclosure, which was at the far end of the parade ring, Lingfield had moved the first-placed post to the owners’ end of the parade ring, therefore if your horse won it was walked right in front of the owners’ area allowing pictures to be taken even though you were on the other side of the railings. I thought this was an excellent initiative, cost very little to erect a post but gave winners owners the enjoyment of seeing their horse come back in. Surely this is something all racecourses could take on board.”

Course news

Ascot has increased its offering to owners of six badges and six lunches. This increase was made from British Champions Day and will apply for the NH season. Wincanton have advised that hot food and a bar will be available in the Kingwell Suite (the regular Owners’ & Trainers’ facility) and Chasers Restaurant. Additional facilities of Hatherleigh, on the 2nd Floor, the Stalbridge Bar and the Gallery Suite will also be made available for owners if demand requires. Each facility will provide a cold food offer and a bar. A debrief area for owners and trainers will be provided adjacent to the parade ring.

United approach to levy reform The British Horseracing Authority board and its member bodies have agreed to take a united approach to government after developing a single set of proposals for reforming the levy. At a meeting of the BHA’s Members’ Committee on October 6, leaders of racecourses, horsemen and the BHA also agreed to set up a new steering group to assess all the options for levy reform in light of the impact of Covid-19 and the expected economic downturn. The steering group, chaired on behalf of the BHA by its Independent Director, Joe Saumarez-Smith, held its first meeting the same week. The group is carrying out a rapid assessment of levy options as the government considers how best to help sports threatened by a further six months without spectators. The group is working closely with the BHA’s public affairs team, which led and coordinated the successful effort to extend the levy to offshore betting companies. The group will include representatives from both racecourses

BHA Chair Annamarie Phelps: pleased with the industry’s collaborative efforts

and horsemen, including Nevin Truesdale and Martin Cruddace, from the Jockey Club and ARC, and Charlie Parker and Philip Freedman, present and past Chairs of The Horsemen’s Group. Will Lambe and Richard Wayman will be the BHA Executive’s representatives.

The Chair of the BHA, Annamarie Phelps, said: “I am pleased that industry leaders have agreed on a united approach to government and the support this has had from trainers, breeders and racecourse groups. Now more than ever, racing needs to talk with one voice to government. “Both I and other BHA board colleagues have been having constructive conversations with industry colleagues over the past few weeks. As a governing body, it is vital we listen to the views of those whose livelihoods are dependent on a prosperous and sustainable industry. “The Prime Minister promised that the Chancellor would prepare a package of support for sport. We have sent government at their request a new assessment of the impact of Covid on the finances of racing, including the potential mitigating impact of reform to the levy, and making clear that the return of the public to racecourses is essential. Further proposals on the levy are now being developed, supported by Nick Rust and his team.”

Fixtures over Christmas The BHA has made a number of changes to the fixture list over the Christmas period, between December 21-30 in the likelihood that racing will take place behind closed doors. These are:

Fixture moves

• Huntingdon’s afternoon fixture on •

• Fontwell’s afternoon fixture moved from 26/12 to 28/12

• Market Rasen’s afternoon fixture on 26/12 moved to 30/12

• Southwell’s afternoon flat fixture on 29/12 moved to a floodlit fixture

Fixture replacements


26/12 moved to 22/12

Sedgefield’s afternoon fixture moved from 26/12 to 22/12

Lingfield’s afternoon Flat fixture on 28/12 replaced with Newcastle floodlit fixture

Fontwell’s Boxing Day fixture has been moved to December 28

• Lingfield’s afternoon Flat fixture on

30/12 replaced with Wolverhampton floodlit fixture

Additional fixtures

• Afternoon Flat fixture at Newcastle on 21/12

• Afternoon Flat fixture at Lingfield on 22/12

Changes to race programmes are always available via the Racing Admin site, The fixture list remains subject to change including in the event that there are amendments to the government guidance on spectators attending sporting events. The month’s fixtures for November and December can be downloaded from


ROA Forum In conversation with ROA Ambassador

RICHARD JOHNSON One of the first engagements as ROA Ambassador saw Richard Johnson meeting members in the ROA marquee at the Cheltenham Festival before racing in March. As the jump season gathers pace we caught up with Richard on his way to racing at Ludlow on October 7 and asked for his thoughts on aspects of racing behind closed doors. With racing behind closed doors, what changes are there around the way jockeys and trainers are interacting with owners? Video clips after a race are being used much more regularly. We want to give owners as good an experience as we can. It’s really important to allow owners to be involved as much as they can be, to maintain their interest in and enjoyment of having a horse. Events over recent months have pushed many trainers into being more forward-thinking. Trainers and key racing staff are now regularly taking video clips to share with owners to try to provide the information they would receive under more usual circumstances. What can we do to improve the raceday experience for owners behind closed doors?

Owners are being very supportive and realistic. It’s important for the industry to work together to keep racing on. My colleagues and I were very concerned when racing was halted, as were trainers and the whole industry. We feared there could be a significant reduction of horses in training in a short period of time. It’s been encouraging to see many owners keeping horses in training. Yards that I ride for have remained busy and new horses are continuing to be purchased. I think the BHA on the whole has done a good job. Racing has shown it can run safely and has come across well in doing so. It is challenging for racecourses. They are under pressure to provide a safe environment for all participants and are working under stringent constraints. Having a racehorse is something owners do for pleasure. They may get to see their horse race five or six times a year. Winning is the goal and aim but most owners are very realistic and view winning as a bonus. On a raceday they want to feel appreciated and have a good time. They want to be able to sit down, relax and enjoy some refreshments. It should be an enjoyable day whether they win or not. Owners want to have fun, feel

Richard Johnson (far side) says communication with owners is key after the race


they are getting some value for their money and feel special for that day. My mum and dad are owners and enjoy a day out at the races and view it as a day off. Winning to them is an added bonus. Racing can’t go on without owners. When an owner takes a guest with them racing, it also provides an important opportunity. If they enjoy their day, it can lead to them becoming involved in ownership. A personal introduction is a strong recommendation. How can we keep owners connected to their horse when they have a runner? It’s usually possible for a jockey or trainer to provide a short clip within 30 minutes of the horse running using a mobile phone. Communication for owners is key, and especially at that time. It’s very important to make them feel involved and part of the experience. Ideally owners like a phone call before a race, and a video of the jockey’s assessment post-race. The clip can be filmed by the rider, trainer, travelling head lad or a member of the trainer’s team. The PJA has been keeping in close contact with jockeys, and a short video clip is a helpful way to provide an update quickly. At the same time it feels more of a personal message than something written down. I speak for all my weighing room colleagues in saying we are very thankful for owners who have been so supportive. We are very appreciative and want to be able to provide enjoyment for them. It’s been a frustrating time for so many. We would love to see more owners back on the racecourse and look forward to seeing them going racing.

