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£5.95 OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE 194

‘I want to win more Classics than Dad’ Cieren Fallon keen to surpass his famous father


Culworth Grounds Farm

Sophie Buckley’s ambitious outfit

Gay Kelleway

‘Owners deserve better treatment’

Pat Smullen tribute

Saluting a great man and jockey

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FRANKEL 2008 b h Galileo - Kind (Danehill)


40 fastest to

GROUP WINNERS in history

KALAHARA 18 f Frankel - Desertiste (Green Desert) Prix d’Arenberg Gr.3, 5f, ParisLongchamp (in race record time) Bred by Wertheimer & Frère

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



New roadmap for Britain’s racing industry sorely needed P

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 •


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£5.95 OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE 194

‘I want to win more Classics than Dad’ Cieren Fallon keen to surpass his famous father


Culworth Grounds Farm

Sophie Buckley’s ambitious outfit

Gay Kelleway

‘Owners deserve better treatment’

Pat Smullen tribute

Saluting a great man and jockey

Oct_194_CoverV2.indd 1

Cover: Cieren Fallon partners British-bred sprinter Oxted to victory in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket this season for trainer Roger Teal Photo: George Selwyn

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Edward Rosenthal Editor

23/09/2020 17:44

repare for a winter of discontent. That appears to be the message from government to racing and other sports having announced that a ban on spectators could last for a further six months, as the much-predicted ‘second wave’ threatens to crash down on the country. Racing’s pilot projects that allowed a limited number of people to attend the races, successfully staged at Doncaster and Warwick, must now come to a halt as the industry faces up to an uncertain period where income – or lack of it – will very much be the focus of attention. Britain’s sporting leaders tried to put the collective argument for allowing crowds to return from October 1 but an increasing number of Covid-19 cases, resulting in a series of local lockdowns, ensured that those hopes were dashed. The BHA, unsurprisingly, was hugely disappointed with the decision, stating that the sport faces a “severe threat”. A statement issued on behalf of British racing’s tripartite leadership read: “The delay to the public’s return to sporting events is a serious blow to the horseracing industry and to the people and communities who depend upon it for their living. “Our sport has worked hard with public health officials to return safely and carry out pilot events. The exemplary response from the spectators in following the measures we put in place has shown that organised events can be run safely. We look forward to a full evaluation of the pilots and for the evidence to be used to inform future decisions about sporting events. “Despite all those efforts, our industry is now facing a severe threat. We are the second most attended spectator sport in the country. Without the millions of people who normally enjoy a day at the races, many people’s jobs are at serious risk, as are the businesses they work in. We know this is recognised from the regular discussions we have had with ministers and we thank them for their strong support in these difficult times. “We have kept the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments updated on the financial impact of Covid and the effects on the rural economies in which so many of our racing staff live and work.

We have told the UK government our racecourses were facing a loss of £250 to £300 million of revenues this year, which in turn means less prize-money flowing through to our participants and our owners.” Prize-money has already taken a huge hit since resumption and the theme of shrinking purses, most noticeable in our top races, looks set to continue well into 2021. The Levy Board has done all it can to provide financial assistance in these difficult times, producing a valuable support package utilising its reserves – the EBF also deserves huge credit for its increased monetary contribution – yet this is only short-term respite against a bigger problem.

“The sport was on an uneven financial footing long before Covid appeared” British racing’s funding model is broken. It has been for a long time. Covid has made life far more challenging but the sport was on an uneven financial footing long before this terrible virus appeared. Producing a sound long-term financial plan under the current system is nigh on impossible. The demand for change from industry participants seems to grow louder by the day, so my question is: do racing’s power players have the nous and foresight to navigate a different path before it’s too late? If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps we have the ideal conditions to come up with a new roadmap for British racing. It would be lovely to see it before the Cheltenham Festival arrives in March, hopefully with a healthy crowd in attendance.



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October 2020




News & Views ROA Leader Securing owners' investment vital

TBA Leader Fortune favours the brave

News Voting opens for Stud & Stable Staff Awards

Changes News in a nutshell

Howard Wright Jockey Club in stormy waters

Features continued 5 7 10 12 18

Outstanding rider remembered

Big Picture St Leger joy

The Big Interview With Kieren and Cieren Fallon

Culworth Grounds Farm Sophie Buckley riding high


Bargain buys at auction

Breeders' Digest British EBF a reassuring presence

Sales Circuit From Europe and the USA

The Finish Line With trainer Gay Kelleway

Race programme updated

8 16 22 26

32 39 41 72

Forum ROA Forum

Features Pat Smullen tribute

Sales value

Great British Bonus Latest news and views

TBA Forum Flat breeders recognised for 2019 triumphs

Breeder of the Month Newsells Park Stud for Mogul

Vet Forum Shipping fever in focus

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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

Time to take ownership to the next level A

t a time when many racehorse owners may be questioning their involvement and investment in our sport, we must demonstrate that we can navigate a path through the Covid-19 crisis and offer hope of an improved industry in the years to come. The recovery plan recently announced by the BHA offered some broad-brush objectives for racing. The ‘nine goals’ covered all aspects of the industry, including people, the raceday experience and establishing an appropriate fixture list in 2021. Goal nine focuses on putting in place foundations for a longterm sustainable recovery for British racing. It is eye-watering how disadvantaged British racing is when comparisons are made with other jurisdictions around the world. While we cannot go back in time and rewrite history, we can make the best of what we have and grow the incoming revenues streams together, ensuring they are directed fairly to all participants. Media rights income has flowed into the sport, and out again, for over a decade. We can argue about the quantum but £250 million per annum is a good gauge. Changes to the structure of the picture deals means that this revenue stream will continue to grow as online betting becomes ever more popular. We must continue to improve this rich source of income and ensure that a fair proportion finds its way to the horsemen. First stage levy reform made an immediate impact; the next stage of reform is now on the agenda and the industry must speak with one voice to ensure the best possible outcome. Data from the betting industry since racing resumed shows that our product remains very popular; pre-conceived thinking that increasing the number of races per meeting could cause ‘punter exhaustion’ appears to be wrong, with races 7, 8 and 9 producing very healthy figures. This information can help frame the future race programme in Britain. British racing retains its strong appeal to international punters and the development of a unified platform to bet into a Tote-run pool has the potential to significantly enhance the pool-betting contribution to the levy. If we work together, forge commercial agreements that access the growth in revenues and continue to lobby for further levy development, we can lay the foundations referenced in the recovery plan and both protect and grow the industry. However, we have to demonstrate progress on these vital goals as soon as possible, as we have seen the threat of international competition for our best horses and jockeys, while retaining owners remains one of the sport’s biggest challenges. The level of prize-money, while crucial, is not the only factor affecting ownership numbers. Research from 2016 presented a

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stark picture, with over 44% of owners who left the sport citing racecourse facilities and treatment, and 20% of owners saying they would be decreasing their level of horses in training. Clearly, there is a considerable amount of work to do to make our sport more attractive. That’s why the ROA will be rolling out its ownership strategy to help retain owners and inspire the next generation. This will not be easy as the impact of Covid-19 continues to affect the country, but simply doing nothing is not an option. A cross-industry effort is required to improve the situation. Whether it is on-course facilities, prize-money, marketing, syndicate regulation or administrative costs, we need to improve

“We must secure the vast investment that owners make to the tune of £600 million each year” the whole ownership experience to secure the vast investment that owners make to the tune of £600 million each year. The ROA has a number of ideas to take ownership forward, including better promotion and regulation of syndicate membership, next generation engagement specifically with under-25s, modern and effective trainer engagement and communication, new data collection and sharing agreements in the industry, and better prize-money distribution amongst the winner and placed horses. Now is the time to start addressing these issues, whilst working closely on the sport’s future funding model and of course making progress on the all-important commercial agreements with the racecourses over their contribution to prize-money.



23/09/2020 14:52


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TBA Leader

Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman

Grounds for optimism in difficult times T

horoughbred breeders must have many attributes to get the best out of their experience. Top of my list are patience and optimism, and everyone will require both qualities in abundance as we continue our way through this extraordinary coronavirus-affected year, and especially during the busy sales season. Unlike owners, who can simply choose not to participate in the forthcoming yearling and foal sales, breeders cannot just turn the tap off and on at will. So, with yearlings, foals and mares in foal already in the system, we have to make the best of whatever the market or other selling opportunities provide. There is no point in pretending that the rest of this year and probably the whole of next are going to be anything but difficult for breeders and owners, as people try to find homes for those horses already in the system or accept the need to keep them to go into training. As general finances suffer, the temptation to cut back will be too difficult to ignore for some. However, mating plans for the 2021 covering season will produce the horses racing from 2024 onwards, and these are decisions to which we need to give careful thought. This is the point when we have to be optimistic that the world will have recovered from Covid-19 and demand for British bloodstock will increase. Those who are brave enough to think ahead and make that big decision will be the ones who reap the greatest rewards. We have to believe that there will be a substantial adjustment to stallion fees in 2021, and that there will be an inevitable reduction in the numbers of foals born in 2022. If the 2008 recession is anything to go by, there will be a sharp reduction in the Irish foal crop, and that could place British breeders who hold their nerve in a strong position as the market recovers. Taking that long-term view does require bravery and deep pockets – and possibly even the support of a kindly bank manager – but fortune often favours the brave, and this may be just the opportunity to be optimistic. I make no apologies for reminding all British breeders about the Great British Bonus. It is out there to support you and I am delighted that so many people have registered their filly yearlings ready for 2021. There are already some great stories associated with the scheme, especially about small breeders winning bonuses. The website is the place to discover how the scheme works in providing bonuses of up to £20,000 per eligible race, and to find the results since Pelekai

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won the first 50 per cent bonus worth £10,000 at Newcastle on June 2. A couple of examples are worth pointing out, since they illustrate the sort of opportunities that can arise through GBB. Perhaps it’s no surprise that shrewd Yorkshire connections are behind Blackberry, who became the first three-time GBB winner when she won at Musselburgh in mid-September. Principal owner Simon Chappell, who also bred her, and trainer Bryan Smart have plotted a remarkable course with the filly, whose three wins from her first four races – the other was on unsuitably soft ground – have added £60,000 in bonuses to prize-money earnings of £16,690.

“British breeders who hold their nerve could be in a strong position as the market recovers” There is also a real opportunity that rather than having to accept the vagaries of the market, it is worth using the GBB carrot to form a syndicate to race a qualified filly. The Crown Connoisseurs, a band of locals from the Crown pub in the West Country, did that when they put Crazy Luck into training with Rod Millman, and as well as being well on her way to recouping her purchase price in prize-money, she gave the syndicate a £20,000 GBB return at Salisbury in August. To win a full GBB bonus it’s worth thinking hard about using a British-based stallion next year. Brexit issues mean some changes in moving horses for breeding outside Britain are inevitable, so this is an ideal opportunity to support British stallions. But remember, foal registration at Weatherbys has been extended to October 31. Please do not miss that date; there can be no late entries.



23/09/2020 14:51

Pat Smullen tribute



Pat Smullen celebrates after victory on Refuse To Bend in the 2003 2,000 Guineas

Pat Smullen, 1977-2020

eptember brought the terribly sad news of the death of ninetime Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen. He was 43. Smullen was a hugely popular personality within the Irish racing ranks, and was well liked and known globally, his glittering career having taken him around the world. For two and a half years Smullen had fought pancreatic cancer, though he had been given the all-clear last


year, when he was able to put all his energy into raising money for Cancer Trials Ireland, notably through an Irish Champions Weekend legends race. The line-up for the legends race attested to Smullen’s standing among fellow riders, featuring the likes of Sir Anthony McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Johnny Murtagh, and raised more than €2.5 million. Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh, speaking as much for

all in Irish racing as himself, said: “It is the saddest of days as Irish racing comes to terms with the loss of one of our brightest stars. “Pat Smullen was a nine-times champion jockey, but his achievements in the saddle pale in comparison to his qualities out of it. “All our thoughts are with Pat’s wife Frances, children Hannah, Paddy and Sarah, his mum Mary, brothers Ger, Sean and Brian, his close friends


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23/09/2020 16:09

With long-time ally Dermot Weld, who described Smullen as a “very special jockey”

occasions and rode winners around the world for me, but he had this great ability of having practically every horse he rode in the right place at the right time in any race. “There were so many incidents that could typify that, but Harzand’s win in the Derby at Epsom stands out. Pat would probably say that was his proudest moment. They were the perfect partnership.” Pat Downes, General Manager at the Aga Khan’s Irish studs, added: “It’s very sad news. We had some great days. Obviously Harzand’s two Derbys were the highlight. “Pat was a great jockey, but also a great person and battled hard for the last two years. It’s a terrible loss to his family and it’s just so sad, but I think in

time we can all look back and feel lucky we have known him. He was a really great person.” Frankie Dettori navigated the same global circuit as Smullen for a couple of decades, and said: “I’d travelled the world for 20 years with Pat and he was a great friend that fought until the end. It is always a shock when you get the news. “I texted him about ten days ago and he said he was not good and that he was back in hospital. It is such a shame as he leaves behind his wife and three children. “He was a great man, not just with the horses, but with the way he conducted himself throughout the whole of this illness. He was a complete gentleman in every way.”


and colleagues in the weighroom, trainer Dermot Weld and all the staff at Rosewell House. “Pat was an inspiration for the selfless way that he faced up to the most awful of diagnoses and his fundraising efforts through Cancer Trials Ireland will benefit many people in the future. The Pat Smullen Charity Raceday will go down in the annals of Irish racing as one of the best days ever at the Curragh. “For Pat to be taken from us at such a young age is hard to comprehend. His memory will live long wherever horseracing is discussed. May he rest in peace.” Champion apprentice in 1995 and 1996, the highlight of Smullen’s time in the saddle, above many others, was arguably Harzand’s victory in the Derby in 2016. To win the blue riband at Epsom on an Aga Khan homebred for Dermot Weld was as good as it got, Smullen having succeeded Mick Kinane as stable jockey to Weld in 1999. He and Harzand followed up in the Irish Derby. The jockey chalked up a total of 1,892 winners in Ireland and Britain, and 25 at the highest level around the world. Among those top-level triumphs, Smullen won the 2004 Irish Derby on Grey Swallow, the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Nightime (2006) and Bethrah (2010) and four consecutive Irish St Legers on Vinnie Roe from 2001. He also plundered the 2003 2,000 Guineas on Refuse To Bend, the 2010 Gold Cup on Rite Of Passage, and 2002 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park on Dress To Thrill. Weld said: “We had a wonderful relationship for 19 years. He was an outstanding stable jockey, the professional’s professional. His loyalty, integrity and honesty were key factors of the man he was. I can assure you that he’ll be sorely missed. “As a jockey, he was very special. We know he was champion jockey on nine


“His loyalty, integrity and honesty were key factors of the man he was”