The British Racing Recovery Plan, published at the end of August, outlined the key areas for improvement in the form of nine industry goals. Outlined in goal seven of this plan is its intention to retain key investors, including existing owners, and reform rules for syndicates and clubs to protect members and increase their appeal to potential owners. This goal is focusing on recovery by recognising the importance of retaining owners and key investors. The Racehorse Owners Association is leading the work on owners as part of the Industry Ownership Strategy, with the BHA also supporting and engaging key investors, a number of whom are owners and breeders. All industry stakeholders have been involved in the project. The ongoing work in this stream has five aims concerning:

• New commercial agreements • Prize-money distribution • Levy reform • Owner attendance • Ownership experience The ROA began the task of developing an industrywide strategic ownership plan in 2017. The work has been led by Charlie Liverton, the ROA’s Chief Executive, working with Portas Consulting and industry colleagues on each initiative. A number of initiatives have already been implemented in response to the findings and results of the 2016


Ownership strategy initiatives

The distribution of prize-money in races is currently under review

National Racehorse Owner Survey. These were developed under a threeyear plan from 2017-2020 and members will have seen the outcomes of many of these workstreams. Activities within the three-year plan have included:


Industry Ownership Racedays – one a month held around the country, promoting and celebrating ownership and providing a social networking opportunity, connecting hundreds of owners throughout the year. Thrill of Ownership – industry events held at Aintree and the House of Commons in 2019 to showcase the importance of racing to rural communities. Attendees included MPs from the All Party Racing Group and stakeholder representatives. Ownership survey – in collaboration with Portas, January 2019. Breeders survey – in collaboration with Portas. This led to the expansion of the ROA’s third party liability scheme and an extension at no extra cost to

• •

owners who were amateur breeders. Syndicate survey – Portas, October 2018. Owner focus groups held around UK. ROA online resources expanded to support owners. Leasing – template lease agreement and guidance at, with documents mirrored in TBA resources. Brand development and emphasis on giving owners a voice. Collaboration with Nick Luck’s daily podcast.

• • • • •


Racecourse Quality Mark, linked to the ROA Gold Standard Awards. Owners Guide to Racecourses. Ownership module introduced for training days.

• •


Trainers’ secretaries – regional meetings in training centres. Online resources for trainers and their key staff. Ownership covered in trainer modules.

SETTING UP A SYNDICATE? There needs to be a minimum of one syndicator and two members in any syndicate. There is no maximum number of people who can be syndicate members. The percentages can be varied and the values can go down to 0.1%. The ROA website offers resources including template syndicate agreements and a link to the syndicate code of conduct. Registration of ownership is completed online and details outlining the process can be found at in the regulation/ownership section.

An owners’ toolkit at the link gives guidance around registering colours and also related administration. Members of the ROA receive a 20% discount on registration fees. Examples of the fees/savings can be found at Owner-sponsorship allows you to register for and reclaim VAT on your costs of ownership. The ROA runs an owner-sponsorship scheme in partnership with the Tote for members, which makes this very easy to set up. For further details see


ROA Forum

MAGICAL MOMENTS Clive Norman toasts a Majestic triumph at Newmarket

“A friend got in touch after the race who is now interested in ownership” “It turned out to be Oliver Cole, who invited me to the yard. They had a couple for sale; a colt by Canford Cliffs, who was named Black Medusa and I bought myself, and a colt by Red Jazz, who I bought under our company’s name and we called Towelrads Boy, who won well second time out at Wolverhampton.” Majestic Dawn was bought at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale, and is shared between Norman and Lee Green, who he met on one of his regular trips to Deauville, while last year Zhang Fei was purchased at the Arqana October Yearling Sale. The Camelot colt made his debut at Newmarket the day before Majestic Dawn won the Cambridgeshire and is owned in partnership, while another Camelot colt, Wantage, has yet to run. The more recent purchases follow the floating of the Brickability Group –




here are plenty of great grooms in racing, and Great Grooms the antique centre in Hungerford also has a connection with our sport, which comes to light following the Cambridgeshire win of Majestic Dawn. For it was a chance encounter there – and the tremendous initiative of Oliver Cole – which lured Clive Norman back into racehorse ownership after a break of 35 years, with Majestic Dawn one of five horses he now owns outright or in partnerships. “I have long been into fine art, paintings, bronzes, furniture and the like, and have been going to Great Grooms on and off for several years,” says Norman. “One day this chap came running out after me to ask if I was interested in horses.

Majestic Dawn and Paul Hanagan surge clear in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket

which includes two companies founded by Norman – on the AIM in August last year, which gave the company a market capitalisation of £150 million and made it the second highest market cap among AIM IPOs of 2019. Norman remains a non-executive director on the Brickability board – and the group continues to do well, with the housing market relatively not too badly affected by Covid-19 – but his business interests are certainly only part of his lifestyle nowadays, with racehorses, fine wine and English military history books all competing for attention. In addition to the four he owns or part-owns in training with Paul and Oliver Cole, he acquired the half-brother to talented two-year-old Method at the Goffs Orby Sale, and he too is now at Whatcombe. It is, however, Majestic Dawn about whom Norman speaks most enthusiastically, and who has provided him and fellow owners Lee and Josephine Green with most magical moments. “Part of the appeal for being an owner and about racing in general is that the smaller guys can occasionally beat the goliaths,” says Norman. “When Majestic Dawn won his maiden at Newbury, the Queen was there I believe and she was second and fourth behind us. He won by six lengths that

day – so even further than his winning margin in the Cambridgeshire [of fourand-three-quarter lengths] – and we’ve always seen him as a good horse, he’s just had one or two issues. “Given he finished last at Kempton on his previous outing, the Cambridgeshire win was a surprise, but he does like Newmarket. The course suits him and it’s not dissimilar to the gallops at the Coles, which are incredible by the way. “We live in Warfield, Berkshire, at the top of Hawthorn Hill, where there used to be a racecourse, and are about 40 minutes from Wantage. I probably get to the yard about once a month, but we get videos of the horses working, which is great and which I guess is an example of the more IT savvy nature of the younger generation Oliver is part of, plus plenty of phone calls. “Paul is very laid-back and has been successful in the game for such a long time, especially with Generous of course. The Coles do a good job for us. “It was amazingly exciting to get a winner in a race like the Cambridgeshire, and Paul had never won it before, so he was really pleased too. I think something like that is good for racing too, as I had a friend who got in touch after who’s now interested in buying a horse. Lots of friends called to say well done, and to win a prestigious handicap like that against the Maktoums and other big

News in brief New Chair of RoR

owners made me feel very lucky.” He continues: “Majestic Dawn is a lovely horse, with a good temperament, he’s straightforward – doesn’t take any notice of dogs running around his legs like some horses do – and often breaks well, which is important as he likes to front-run. “Paul made an excellent decision to fit blinkers for the first time at Newmarket, and it was great for Paul Hanagan, who gave him a brilliant ride and had suffered that bad injury in February. It was an emotional success for him, and I know he was very pleased to get the ride. “They won in what I believe was a race-record time, and it was exciting for the whole family, my wife Julie and daughters.” While Lee Green was at Newmarket to witness the triumph first-hand, Norman was not, and the ongoing absence of owners from the racecourse under restricted numbers, plus the total lack of race-going public, is a blow to someone who thoroughly enjoys the social side of ownership. “I miss going racing, and all sport is just not the same at the moment – it needs crowds and has become robotic,” he says. Norman was good enough to speak to Owner Breeder on his 71st birthday, and while he would normally have gone out for lunch, Covid-19 considerations – and the small matter of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – meant he settled for a day at home. Whether he went on to raise a glass to the retiring Enable and uncork one of his 8,000-9,000 bottles of wine is unknown. Norman has been a collector since the eighties and counts fellow wine club member Piers Morgan as a mate, though he has not quite managed to convince him to become an owner yet. It was also unclear where and when Majestic Dawn would get another chance of being the subject of a toast, having gone up to a career-high mark of 105 after his Rowley Mile heroics. What is certain is that the Norman and Green families have much to look forward to – though they probably won’t be able to back him at 40-1 next time!