Smullen partnered the Aga Khan’s Harzand to success in the 2016 Derby at Epsom


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23/09/2020 16:09


Voting opens for Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards


here will be more prize winners than ever before in the latest Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards, reflecting the sterling efforts of racing’s workforce at yards up and down the country to keep the show on the road during the Covid-19 crisis. While the 2021 awards, as with other events such as the TBA’s 2019 Flat season awards evening held last month, will be a virtual experience this time round, the need to recognise racing and bloodstock staff has arguably never been greater. Hugh Anderson, Managing Director of Godolphin, said: “In this extraordinary year it is more important than ever that we reward those dedicated, hardworking people who do so much behind the scenes of the racing and breeding industries. “The challenges that both industries have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic have been on a scale unlike anything we have felt before, and those who work with our horses day in, day out have shown outstanding commitment in keeping our industries going.” He added: “Godolphin is delighted to be continuing its support of these awards and we look forward to celebrating the

achievements of stud and stable staff up and down the land again in 2021.” Those achievements will end with a greater number of staff receiving a cash prize, following a change in structure. This time, any applicant who makes the shortlist of ten but does not progress to the final three will receive £250 to mark making the shortlist; distributing the prize-money – which totals more than £128,000 – more widely was felt the right approach given the financial impacts of Cpvid-19. In another development, Nick Luck will take over from Brough Scott as Chair of the judging panel. Eileen Harte, co-owner of successful consignor Keith Harte Bloodstock Ltd, will also be joining the panel for the first time, as will last year’s Employee of the Year, James Frank, in line with usual protocol. Luck said: “I’m in little doubt that in taking over from Brough I have some large shoes to fill. It’s a great pleasure to be involved in these awards and I’m sure that, as ever, the panel will have an unenviable task in picking the winners from what is likely to be as strong a field of nominations as there has ever been.” Now in their 17th year, the awards recognise and reward the outstanding

Brough Scott, who has stepped down as Chair of the judging panel, with 2019 Employee of the Year Catriona Bissett

skills, commitment and contribution of more than 10,000 stud and stable staff in England, Scotland and Wales. The nominations window opened last month and closes at 5pm on November 10. Judging day is February 22. A celebratory event is planned for the summer of 2021, subject to government guidance. Anyone can nominate someone working in a yard or stud via

Bahrain to stage second international raceday Next month will witness the second running of the £500,000 Bahrain International Trophy at the Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club, and officials are quietly confident of attracting a quality field featuring European-trained runners despite all the disruption caused by Covid-19. Last year’s inaugural contest was a welcome addition to the international racing calendar, and was well supported with an eclectic field of 13, the majority from Europe, including winner Royal Julius, trained in France by Jerome Reynier and partnered by Stephane Pasquier. The duo defeated British raider Turgenev by three-quarters of a length, with Rustang, trained by leading Bahrain-based handler Allan Smith, a head away in third. The 2020 race is on November 20, when the first prize will be £250,000. The contest is on turf over a mile and a


quarter, and there are no entry fees at the first stage, which falls on October 6. There are also various travel incentives. On October 10 there is a second ‘win and you’re in’ race, the Group 3 Darley Stakes on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket, the first having been the Listed Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes, at Newmarket’s July course, won by Godolphin’s Al Suhail. REHC Executive Director Sheikh Salman bin Rashed Al Khalifa told Owner Breeder: “It’s too early to mention specific horses, or to know what travel regulations will be in place, but at the moment it’s looking very positive, and we’re very confident we can host the race in a safe and secure environment. “We’re not sure about crowds yet but we’ve had meetings about that, and have the technology in place. “We were delighted with how last year went. It was a strong, competitive

race, we had a Group 1 winner, plus Group 2 winners and placed horses, with major European trainers represented, including John Gosden, Andrew Balding, Charlie Hills and Roger Varian. To have their support was very important.” He continued: “We had very positive feedback from the participants; they were impressed with the facilities, the way the event was managed, and enjoyed Bahrain itself. A number said they would like to make it an annual trip. The world feed went to 60 countries, and viewership was 130 million.” As for the second edition of the race next month, Sheikh Salman said: “We very much hope to have runners from Europe, and have been speaking with connections in Ireland, Britain, France and elsewhere. We have maintained prize-money at £500,000 and are aiming to have another strong field with highly-rated horses.”


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23/09/2020 17:02

Stories from the racing world

Harper hoping to write new chapter with Prokofiev Whitsbury Manor Stud will welcome a new stallion to its roster next year in the shape of Sergei Prokofiev and Stud Director Ed Harper couldn’t be more thrilled with his latest signing. Sergei Prokofiev, a son of sire sensation Scat Daddy, was an excellent two-yearold, finishing third to Calyx and Advertise in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and capturing the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, a race in which he exhibited a superb turn of foot. Harper said: “I’ve kept my eye on lots of sons of Scat Daddy and this was the one that really did it for me. “His performances at Royal Ascot and in the Cornwallis rubber-stamped him as having the ingredients I love. You only need to watch the last furlong and a half of the Cornwallis and it explains everything; you just sit back and go ‘wow’. Putting a race to bed in three strides – very few horses can do that.

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Sergei Prokofiev: son of Scat Daddy is an exciting addition to the Whitsbury roster

“I don’t have a single Scat Daddy mare and neither do my clients so I could send him to every one of my own mares. I wouldn’t stand a stallion that I wouldn’t be happy sending 25 of our own mares to for two or three years. In my pedestal of speed genes, I have Scat Daddy at the top of the tree in my lifetime.” The last year has been challenging for many businesses, including those within the bloodstock world, and Harper acknowledges the risk of investing during the Covid era. He explained: “As a fully commercial stallion stud that has to compete with

the big boys, we wouldn’t be taking the plunge on a new stallion at this time if we didn’t love the sound of him. “You’re putting your neck on the line with every stallion you ask your clients to believe in. If you get it wrong a few times then your client base stops listening to you. “That’s why we were so pleased that Due Diligence proved he could do it when we put the case for him. A fast son of Scat Daddy won’t take as much selling – he’ll make my life a lot easier!” Harper added: “This business isn’t about trying to buy a stallion that can pay for himself – it’s about trying to buy a stallion that your clients can profit off. We need to stand sires that our clients can make money on. “I must add that the Great British Bonus is a fantastic scheme and the TBA deserves huge credit for getting it done. It’s a huge boost to British breeders and we’re already seeing that at the sales; it has made a big difference to the amount of people coming to see our yearlings.” A fee for Sergei Prokofiev, bought by Coolmore for $1.1 million as a yearling, will be announced at a later date.



23/09/2020 17:02


Racing’s news in a nutshell

People and business

Phoenix Thoroughbreds

BHA bans ownership group from running horses in Britain until further notice.

Newsells Park

Stud launches website at to showcase yearlings, including pedigrees, photos and videos, ahead of the autumn sales.


Government announces that crowds could be kept away from sporting events for a further six months due to the Covid-19 second wave.

Racing With Pride

Jack Kennedy

Shark Hanlon

Jeremy Noseda

Network designed for racing’s participants, workforce and fans who are LGBT+ is launched by the Diversity in Racing Steering Group.

Trainer fined €2,000 and jockey Gearoid Brouder banned for ten days over the performance of Comporta at Listowel under non-trier rules.

Top Irish jockey returns to the saddle in September after seven months out having broken his leg in a fall at Leopardstown in February.

Former trainer fined £1,500 after Walk In The Sun is disqualified from a race at Kempton in January 2018 having tested positive for cocaine.

Ben Curtis

Handed 28-day ban for breaching Covid-19 protocols but continues riding with 14 days backdated and 14 days suspended for six months.

Horse obituaries Muhtathir 25

High-class miler, winner of two Group 1s and sire of top-class winners Doctor Dino, Mauralakana, Mille Et Mille and Satwa Queen.

Miss O’Connor 5

Daughter of Roderic O’Connor owned by Lael Stable, winner of four races including the Group 3 Prix Perth.

Wedding Date 4

Four-time winner for Middleham Park Racing and the Richard Hannon stable.



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23/09/2020 17:39

An eye for success

visit studlife online:

October 2020

SPRIGHT HITS TARGET AGAIN The Redvers colours were carried to another success when Spright won again since our last issue, this time a valuable nursery at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting. A 3-time winner, she has earnt over £50,000 in prize money, as well as a Great British bonus of £20,000, and now goes for a Stakes race. Credit: The Yorkshire Post

ANOTHER TWEENHILLS WINNER It was great to see 2-year-old First Lott (pictured as a foal) win for longstanding Tweenhills supporters Keith and Mary Trowbridge as the Harbour Watch filly was conceived and raised at Tweenhills. Her dam Don’t Tell Mary – a long-term Tweenhills resident – was a juvenile Stakes winner for the same connections.

STAFF PROFILE Hannah Wall Bloodstock Manager

Tell us about your Redwall ventures… We had a great sale with the Redwall pinhooks at Magic Millions in January which I’m very grateful for but, understandably our pinhooking in Australia has been put on hold until 2021 as we were unable to travel for the foal sales this year. We did purchase two exciting 2yos for Redwall Racing, a Not A Single Doubt filly and a Shalaa colt who I’m looking forward to seeing run. Do you have a favourite sale? I enjoy all sales as you never know where the next star is going to come from but having bought both Roaring Lion and Kameko at Keeneland September, I love going out there. Magic Millions is always a great sale, yearlings in January and weanlings in May, restrictions permitting! What’s your most successful pinhook? The Zoustar colt we bought for A$310,000 and sold for A$900,000 was special; he’s now called Loca and was an impressive debut winner.

I also took great pleasure in seeing a Havana Gold filly we bought for 13,000gns sell for £38,000 at Goffs UK recently; she was part-gifted to my 5 godchildren so I’m in their good books!

Sophie McCarthy and Da yna Walsh providing the weanling massage service. See all the latest photos of life at Tweenhills by vis iting fe.

Favourite yearling purchase this year? So far it would be the Fastnet Rock filly from Baden Baden who is already named Fashion Love. A strong, impressive filly with a great pedigree. Also a Kodiac filly we bought from Monceaux in Arqana. She was a first foal but a gorgeous type and looks a real runner.

by “What you lookin’ at?” Our weanling filly quality. star real Roaring Lion out of Simple Ver se has

Which homebred are you most excited by? The Galileo filly x Just The Judge (above) is very special, it’s hard not to be excited by her. This year’s foal crop are extremely exciting. The Roaring Lion filly x Simple Verse is a star and the colt x Granny Franny is a spit of his father at the same stage. And we have plenty of Zoustars that look like rockets!

Two lit tle Ducks - Ne ep s and Fi re qu ac ke r, part of our resident flock , check ing out a yearling barn . They were among 4 hatch ed in The Redver s’ household af an incubator in ter losing their mother.

Tweenhills, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BG W: T: + 44 (0) 1452 700177 M: + 44 (0) 7767 436373 E:


Racehorse and stallion

Movements and retirements

Lady Buttons

High-class mare for Keith and Jayne Sivills, winner of 15 races including the Grade 2 Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle twice, is retired aged ten.

Sergei Prokofiev

Whitsbury Manor Stud recruits fast son of Scat Daddy, a Group 3 winner as a juvenile.

Honor A.P.

Santa Anita Derby winner is retired after suffering an injury in the Kentucky Derby and will stand at Lane’s End Farm in 2021.

Sizing John

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in 2017 for Alan and Ann Potts and Jessica Harrington is retired aged ten after sustaining a further injury on the gallops.

King Of Comedy

Talented four-year-old for owner-breeder Lady Bamford moves from John Gosden to Jessica Harrington in Ireland.

People obituaries Coral Pritchard-Gordon 73

The partner of trainer Sir Michael Stoute was an accomplished horsewoman and a popular figure in the Newmarket area, known for her charity fundraising efforts.

Pat Smullen 43

Nine-time champion jockey in Ireland, winner of 12 European Classics and 1,892 races in Britain and Ireland.

Allan Munnis 70

With wife Judy ran Beech Tree Stud in Somerset, standing the stallions Tamure, Royal Anthem, Geordieland and Saddler’s Rock.

Michael Oliver 70

Former Worcestershire-based trainer saddled West Tip to win the 1986 Grand National under Richard Dunwoody.



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The Big Picture

Marquand on the mark It looked as though Tom Marquand’s chances of capturing a first Classic had evaporated when intended St Leger mount English King was rerouted to France. However, after Shane Crosse tested positive for coronavirus, Marquand received a late call up for the Joseph O’Brien-trained Galileo Chrome and the rest is history. Marquand was seen at his strongest on the son of Australia (right) to deny the brave Berkshire Rocco by a neck and land the spoils for owners the Galileo Chrome Partnership. Photos Dan Abraham and Edward Whitaker



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Pertemps St Leger

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23/09/2020 14:57

The Howard Wright Column

Jockey Club rocked by summer storm O

reporting on racing, largely from the industry standpoint, I ne in, two out: the summer jobs merry-go-round at the can recall no departure more spectacular, more incredible, top end of British racing might be small beer compared than Bushell’s on-the-spot resignation. Some unexpected exits with even a coronavirus-affected Premier League had underlying causes that were never discussed in print, at transfer window, but the movement has nevertheless been least not among the racing press. Bushell’s was stupendously significant. And the football analogy is apposite. different. It was played out in public, when detailed information Julie Harrington, who left Northern Racing in 2011 for the about her defence was relayed initially to two warmly post of Football Association Group Operations Director, is welcoming sources and the Jockey Club felt obliged to heading back to the sport as BHA Chief Executive. Richard respond with its account of events. FitzGerald, who joined Racing TV’s parent company One extremely optimistic Racecourse Media Group as Chief commentator called for all the Executive in September 2008, a few evidence to be published, but there months after vacating a similar role at is no such need, not when each side Aston Villa FC, is heading to the sunshine in the story deployed the services of of homes in Portugal and Stellenbosch. PR agencies specialising in reputation And Delia Bushell, who was involved in management rather than racing. negotiating huge football contracts at Bushell’s resignation letter was Sky Sports and BT before she became released for publication in full, four CEO of the Jockey Club 13 months ago, words short of 1,000 and leaving little is heading for who knows where. room for doubt, as summed up in the There the similarities end, especially sentences: “I have been subjected to as personalities. Harrington is quiet but unmerited, dishonourable, bullying with steely determination. FitzGerald is behaviour by people I previously confident in his ability and buccaneering. held in high regard and trusted. I And Bushell is, well, that’s a difficult clearly cannot rely on the trust and one to answer now, given the explosive confidence of the board, which has manner of her leaving the Jockey Club. once again allowed the long-standing In more than half a century of Richard FitzGerald: surprise return to racing?

Thanks, Dr Rupert Suckling, for nothing. Doncaster’s Director of Public Health stands accused of murder, figuratively speaking, of having killed stone dead the 2020 St Leger as a spectator attraction. What’s more, his unilateral decision to ban crowds from the last three days of the fixture, having given the go-ahead only 48 hours earlier, was an unwelcome, and unjustified, precursor to the government’s subsequent decision to hit the pause button on plans to allow paying members of the public back into more sporting events, including British racing, from October 1. Losing the final day of Glorious Goodwood as an event that the public could attend for the first time since lockdown struck on March 18 was bad enough. The circumstances were unfortunate, coming a couple of days before spectators were due to be ushered back, but cancellation was part of a national decision taken by Boris Johnson and government officials, and included planned events in other sports. The welcome carpet at Doncaster, rolled out for the first day of the Leger meeting, was whipped away for the other three days on purely local and, it can be argued, political grounds. And for what?


It appears the reasoning, as outlined by the town’s elected mayor Ros Jones, was to spare the residents of Doncaster from any likelihood of Covid-19 contamination by outsiders attending the races before heading into town to mingle with the locals. It did not seem to have registered that more than half the relatively few thousand spectators attending over the four days were due to come from the


Missed opportunity at Doncaster

The St Leger triumph of Galileo Chrome and Tom Marquand (left) played out in front of empty stands at Doncaster


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discriminatory undertones of the Jockey Club to prevail.” The Jockey Club’s reply was a mere 158 words but equally frank, confirming that Bushell was standing down with immediate effect and a sub-committee had accepted an independent inquiry that found her guilty of “bullying behaviour towards colleagues, inappropriate racist comments and sharing offensive materials.” The Jockey Club will survive, perhaps not untarnished in the short term and maybe not with the current complement of senior figures, but it has come too far in a short time to be knocked off course. For Bushell, who may yet decide to pursue her case through some form of litigation, the future is less certain, though it will not involve a spot in racing.