The BHA and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) confirmed at the end of September that Philip Freedman will succeed Paul Roy as the new Chair of the charity from January 1. Philip Freedman is a lifelong owner and breeder and has held senior positions within racing administration for over 20 years, most recently on the sport’s tripartite Members’ Committee as the Chair of the Horsemen’s Group. Paul Roy has been Chair of RoR since 2013, during which time the charity’s activities have increased substantially. Pre-Covid, in 2019, British racing’s official charity for the welfare of retired racehorses offered over 500 educational events for the owners of former racehorses, staged in excess of 300 competitions or classes across 15 equine disciplines catering for all levels of ability from grassroots to elite, and provided a safety net and care for any thoroughbreds in need of charitable support. The appointment of a new Chair comes in the wake of the strategy published by the racing industry’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB) in February 2020. The HWB strategy identified the need for British racing to have greater awareness of the risks associated with aftercare and increase resources and focus in this area.

Racing Post

The Racing Post is allowing customers in betting shops to download its daily newspaper to their mobile devices after launching a new QR code system. The new initiative was launched postlockdown to support high street betting shops, increase footfall to their shops and offer customers a chance to read the paper in a safe manner. Each day, the betting shop display edition will feature a unique QR code at the front of it. Once the customer scans the QR code, it takes them to the landing page to read that day’s newspaper.

Discretionary payments

A hearing of the BHA independent Disciplinary Panel in July saw 19 horses disqualified as a result of apprentice George Rooke failing to claim the correct weight allowance in 26 races between August 2019 and February 2020. The disqualified horses included five winners. Owners of the horses affected were reimbursed the entry and riding fees relevant to the affected race. In addition,

an ex gratia payment was made in October to those owners so that no owner lost out financially as a result of the disqualifications. These discretionary payments have been made to owners totalling the amount of prize-money they would have received had the horse not been disqualified.

Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

Would you like to recognise a member of racing or stud staff for their hard work and commitment? The clock is ticking for owners to nominate individuals in all categories of the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards. The Awards recognise and celebrate the remarkable dedication, hard work and passion of the people who provide the best possible care to our horses and people. The Awards offer £128,000 in prize-money across seven award categories. Nominations close at 5pm on November 10. See

Virtual learning

In recent months options and opportunities for online learning have become more accessible than ever. ROA members had the chance to join a TBA webinar in September entitled ‘Breeding Thoroughbred Racehorses – what you need to know.’ The session, led by Joe Grimwade, consultant of Stud Management Advisory Limited and Tom Blain, Managing Director of Barton Stud, complemented the relaunch of the TBA Broodmare Ownership Guide, and would be of interest to any owners wanting to learn more about breeding. A recording of the session can be found on YouTube.

Nick Luck daily podcast

If you haven’t already listened to Nick Luck’s daily podcast, we can recommend tuning in for engaging debates on major issues as well as discussion around some of the industry’s more niche topics. Episode 70 featured Simon Cooper, vice-chair of the International Stud Book Committee, discussing genomics, from the monitoring of thoroughbred breeding to the development of detection tests to counter the manipulation of the heritable genome. The podcast is accessible via Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.


ROA Forum

MY DAY AT THE RACES With Peter Batt at Newmarket on October 3


to the trainers. How did you find the race-viewing zone for owners? The racing viewing zone was excellent, right on the winning line but again due to the lack of people it lacked atmosphere.

eter Batt has been a member of Hot To Trot Racing since 2017 when he saw an advert in the Racing Post. Luckily it was a time when Heartache was just getting going. She was one of six horses in the group of horses Hot To Trot leased to race that season. A few months later she flew to Queen Mary victory at Royal Ascot. Since then, Peter has been involved with a number of talented horses including Group 3 winner Kurious. Peter, who was at Newmarket to watch threeyear-old filly One Small Step in action, is based in Essex and is involved in the supermarket industry. Find out more about Hot To Trot Racing at

How was the post-race experience and location/provision of the de-brief area? This was not good as the stable staff had to lean across the barrier and shout from around 10 metres away to feed back. We were not allowed near the horses or to speak to the jockey. Were you able to review a replay of your race easily on the course? Yes, but had to walk back to the owners’ section as it was the last race of the day.

How did you find general guidance for owners around protocols for racing behind closed doors? I found the documentation that was sent pre-arriving at the course very easy to complete and gave me the confidence that I had the necessary precautions in place. Upon arrival, both parking and entrance were clearly signed and upon entering it was clear as to which bubble I was to remain in with all signage in place. Did you receive information as an owner in advance of the race day? Yes, I received a car-park pass with instructions on where to go and a document to complete regarding my details and safety checks. How was the arrival experience? The arrival experience was excellent, I had my temperature checked and was asked to show my documentation on two occasions which I did. How did you find the provision for owners on the day? The provision for owners on the day was excellent. The food was ordered on a tablet and then bought to the table. In the owners’ area tea and coffee was offered again through digital ordering. There was plenty of


How were you treated as an owner on the day? The course treated us brilliantly, constantly being asked if everything was okay and excellent food and drink and facilities available. Again, the challenge would be the atmosphere due to the lack of people. Cheers! Peter Batt enjoys his day at Newmarket in early October

space and all owners abided by the social distancing rules, however the area lacked atmosphere. What were your thoughts on the location, comfort and provision of the owners’ zone? I had plenty of room to myself, the toilet facilities where within easy access, as were the food and drink facilities. The only frustration was that we were not allowed to speak to the trainers and stable staff as they were in a different bubble. What were your thoughts on viewing your horse in the parade ring? Frustrating, as I believe owners should be allowed in the parade ring – again this meant you couldn’t speak

What was your overall lasting feeling of the day, based on your racecourse experience? I love going to the races so had a very enjoyable day and the course could not have done any more to make the day more enjoyable. However, the sooner we can get into the paddock and more people can come the better the experience will be.


Entry ★★★★★ Viewing ★★★★★ Atmosphere ★★★★★ * Racing behind closed doors Owners’ facilities ★★★★★ Food ★★★★★ Overall score

























LUKE: 07580 948206

MATT: 07496 510741


The GBB Observer View from the boundary… Nick Bradley has targeted the Great British Bonus scheme and bought more eligible yearling fillies than any other buyer. Why? Why does the GBB scheme have such great attraction for your business? Nick Bradley Racing is all about looking after the owner’s investment. The GBB scheme has been targeted because it raises prize money levels above the likes of Ireland and France. Have your purchases of GBB fillies been driven by customer demand or are you targeting the scheme to maximise customer enjoyment and retention through potentially higher prize money returns? The aim of Nick Bradley Racing is to outperform the opposition. By targeting the GBB scheme, we can achieve higher levels of prize money and give owners the opportunity to obtain higher returns on their investment while enjoying the thrill of racehorse ownership. Is this scheme a game-changer for the syndication business model? I can only speak for myself and my owners, but the GBB scheme gives me bigger budgets to spend on the GB-bred fillies when selecting my yearlings. The GB Bonus scheme is a big factor in my thoughts at the sales ring and within day-to-day race planning.