“I can recall no departure more spectacular than Bushell’s on-the-spot resignation” Strange to recall now, but there were some who might have forecast that FitzGerald, who was said to have left Aston Villa because of uneasy working relations with the manager and a new senior executive, would come to a short and sticky end at RMG. He ruffled feathers in a manner that would have made enemies, but he had two advantages – he made pots of money for the RMG racecourses, and he built a strong relationship with his predecessor Simon Bazalgette, who ironically was later succeeded by Bushell. What price FitzGerald is approached by the Jockey Club when the dust settles?

immediate vicinity of Doncaster itself, and that most of the rest would have headed home straight after the last race. Sadly, racing’s ill-founded reputation for creating mayhem through a supposed drinking culture had gone before it, and that this was a decision driven by politics and perception rather than science, boosted by a local petition that dew 5,000 signatures in a metropolitan borough of 310,000 people, seems clear, despite the credentials of the man with the final say. Dr Suckling set “ten tough tests for the festival to take place based upon public health requirements.” Doncaster met them. Yet by 9am on the day that crowds were heading to Town Moor, racecourse officials were hearing whispers that he was on the warpath and around midmorning he turned grim reaper. Overnight, Doncaster’s coronavirus rate had apparently slipped above ten in 100,000 of population, but was still only around half the national average at that time, and the Prime Minister’s impending ‘rule of six’ had been trailed in the national media, with absolutely no impact on conditions at the racecourse. Still, paying spectators were suddenly off limits again, and local politics had won the day. Again, having done everything in its power to provide a safe environment, racing was the loser. One more successful trial later, at Warwick, and the curtain was brought down for a third time. Third time unlucky? It could be for some racecourses.





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Oak Buildings


From office to evening A beautifully-designed new space for work and play from Oakwrights

The single-story outbuilding houses the office and incorporates an outside seating area with bespoke oak canopy


sure builder of customer confidence is knowing the staff of any given company use its products themselves - and love them. When Oakwrights’ Sales Director Dave Grey and his daughter Zoe, one of Oakwrights’ Regional Design Consultants, had a need for an outbuilding at home, the Herefordshirebased oak frame supplier, designer and constructor was their port of call, and they continue to be delighted with their choice and end product. Working from home has become part of Covid-19 life, but in 2018, when the Greys embarked on their project, it was more the exception than the norm. “On those occasions I worked from home, I used to sit in the house at the dining room table,” recalls Dave. “This way of working never felt quite right, nor was it easy.” The Greys decided the best option was to build a new space that could house an office for Dave and Zoe to work from when required. “We had a vegetable patch which hadn’t been used for a while,” says Zoe. “We felt its location would provide an ideal site for our office and would uplift this ‘dead’ space.” Given their experience, the Greys were intent on incorporating an oak frame into their outbuilding design from the outset. “I have always been drawn to oak,” admits Zoe. “I love the strength and character it brings to not only a structure but also each internal room.

You can literally see the skeleton of a building and what is structurally holding it up: it’s fantastic.” Dave adds: “Oak as a material is a ‘one-stop shop’. It’s versatile, provides structure, is aesthetically beautiful and is environmentally friendly.” Zoe continues: “Dad wanted the office itself to be large enough for both of us to work from, and mum dreamt of a covered outdoor seating area where we could make the most of our garden with family and friends, so our future oak frame outbuilding had to meet these requirements.” To help turn concept into reality, Oakwrights’ Senior Frame Designer, Julian Pilkington, was called in. “David and Zoe’s workspace was an interesting project to design,” says Julian. “As a fan of both

Working from home: the new office is spacious and benefits from natural light

reappropriating unloved spaces into purposeful places, and covered outdoor areas, it was a fun project to be involved with.” Together they designed a singlestorey outbuilding to house the office, while incorporating a seating area outside that had a bespoke oak canopy, branching out to shelter from the elements. Dave says: “Our outbuilding was under 4m in height, so it fell under permitted development. Once we’d finalised our design, we were able to begin preparing for the groundworks as we didn’t need to apply or wait for planning approval.” In terms of the oak frame itself, the Greys wanted their office to have a simplistic design and focused their attention on the covered space outside. “We chose to add oak rafters and oak boarding on the entire inside of the roof that’s positioned over our outdoor seating area,” says Zoe. “This wasn’t the most cost-effective option, but it blends beautifully with our garden and looks incredible!” Dave concludes: “I think people’s attitudes towards working from home have changed dramatically over the past few months, and it will now be an option that businesses are seriously considering. “From a work and family perspective, we’ve hugely benefited from our oak frame outbuilding and couldn’t imagine life without it.”


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23/09/2020 14:55

The Big Interview

Kieren Fallon is delighted with the progress his son Cieren has made in his riding career





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The Fallons

The growing bond between the once troubled six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon and the 21-year-old son he saw all too little of growing up has been one of the most engaging stories of the last two years. Fallon senior was late hitting the big time in a career that was punctuated by some shocking lows, many of them self induced, but young Cieren has proved a more precocious talent and has made a near perfect start to his riding career despite having no interest in racing until he was 18. Graham Dench enjoyed a socially distanced interview with the pair via FaceTime.


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The Big Interview CIEREN

Cieren Fallon records a debut Group 1 victory on Oxted in the Darley July Cup



ockdown has restricted life for all of us, but we’ve been lucky in racing and anyway I’ve had a great distraction in following Cieren’s progress. Apart from Covid everything else is good, and I feel I’m in a good place, although my plan to go up north to join Adrian Keatley after he moved his string over from Ireland had to be shelved because of lockdown and all of the other implications. I’d already left Saeed [Bin Suroor] and I was really looking forward to teaming up with Adrian, but I’m now with Mohamed Moubarak, who has always been a good friend and has a lovely little string in a great yard. I love riding out and when that’s done I have the rest of the day to do what I want. A life with horses is second to none. It’s been exciting the way things have gone for Cieren, and it was great for him when he was offered the number two spot with Qatar Racing behind Oisin [Murphy] as he’d only just ridden out his claim, and most apprentices struggle without their allowance. So many apprentices who you felt sure would make it get lost out there, so



rowing up I had zero interest in horses and didn’t follow Dad’s career because we didn’t really see much of him as he was flat out, flying around. We would only really see him when he was on his way to Ireland on the ferry, or on the way back, when he would stop off at the boarding school my sister and I were at in North Wales. At that time I did a lot of football and rugby league, and running too, including some fell running. I played in the football academy at boarding school and ran for North Wales, and all this time I gave horses no thought at all, although I must have sat on ponies when I was a kid. I don’t actually know what prompted the change in heart, but one day I told Dad that I wanted to have a go at what he did. He was open to whatever I wanted to do, which is the way it’s always been in our family, and that’s when he brought me down to Newmarket. We started at Phil McEntee’s and then went on to Adam Kirby’s. Both of the horses they put me on went wild, but I stayed on and that was it for me. I did the 14-week course at the British Racing School, and then got the job with Mr [William] Haggas off my own

bat. I met him one Sunday afternoon at Somerville Lodge and he told me to start the next day. I wasn’t living with Dad at that stage as I’d bought a house with my sisters and was living there on my own, but he moved in when he got back from Dubai and I got back from my winter in Australia, so he was with me throughout my championship winning season. Dad took me racing loads that year, and so did my mother and other lads in the weighing room. It definitely helped me being my father’s son, because I

being offered that job and knowing he was wanted by a top owner without his claim was a great confidence booster for him, regardless of the money and that sort of thing. It’s all happened very quickly for Cieren, as he’d never ridden a thoroughbred until he was 18 I think. I’d just come back from Dubai when he let me know that he wanted to go to the apprentice school to learn to ride, so I thought I should show him some of the basics before he went there. We went up to Phil McEntee’s and he got on some wild thing that had barely been out of its box for two weeks, and we all watched as it took off with him. I thought it was going to go flat out through the rails and it would have been all over before it started, but he stayed on somehow. We then went up to Adam Kirby’s and the horse they put him on went straight up in the air with him. He could have been killed the first two times he got on a horse, but he stayed on somehow. He’d not been bad at rugby, football and running, and as he was sporty like that I shouldn’t have been surprised he took to riding. It couldn’t have gone better really and it turned out lucky that

was respected straight away. It’s not that they don’t respect other kids, but what my father has done in the sport certainly earned me extra respect. I had a bit of a connection with some of the older lads anyway from when I’d been a kid – jockeys like Franny Norton and Jimmy Quinn in particular – and some of the other senior guys gave me a lot of support too, especially James Doyle, who was first jockey to Mr Haggas that year, and Andrea Atzeni. I’ve passed my driving test now and

“If I think he’s ridden a bad race I’ll ring him – it doesn’t happen often” he joined William Haggas, rather than going to a more obvious apprentice academy like Andrew Balding’s or Richard Hannon’s, even though William would admit he doesn’t really want apprentices and doesn’t need them. William and Maureen didn’t want him riding too many winners too quickly, and even though he was champion apprentice last year that was never the plan. There were plenty of good apprentices up against him, and we were really just looking for a good foundation before going for it this year. It’s looking at the moment as if he might win the apprentice title again, but in racing we shouldn’t take anything for granted, especially with Covid and its restrictions.



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The Fallons table tennis or whatever, Dad and I both want to win. We are pretty even at most sports, which makes it interesting for now, but one day I want to be beating him every time. I also want to ride more Classic winners than he did and be champion jockey more times too, definitely. Dad took a long time to get going and hadn’t achieved what I’ve achieved at my age. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me in comparison, and when you think that he achieved what he did despite all of the other stuff that was going on it shows what’s possible. He could have been champion jockey as many times as he wanted to if it wasn’t for the other stuff. As it was he was champion six times, and it would have been seven in a row if it wasn’t for that terrible injury at Ascot when he was well clear. I’m never going to fall for all of the malarkey that he went through. Jesus no, I won’t let myself go down some of the roads he went down! I’ve got so many advantages that Dad didn’t have at the same stage. Look at the people I work for and the ammunition they have, and look at the jockey coaches that I have which he never had. I believe I’ve got a long future ahead of me, but Mr and Mrs Haggas don’t want me to get there too


we aren’t living in the same house, but Dad has taken me to the races quite a few times again this year and he was there for Oxted in the July Cup. I’d told him a week before the race that I’d win it, and I repeated it after we’d walked the course together. That was an unforgettable day, winning a Group 1 while still an apprentice, and in a race that Dad never won. And I beat Frankie Dettori, too, in a race I believe is the only English Group 1 that he’s never won. It doesn’t get much better than that for a kid of 20, and it was for such a nice guy in Roger Teal. It was Roger’s first Group 1 too, but we were both so relaxed beforehand. Roger just told me to track them and pounce; it was just so special. I’ve caught up on Dad’s career now by watching a lot of the big wins and he was alright, wasn’t he? I wouldn’t model my style on him, but everyone has a different body shape and different muscle mass, and if you look at Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Silvestre De Sousa for example, they all have different styles that work for them. What I do get from my Dad, and from my mum too, is my competitive nature. If we are walking to the car I want to be the first one there. If we are playing golf, or

Kieren Fallon captures the Derby for a third time on North Light in 2004

I was especially proud when Cieren won the July Cup on Oxted, as those top sprints are tough for apprentices and you need a clock to know how hard they are going. I’d always liked the horse since Cieren won the Portland on him, and you couldn’t have asked for anything more than the ride he gave him at Newmarket. Whatever happened after that, this year was always going to be a bonus. People say they see something of me in the way Cieren rides, but that was never the idea as I was never a

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very tidy rider. But lately I’ve seen him rowing away, getting them stretching and lengthening before he really goes for them, like I used to; I like to see that. The other day on one of Adrian Keatley’s he looked beat for sure, but he was just rowing away and when he went for him he picked up and took off. It’s not something I taught though, as you can’t really teach someone how to ride. We’d walk the track together and I’d tell him the best way to ride it, which is a help to him, but I don’t go through

quickly as once you are at the top, there’s only one way you can go. They are helping build me up steadily and so far I’ve been champion apprentice, I’m leading the title race again, I’ve won a Group 3 and then a Group 1, and now I’ve got the number two job with Qatar Racing. If I could win the apprentice title again it would just top it off. I’ve started off with a great platform and I’m going to stay focused. I’ve got an unbelievable family behind me too, and Dad and I are making up for lost time now, although we aren’t in the same house any more. We still see a lot of each other and he’ll ring me if he thinks I’ve ridden a bad race. It’s only happened about three times though, luckily not after any high-profile races, and he’ll ring me when I’ve ridden well too. Although it’s going great I’ll never take anything for granted though. How could I after seeing all Dad’s ups and downs, and Frankie’s too? I’ve been brought up in a very humble way and my family would kill me if I ever got big headed. I’m thankful for every opportunity and I know I’ve got to keep working on every aspect of my riding if I’m going to fulfil my ambitions. But if Dad decides to go to America one day I know now that I’ll be fine.

videos with him – there’s no point. He’s got his jockey coaches Michael Hills and Michael Tebbutt for that, although if I think he’s ridden a bad race I’ll ring him. It doesn’t happen often, and he might say ‘but I was told to do that’, but things can change when you leave the gates and you can’t be tied down. I don’t say you shouldn’t have done this or that, but I’ll tell him what I would have done in the same situation and he can take it from there. I suppose I’m expecting him to ride as well as an apprentice as I did when I was riding the likes of King’s Best and North Light. If I was a coach, I wouldn’t be sugar coating things. I’d be hard. If Cieren hadn’t taken to race riding I’d probably be in America now, possibly training, but I couldn’t go there while he was getting started here. It would have been a nightmare trying to look over his shoulder and see how he was doing, wondering how he was getting everywhere and that sort of thing. I’d never have settled, but it might still happen one day. We’ll see, but Cieren is off and running now and once this coronavirus thing is over we’ll take another look and see where we are going.


23/09/2020 16:04

Culworth Grounds Farm

Onwards and


Culworth Grounds Farm hasn’t looked back since launching its sales consignment five years ago Words: Nancy Sexton Photos: Dan Abraham


estled in the countryside surrounding Banbury in Oxfordshire is a rich seam of land that has played a role in the development of some of racing’s most revered names. It was at Eydon Hall Farm in the Northamptonshire village of Eydon, 12 miles from Banbury, that Bosra Sham, Markofdistinction, Barathea and Gossamer spent their formative months for renowned breeder Gerald Leigh while on the other side of Banbury lies the village of Kirtlington, home to Kirtlington Stud from where Arthur Budgett bred his two Derby winners Blakeney and Morston. Charles and Sophie Buckley’s Culworth Grounds Farm, a neighbour to Eydon Hall, is a newer name to the world of British breeding but in the five years that it has been sending yearlings to the sales, it has risen to become a respected participant in its field, one whose reputation has been buoyed by the presence of several memorable pinhooks. With its draft increasing year by year and an established foothold in this competitive industry, it is already doing its bit to maintain that rich neighbourhood tradition. Culworth Grounds has been in the ownership of the Buckleys for the past 14 years. Previously a farm with an emphasis on cattle and cereals, the 1,000-acre estate has undergone a gradual yet comprehensive programme of development that today sees it host differing facets of rural enterprise while keeping agriculture at its heart. Included in that are the thoroughbreds, the work and pride of Sophie Buckley. Having started out with three pinhooks five years ago, Buckley and her team will this year head to the sales with 25 yearlings under their wing, four of whom are catalogued

to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale in Newmarket. With progeny by the likes of No Nay Never, Churchill, Golden Horn and Ulysses to offer, there must be a live chance that Culworth Grounds will surpass its previous auction high of 160,000gns, paid by Shadwell Estate Company at last year’s October Sale for the Cable Bay colt Ertikaaz; remarkably, that colt had been a mere €4,000 pinhook by the farm the previous November. “A couple of years ago, I decided to take the leap and bought three foals with the help of Matt Coleman and Sam Hoskins – they came in with me on my first ones,” says Buckley. “Of those three, two made a profit and one broke even. So it was a good start and every year since, we’ve bought more foals. At the same time, I’ve started to invest in mares. Right now I have shares in ten of them, some I own fully and others with partners. So now we have 25 yearlings to sell this year.”



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Culworth Grounds Farm has swiftly risen to become a respected name within the sales scene under the cultivation of co-owner Sophie Buckley (inset)


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Yearling prep is a varied exercise at Culworth Grounds Farm and includes heading out on the estate with Sophie Buckley and her hunter (left)


Although not born into the industry, Buckley was bitten by the bloodstock bug at an early age. “I don’t come from a racing background,” she says. “My father is a farmer. But I grew up in County Kildare, and there’s lots of racing everywhere. “I started from absolute zero, mucking out in dressage and showing yards. But then I did a year in my gap year for Angus Gold and Hubie de Burgh, opening doors at all the sales, and that was the moment I thought ‘oh this is what I want to do’. From then on, I intently followed racing. “As a hobby, I had shown horses and it’s a very similar concept – you have to buy a horse to fit into a category and produce it nicely to win. So I knew that’s what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how I was going to make the leap to do it. “I went to Edinburgh University and did rural resource management and then I did a MBA Equine at Cirencester. From there I went to Darley to work as a marketing executive for a year – I really enjoyed that but soon realised that if I was to do it properly, I’d have to make some money. So I decided to leave the industry totally, went to London and did some property development with my husband. One went very well and that helped us to buy Culworth Grounds.” Then a farm with no stables, the Buckleys have now developed the property to the point where it has become self sufficient across various sectors. “It was just a farm and pretty run down,” says Buckley. “There were no stables. It was totally barren land. “The stud now works alongside the wider farming business and the farming team do a great job keeping all the paddocks in good shape and providing us with our own forage and bedding. We get electricity from our own solar park, feed from our local mill at Heygates and

quarry our own stone for roads. We also make our own haylage and bedding. The farm is a big work in progress but each year we try and develop something new – it’s all part of trying to keep everything as sustainable and efficient as possible. “I always obviously wanted to do the horses and one of the other diversifications we did was turning the cattle sheds into stables.” The first group of foals to be pinhooked included a Fast Company colt bought for 36,000gns as a foal who blossomed into a 75,000gns yearling. The following year, a Slade Power filly progressed from a €33,000 foal valuation to that of 110,000gns as a yearling, while in 2018, the farm celebrated the sale of a War Command colt for 100,000gns; now named Kipps, he has developed into a smart handicapper for Hughie Morrison. Every consignor has their own favoured methods of bringing a yearling to its peak. At Culworth Grounds, the emphasis is on exposing the youngsters to as many different situations as possible and that includes heading out on the estate’s gallop alongside Buckley on her hunter. “I like my yearlings to do something different every day,” she says. “We’re trying to prepare them for everything and I want them to leave me as confident horses. “So we try to put them in as many different situations as we can.

“I have a big hunter that I take them out with. It’s something I like doing for many reasons. Firstly, they’re going in a straight line and not just in circles. We’re also getting them out and about and they’re going up a gallop – that’ll be one less thing for them to worry about down the line. We don’t fully break them in but we also put a saddle on them before they go to the sales. “It’s about trying to give them all the experiences we can so when someone goes to pre-train them, they’re hopefully civilised and not a lunatic. They’re like children – it’s a bit like sending them off to their first day at school, you hope you’ve put the confidence into them so it’s not going to be a complete nightmare for them. “Not every horse will be perfect but it’s not all about the money – our aim is to give someone a really good product so that they want to say, ‘yes we’ll go back’.” Buckley is supported by five full-time staff and also sponsored by equine nutritional company NAF. “We are working hard on building a great team for the future,” she says. “Essentially, the team is everything for producing the best horses, from the people who work for us directly to our vets, Walnut Hill Equine, and farrier, Sean Wheelan. Kate Leatherbarrow, my stud groom, and Eva Filgate, who is assistant stud groom, are in charge of the horses. Lucy Steel runs the office and marketing. “NAF are a very important part of the team as well and I work closely with them to ensure all the horses are looking and feeling their best on the inside out.” This year, Culworth Grounds will take a batch of four yearlings to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, including a homebred filly from the first crop of Ulysses. “I’m excited because she is the first homebred that I have had go to Book 1,”



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Plenty to entice buyers in quality-laden Book 1 cultivated in recent years by Highclere Stud, this colt is also out of a half-sister to Group 2 winners Bonfire and Joviality. The Highclere draft also includes a Zoffany half-sister to Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde (148) and a Dubawi colt out of Group 1-winning two-year-old Intricately (225). Highclere Stud



Palace Pier (outside): the Highland Reel half-brother to this year’s top miler is catalogued as Lot 55 from Highclere Stud

This is a remarkably resilient industry and although markets have dropped up to 38% so far during this yearling sales season, the general consensus among participants is that it could have been worse. A true barometer of the European market, however, is upcoming in the Tattersalls October Sale in Newmarket, Europe’s largest yearling sale that caters for every level of the market across its four books. It remains to be seen whether participation from the Maktoum family will hit the heady levels of recent years while there continues to be uncertainty as to whether American buyers will be able to attend. Tattersalls personnel are liaising with individuals at Cabinet level on that front and given that Americans accounted for 13.45 million guineas worth of stock last year, it is to be hoped that the likes of Mike Ryan and Chad Brown can make the trip. However, as ever there is plenty to entice buyers within Book 1, which has been to the fore throughout the year as the source of Palace Pier, Campanelle and Australian star Russian Camelot among others. The sale, which starts its three-day run on October 6 and is again allied with the popular £25,000 Tattersalls October Book 1 bonus, consists of 537 lots, 55 of whom are the full or half-siblings to Group or Grade 1 winners. Below are a handful of yearlings to look out for. 41) B C FRANKEL - ATTRACTION The latest foal out of the Duke Of Roxburghe’s brilliant miler Attraction, winner of the 2004 1,000 Guineas, and a brother to Group 2 winner Elarqam, who sold for 1.6 million guineas at Book 1 in 2016. This colt is also a half-brother to Group 3 winner Fountain Of Youth and the Grade 3-placed Cushion. Among the other Frankel youngsters on offer is a halfbrother to Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Marsha (295), a colt out of champion Ribbons (397) and a half-sister to Irish Derby hero Santiago (516). Floors Stud 55) B C HIGHLAND REEL - BEACH FROLIC The half-brother to this year’s star miler Palace Pier. Already winner of the St. James’s Palace Stakes when the catalogue went to press, he has since added the Prix Jacques le Marois to his record. From a fine family

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The half-sister to champion Golden Horn, winner of the Derby, Eclipse Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and Arc. Her brother, Dhababi, sold for 3.1 million guineas to Godolphin last year and has run second in the Washington Singer Stakes since the publication of the catalogue. Vendor Norelands Stud will also offer a Siyouni halfbrother to 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia as Lot 74. His brother, St. Mark’s Basilica, is now Group 1-placed. Norelands Stud 229) CH C DUBAWI - JACQUELINE QUEST A 20-strong battalion for Dubawi includes this half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Line Of Duty who is out of the demoted 1,000 Guineas winner Jacqueline Quest. The colt in question is also a brother to Onassis, winner of the Prix de Bagatelle at Chantilly back in July. Another Dubawi youngster with a Classic connection is the half-brother to Oaks winner Qualify (356) while Newsells Park Stud’s draft includes a son of Arc heroine Danedream (112), who is a brother to the 105-rated Faylaq. Watership Down Stud, meanwhile, offers a sister to the classy Promissory who is out of Group 1 winner Seal Of Approval (422). New England Stud 436) B F GALILEO - SHASTYE A true collector’s item as a sister to four Group winners, including Mogul, who only last month emulated his champion sibling Japan by landing the Grand Prix de Paris. The filly is also a sister to Group winners Secret Gesture, also Classic-placed, and Sir Isaac Newton. Not only that, four of Shastye’s progeny have realised seven-figures at this sale led by Mogul, who sold for 3.4 million guineas in 2018, and Sir Isaac Newton, who briefly set a sale record of 3.6 million guineas in 2013. Shastye was Listed-placed herself and is a half-sister to two excellent Jean-Luc Lagardere colour-bearers in Sagamix, the Arc hero of 1998, and Sagacity. As for Galileo, Coolmore’s supersire ended last year’s sale with an average of 646,667gns and is again well represented as the sire of 22 well-connected entries that also include a brother to Irish Derby hero Capri (122), a colt out of 1,000 Guineas heroine Sky Lantern (444) and a halfsister to recent Betfair Sprint Cup hero Dream Of Dreams (510). Newsells Park Stud 480) B C SEA THE STARS - TALENT Not only is this colt out of an Oaks heroine but he is also a half-brother to Ambition, successful in this year’s Prix Corrida. He is only the fourth foal out of Talent, who descends from the noted Dick Hollingsworth family of 1980 Oaks winner Bireme, and is inbred to Urban Sea. Ashbrittle Stud


23/09/2020 16:57

Culworth Grounds Farm ›› says Buckley of the filly out of Last Echo,

“I try to be positive – there is going to be value out there”

a Whipper relation to champion twoyear-old Priory Belle. “She’s the second foal of the mare and her first is an Adaay colt, Echo Beach, who was second on his second start recently for Hugo Palmer.” The Ulysses filly is joined in the draft by a pinhooked Profitable filly who is related to the Classic-placed Musis Amica, a No Nay Never sister to last year’s Albany Stakes runner-up Celtic Beauty and a Golden Horn half-sister to Listed winner Ifrachy who is out of Group 3 heroine Killachy Loose. Meanwhile, the Book 2 draft consists of four entries, among them a colt from the first crop of Churchill and a Mastercraftsman colt who is related to top New Zealand sire Tavistock. Another 11 yearlings are catalogued to Book 3 including those by Belardo, Time Test, Postponed and Sir Percy. “I love what I do,” says Buckley. “But I would like to expand the breeding side

because I think the pinhooking is getting very hard, it’s very competitive and the nice foals are very expensive. So I would like to do both, to pinhook and try to breed a nice one. I love the pedigree side of things.” Culworth Grounds has already dipped its toe into the yearling market at the Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale. Although low-key, the sale was well attended by agents and trainers, some of whom were encouragingly happy to buy on spec,

and in the case of Culworth Grounds, there was a 100% clearance rate from four offered. “It could have been a lot worse,” says Buckley, alluding to the early British yearling sales. “It is going to be tricky, there’s no question. It’s a year not to be greedy and to focus on selling. In short, I think if you want to sell your horse, keep it simple and be very realistic. “I try to be positive. There is going to be value out there. And not everybody will have done badly from coronavirus – some people will have done well and it’s about finding those people and bringing them in. “I also think it will make some people do more with their lives, and for some that could mean investing in a racehorse. That could be a positive out of all this, people saying ‘you only live once and let’s just go for it’.” Such a positive mindset will always stand Culworth Grounds Farm in very good stead.






338 (84%)

£11,503,500 (-38%)

£34,034 (-27%)

£27,000 (-23%)

BBAG September

80 (66%)

€6,460,500euros (-21%)

€41,413euros (-26.5%)

€39,237euros (-29%)

Tattersalls Ascot

203 (81%)

2,341,350gns (+81%)

11,533gns (+13%)

8,000gns (+5%)

Goffs UK Premier

*Fasig-Tipton Select

348 (66%)




*Arqana Select

310 (76%)




209 (60%)



*Keeneland September - Book 1

$330,000 *no comparable figures

‘Top end continues to hold up, middle market tightens’ – reaction to Arqana “I thought it was fantastic that the top end at Arqana held up so well. It proved there are some people who are recession proof, which is great. But very clearly there has been a readjustment in the middle market. There are not the same number of people around with disposable income and racehorses are, after all, a luxury item. And at Arqana you could see vendors readjusting to the market if they were not in the top five to ten per cent. “I think that if you do your due diligence, then you are going to find some horses who will sell for below their value. There is definitely value to be had and as an agent, I will be encouraging people to get involved for that reason.” Mark McStay

Oliver St Lawrence: vendors must be realistic

“The good stuff sold well at Arqana. There were holes in the market beyond that but then you obviously

have good prize-money and premiums in France, so why should the breeder take a hair cut when horses can be put into training and raced for a reward. It’s different for British and Irish vendors who will have to be a bit more realistic.” Oliver St Lawrence

“I think we might look back later in the year and say that there was a good enough trade at Arqana. We sold everything that we took to that sale and I think they all made what they should have made, so we’re happy. It’s given me confidence going forward. Importantly, the early sales, in particular Arqana, have set a successful precedent for the rest of the sales season - that sales can be held with all the protocols and still run smoothly.” John O’Connor, Ballylinch Stud


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23/09/2020 16:57

From the tiniest of acorns... Invest for the future at Irish breeding stock sales 2020

TATTERSALLS IRELAND November NH Sale 6-12 November 2020 TATTERSALLS IRELAND November Flat Foal & Breeding Stock Sale 13-14 November 2020 GOFFS November Foal Sale 15-22 November 2020

GOFFS November Breeding Stock Sale 19-20 November 2020

Contact ITM for information and assistance: Phone + 353 45 443 000 | Email | Website

Value buys



The blockbuster prices may grab the sale headlines but when it comes to racecourse success, history tells us that there will always be plenty of value to be found at auction – as the likes of Latrobe and Desert Encounter attest Words: Nancy Sexton Photos: George Selwyn


he Tattersalls October Sale has enjoyed another excellent season on the track, highlighted by Group 1 winners such as Palace Pier, Battaash, Campanelle and Mogul in Europe and the likes of Newspaperofrecord, Digital Age and Russian Camelot on an international scale. It is naturally the high-priced horses that grab the headlines in the ring but one of the great beauties of the sport is that good horses come at all levels, allowing everyone to have a chance – an aspect of the sales scene that is likely to resonate even more with participants in this year of Covid. We look back on the various examples of value sourced at the October Sale in recent years.

Latrobe: 65,000gns yearling has earned £1.2 million on the racetrack

LATROBE 15 c Camelot - Question Times (Shamardal) Sold at Book 1 by Lynn Lodge Stud for 65,000gns to Joseph O’Brien Latrobe provided the O’Brien brothers with a popular milestone in 2018 when scoring in the Irish Derby to become a first Classic winner for his young trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Donnacha. Lloyd Williams’ son of Camelot subsequently embarked on an international campaign, running second in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington in Australia before returning home to bag the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown. He remains in training at O’Brien’s Owning Hill near



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Desert Encounter: dual Grade 1 winner was bought for just 32,000gns by Rabbah Bloodstock

Pilltown in County Kilkenny with earnings of close to £1.2 million to his credit – an outstanding return on his yearling price tag of 65,000gns.

Joseph O’Brien: sourced value

“Obviously he is by Camelot,” says Joseph O’Brien, who partnered that stallion to victory in the 2012 2,000 Guineas, Derby and Irish Derby. “He was from his first crop and out of a Shamardal mare. He was a very tall, good-moving colt, not absolutely perfect conformation wise but a good physical overall nonetheless. “He’s a big horse and very Camelot in that he kept improving as time went on. He had one good run at two and then progressed a lot at three. It was a fantastic performance to win the Irish Derby, obviously Donnacha rode him and it was a very special day.” Owning Hill also houses another talented Williams colour-bearer who didn’t cost the earth out of Book 1 in Buckhurst. Bought for 70,000gns out of The Castlebridge Consignment draft at the 2017 renewal, the Australia colt was a rapid improver at three last year when his haul included a pair of Group 3 races.