GBB multiple bonus winners:

Bonus payments:

GBB winners:



£960,000 Is your trainer in the league? Trainer

Sales success

Bonuses won

Karl Burke


Mark Johnston


John Gosden


Charlie Appleby


Ralph Beckett


Roger Charlton


William Haggas


Richard Hannon


Bryan Smart


David O’Meara


Roger Varian


Hugo Palmer


Harry Fry


Goffs Doncaster August Yearling Sale GBB registered fillies made 40% more than non-registered GBB eligible fillies

Flat Yearling Sales to 2/10/20


Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sale


GBB fillies offered

GBB fillies offered and sold


Top filly price:

Goffs Doncaster NH Store Sale


GBB fillies sold











For more information on eligibility, visit TBA GBB TOB A4 Mailer_November.indd 1

19/10/2020 16:08






TRUESHAN Winner of 7 races from 11 runs including the Gr.2 British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot by 7l.






Trueshan, Agnès, Domagnano, Plegastell, Road To Arc, Henry Brulard, Manguzi, Over Reacted, Golconda, Marinka and Fly d’Aspe.

Won/placed in 12 Group/ Stakes races winning over £2.2m including: Won Gr.1 Prix Ganay-Prix Air Mauritius Won Gr.2 Prix d’Harcourt

52% winners to runners

Won Gr.2 Prix d’Noailles

“Planteur was a pure athletic horse with a great constitution and a fighter.” Chapel Stud Ltd Chapel Lane, Bransford, Worcestershire WR6 5JQ 01452 717 342

FROM THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF PEINTRE CELEBRE Out of Plante Rare, also dam of Stakes winner Pilote d’Essai, and the granddam of multiple Gr.1 winner Persian King. Fee: £3,000 1st October LFFR

Marco Botti, trainer

Contact Roisin Close 07738 279 071

Tina Dawson 07776 165854

Follow us: @Planteur07

TBA Forum

The special section for TBA members

TBA board elections Find out about the views and interests of the five candidates hoping to secure your vote and one of the two places that are available on the TBA board. The successful candidates will be announced at the TBA AGM on November 22. David Brocklehurst

Career/profession After a lifelong career in the City as a chartered surveyor and insurer in regulated industries, I am experienced in navigating corporate conduct and regulatory requirements (ESG), which may prove relevant should breeders need to prepare for regulation. Breeding/racing interests I was brought up on a family farm in Cheshire breeding NH horses and have assisted my wife in running Charlock Stud in Northamptonshire for over 20 years. We breed our own stock, mainly for Flat racing, as well as having outside boarders and consign yearlings and foals at the sales. Profile My main aim in seeking election to the board is to try to improve the lot of smaller breeders. Initiatives would include: • Greater emphasis on horse and staff welfare including the retraining of racehorses; • Consideration of AI as an alternative option for covering to ensure the continuation of coverings should the movement of horses be restricted through the outbreak of horse and/or human diseases; • Making sure smaller breeders in the UK are not further disadvantaged post Brexit compared with other jurisdictions; • Ensuring that breeders enjoy greater government support including a fair redistribution of profits made from gambling; • Action to ensure breeders are included within the ELM scheme given the ending of farm subsidies and payments from the RPA; • Resurrecting the Animal Health Trust


in some form; • Greater e-communication with and feedback from the TBA membership. As breeders we are all well aware how difficult times are and it would be no exaggeration to say that we are facing something of a crisis – and crises require change. If elected I would try my best to bring about changes needed to restore the health of smaller breeders and so stand as a candidate for change.

Colin Bryce

Career/profession My business background is in oil and financial services, including 33 years with Morgan Stanley, where I was Head of Sales and Trading in EMEA, and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited. I am also a founding partner of the consultancy, Energex Partners. Breeding/racing interests We are small breeders attempting to be commercial and currently have seven Flat-bred mares. The best Laundry Cottage Stud Farm bred horse to date is Wootton Bassett, currently a successful stallion. In most years I have horses in training in different parts of the country. I currently also run a charity syndicate (London Scots for Doddie) where we direct all prize-money won by our horse – trained by Lucinda Russell – to Doddie Weir’s Motor Neurone Disease charity. Profile My wife, Melba, and I own Laundry Cottage Stud Farm. My interests in standing for election to the board are in the areas of education (we take up to six students at LCSF on paid work experience each year), small breeder economics (animal husbandry is a labour of love but also needs to pay

the bills) and regulation (given my experience in the City).

William Jackson-Stops

Career/profession I am a 31-yearold bloodstock consultant, racing manager, breeder and owner. I started my career as a stud hand at Hascombe and Valiant Studs in Newmarket. This was followed by multiple years as an assistant trainer, starting with Royal Ascot-winning trainer Olly Stevens, then multiple Classic-winning trainer Ralph Beckett, and finally Godolphin in Australia. On returning from Australia in 2017 I started my own bloodstock consultancy. Breeding/racing interests I own horses in training with Tom Clover, George Scott and David Menuisier. I also own mares, yearlings and foals, all for commercial purposes. I manage the breeding and racing interests of various international clients, as well as manage a stallion in Ireland called Kuroshio who has covered 250 mares in his first two seasons at stud. Profile I am fortunate enough to be able to see the coal face of the industry on a daily basis, from booking nominations, breeding and selling my own stock, to attending nearly every UK thoroughbred sale and buying various different horses from foals to stallions. I get to witness and take part in a large area of the industry. As a bloodstock consultant I travel annually to Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and other countries, which gives me a good insight on our industry from an outside perspective. I’m passionate about our breeding and racing in the UK. I believe we have the best product in the world to

advertise. As an industry we’re fighting an uphill battle at the moment and whether it's prize-money or the whip debate, the news tends to be negative. There’s a lot that can be changed for the better in our industry and as a younger participant I am keen to get involved now and start to make a difference.

Stuart Matheson

Career/profession Ex-Army followed by a career as senior executive in airport operations and airline companies. I’m founder and CEO of an international, UK-based civil aviation operations and consultancy company and co-director and owner of Abacus Bloodstock. Breeding/racing interests I own a band of five broodmares at our stud in Staffordshire, and have occasional horses in training. We have bred a number of winners and stakes horses since beginning independently in 2008. I am the TBA regional representative for Wales & West Midlands. Profile I am married with three grown-up children. I have experience of working in a board environment to deliver results. I have a passion for the thoroughbred, which surpasses all of my other interests. Breeders are amongst the most passionate and friendly people in the industry, but are arguably the most at risk in the challenging times ahead. The reductions in prize-money and owner engagement, together with the loss of key support partners like the Animal Health Trust, has added to the risks to racing and to the breed – we must all work together to overcome these challenges and plan a sustainable future. Smaller breeders, who make up the majority of TBA members, need the TBA to be a strong and knowledgeable voice for them.

Kate Sigsworth

Career/profession I have ridden out in Flat and National Hunt yards and worked in nomination sales for Darley. I was a racing secretary for several years for the late David ‘Dandy’ Nicholls and David O’Meara, where I assisted with yearling selection and represented at the races both internationally and domestically. I continued to be actively involved in the stud during this time while also working as a spotter for various agents (Gill Richardson, James Delahooke, Joss Collins etc) attending all types of sales in Great Britain, Ireland, France and America. Breeding/racing interests I have run West Moor Stud full time for nearly ten years and currently have ten mares, including some boarders for clients. I offer yearlings and foals every year at the major UK sales as well as having at least one horse in training most years. I also pinhook for clients and the stud. During this time I have expanded the stud and the client base, which has given me a greater insight into the industry. I am a working stud owner and manager, sitting up and foaling mares, prepping yearlings and foals while also dealing with all admin and accounts. Profile I grew up on my parents’ West Moor Stud in North Yorkshire, which they established in 1980, so from a young age I worked around horses and rode, which led to a spell eventing, competing at Advanced and CCI*** level before turning my full attention to breeding and racing. I have a particular interest in small breeders and owner-breeders as I know some of the struggles we endure. Retention of staff is an interest too – I have seen some top-class care of horses and attention to detail by staff over the years and these staff need more recognition and encouragement from the whole industry with a realistic chance to progress.