He returned this year to land the Group 3 Alleged Stakes at the Curragh. “As with Latrobe, credit must go to Paul Shanahan for highlighting the horse at the sales,” says O’Brien. “Buckhurst was from the first crop of Australia and looked to be a bit of value at the time. It’s great for Lloyd Williams too – he’s been very supportive and it’s great to see him have success.”

DESERT ENCOUNTER 12 g Halling - La Chicana (Invincible Spirit) Sold at Book 1 by Tally-Ho Stud for 32,000gns to Rabbah Bloodstock Abdullah Al Mansoori’s tough Desert Encounter has become one of the most popular Flat performers of recent years, with a lengthy race record for David Simcock highlighted by a pair of wins in the Group 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.


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Value buys ››

Best when able to stalk and pounce, Desert Encounter enjoyed his best season at the age of seven last year when rattling off victories in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes, Winter Hill Stakes and Legacy Cup ahead of his second successful assault on the Canadian International. “We bought his dam, La Chicana, carrying Desert Encounter,” says Roger O’Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud. “He was her first foal and a nice yearling who walked very well. But Halling was a bit cold at the time and that played out in his price. He’s been a credit to connections.” Desert Encounter remains in training and although a win has yet to come his way this season, there remains plenty of life in this hardy campaigner, as we saw in July when he ran a close second in the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood.

BEAT THE BANK 14 g Paco Boy - Tiana (Diktat) Sold at Book 2 by Rosyground Stud for 30,000gns to Darren Bunyan Racing The star-crossed Beat The Bank added further lustre to Denniff Farm’s Hill Welcome family by becoming one of the best milers of his era. Initially trained by Darren Bunyan, who picked him up for just 30,000gns at the 2015 renewal of Book 2, Beat The Bank won first time out at Dundalk in a manner

Belvoir Bay: this 20,000gns yearling went on to win a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

impressive enough to attract the attention of agent Alastair Donald, then on the look out for horses to join King Power Racing. A deal was struck and Beat The Bank duly became the first winner for King Power when successful in a Newmarket conditions race on his first start for Andrew Balding. Over the next two years, Beat The Bank went on to capture a quintet of Group 2 races, namely the bet365 Mile, Celebration Mile, Joel Stakes and two editions of the Summer Mile; sadly, he suffered a fatal injury when winning the 2019 renewal. “We took him to the foal sales and couldn’t get a bid [when bought back for 18,000gns],” says Fiona Denniff. “But Darren Bunyan loved him as a yearling – he was a strong, correct type and he did look like a two-year-old. He resembled his

dam but with Paco Boy’s head. And very early on, before he had even run, Darren told me that he thought he was a stakes horse. “He was a terrific horse, very tough, and unlucky not to win a Group 1 as he was beaten only a neck by Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne.” Denniff now has his two-year-old half-sister, Auria, by Muhaarar in training with Balding while Tiana is back in foal to Invincible Spirit. Tiana’s Dubawi yearling filly is catalogued as Lot 495 in Book 1 of this year’s Tattersalls October Sale. “Rather in the same way that Beat The Bank resembled Tiana with his sire’s head, this filly also resembles her dam but with Dubawi’s head,” says Denniff.

BELVOIR BAY 13 f Equiano - Path Of Peace (Rock Of Gibraltar) Sold at Book 2 by Manor House Stud for 20,000gns to Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock The tale of Belvoir Bay is worthy of a film script. Bred by the late Lennie Peacock, the daughter of Equiano was bought for just 20,000gns as a yearling by Peter and Ross Doyle and sent to Richard Hannon, for whom she won second time out at Windsor and a nursery at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Belvoir Bay changed hands to


Beat The Bank: after failing to sell as a foal, this multiple Group 2-winning miler was bought for 30,000gns as a yearling

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23/09/2020 17:51

THE AGA KHAN STUDS Success Breeds Success





DARIYAN Gr.1 winner by Shamardal


Dual Derby winner by Sea The Stars

AgaKhan_Owner_STS_Roster_October_2020Chosen.indd 1

SEA THE STARS Sire of 14 Gr.1 winners & 116 Stakes performers

Sire of Classic winners year after year


Group 1 winning son of Dubawi and Zarkava

23/09/2020 14:31


trained by Charlie Fellowes winning the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot


“Since using Spillers Ulca Power Cubes for some of my horses with issues, their condition has improved immensley along with improved performance.” Charlie Fellowes Karon Brown (North & Scotland) 07860 955 719

Charlotte Mitchell (East) 07776 248 957

Kay Scriven (West & N.I) 07817 132 678 ©Mars, 2020.

Value buys ›› Team Valor and Gary Barber following

that win to continue her career in the US for trainer Bill Mott and then Peter Miller. There she proved to be as versatile as she was talented, capturing stakes on both turf and dirt including the 2018 Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita. However, that particular performance came just months after Belvoir Bay was caught up in the Lilac Fire that tore through the San Luis Rey Training Centre in December 2017. The fire claimed the lives of 46 horses while Belvoir Bay herself went missing for two days. “It was a living nightmare,” Miller was quoted as saying. “I thought I lost her.” Remarkably, Belvoir Bay came back

“She was at 800gns and so I stuck my hand up – no one else did” from that brush with death better than ever, winning a further six stakes including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. “She was bred by a great breeder in Lennie Peacock,” remembers Peter Doyle. “The very first horse I bought off Lennie was 2,000 Guineas winner Tirol and we had lots of success together after him. “Carol Tinkler, who spots for us, found Belvoir Bay at the sales. She is from the family of Bold Arrangement and Please Sing that we know well, and I remember Carol coming to us and saying ‘I’ve found something from your family’. “Belvoir Bay is a lovely, gorgeous filly and we bought her for 20,000gns. We kept 50% and the Keogh family kept the other half. “I remember she won the nursery at Goodwood in a canter – she was Richard Hughes’ last winner at the track – and then we sold her to America through Gordian Troeller. “She wasn’t over big, a sweet filly. But she was very tough – to come back from that fire and to beat the boys in the Breeders’ Cup, she was some filly. I wish they were all like that!” Belvoir Bay returned to auction last November to make $1.5 million to agent Mike Shannon at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale in Kentucky.

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WAY TO PARIS 13 c Champs Elysees - Grey Way (Cozzene) Sold at Book 2 by Highclere Stud for 50,000gns to Ambition Stud Partnership This popular grey has held his own in stakes company for trainers Antonio and Andrea Marcialis for five seasons now and if anything, has been better than ever this year at the age of seven. Already a Group 2 winner and established Group 1 performer, Way To Paris returned from racing’s enforced Covid break in France this summer in fine fettle, running out an emphatic winner of the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly at Deauville before gaining a deserved Group 1 success in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Although below form recently in the Prix Foy, the multiple winner still holds an entry in the Arc.

MILD ILLUSION 17 f Requinto - Mirror Effect (Shamardal) Sold at Book 3 by The Castlebridge Consignment for 1,000gns to Jonny Portman Mild Illusion was one of the great success stories of the 2019 season. Bought for just 1,000gns as a yearling by trainer Jonny Portman, she struck on her third start at Windsor for her enthusiastic owners, the Old Stoic Racing Club, and later followed up in a Salisbury nursery. The tough filly continued to improve with racing. On her seventh start, she ran the smart Under The Stars to a head in the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes before improving again to take the Listed Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket. That turned out to be her final start as sent to the Tattersalls December Sale, she realised 160,000gns to begin her stud career with Tally-Ho Stud. “I had been sent her half-sister, a Dark Angel filly called Mrs Worthington who had cost a fair bit of money,” recalls Portman. “In fairness, I don’t think I would have marked Mild Illusion off in the catalogue had it not been for the Dark Angel filly although I am a fan of Shamardal mares. “Anyway I went to see her. She was a bit small but I remember thinking that there wasn’t anything wrong with her and so I followed her in. She was sitting at 800gns and I thought ‘well

Jonny Portman: ‘Mild Illusion cost nothing, won loads and never gave us any trouble’

this is criminal’ and stuck my hand up at 1,000gns. And no one else did. “We leased her to the Old Stoic Racing Club, a fantastic group of about 25 people, and hatched a plan – her two targets were a Newbury novice that we sponsor in June and the Tattersalls sales race, and she went on to be second, beaten only narrowly, in both.” With an eye on the Bosra Sham Stakes in November, Portman entered her for the Tattersalls December Mares Sale and when she obliged at Newmarket, her connections suddenly had a very commercial prospect on their hands. “Commercially we had to let her go,” says Portman of the 160,000gns sale. “But it’s lovely when a plan does work out. She was a lovely filly, very straightforward, very tough. She cost nothing, won loads and never gave us any trouble in the process.”

TOP RANK 16 c Dark Angel - Countess Ferrama (Authorized) Sold at Book 3 by Cooneen Stud for 26,000gns to Rabbah Bloodstock Chances are we’ll be hearing a lot more about this progressive James Tatetrained miler. Bred by Wicklow Bloodstock, the son of Dark Angel has won five of his six starts for Saeed Manana including most recently the Group 3 Superior Mile at Haydock Park, in which he showed a fine turn of foot to defeat My Oberon. Top Rank holds an entry in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, for which he is a 20/1 shot.


23/09/2020 17:56

ALL EYES ON KEENELAND Keeneland this autumn will be the world epicentre of breeding and racing. The 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships are immediately followed by the Keeneland November Sale, featuring an outstanding group of mares, fillies, foals and horses in training.


NOVEMBER M O N . 9 - W ED. 18

Ed Prosser · European Representative +44 (0) 7808 477827 ·

Keeneland_Full_Owner_October_2020.indd 1

23/09/2020 14:31

Breeders’ Digest

Nancy Sexton Bloodstock Editor

EBF enhancements remain reassuring at this tricky time



ur appalling levels of prizemoney remain a hot topic and deservedly so when you consider what other racing nations, in particular France and America, award their participants. There are, however, several organisations that do continue to work hard behind the scenes to provide some assistance on this, in particular the British European Breeders’ Fund (British EBF), which has contributed over £31.5 million to the sport since 1983. Funded by stallion contributions, the vast majority of which are generated by British-based studs with additional income from those based abroad, its assistance to the sport cannot be taken for granted, particularly in this Covidstricken year. The scheme trustees announced back in May that the British EBF intended to honour its commitment of £1.65 million in prize-money enhancements for the year, a figure that had been originally forecast before Covid-19 hit. Even so, the confirmation last month that it would supplement prize-money for British Flat racing by placing £750,000 – thereby returning all contributions to pre-Covid levels – into the pot still came as very welcome news. In September alone, over £400,000 was added to boost prize-money levels; while all races from class 5 novices and maidens to Listed races and fillies’ handicaps benefited, several races stood

Spright lands the Carrie Red Fillies’ Nursery, enhanced by the EBF and worth £50,000

out and were supported accordingly, notably the Carrie Red Fillies’ Nursery Handicap at Doncaster, worth £50,000 and won by Spright, and a £30,000 class 2 two-year-old maiden also run at Doncaster which was won by the exciting Frankel colt Latest Generation. Such a presence remains reassuring and deserves much credit in this time of uncertainty. Meanwhile, British racing continues to reap the benefits of the Great British Bonus (GBB). At the time of writing, over £700,000 had been paid out in bonuses, a remarkable figure for a scheme that was only launched on June 1.

Along the way, there have been several multiple winners including Blackberry, who has earned her ownerbreeder Simon Chapell an additional £60,000 thanks to victories in three eligible races. The Brazen Beau filly is trained by Bryan Smart, who has been effusive in his praise for the scheme. “Every trainer should be buying GBB fillies for their owners!” he said. “I’ve bought one already this year and will be looking to get back in again.” As envisaged, the GBB scheme is already making a welcome contribution to British racing and should continue to be of valuable assistance to those selling British-bred fillies this October.

YEARLING MARKET BRINGS LEVEL OF STALLION FEES INTO FOCUS The early rounds of European yearling sales paint an unsurprising picture of contracting markets, with turnover falling up to 38% in one instance. Even though the breeze-up sales collectively held up well, it was sadly to be expected that the yearling market would undergo a significant readjustment in response to the Covid situation. Evidence from the various yearling sales to have taken place so far show that while the top end remains robust enough, thanks in particular to a strong demand for wellbred fillies, the middle market has become even trickier, something that does not bode well for the lower end of the industry. That being said, there has been one bright spot so far in the Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale, where 81% of yearlings changed hands for a total of 2,341,350gns. That figure was a major rise on last year while the average and median both

Oct_194_BreedersDigest.indd 39

recorded increases of 13% and 5% respectively. Crucially, it was a sale that also featured a number of trainers happy to buy on spec. Even so, it’s still low end stuff and for all that the various vendors I spoke to were relieved to have moved on stock, it remains the case that very few horses – around 25% – will have covered their production costs. It will be interesting to see how stallion masters play the current situation. Even when Covid wasn’t hanging over us, there were consistent grumblings from breeders that stallion fees were too high. Now, surely, studs will have to react. For many, the health of the Tattersalls October Sale, a true barometer of the European yearling market, is going to be the deciding factor but it already seems inevitable and only right that a significant proportion of fees are lowered for 2021.


23/09/2020 15:02

ULYSSES A Legend in the Making Exceptional first crop yearlings selling at TATTERSALLS OCTOBER SALES include:

Half brothers to Gr.1 winners INTEGRAL and MUTUAL TRUST A half sister to Gr.3 winners SUBJECTIVIST and SIR RON PRIESTLEY A colt out of a winning and Stakes placed full sister to ALMANZOR Colts out of half sisters to Gr.1 winners HELLO YOUMZAIN, GOLDEN HORDE, SOLDIER HOLLOW and ECHELON

Fillies out of half sisters to Gr.1 winners SIMPLY PERFECT and VIRTUAL

A colt from the stallion family of


Be part of his success story

Cheveley Park Stud Tel: +44 (0)1638 730316 • L@CPStudOfficial

Ulysses_Owner_Oct20.indd 1

23/09/2020 14:35

Sales Circuit • By Carl Evans

Arqana Select Yearling Sale


A sale at Deauville in September may not be quite as big a draw as Deauville with racing in August, but that did not stop some big-money transactions from taking place at this three-day auction. Arqana’s Select Yearling Sale – effectively a replacement for its August and V2 auctions which were shelved due to Coronavirus – gave French

This Dubawi filly will race for Sheikh Nasser Al Khalifa after selling for €2.5 million

breeders a chance to put stock on public view, but not before it was buffeted around like a balloon in a storm. Initially slated to be held in late September, it was brought forward two weeks to give visitors from Britain and Ireland a chance to return home, self-isolate, and be clear to attend Goffs’ rearranged Sportsman’s and Orby Sales, which had been moved to Doncaster. It was then moved back a day to provide clear water with Tattersalls’ Ascot Yearling Sale, which had been moved forward by 24 hours. When the 2020 sales year is reviewed it will be remarkable if anyone can accurately list all the changes, sub-changes, new events and cancellations. A €2.5 million Dubawi filly who headed trade on day two proved to be the star lot as she became another memorable landmark for her consignors at Ecurie Des Monceaux. Foaled by now 11-year-old Starlet’s Sister, a daughter of Galileo, and therefore a half-sister to

TALKING POINTS • Britain and Ireland’s racing scene is being ravaged by the Covid-19 ban on paying spectators with who-knows-what long-term financial implications, but the appeal of its bloodstock continues to draw in high rollers – particularly from the Middle East. Dubai’s heavyweight involvement in buying, selling, breeding and racing horses in this corner of the globe has effectively been running since Hatta’s win for Sheikh Mohammed at Brighton in June 1977, while Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Abdullah, the founder of Juddmonte Farms, is revered as the height of breeding and racing excellence. Many of his countrymen are investors and racing owners. Imad Al Sagar’s Blue Diamond Racing [of Derby winner Authorized fame] is Kuwait’s biggest European player, while Qatar’s twin peaks are Qatar Racing, driven by Sheikh Fahad, and Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab Racing. Now Bahrain is getting involved. Last year it staged the first Bahrain Trophy, a £500,000 race open to horses from around the world and well-patronised by European runners, while affluent citizens of that country are now becoming key bidders at auctions and owners of racehorses in Europe. The Dubawi filly’s €2.5m sale at Arqana to Sheikh Nasser was the latest high-profile example, while his nephew, Sheikh Isa, is a key fan of racing and a leading figure in the running of Bahrain racing. Sheikh Sultan, another member of Bahrain’s royal family, is the owner of Group 1 sprinter Golden Horde. • The de Chambure family of Haras d’Etreham may have sold the stud’s no.1 stallion Wootton Bassett to Coolmore, but they can offer breeders that sire’s son Almanzor. A better racehorse than his sire, Almanzor was responsible for 19 yearlings who sold at Arqana, including 12 who made a six-figure sum. Their average price was €126,789, a fine return on his €35,000 stallion fee.


Top end holds up but clouds loom as middle markets flag

Coolmore’s MV Magnier went to €2 million to land the latest yearling out of Prudenzia

multiple Grade 1 winner Sistercharlie and also to Prix du Jockey-Club winner Sottsass, the filly was knocked down to agent Oliver St Lawrence and his client Fawzi Nass, although they were acting for Sheikh Nasser Al Khalifa, a son of the king of Bahrain. Sheikh Nasser, a keen endurance racer, is married to Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter Princess Shaikha of Dubai. Ironically it was Princess Shaikha’s father, bidding through Anthony Stroud, who proved to be underbidder for the filly, who now goes into training with Roger Varian in Newmarket. Ecurie Des Monceaux also sold the second-highest lot, a €2m colt by Galileo out of Prudenzia, whose 2019 Dubawi filly headed Arqana’s August Sale last year when selling to Godolphin for €1.625m. MV Magnier of Coolmore signed for Prudenzia’s latest yearling, a full-brother to top-class Magic Wand, while Stroud struck for Godolphin when gaining a son of Kingman from Haras Des Capucines for €1.1m. Monceaux’s large draft and quality stock saw it take the leading vendor title, with 32 sold for €10,682,000 – Capucines was second with 31 sold for €4,006,000. Oliver St Lawrence’s purchase of five lots for €3,530,000 meant he became the leading purchaser, while Dubawi finished ahead of Galileo as the leading sire with four sold for €3,480,000 at an average of €870,000.


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23/09/2020 17:20

Sales Circuit Arqana Select Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


f Dubawi - Starlet’s Sister



Price (€)

Oliver St Lawrence


c Galileo – Prudenzia



MV Magnier

c Kingman – Speralita



Godolphin SNC

f Siyouni – Polygreen



Jean-Claude Rouget

f Frankel – Militante



Chauvigny Global Equine

f Dubawi - Daytona Bay

Baroda Stud



f Motivator – Trevise



Chantilly Bloodstock

c Lope De Vega - Attractive Lady



Chauvigny Global Equine

c Galileo - Golden Valentine



David Redvers

c Lope De Vega - Foreign Legionary



Michael Kinane

Figures Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)







BBAG September Yearling Sale

A filly who would have made a big sum at any auction gave Germany’s premier yearling sale a headline act. Her presence and record-equalling €820,000 valuation headed a level of trade which has to be viewed as very acceptable given the shackles of a pandemic. BBAG Managing Director Klaus Eulenberger’s post-sale summary reflected that when he said: “We are delighted and relieved that we were able to hold a sale in as normal circumstances as possible, and one that really had the feel of a normal sale and defied Covid-19.” Being staged on its original date was a favourable start, and while a number of big-name buyers were absent or opted not to invest, the catalogue’s many quality horses were not short of fans. The figures were down, with a 21% decline in turnover (€6,460,500), a 26% cut in the average price (€41,446) and 29% median fall. However, the 2019 sale recorded significant rises, and trade simply returned to the 2018 level. The clearance rate at the latest rendition dipped eight points when achieving 66%, but that has to be set alongside restrictions for some travellers – and not forgetting the need for vulnerable people to avoid any risk of catching Covid-19. It could also be said the nature of a typical German yearling catalogue (long on middle-distance pedigrees) would be another negative at a time when quick returns are bound to

be of greater relevance. The belle of the ball this year was odds-on to achieve that slot before the sale opened, and she duly lived up to her billing when knocked down to Dietrich Von Boetticher’s Gestut Ammerland. A Sea The Stars full-sister to the progressive young sire Sea The Moon, she was offered by her breeders at Gestut Gorlsdorf, the husband-andwife team of Niko Lafrentz and Heike Bischoff-Lafrentz. They bought her dam, Sanwa – a Monsun sister to German stars Samum, Schiaparelli and Salve Regina – outside the ring at the 2010 December Sale for 175,000gns when she was carrying to new sire Sea The Stars. The resulting foal was German Derby winner Sea The Moon, who now resides at Lanwades Stud in Newmarket, and it is possible his younger sibling will join him in the town. Dr Dominique Rauch, Ammerland’s stud manager, said the filly could go into training with John Gosden or Andre Fabre. Sanwa’s daughter’s valuation equalled the sale’s top price, one that was set last year by another Sea The Stars filly who was bought by Godolphin. Unfortunately for BBAG, Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding operation opted not to buy on this occasion having spent a total of €2,050,000 on four horses last year. Coolmore was similarly absent, as was Oliver St Lawrence, who has been in active mode for Bahraini clients in recent

TALKING POINT • Pinhookers Roger Marley and John Cullinan – of Church Farm and Horse Park Stud respectively – gave a sign of their confidence in next year’s breeze-up sales when together they bought three horses at BBAG for €147,000. Marley also picked up three last year for €124,000, so not a significantly different figure until you consider the limitations that Covid-19 has placed upon racing, bloodstock sales and a raft of other industries. months and had bought Arqana’s €2.5m top lot. Agents Peter and Ross Doyle and the Hong Kong Jockey Club have played in the past, but opted not to on this occasion. British buyers, with no request to self-isolate in Germany or upon their return home, made their presence felt, none more so than bloodstock agent Alex Elliott, who upped his spend from €101,000 in 2019 to €471,000 when securing three lots. Elliott’s pick was a €380,000 Sea The Stars’ filly offered by Jamie Railton, while Matt Coleman secured a Sea The Moon colt for €260,000 and David Redvers contributed €160,000 to turnover when buying a Fastnet Rock filly from Haus Ittlingen.


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BBAG September Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (€)


f Sea The Stars – Sanwa

Gestut Gorlsdorf


Ammerland GmbH

f Sea The Stars – Ashiana

Jamie Railton


Alex Elliott

f Lope De Vega – Diatribe

Gestut Roettgen


Broadhurst Agency

c Sea The Moon – Wunder

Gestut Gorlsdorf


Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

c Fastnet Rock – Daksha

Hof Ittlingen


Meridian International

Three-year tale Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)



















Launched in 2017 and away to a good start after some excellent racecourse results, this sale seemed likely to suffer from this year’s upheavals to racing and the sales calendar. It had been torn away from its home at Ascot and marched off to Newmarket, and since many experts have predicted tough times for lowerto-middle tier yearlings it would surely feel the chill. Not a bit of it. A record top price of 58,000gns, while relatively low-key, was a welcome bonus, and although turnover was always likely to rise given an extra 90 horses in the catalogue, few could have expected gains in the average and median prices. After withdrawals, 250 horses were offered (exactly 90 more than last year) and 203 (81%) found a buyer. That was a two points rise in the clearance rate, which had gained six points last year. After converting Guineas into Pounds, turnover of £2,458,418 was up £1 million (81%), while the average price of £12,110 was up 13% and a median of £8,400 was a rise of 5%. Whether these good results were down to the Newmarket effect or because the likes of Miss Amulet and Steel Bull have become leading twoyear-olds after selling for minor money at Ascot last year it is hard to know, but it will be interesting to see if the event returns to Ascot or remains at Tattersalls’ Park Paddocks headquarters in 2021. Derek and Gay Veitch’s Ringfort

Oct_194_SaleCircuit.indd 43


Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale

This Profitable filly was the highlight of the Tattersalls Ascot Sale, selling for 58,000gns



• Breeders have to be realistic and cull mares when their offspring fail to woo judges in the ring. With that in mind Derek and Gay Veitch of County Offaly’s Ringfort Stud offered Shena’s Dream, by Oasis Dream, at last year’s Tattersalls December Sale, having bought her at the same event seven years earlier as a three-yearold for 20,000gns. Sales of her foals at public auction failed to recoup that sum, and when offered last year she was bought by Italian interests for just 1,200gns. Then her 2018 foal, a filly by Sir Prancealot who had been sold by Ringfort as a weanling for just €1,000 before being resold to the BBA Ireland at Tattersalls’ Ascot Yearling Sale for £7,500, started racing in the name of Miss Amulet from Ken Condon’s stable, and by the end of August had won three races, including a Listed event and the Lowther Stakes at York. Ouch, that must have hurt the Veitches, but at least they still had Shena’s Dream’s 2019 colt by El Kabeir who they had not offered as a foal. With his big sister doing so well he was highly likely to come good when going through the ring at Tattersalls Ascot Sale and duly made 45,000gns. It took eight years, but eventually that €20,000 investment in his dam came good.


23/09/2020 17:20

Sales Circuit ›› Stud was the toast of this year’s sale

after parting with two of the top three lots. They included the sale-high, a 58,000gns filly from the first crop of Kildangan Stud sire Profitable, whose €12,000 fee meant this was a profitable transaction for the Veitches. It had been on the cards once Sheikh Hamdan’s colt Minzaal won the Gimcrack Stakes, for his

dam Pardoven and the filly’s dam Sassy Gal are half-sisters. Kevin Ross, acting for Paul and Clare Rooney, bought Sassy Gal’s daughter, while Nick Bell, acting for his father, Newmarket trainer Michael Bell, bought a Ringfort-consigned daughter of new sire El Kabeir who made 45,000gns. She was a half-sister to the aforementioned

Miss Amulet, who made a paltry £7,500 at this sale 12 months earlier. Other notable sales during the day included one of 47,000gns, the sum paid by Aidan O’Ryan and Richard Fahey for a son of first-crop sire Mondialiste, who stands at the late Geoff Turnbull’s Elwick Stud. Turnbull died after a short illness in July.

Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (gns)

f Profitable - Sassy Gal

Ringfort Stud


Buyer Kevin Ross Bloodstock

c Mondialiste - Break Free

Norris Bloodstock


Aidan O’Ryan/Richard Fahey

f El Kabeir - Shena’s Dream

Ringfort Stud


Nick Bell/Michael Bell

f Night Of Thunder – Operettist

Houghton Bloodstock


Joe Foley

f Ardad – Poesy

Corps Commerce/Britton House Stud


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

Three-year tale Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)



















These are challenging times in which to establish a new event, but this one gained further traction when taking place for the second time. The figures were down, with the exception of the median price which rose five per cent to £21,000, but Dave Futter of Yorton Farm Stud was in typically ebullient form at the post-sale debriefing. Sticking to his game plan, Futter said the event needed to be judged over a five-year period to give racecourse results a chance to take effect, and he was delighted with a 78% clearance rate. “We are in the middle of a pandemic yet we are selling horses,” said Futter, who had looked on as Goffs UK’s George Stanners found buyers for 28 of 36 unbroken jumping stores. “We will stage this sale again next year,” added Futter. The key difference between Yorton’s event and other UK and Ireland store auctions – apart from the fact that it takes place on a private stud and not at an auction house – is that the lots are all yearlings or two-year-olds, when most jumping stores that go under the hammer these days are foals or three-year-olds. Yorton Stud, or people associated with it such as the owners


Goffs UK Yorton Sale

George Stanners oversees the sale of the sale-topping Blue Bresil colt for £60,000

of the premises, James and Jean Potter, either bred the stock that is in the catalogue, or purchased it with a view to reselling at this event. The second edition was short of a

few buyers from France and Ireland – kept away by travel restrictions or the unsold stock they currently retain due to Covid-19’s impact – yet both countries got onto the scoresheet, and


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British trainers were well represented. Nicky Henderson secured the top lot, a £60,000 yearling son of Blue Bresil, while racehorse and racecourse owner Dai Walters paid £50,000 for the top two-year-old, a gelding by Maxios. Futter and agent Richard Venn had

bought that horse for €22,000 at Baden-Baden last year. Irish point-to-point trainers bought several lots last year, but while they were absent this time Peter Molony of Rathmore Stud secured four horses for a total of £70,000, headed by a Blue

Bresil filly who made £30,000. The quartet are likely to be resold at Goffs’ Land Rover Sale next year said Molony. Turnover on the day was down just over £100,000 at £602,000, a fall of 15%, while the average price was clipped 12% when achieving £21,500.

Goffs UK Yorton Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


c Blue Bresil – Hora

Yorton Farm Stud

Price (£) 60,000

Buyer Highflyer/Nicky Henderson

g Maxios – Champaka

Yorton Farm Stud


Walters Plant Hire

g Blue Bresil - Land Of Vic

Yorton Farm Stud


Brian Griffiths

f Blue Bresil – Madam Fontaine

Yorton Farm Stud


Rathmore Stud

f Clovis Du Berlais – More Like That

Yorton Farm Stud


Tom Malone

Two-year tale Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)













Dispersals may generate an air of poignancy and be tough on trainers who are losing horses, but they are good for sales companies and provide other owners with a chance to buy talented stock. At this one-day, horses-in-training sale – which last year was a twosession event with one exclusively for yearlings – there were two dispersals. The Gigginstown House Stud version is taking place over several years following Michael O’Leary’s decision not to buy fresh stock, while octogenarian property tycoon Trevor Hemmings’ decision to reduce his team of jumpers was said to be down to his age and an acceptance that, due to Covid-19, he could not be sure of attending when they are in action at racecourses. Goffs UK’s Doncaster venue tends to be the first-choice location for such culls of quality jumpers, benefitting as it did at this sale last year when Paul and Clare Rooney pruned their team and Gigginstown did likewise. This time the horses linked to Hemmings’ Lancashire-based Gleadhill House Stud and O’Leary’s Gigginstown draft headed the top-ten board. Hemmings’ homebred Stoney Mountain, a seven-year-old son of Mountain High, led the field when knocked down to agent Tom Malone for £140,000 on his way to a stable

Oct_194_SaleCircuit.indd 45


Goffs UK September Sale

Stoney Mountain, a member of the Trevor Hemmings draft, led proceedings at £140,000

with Lambourn trainer Jamie Snowden. Malone signed for the horse in his name and that of Anita Gillies, who is the new owner. Stoney Mountain proved a useful hurdler for Henry Daly’s stable, winning a Grade 3 staying event at Haydock last season and gaining an official rating of 142, although his next targets will

be novices’ chases, said Malone. Four Hemmings’ horses were consigned from Daly’s Shropshire yard, generating £226,000 in turnover, while another 16 were listed under Gleadhill House – they added £140,000 to the day’s takings. Gordon Elliott is no stranger to Gigginstown House horses for he trains many of them, but not the solid



23/09/2020 17:20

Sales Circuit ›› all-rounder Petit Mouchoir who has

been carrying O’Leary’s colours from the yards of Willie Mullins and, more recently, Henry De Bromhead. Now a nine-year-old, rated 155, with earnings of more than £450,000 and recently a close third of 19 in the Galway Hurdle, Petit Mouchoir has now joined Elliott’s

yard for a new owner after being sold to agent Mouse O’Ryan for £70,000 – that could look cheap in time. Gigginstown parted with 17 horses for £429,200, while Godolphin’s usual draft of young or unraced Flat horses resulted in 22 lots turning over £235,800. Direct comparisons with last

year’s sale are of little value given the additional session of yearlings which was included in 2019’s figures, but Goffs UK and its vendors would have been delighted with the latest sale’s 91% clearance rate. Turnover reached £2,731,200 at an average of £12,358 and a median of £6,000.