Full details of the election process, including the voting forms, were mailed out to members in the middle of October. Completed voting papers need to be returned to the election scrutineers: Price Bailey, c/o Mr M Clapson, 5 Duchess Drive, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8AG or emailed to, by 9.30am on Friday, November 13.

Registering change of ownership essential TBA members are reminded that it is 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 these requirements. Since becoming a legal requirement in 2018 and enforceable by Trading Standards, legislation also requires 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. An 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. Even if a racing owner retains ownership of a horse after it finishes racing they will be required to register their continued ownership with Weatherbys – if they had not already done so prior to the horse going into training (unless they bred the horse).


TBA Forum

The first weekend in October witnessed the true meaning of internationalism within racing as British-breds won four Group/Grade 1s on three continents. Whist Enable may not have been able to land a third Arc, One Master made history in taking a third win in the Prix de la Foret for owner breeders Roy and Gretchen Jackson. A day earlier at Newmarket, Nazeef, already successful in the Falmouth Stakes on the July course, took the Sun Chariot Stakes on the Rowley Mile. Away from Europe and the Juddmonte-bred Mirage Dancer (Frankel) landed a first top-level win in the Metropolitan Handicap at Royal Randwick, while Uni landed back-toback wins in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. A couple of weekends previously, also in America, and Magic Attitude made her Stateside debut a winning one in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes. Whitsbury Manor Stud was on the mark with a pair of stakes-winning juveniles by resident stallion Showcasing. Alkumait readily took the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes, while Sweet Gardenia was a Listed scorer at Tipperary. Also in double form was Al Asayl Bloodstock. The Revenant (Dubawi), absent for nearly a year, enjoyed the hock-deep conditions on offer at Longchamp over Arc weekend to win the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein for a second successive year, while a day later at Dusseldorf, Cloud Surfing (Oasis Dream) took Listed honours. Whilst Juddmonte no longer own Mirage Dancer, there were a pair of Stateside Grade 3 victories for homebred fillies in the shape of Viadera (Bated Breath) in the Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park and Juliet Foxtrot (Dansili) in the Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico, on the Preakness Stakes undercard. Also hitting the stakes mark in the US was She’s Got You, a daughter of Kingman, who won the Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park. Another British-bred stud doubly represented was Cheveley Park Stud, both winners sired by Dutch Art. Their homebred Exceptional took the Listed


Arran Scottish Spring EBF Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr, while Bowerman won the Group 3 Diamond Stakes on the allweather at Dundalk. The Litex Commerce-bred Tabera was a Listed scorer earlier in the campaign and on September 20 at Hannover defied a penalty to add another Listed win to her record – Leopoldina, bred by Petches Farm, was also a Listed scorer on the card. Two weeks later and in the Group 3 Preis der Deutschen Einheit at BerlinHoppegarten, Tabera gained a first Pattern win. Elarqam, the Floors Farming-bred son of Frankel, landed his third Group contest in the Group 3 Legacy Cup, while there were a couple of Listed wins for the Banstead Manor Stud resident in the shape of Majestic Noor in the John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth and Marine One in the Prelude Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen. The Crossfields Bloodstock Ltdbred Ventura Rebel (Pastoral Pursuits) broke through at Pattern level to take the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes at

One Master: three wins in the Prix de la Foret


Foret three-peat for One Master

the Curragh. As a yearling he was sold through Bearstone Stud and the Shropshire outfit bred Lullaby Moon, who took the Listed Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar. On the same card, the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid homebred Ostilio (New Approach) captured the Listed Guisborough Stakes. Others to win in Listed company included the W R Barnett-bred Kingman filly Posted in the Fortune Stakes at Sandown Park, the Normandie Stud-bred Glorious Journey (Dubawi) in the Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes, Aria Importante (Twilight Son) in the Premio Eupili, the Stowell Hill Stud-bred Anna Nerium (Dubawi) in the Foundation Stakes, the Dunaden gelding Ranch Hand, bred by Kingsclere Stud, in the Jockey Club Bowl Stakes and the Godolphin homebred Walton Street in the Godolphin Stakes. Meanwhile in Scandinavia, the gift that keeps on giving, Kick On, the Shutford Stud-bred son of Charm Spirit, won his fourth stakes race of the year in the Listed Arnfinn Lunds Minnelop at Ovrevoll. Over obstacles in Ireland, Buildmeupbuttercup (Sixties Icon) won back-to-back Listed mares’ hurdles, while Cabaret Queen, bred by Jackie and Robert Chugg & Mill House Stud, was victorious in the Kerry National at Listowel. Results included up to October 4. Produced in association with GBRI.

Weatherbys set to introduce an E-Passport Weatherbys has announced that an E-Passport, which it has been working on for the past two years, will be available for use in 2021. Elements of the passport have been accessible to breeders, such as the Digital Equine Movement System (DEMS) facility, while the vaccination and movement functionality was utilised by the BHA and HRI with their ‘Return to Racing’ protocols. Claire Sheppard, TBA CEO, said: “We are working very closely with Weatherbys on a larger number of projects – and the Weatherbys E-Passport is central to many of these through the part it can play in identification, traceability,

health and welfare benefits for the thoroughbred. Indeed the equine movement element of this technology was vital at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic as it was used to track the movement of thoroughbreds during the breeding season.” Designed to ensure the efficient cross-border movement of sport, racing and breeding horses from 2021, the E-Passport will go live to the UK and Irish thoroughbred market in 2021 when it will include stallion, mare and foal registration, pre and post racing vaccinations and medications along with ownership updates and full identification.

James Frank: Employee of the Year in 2020

Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards. The prestigious awards, where over £128,000 in prize-money is offered, celebrate and reward the commitment and contribution of stud and stable staff from across the country. At the 2020 awards, held in February, James Frank of Hascombe and Valiant Studs was crowned Employee of the Year, having also won the Stud Staff Award. Nominations for the 2021 awards can be made online at and must be made by November 10.


David Nicholson Newcomer Award Stud and stable staff who have been employed in the industry for less than three years as of February 22, 2021

The E-Passport will go live in 2021

UK transition – hub & webinar With the UK having left the European Union and the period of transition currently ongoing whilst the terms of its future relationship with the EU are being negotiated, the TBA has introduced on its website a UK transition hub. The page, which will be regularly updated and reviewed, will provide the British thoroughbred breeding industry with links to UK government information and industry specific guidance. On November 4 at 10:30am,

there will be a free UK government webinar titled 'Exporting equines from GB to the EU.' The online event will cover the necessary steps businesses need to follow to export equines from January 1, 2021 as well as information on guidance documents, and where to find appropriate support and advice on this subject. If you would like to register for the webinar visit the 'Events' page of the TBA website to find further details of the event.

Leadership Award All stud and racing stable staff employees carrying out a leadership or supervisory role, managing two or more staff Rider/Racing Groom Award All stable and stud staff employees Stud Staff Award All stud staff employees Dedication Award All stud and stable staff employees who have worked in the industry for more than 15 years Community Award (in recognition of Rory MacDonald) Any individual who makes a positive difference to the lives of people or racehorses within the industry Employee of the Year Award The winner of this award will be announced on the night


TBA Forum The TBA's guidance documents proved vital to breeders during lockdown

Updated Broodmare Ownership Guide The latest updated version of the TBA Broodmare Ownership Guide is now available to view as an e-book on the TBA website. The guide highlights the essential information you need to consider when getting involved in thoroughbred breeding, including the options you may have when setting up, purchasing breeding stock, the key points of stallion selection, providing care for the mare and her progeny, and horse welfare considerations. The guide has been developed for those new to the industry to ensure they have all the information prior to starting a breeding enterprise.

Post-mortem subsidy

Looking ahead to the 2021 covering season Earlier in the year, the TBA produced guidance documents to help ensure that the 2020 covering season could continue whilst ensuring the health and safety of breeders, staff and horses. The importance of the protocols was not lost on Shade Oak Stud’s Peter Hockenhull, who said: “When in late March the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons instructed vets that they could only deal with emergency cases at studs, the breeding industry in this country was facing near disaster. "Routine scans before and after covering were not considered emergencies, but they are essential to the effective running of a stallion stud these days. Without these we were facing the virtual loss of the most significant part of the covering season. “The action that the TBA took to lobby DEFRA and the RCVS to change this stance and instead to utilise the Covid protocols it had drawn up saved the day.


“Every stallion stud in the country, and every breeder whose mare is in foal to the coverings that were possible only because of this action, owes an immense debut of gratitude to the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association for its swift and effective intervention.” Having conducted a representative survey of members and following advice, it has been accepted that this guidance and most importantly the protocol document will need to be followed for the 2021 covering season. At present there is a review of protocols, guidance documents and processes and these shall be re-issued by December 1. This is to ensure that all industry participants are up to date and ready for the next covering season. The protocol has been taken on board by key industry groups, including the NSFA. For all the latest information relating to Covid-19, visit the TBA website and its Covid-19 hub.

TBA members are reminded that the TBA offers a subsidy of £200 towards fees incurred when investigating an abortion or neonatal foal death. The main purpose of this is to identify where cases of EHV have occurred and to encourage reporting of EHV to help with better disease surveillance and control. Members are asked to notify Stanstead House if they wish to take advantage of this subsidy, which will be paid at the TBA's discretion. The main conditions are listed here and further information is available from the TBA website: 1. The TBA should be notified by telephone within three days of the abortion/neonatal foal death; 2. The TBA should be notified of the outcome of the post-mortem within three days of it being determined; 3. A copy of the laboratory report should be sent to the TBA within 14 days of the report date; 4. The foetus/dead foal must be from a thoroughbred mare residing in the United Kingdom and be owned by a TBA member.


BREEDER IN FOCUS – Karina Casini

oals to Newcastle and back again: that’s the unlikely story of De Rasher Counter, who at the end of this month, all being well, will bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury since the mighty Arkle in 1964-65. De Rasher Counter has taken an unusual route for a British-bred jumper, being sold to Ireland before landing back in England. What’s more, soon after winning a maiden point-to-point and a bumper, he changed hands for £50,000 at the Goffs Aintree Sale in April 2017 and went into training with Emma Lavelle, just five miles away from his breeder Karina Casini’s Greenlands Farm Stud at Lockeridge, near Marlborough. Casini recalls: “It was my first experience of selling at Goffs; in fact, it was right at the start of my venture into National Hunt breeding. Yeats was always an absolute superstar for me. There are some horses who just take your heart, you can’t really explain why, and Yeats was definitely one of them. “When he went to stud, I thought, ‘Right, I’ve one broodmare, Dedrunknmunky, and I’ll use him.’ Her first cover was by Kayf Tara, which produced Katarrhini, whom we raced and still have on the stud. Her second foal was Lady Garvagh, by Lucarno, whom we sold for £800 and she won a hurdle race. Then came De Rasher Counter. “I remember being at Doncaster with De Rasher Counter as a three-year-old. Many people came to see him, probably because I’d gone to Yeats in his second year at stud and he was one of the first of his offspring to come to market. He was 16.1hh at the time and some people probably thought he wasn’t big enough to make a jumper, but Tom Keating took a liking to him. “At the time I didn’t realise quite who Tom was, but after he’d bought him for £10,500, he told me he’d produced Dedrunknmunky and she was the best mare he’d had racing for him, although she wasn’t straightforward. Dedrunknmunky was definitely first time lucky for me.” Casini’s broodmare band is now up to five but Dedrunknmunky remains the cornerstone. Keating bought her four-year-old Fame And Glory filly for €10,000 at Goffs in June last year and named Cute

Karina Casini with Dedrunknmunky, dam of Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter

Cherry, she is ready for Irish point-topoints. Her Scorpion two-year-old colt will go to Doncaster next year; she has a full brother to De Rasher Counter at foot and is in foal to Dartmouth. Casini reflects: “Dedrunknmunky has the ability to throw them in all shapes and sizes; they don’t come in one size fits all. I find it fascinating how produce from the same mare, for example, can be totally different characters. “De Rasher Counter was always playful from the minute he was born. He would have been the bright kid in the classroom who annoys the teacher to death because he’s always being mischievous and seeking attention. Emma Lavelle says he’s a real character, and he’s been like that from day one. “Katarrhini is a different sort. She was a very bright mare but had a bad injury in the paddock as a two-year-old. I rode her myself for a year and had a lovely time doing show jumping, dressage and cross-country training at the time my children were doing eventing. “Her first run was a promising fourth but sadly she failed to go on. She had a couple of mishaps and very quickly seemed to understand that she didn’t really need to exert herself, going up and down the gallops and quietly getting behind the others. “We decided to give her a bit of time with Mark Bradstock, but that was when Coneygree was at his best, and I think poor Katarrhini became a training partner to the Gold Cup winner! We’ll never know about her racing ability, but as a broodmare she’s got the right size and the right sire.

“She has a filly foal by Blue Bresil, whom we’ll keep and put in training, and is in foal to Jack Hobbs. She’s a powerful mare, and although she was only placed once on the racecourse, I still believe she had some ability that we never saw." Sales remain critical for a commercial operation, and like many others Casini has had her plans disrupted this year. She took one horse to public auction, a three-year-old Blue Bresil gelding bought by Graeme McPherson, and sold a Kapgarde gelding out of Royal Auclair’s half-sister Ile De See privately. “The Kapgarde gelding was entered for the Land Rover sale and it came to the point where I needed to keep the cash flow going,” Casini explains. “Emma Lavelle took one look and found owners for him straight away. I would love to have gone to a sale with him, but given the year we’re in, it was best to sell privately, because he’s going to an outstanding trainer and we’ve got the mare at the stud. “In fairness to Goffs and Tattersalls, the way they came together to provide people like us with an option to sell was amazing. I take my hat off to them, and to everyone who has been involved, and that definitely includes the TBA. “At the time we were in serious lockdown, isolated in our farm bubble, the TBA was absolutely amazing in what it achieved. It kept us informed week in week out about what was changing, what was needed to be done taking a mare to a stud. It gave us a support line that we could hang on to, with access to knowledge straight away. It was an incredible source of information.”