Goffs UK September Sale Top lots Name/sex/breeding


Price (£)


Stoney Mountain g Mountain High - Cherry Pie

Gleadhill House Stud


Tom Malone/Anita Gillies

Petit Mouchoir g Al Namix – Arnette

Gigginstown House


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

Dommage Pour Toi g Magadan - Phenyl Des Mottes

Gigginstown House


Durcan Bloodstock

Mengli Khan g Lope De Vega – Danielli

Gigginstown House


Highflyer Bloodstock

Burbank g Yeats - Spring Swoon

Gleadhill House Stud


James Moffatt

Three-year tale Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)



















The North American yearling season finally got underway in Lexington, Kentucky, with the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, a melting pot of yearlings originally scheduled to head to either the auction house’s July Select, Saratoga or New York-bred auctions, writes Nancy Sexton. Little has been normal in these Covid months and indeed, with the glamour of Saratoga and that early dip into a July market missing from 2020, this was not the opener to the season that had been envisaged when breeders had been making their plans back in early spring. Instead, there was relief that sales houses were able to stage an outlet for breeders to shift their stock and as the sale progressed, a dose of realism from participants to meet expectations and match a tepid market that did not benefit from investment by the Maktoum family. There was, however, a welcome demand for elite stock. Two seven-figure transactions led the way, headed by a Quality Road filly out of Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Marvellous who sold for $1.5 million to Robbie Medina. Top billing among the colts belonged to a representative from the third crop of Triple Crown hero American


Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase

Joseph Allen will race this Quality Road filly, a relation to Gleneagles bought for $1.5 million

Pharoah, who made $1.25 million to Speedway Stables. All told, the two-day sale saw 348 yearlings – 66.3% of those offered – sell for a total of $61,765,000 and average of $177,486. The median was $120,000. As a measure against last year, those

three sales combined grossed $90.4 million in 2019 for an average of $172,788. As her price tag suggests, the sale-topping Quality Road filly boasted a pedigree that translates all over the world. Bred in Kentucky by the Coolmoreaffiliated Orpendale, Chelston and



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winner 100. German 1.000 Guineas, Gr.2

Classic contenders Miss Yoda

winner 162. Henkel-Preis der Diana - German Oaks, Gr. 1

Talk to us and we will assist you!

October Mixed Sales 16th and 17th October 2020

Sales Circuit Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency, she is out of the 2014 Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Marvellous, already dam of the Listed winner Fort Myers. In turn, Marvellous is a Galileo sister to the Classic and/or Group 1 winners Gleneagles and Happily, and out of blue hen You’resothrilling, a Group 2-winning sister to Giant’s Causeway. The family also includes multiple Group 1 winner Decorated Knight. Robbie Medina, a former assistant to trainer Shug McGaughey who now operates Blackwood Training Center in Kentucky, signed the ticket on behalf of War Front’s owner-breeder Joseph Allen. Agent Marette Farrell, bidding on behalf of K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor’s Speedway Stables, came out on top for the $1.25 million American Pharoah colt after fighting off interest from representatives of Coolmore and agent Donato Lanni. Sold by Denali Stud, the colt was bred by Bayne and Christina Welker out of Listed winner Swingit, a daughter of Victory Gallop whose previous offspring


›› Wynatt and sold through John Sikura’s

Demi O’Byrne: agent purchased $1.535 million worth of stock

include the Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup third Neolithic. Boosted by the colt’s sale, Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud ended the sale as the leading consignor thanks to 23 sold for a total of $5.303 million. Lanni, working on behalf of the powerful buying group of SF, Starlight and Madaket, the forces behind Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, had better luck

in his pursuit of a colt by sire-of-themoment Into Mischief. The agent went to $800,000 to secure the youngster, who is out of the Distorted Humor mare Blind Copy. With eight bought for a total of $3.29 million, the partnership wound up as the sale’s leading buyers. Demi O’Byrne, who only last month launched O’Byrne & Grassick International Bloodstock Agency with Sean Grassick, was also active throughout the sale, spending $1.535 million on four yearlings, primarily on behalf of owner Peter Brant. They were led by a $700,000 Into Mischief half-brother to Grade 2 winner Made You Look from the blue-blooded family of American champion Serena’s Song. There was also a European flavour to the sale in the presence of a Kingman filly who made $500,000 to her part-breeder Mick Ruis. Ruis bought out his partner Christian Black in the filly and plans to campaign her with his daughter, trainer Shelbe Ruis, at Santa Anita Park in California.

Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase Top lots Sex/breeding


Price ($)


f Quality Road - Marvellous

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency


c American Pharoah - Swingit

Denali Stud


c Into Mischief - Blind Copy

Indian Creek, agent


Donato Lanni, agent for SF/Starlight/Madaket

f Curlin - Our Khrysty

Blue Heaven Farm


Donato Lanni, agent for SF/Starlight/Madaket

f War Front - Miss Chatelaine

Brookdale Sales, agent


Dr Dermot O’Byrne

Robbie Medina, agent Speedway Stables

Figures Year


Agg ($)

Average ($)

Median ($)

Top price ($)







From Fasig-Tipton, the American sales action moved across town for the marathon Keeneland September Sale, writes Nancy Sexton. Comprising 4,272 yearlings, the sale annually acts as a true barometer of the market and unsurprisingly, it was not all plain sailing during the opening sessions, with a low enough clearance rate and large number of withdrawals marring the two-day elite Book 1 catalogue. However, as at Fasig-Tipton, the top end of the market was ultimately robust. Indeed, a frenzied final half hour of trading during the second session consisted of four million dollar yearlings, among them the $2 million sale-topping



Keeneland September Sale Book 1

David Anderson enjoyed a big score as the vendor of this $1.6 million Medaglia d’Oro filly


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Sales Circuit ›› son of Gainesway Farm’s stalwart sire


Tapit. “For 30 minutes at the end of the sale we felt like there was no Covid,” commented Shannon Arvin, Keeneland’s President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales. In addition, any pre-sale jitters that the sale would pass without any participation from the Maktoum family - Godolphin and Shadwell spent approximately $27 million between them in 2019 - were eased when Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company jumped in during the second day to purchase three yearlings worth $2.475 million. They included a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to Sergei Profokiev, who cost $1.6 million. However, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin, last year’s leading buyer, did not make a single purchase. Nor did the Maktoum-affiliated Rabbah Bloodstock. Overall, 209 horses sold over the two sessions for a total of $85,215,000, an average of $407,727 and median of $330,000. Although last year’s top level of $8.2 million was never threatened, 14 yearlings sold for $1 million or more and were bought by 13 different domestic and international buyers. Given the differing nature of this year’s catalogue, direct year-to-year comparisons were not strictly

A Tapit colt out of Grade 1 winner Tara’s Tango topped the sale at $2 million

applicable. However, as a measure against 2019, when Book 1 consisted of three sessions, the average checked in 14% behind the corresponding figure. More encouraging was the median, which fell only 7% adrift of 2019.

The sticky spot was the clearance rate of 60.4%. The sale-topping son of Tapit was bred by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Bred & Raised out of the top-class racemare Tara’s Tango, whose five wins included the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes. He was sold through Eaton Sales. His sale was one of a number in Kentucky that week to highlight the growing popularity of partnerships within American racing. They have been seen to good effect this year by the Kentucky Derby hero Authentic, who belongs to a group that includes Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC and SF Bloodstock. Nicknamed ‘The Avengers’ by trainer Bob Baffert, that group was busy shopping again in September through agent Donato Lanni. However, it was another high-profile partnership, that of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta, Gainesway and Winchell Thoroughbreds, who came away with the $2 million Tapit colt. “Partnerships are so prevalent in today’s market,” said Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbreds. “It is wild to think how far partnerships have come. We had a fabulous relationship with Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable going back to when Eclipse first started. To


Keeneland September Sale - Book 1 Top lots Sex/breeding


c Tapit - Tara’s Tango

Eaton Sales, agent


Price ($)

Buyer Eclipse, LaPenta, Gainesway, Winchell Thoroughbreds

f Into Mischief - Taylor S

Taylor Made Sales Agency


OXO Equine LLC

f Medaglia d’Oro - Orchard Beach

Anderson Farms


Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd

f Medaglia d’Oro - Theycallemladyluck

Baccari Bloodstock


Robbie Medina, agent

f Tapit - Embellish The Lace

Bluewater Sales LLC


Claiborne Farm, agent

c Curlin - Midnight Lucky

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency


Repole, St. Elias, Gainesway, J. Oxley

f American Pharoah - Modification

Betz Thoroughbreds


Mike G. Rutherford

f Medaglia d’Oro - Baffled

Denali Stud, agent


Whisper Hill Farm LLC

f Medaglia d’Oro - Thirteen Arrows

Indian Creek, agent


What Time Is It Racing - Oracle Bloodstock

f War Front - Chatham

Stone Farm


Mike Ryan, agent

Three-year tale Year


Agg ($)

Average ($)

Median ($)

Top price ($)



















*three days. **four days


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

A LEADING EUROPEAN FIRST CROP SIRE IN 2020 • ONLY 3YO EVER to win Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint • Won 6 races at 2, 3 and 5 years and $1,424,417 in the USA and Ireland – all on Turf • Sire of 8 individual first crop 2yo winners of 13 races (to 22nd Sep. 2020) • Only stallion son of KITTEN’S JOY (Champion Turf racehorse and multiple US Champion sire) in England and Ireland


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

A LEADING EUROPEAN SIRE IN 2020 • Sire of 25 individual Black-type horses to date including: ALPINE STAR (Gr.1 winner at 3 in 2020 and Gr.2 winner at 2) QUEST THE MOON (Gr.2 winner and Gr.1-placed in 2020, and Gr.3 winner x 2) WONDERFUL MOON (Gr.2 and Gr.3 winner in 2020, and Gr.3 winner at 2) • Sire of 2 Champion 2yo’s in Germany. • Amongst the top European sires in 2020 with 8.33% Black-type winners to runners


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

A POTENT MIX OF SPEED & STAMINA • Undefeated Champion 2yo; Champion 3yo and Derby winner • Sire of 47 individual Stakes horses including Gr.1 winners WAKE FOREST and SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD, & BERKSHIRE ROCCO (Gr.1 Classic & Gr.2-placed in 2020) • Sire of 83 lifetime individual 2yo winners • The last respresentative of the MILL REEF sire line at stud in England and Ireland


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

SON AND GRANDSON OF LEGENDS • Winner of 3 races at 2 & 3, over 1600m - 2100m, including the ‘Stallion Making’ Gr.1 French Derby and £1,033,142 • Only son of DEEP IMPACT (Japanese Super-Sire and multiple Champion) at stud in England

First Foals 2021

• A grandson of the Racing/Breeding Legend MIESQUE, a dual Classic winner and dam of Classic winners KINGMAMBO, EAST OF THE MOON, etc.

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23/09/2020 16:02

Sales Circuit evolved and that now we as a partnership company are partnering with moguls in the industry. It speaks volumes.” Outside the sale-topper, it was a market driven by demand for well-bred fillies. Overall, 11 fillies broke the milliondollar barrier led by a daughter of Into Mischief out of minor stakes winner Taylor S. Larry Best’s affinity for Into Mischief is no secret and it was no surprise to see the OXO Equine LLC owner come out on top for the filly, who was bred by Albaugh Family Stables out of their excellent Miss Macy Sue family and sold through Taylor Made Sales Agency. “Book 1 has been unbelievably strong,” said Best, who also paid $1 million for an Into Mischief colt. “It blew away my expectations. Keeneland should be very happy.” Darley’s Medaglia d’Oro also enjoyed a good sale as the sire of four sevenfigure lots including the $1.6 million half-sister to Cornwallis Stakes winner Sergei Profokiev bred in Canada by

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Rick Nichols: purchased three yearlings on behalf of Shadwell Farm in Book 1

David Anderson. Rick Nichols, Vice President and General manager of Shadwell Farm, signed for the filly and suggested that she could race in the US rather than head to Europe. “Sheikh Hamdan told me to try to concentrate on getting some really nice fillies,” he said. “We send all of our good fillies to England, and he keeps promising to send them back [but he doesn’t].


“Our broodmare band is starting to get a little old, and we need to rejuvenate it a little bit. I am pretty sure she will stay [in the US] because the Medaglia d’Oros seem to do better here.” European participation was muted although Joseph O’Brien is set to take charge of a Kitten’s Joy filly purchased for $800,000 by Scott Heider, owner of last month’s Park Hill Stakes winner Pista. Jamie McCalmont also spent a total of $1.2 million on a pair of colts by Uncle Mo on behalf of MV Magnier. Among the other European-based agents, David Redvers signed at $625,000 for a daughter of Curlin who is related to Qatar Racing’s Kentucky Oaks heroine Shedaresthedevil while Joseph Burke went to $200,000 for a Caravaggio relation to Irish Derby runner-up Tiger Moth. The colt was one of three to sell by his sire over the first book for an average of $300,000. Fellow Coolmore first-crop sire Churchill was also represented by a colt who made $180,000 to Winchell Thoroughbreds.

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23/09/2020 15:07

ROA Forum

The special section for ROA members

Race programme updates T he ROA has received a high level of calls and emails from members in recent months around what they can expect in terms of the race programme and future race options for their horses in training. Naturally, owners want to know what opportunities will exist for their horse(s) while they are considering their campaign for the season with their trainer. A particular point of frustration for owners at present is when a horse is balloted out, especially where this happens multiple times. We are listening to members and providing feedback to the Resumption in Racing Group. Every effort is being made to avoid pinch points. The BHA is continuing to closely monitor eliminations and where necessary provide additional opportunities. Owners struggling with a particular horse are encouraged to ask their trainer to contact race planning through the race planning forum on NRAS. ROA Chief Executive Charlie Liverton said: “It is really important that we hear from owners whose horses are consistently balloted out in order that we can understand where there might be gaps in the race programme. We can then work with our industry colleagues at the BHA to try and limit this scenario as far as possible. The retention of owners is critical at the moment and only by understanding owners’ frustrations such as this can we work to mitigate such situations.” Owners whose horses have been impacted by balloting out can also report this via the ROA website link at and we will share details with the BHA. Alternatively, owners can call the racing department at the BHA. We understand owners want to know racing options in good time to make plans for their horse’s season. Fixtures up to the end of this year can be found on the Racing Admin website at www2. and the fixture list from January 1 should be available in early October.

The handicap qualification system will return to the three-run rule on January 1

has confirmed that from January 1, the rules will return to a general three-run policy, with most horses required to run three times before being eligible for a handicap rating. The exception to this rule will be for horses that win on their racecourse debut will continue to be eligible for a handicap rating after their second run, irrespective of placing. As a result of these changes, with the exception of horses that won on their debut, twice-raced horses that qualified for a handicap mark under the 2020 two-run criteria will not be eligible for a rating from January 1. In such cases, the previously awarded mark will no longer apply and these horses will be required to run for a third time before being eligible for a handicap rating. These changes were announced last month to provide owners and trainers with sufficient notice to plan their autumn campaigns, ahead of the updated requirements coming into effect next year. It remains the case that horses must run at least three times to qualify for

more valuable handicaps (total race value of £45,000 or more).