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glance at the list of candidates for the TBA Breeder of the Month award during the last year highlights not only the considerable success of British-bred horses, but also the difficult decisions faced by the TBA committee charged with selecting the winner each month. The July award was so competitive that even Enable (bred by Juddmonte Farms) winning her third King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Nazeef (Shadwell Estate Company) achieving her Group 1 breakthrough in the Falmouth Stakes narrowly missed out. Enable is a fourth generation homebred and this careful nurturing of families over several generations is the hallmark of many of the most successful breeders, both the major international operations and those plying their trade on a more modest scale. Sussex Stakes hero Mohaather is the second Group 1 winner in three years descended from Gaie Johnson Houghton’s renowned Sirnelta family that has resided at Woodway for four decades.

Mohaather: struck a blow for British-breds

Gaie’s husband Fulke bought the daughter of Sir Tor on behalf of Lord Leverhulme and subsequently acquired her for the family stud after her first two foals disappointed their owner. The late Lenore Peacock was another small breeder to achieve notable results from a small number of families, some of which had been at the Peacock’s Manor House Stud since before the Second World War.

One of those families, descending from Arrangement (dam of the Britishtrained Kentucky Derby runner-up Bold Arrangement), produced Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Belvoir Bay and if there had been a November Flat award it would surely have been won by the North Yorkshire stud. The same county is also the birthplace of one of the most popular National Hunt mares of recent times in the shape of Lady Buttons (Keith Sivills), winner of the January award. Although the last few years has not seen quite the same number of highprofile British-bred jumpers as earlier in the decade when the likes of Cue Card, Coneygree and Thistlecrack were at their peak, it seems as if the wheel of fortune is turning again for British National Hunt breeders. At last season’s Cheltenham Festival, Honeysuckle (Dr G W Guy) captured the Mares’ Hurdle and Santini (Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin Hughes) came within a fast diminishing neck of winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and could well go one better next March.


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Capital Allowances Stud owners could be missing out on valuable tax relief. Owners should also be aware of how they can take advantage of the changes to capital allowances announced in Budget 2018. Many stud farm owners are missing the opportunity to take advantages of capital allowances when buying a new stud or when carrying out major works. Where businesses are investing large sums of money, an understanding by the owner or their advisers, of the tax relief opportunities available is crucial for financial efficiency. When a business acquires a stud farm there will usually be several categories of assets acquired – commercial buildings, agricultural land, moveable items of plant and machinery, fixtures and fittings and often some residential buildings. As long as the business carries out a qualifying activity, for example bloodstock breeding, then capital allowances will be available on qualifying expenditure. This will mean that the purchase price will need to be apportioned between the various categories of assets acquired. Moveable items of plant and machinery and fixtures should automatically qualify for capital allowances while residential buildings will not generally qualify. Any expenditure on items which are structural in nature i.e. buildings and fixed items such as walls and floors do not qualify for

capital allowances. Therefore, once the purchase price of the stud is apportioned any structural element attributed to commercial buildings, residential buildings or land will usually be set aside and not looked at further. However, commercial buildings (including stable blocks) will often include Property Embedded Fixtures and Features (PEFFs) which are eligible for capital allowances. Many fixtures and features will be relatively obvious, for example fire alarms, emergency lighting, sanitary ware installations. However, many will be less obvious, for example electrical systems including plug sockets, cold and hot water installations. Many of these less obvious items are often referred to as ‘integral features’. There are then several key issues to address: • when did the vendor incur the expenditure on the PEFFs originally • has the vendor ever claimed capital allowances on the PEFFs before • whether the vendor had ever ‘pooled’ their expenditure

The issue could be made significantly simpler if the vendor acquired the property before April 2008, or incurred expenditure on improvements to the commercial buildings before this date as integral features were not in force. As allowances has not been claimed it is therefore possible for the buyer to claim allowances on these costs on a ‘just and reasonable apportionment’ of the purchase price (this is where the apportionment of the original cost is so crucial). Arriving at a value of the integral features is usually a specialist area and normally a survey will need to be done of the property to establish the relevant values. Third party specialist firms exist to carry out these surveys. However, the likelihood is that the vendor has incurred expenditure on ‘integral features’ since April 2008. This is where the CPSE and section 198 election come into play. If the vendor has pooled their expenditure for capital allowances (treated as one total figure) then a written disposal value statement will be drawn up that shows the apportionment of the purchase price between all the various categories of assets


acquired. This statement will usually go into detail showing expenditure in each tax pool of the vendor and whether they are integral features or not (with the exception of the April 2008 date noted previously). The value of the PEFFs shown on the disposal value statement is known as the ‘disposal value’ and it is worth noting where a building is purchased after April 2008 there is a limit on the amount of qualifying expenditure that can be attributed to fixtures and fittings for capital allowances purposes, being the vendor’s cost. As such the amount that the purchaser can claim capital allowances on will be restricted to the ‘disposal value’, which cannot exceed the vendor’s original capital allowance qualifying expenditure.

Lastly, there is the potential that the vendor may now wish to claim allowances on these costs, as they have to ‘pool’ them anyway. If they do, then a disposal value statement will not be required, but instead a fixed value statement (commonly referred to as a ‘section 198 election’) will be issued which clearly states out the values on which the purchaser will be able to claim capital allowances on.

For more information, please contact:

Penelope Lang Partner, Smith & Williamson LLP t: 01722 431 064 e:

It is therefore important that when a stud owner is considering buying a new stud that appropriate advice is taken to ensure maximum tax relief is obtained when the stud is used for a qualifying purpose. By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at 16/10/2020. Tax legislation is that prevailing at the time, is subject to change without notice and depends on individual circumstances. Clients should always seek appropriate tax advice from their financial adviser before making financial decisions. Smith & Williamson LLP Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International, a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms. Please see for further details. xxxx © Tilney Smith & Williamson Limited 2020. 141920lw


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Vet Forum: The Expert View

By Stuart Williamson BVSC MRCVS

Carpal sheath issues in focus National Hunt horses are more at risk of sustaining accessory carpal bone fractures


he carpal sheath is a synovial structure on the back of the foreleg that extends from the lower forearm region to the mid-cannon. This sheath wraps around the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) and the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) as they run over the back aspect of the knee. Synovial fluid produced by the sheath lubricates the tendons and therefore reduces friction. In the normal horse, the carpal sheath contains only a small amount of synovial fluid and therefore cannot be palpated. Carpal sheath issues can range from mild inflammation (tenosynovitis) and distension of the carpal sheath, without lameness, to non-weight-bearing lameness associated with significant damage to one or more of the soft tissue or bony structures enclosed within the sheath. We will take a look at some of these issues, in addition to how they may be diagnosed and some of the management options available.


An osteochondroma is an overgrowth of bone with a cartilage cap that occurs

near the growth plate at the end of a long bone. In the horse, they are most frequently identified above the level of the growth plate at the back of the radius in the lower forearm. Osteochondromata can cause damage to the muscular portion of the DDFT as it runs over this abnormal bony protuberance. This can result in inflammation and haemorrhage within the carpal sheath and lameness of varying severity. Some ostechondromata can however remain asymptomatic. The diagnosis of an osteochondroma is made by radiography. Ultrasound examination can then aid in evaluating the soft tissue structures within the carpal sheath that may be damaged by the osteochondroma, in addition to evaluating the character of any carpal sheath fluid. Keyhole (tenoscopic) surgery under general anaesthesia may be required to remove the osteochondroma in addition to evaluating the remainder of the carpal sheath to identify any concurrent injury. If this condition is addressed promptly, and there is no concurrent significant DDFT damage, the prognosis for a return to full athletic function is


Figure 1 A comminuted accessory carpal bone fracture (red arrow). This was a career-ending injury


Vet Forum: The Expert View ›› generally considered good. Affected

horses will generally have a lengthy rehabilitation period and whilst timings will vary according to the extent of injury, most will not return to cantering exercise for approximately three months following surgery.

tendon or ligament fibres is carried out at the same time. This debridement can reduce adhesion formation, provide better resolution of the injury and reduce the required rehabilitation period. Some cases may respond to rest with anti-inflammatory therapy.



This is very similar to a distal radial osteochondroma. In this condition the bony protuberance is located at the level of the distal radial growth plate (physis), rather than above it. Presentation, diagnosis and management are generally the same.


Both the SDFT and the DDFT (the flexor tendons) or the accessory ligament of the SDFT (also known as the check ligament) can suffer a primary injury, without the presence of either an osteochondroma or an exostosis. As with all tendinous and ligamentous structures, they can fail following repetitive strain cycles and therefore injury associated with these is more frequently, but not exclusively, seen in the older racing population. Injury to one of the soft tissue structures is frequently associated with marked effusion within the carpal sheath and a sudden onset of lameness. A definitive diagnosis cannot always be reached even after a thorough ultrasound examination and keyhole (tenoscopic) examination may be required under general anaesthesia. Any necessary debridement of torn


A non-infectious inflammation of the carpal sheath of unknown origin. The soft tissue structures and bony structures appear normal upon diagnostic imaging, yet there is a marked carpal sheath effusion, often associated with lameness. A period of time out of exercise is required in addition to cold therapy and antiinflammatory therapy. The sheath may be drained and medicated with low dose anti-inflammatory corticosteroids to aid resolution.


Involvement of the carpal sheath must be considered in any full thickness wounds at the back of the lower forearm, the knee or the top of the cannon. Diagnostic imaging including radiography and ultrasonography can be employed to evaluate the soft tissue and bony structures surrounding the wound, and if carpal sheath involvement is suspected, a sample of the synovial fluid can be obtained and analysed for evidence of infection.


The accessory carpal bone sits at the back of the knee. Injury to this bone is more commonly documented in National Hunt horses where it is

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associated with a fall. These horses are often markedly lame. There are many different fracture configurations, which often result in carpal sheath involvement and possible impingement onto the DDFT. Diagnostic imaging will determine the best course of action. Some cases will be treated conservatively with prolonged rest whilst others will require surgical intervention to remove fragments displaced within the carpal sheath. These fractures can be careerending injuries. The carpal sheath is a complicated synovial structure involving many soft tissue and bony components. A thorough and early investigation of any carpal sheath issues will avoid unnecessary further damage and identify the most appropriate management regime.


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Figure 2 A surgeon’s view of the carpal sheath. The red arrow points to the DDFT whilst the blue arrow is a fractured portion of the accessory carpal bone that has displaced into the carpal sheath and traumatised the DDFT

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23/10/2020 10:08

The Finish Line with Malcolm Denmark Malcolm Denmark made his fortune through advertising inserts in newspapers, his Mediaforce Group growing to dominate that market. In this troubled year he has found himself as the biggest player in Ireland’s local newspaper sector. He first came to prominence as an owner through the exploits of dual Cheltenham Festival hero Monsignor and was recently back in the limelight with Cesarewitch winner Great White Shark. Interview: Graham Dench


hen I owned Weathercock House in Lambourn I had a reputation as a ‘hire ‘em and fire ‘em’ sort of owner, but it just wasn’t true. It was very difficult owning somewhere with a salaried trainer but the trainers all left because of their own personal circumstances. Mark [Pitman] left because he had to go back to Spain, Warren [Greatrex] got the offer of Uplands and left on very good terms, and I certainly didn’t fire Carl [Llewellyn]. I think anyone can see from the fact that Carl hasn’t trained since that he just didn’t want to do it. I learned early that racing could be a very painful sport. In my first season, Father McCarten won at Huntingdon but came in with a ruptured tendon, so my elation didn’t last long. Fortunately he came back to be second in the Reynoldstown Chase three seasons later, and in the meantime I’d had Monsignor. It was a great day when Monsignor won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, and I was thrilled my father was there with me, as he had been an armchair punter when I was growing up. I’d got into ownership so we could enjoy more time together. We were 50-1 and the talk was all of Golden Alpha, reportedly the best bumper horse Martin Pipe had ever trained. The commentator thought Golden Alpha had it won but then Monsignor just powered past near the finish. It was so exciting – he’s probably the reason I’m still here all of these years later. When Monsignor went back to Cheltenham a year later he was unbeaten over hurdles and one of the bankers of the week, so it was totally different. It was huge, as he broke the track record and won very impressively. He looked made for chasing and people were talking of him as a future Gold Cup winner, but sadly he never ran again. I was offered a lot of money for him but I never sell. Every horse I own is the same to me, whether I’ve bred them myself, paid next to nothing for them, or bought


them quite expensively. If they are not working for whatever reason then I retire them to a little stud in County Waterford in Ireland. It’s important to me to know where they are and that they are well looked after. I’m not interested in buying ‘readymade’ horses. To me you would just be the owner’s badge – I wonder why somebody would do that. I like to follow the growing up of a horse, whether it’s from a yearling or perhaps a three-yearold store horse, or occasionally as one I’ve bred. They all have problems and I like to know what they are and what we have to work with. I bought Great White Shark at Deauville as a yearling, my son Callum and I having decided we would like a bit of interest through the summer. We had our Flat horses with James Fanshawe because we knew he would be very kind and they would be in a good school. Great White Shark wasn’t bought as a dual-purpose horse, but when she had gone as far as she was going to go, she went to Willie [Mullins]. She couldn’t jump a twig at first, but Willie’s team put a huge amount of time and effort into her and she is now a nice, decentactioned hurdler, and a very nice person too. For Callum and myself winning the Cesarewitch might even have been better than winning big races over jumps. It was unexpected, in that we never dreamed we might be winning decent Flat races, and although Willie had said she had a decent chance, I’d have been happy to be in the

Great White Shark and Jason Watson win the Cesarewitch for Malcolm Denmark

first six. Also, I’d gone to Newmarket with my father as a boy – we would have been in the Silver Ring as we were from a fairly humble background. As a non-gambler I have a problem with subsidising bookmakers’ businesses when they are putting so little back in. In 2017 it had been announced that the Cesarewitch would have a pot of £1m. If you are in racing you aren’t necessarily hoping to balance your books, and we all understand this year that things are not as they were, but I think first prize in the Cesarewitch this year was around £125,000, from about £220,000 the year before. It’s disappointing and I think that bookmakers should be taking more of the pain. When Pleasant Company was second in the Grand National it was hugely unexpected. He’d always been hard to keep right and was prone to tie up. As with Monsignor in the bumper, we’d have been thrilled to be second when Tiger Roll went clear after the last, and we were mainly looking behind to see if anything might catch us. Then when they got to the Elbow he suddenly pricked his ears and took off, and it was so close at the line that Michael O’Leary said he thought we’d chinned him. The longer the photo took the more hopeful we were, but if somebody had said to me when I started out that I’d one day have a Grand National second I’d never have believed them, so it was fantastic anyway. I have horses in England and Ireland and so race in both countries. The sport in Ireland is great and the people are great, but the facilities are really variable, especially away from the bigger tracks. I’m not complaining, as I’ve always been looked after very well, but some of them could do with a bit of an update. The difference in the UK is that I find it a bit clubby, with people in their cliques, but that doesn’t bother me. For me it’s always been about enjoying the sport with my family.

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