2-y-o novice and maiden races

From the beginning of the next Flat season, changes will be made to the two-year-old novice and maiden programme, which will see restricted races merged into one race type. This aims to increase the number of races available for each horse to run in, whilst also providing a suitable balance of opportunities across the race programme for different types of horses. Horses can qualify for these races through their auction value, or, if they have no auction value, their median auction value. This means that there will no longer be two-year-old auction or median auction races, but instead, five classes of novice or maiden race as shown in the table below: The exact value thresholds for the restricted race bands will be finalised in early December, following a review of the autumn sales. However, using the values in the table as an example, the

Flat handicap qualification

Following the delay to the 2020 Flat season, changes were made to the handicap requirements to help more horses become eligible for a rating after just two runs. Having reviewed this interim measure, the industry’s racing group


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race conditions for a Band C restricted novice or maiden race would be as follows: Open to two-year-old novice horses which: • Sold at auction for no more than £30,000 • Or, if they were not sold at auction, whose sire has a median price of no more than £25,000 In addition, any horse running in a Band A-D restricted race will receive a 2lb weight allowance for each band it runs in above that which it is qualified for. For example, a horse that was sold for a value of £10,000 would receive a 4lb allowance when running in a Band B restricted race. Similarly, a horse that had no auction value but with a median value of £33,000 would receive a 2lb allowance when running in a Band A restricted race because it qualifies for a Band B restricted race. No weight allowances would be given in open novice and maiden races on account of banding.

0-50 classified races

As agreed by the industry’s racing group, efforts have been made this year to create a more clearly defined programme at the bottom end for Flat horses. This saw the removal of Class 7 handicaps and the introduction of a programme of 0-50 classified races, targeted at times of the year when they could be included in the programme. Despite greater than normal pressure on the number of races due to the Covid-19 situation, there have been 62 such races to date, which feature an elimination sequence designed to favour the less experienced horse. As we move into the busy autumn period, these races will no longer feature. The lowest-rated races will be 46-55 handicaps, which are likely to see lower-rated horses eliminated more frequently. The 0-50 races will return in January and continue into February and March, as demand for opportunities at higher levels begins to subside.

Sire and dam restricted races

Following discussion at the latest meeting of the Racing Group, the number of sire and dam restricted races has been reduced from 15 to eight. Whilst these are still seen as important opportunities for the staying horse, it was felt, on balance, that increasing the number of opportunities open to all was also a key consideration.

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Amateur programme

Due to the Covid-19 situation, it has not been possible to programme the number of amateur races that would normally be seen in the autumn programme. The BHA Racing Department continues to work with racecourses and the AJA to improve this programme.

Race planning forum

Trainers can feedback any questions about the race programme, or requests for additional opportunities for their horses, via the industry’s race planning forum on the Racing Admin website. Trainers looking for suitable races are encouraged to use the forum, and the BHA racing team will look into available options.

2020 Flat Pattern programme

This year’s Flat Pattern and Listed race programme has returned to the original schedule for 2020. BHA do not envisage any significant alterations to this schedule, but will update participants accordingly and in a timely manner should plans need to be adjusted. The full race programme for 2020 is available to view on Racing Admin.

Ownership communications

In recent months the racing industry has expanded its cross-industry communication with owners. With three stakeholders, we strongly recommend that owners, whether they are members of the ROA or not, check their correct contact details are registered on three websites, to ensure they do not miss out on any important communications around badge allocations, news and guidance for owners. ROA: – news, support and resources for owners. We have been sending members a daily bulletin to support racing behind closed doors, including racecards for each day’s racing and digital Racing Calendar. PASS: – RCA portal that sends communications to registered owners at entry and declaration stage with news on badge allocations and facilitates and prebooking of owners badges when you have a runner. In the case of a syndicate, communications are sent to the syndicate manager. Racing Admin: www2.racingadmin. – BHA portal for the racing industry. Allows owners to manage ownership experience online, view fixtures and notices.

GET SALES SAVVY In the midst of the sales season, we asked Oliver Gaisford-St. Lawrence, of Oliver St. Lawrence Bloodstock, and Chair of the Federation of Bloodstock Agents, for some guidance for owners considering purchasing at the sales. Unless you have a good solid knowledge of thoroughbred horses and the marketplace, you are ill advised to try and buy a yearling without professional help. A good starting point for agents with integrity and experience is the Federation of Bloodstock Agents (www.bloodstock-agencies. com). They will guide you through the process of buying and helping to find an appropriate trainer. Have a good chat with your agent before the sale so that you get a feel for each other and a sensible set of criteria is worked out. Set a realistic budget and broadly keep to it – the racecourse is where you really want to win a battle. The sales can be a fun experience – come and look around your agent’s shortlist, hear what the vet has to say whilst remembering no horse or vetting is perfect. Cut your cloth to suit your budget – big buyers can buy the complete package, most buyers have to box clever and compromise on stallion, dam and/or individual. Plenty of less fashionable stallions can and will give you a racehorse to savour. There are plenty of yearlings in the sales, take your time within reason, this Covid year looks like being a buyers’ market, so be patient and you’ll get the right horse at the right price and your winter dream can start.

Bloodstock bulletin

Owners may also be interested in a four-part weekly podcast hosted by TV and radio broadcaster Gina Bryce, in association with Tattersalls and Weatherbys Global Stallion App. Each session covers news and insights in the run up to Book 1 of Tattersalls’ October Yearling Sale, taking place in Newmarket between October 6-8, and can be found at


23/09/2020 17:32

ROA Forum


Hats off to Bill and Jennie Simpson after Master Milliner’s debut triumph


hen Master Milliner won a division of a Class 6 staying handicap at Bath last month, it is probably fair to say that the racing world did not reverberate with the news. However, as can often be the case, especially at the smaller tracks on midweek days like this, the background story to a victory can take the triumph to another dimension. For quite apart from what it meant to those most closely associated with the horse – owners Bill and Jennie Simpson especially – the mere fact that Master Milliner is around at all is something of a miracle, let alone winning races. That is because he was one of the rare and unfortunate equine sufferers of meningitis, survival rates for which are poor.

Bill Simpson has been a registered owner for a decade now, and Jennie from 2012, with both joining the ROA in 2017. For however long they are owners, it is unlikely in the extreme that they will come as close to losing a beloved horse without doing so. Explaining the duo’s history and involvement, Bill Simpson says: “My father took the family to Taunton races and Jennie grew up in rural Somerset with horses. After visiting Mark Tompkins in 2013 we purchased a share of Joe The Coat, a lovely grey horse, and the rest is history.” Joe The Coat was by Act One, and he was indeed to prove just the start of the Simpsons’ ownership playbook. “We have now owned four horses in partnership with friends and eight outright,” continues Bill. “After Mark Tompkins, we have also had horses


“Master Milliner was at death’s door as a twoyear-old with meningitis”

Bill and Jennie Simpson have been taken on a remarkable journey with Master Milliner

trained by Ali Stronge, Peter Makin, Geoffrey Deacon, Eve Johnson Houghton and Emma Lavelle.” Lavelle has been Master Milliner’s trainer for most of his racing career, the Bath victory being his sixth run for the stable Giving further depth to the story, Master Milliner is actually a half-brother to another horse the Simpsons owned, one of their most successful yet, in Silver Ghost. Master Milliner is by Helmet out of the King’s Theatre mare Aqualina, and was bred by Brian Delahunt in Ireland.

In addition the Simpsons have Vixen and Grey Fox in training with Lavelle, and Dark Phantom, a nine-year-old Dark Angel gelding who Bill rides and is Jennie’s favourite. Asked for the couple’s magical moments in their ownership journey to date, Bill replies: “Silver Ghost winning three consecutive races at Goodwood, Epsom and Sandown, where we were invited into the Royal Box to see him win, was special – tragically ‘Ghosty’, as he was known, died of colic as a four-yearold. “Then of course recently with Master


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Onwards and upwards: Master Milliner records a first success at Bath on September 2 under Sean Levey

Milliner winning at Bath after being at death’s door as a two-year-old with meningitis. We are told only five per cent of horses recover. “It was thanks to Bobby McEwen and his fantastic team at Lambourn Equine Hospital for the diagnosis, and weeks of treatment in hospital, and Steve Barry at Blandys Farm for 12 months’ recuperation – and of course Emma for training him. Bobby was at Bath as course vet and was delighted to see him in such good shape and win.” And what of more generally the ups and downs of being racehorse owners? Bill answers: “No doubt the best thing

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about being an owner is to see your horse be competitive at the races in your colours – we are very fortunate to have the Lord Gainsborough silks. They cannot win all the time, of course, but to know they are fit and healthy and happy in themselves is very pleasing. “As for the most challenging aspects, I would cite the following: the number of very expensive and well-bred horses from the very large yards that fill the better races; syndicates being allocated more tickets for the races than single owners as we pay the same entry and costs; and the entry fee – our suggestion is to deduct from the placed horses’

prize-money to reflect their success; non-placed horses cost enough to the owners.” He adds: “I am a chartered surveyor by profession and was actually consultant to the National Trainers’ Federation for 25 years, acting for – and visiting the yards of – approaching 100 trainers. I specialise in development land sector contract negotiations.” A tricky field, no doubt, but coming through the trauma of a racehorse contracting meningitis and surviving against all the odds must to some extent act as a bulletproof vest when it comes to whatever life throws at you.


23/09/2020 17:32

ROA Forum

MY DAY AT THE RACES With James Couldwell at Fontwell on September 12


ames Couldwell has been involved in horseracing as a successful owner and punter for 20 years. He set up Value Racing Club ( in 2013. The syndicate currently has 24 horses and 219 owners, with each horse made up of 20 shares. Members have enjoyed 16 winners so far in 2020. Yes No Maybe So has proved to be a shrewd purchase, having cost little money and showing smart form in bumper races. Trained by Tom Lacey and ridden by Jonathan Burke, he’s given his owners plenty of fun this year, achieving four wins from four runs at the time of writing. With racing behind closed doors, oncourse supporters were restricted to six badges at Fontwell, when Yes No Maybe So, a son of Stowaway and half-brother to the smart West To The Bridge, brought up a four-timer in September. How did you find general guidance for owners around protocols for racing behind closed doors? We’ve been going racing since owners have been allowed to attend again. The requirements haven’t really changed since so we are quite familiar with the protocols. The daily email from the ROA is helpful and always arrives first thing in the morning. Did you receive information as an owner in advance of the raceday? The standard emails were received in good time, one from Fontwell explaining the parking changes and facilities available on the day. The RCA PASS email was also received at the initial entry stage, plus a further email when declarations confirmed. How was the arrival experience? I’ve been to approximately 14 different racecourses since racing re-started. There was nothing wrong with the Fontwell arrival experience but it was a little different. A temperature check was taken as per normal whilst sitting in your car. Once this had been done, you then had to leave the car and walk only a few strides to hand over the print at home badge and be checked in. At the other racecourses, this was all done without

James Couldwell and his syndicate enjoyed a winner at Fontwell in September

leaving the vehicle, a staff member checked you in on the portable PASS card system. The entrance was in the middle of the racecourse, so perhaps a wifi signal couldn’t be gained. How did you find the provision for owners on the day? Absolutely fine – and better than some others experienced so far. A bar was open and food was set out nicely in the picnic boxes that most racecourses are now doing. Free bottles of water, plus hot drinks and soup, was available. What were your thoughts on the location, comfort and provision of the owners’ zone? Very good – the owners’ area had been moved to the first floor of the main stand. A nice outside patio area overlooking the parade ring was welcome. It helped as the day was warm and sunny, so most owners seemed to be outside. Plenty of chairs and tables were provided.

What were your thoughts on viewing your horse in the parade ring? As good as can be, rightly or wrongly we know owners can’t go in the parade ring at the moment, we could stand outside though, and jockeys and trainers could come over and speak with us before and after the race. How did you find the race-viewing zone for owners? This was disappointing but I can totally understand the reasons why. Fontwell don’t have a permanent big screen, the normal lorry that hosts the screen wasn’t there on the day. Owners were in the main stand as normal, but you could only see what was happening when runners came past. Binoculars were a must. I don’t blame Fontwell for this as having a big screen on the day no doubt costs quite a lot of money. With no public allowed, this would add to the racecourse’s costs. Other racecourses we’ve been to of late that also didn’t


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Entry ★★★★★ Viewing ★★★★★ Atmosphere * Not fair to grade with only around 80 people in attendance on the day Owners’ facilities ★★★★★ Food


Overall score

The prolific Yes No Maybe So (right) has won four times in 2020 for Value Racing Club

have the large screens have put mobile TVs outside, so maybe this could be looked at? How was the post-race experience and location/provision of the de-brief area? We had two runners on the day, a winner and unplaced, so experienced both. Jockeys could speak with owners after the race in the same place where horses paraded beforehand. This was fine. The winner’s enclosure couldn’t be accessed but again the jockey and trainer could come to the barrier outside of the winner’s enclosure and speak. There was no presentation or glass of bubbly offered, or photograph taken. This had been provided at all the other racecourses so far, i.e. taken back to the owners’ area with a member of staff where champagne was waiting. This was the only real disappointment of the day. No staff members were around to ask what happens now, once we spoke with the jockey that was it, and we weren’t sure what to do next.

Raceday experience

Were you able to review a replay of your race easily on the course? I’m not sure if a reply was shown anywhere, it’s possible a TV in the owners’ area had it on but when we went back around five minutes later, racing from other meetings was being shown. How were you treated as an owner on the day? Fine – staff were friendly upon arrival and departure and also in the owners’ area. What was your overall lasting feeling of the day, based on your racecourse experience? We very much enjoyed our day – having a winner always helps! The owners’ facilities were as good as possible in the current times, including food and service. The viewing of the race was poor but this is understandable as already explained. The winning owners’ experience was the only thing that needs to be improved.

We would like to thank owners for continuing to provide feedback on their experiences with a runner while racing has been held behind closed doors. It’s been a challenging period, with different venues having to comply with local guidance having an impact on variances in communications, badge allocations, and the provision and quality of the raceday experience itself. The ROA has been working closely with members of the ROA board, executive, BHA and Racecourse Association and owner feedback has been key in helping to shape and improve arrangements for owners while we continue to maintain necessary protocols to keep all participants safe. Please continue to let us know about your experiences as an owner with a runner by emailing us at

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★★★★★ 14

Transfer of ownership Changes of ownership must be completed within 30 days of purchase under horse passport regulations (England). Where a horse is in training, this process is dealt with by the trainer and the racing industry’s admin processes. For a racehorse owner, this is mainly a consideration before a horse goes into training and when it retires or moves out of training. It is in an owner’s interests to ensure new keeper details are updated when they sell or gift a horse, as a change in a horse’s ownership records a shift in liability, e.g. should that horse cause an accident or injury to a third party. When a horse is purchased, the passport and ownership must be registered with a passport issuing authority, e.g. Weatherbys, within 30 days of acquisition. It is an offence not to do so. If the new keeper fails to do this, they may incur a fine of up to £5,000. Where an equine dies, or has to be put to sleep, then the passport must be returned to the issuing PIO within 30 days to have it invalidated. The BHA is developing an all-encompassing and integrated thoroughbred database as part of its ‘whole life’ approach to equine welfare. The database will combine information gleaned from 30-day foal notification, throughout a horse’s racing career and post-retirement, allowing the BHA to make defined, appropriate, evidence-based welfare decisions for thoroughbreds.


23/09/2020 17:32

ROA Forum

News in brief ROA AGM

The ROA AGM was held on September 3. The event was recorded for members and a link circulated by email on September 4. Despite the impact of Covid-19, we want to ensure members are kept up to date with all of the latest ROA information and industry updates. New President Charlie Parker set out plans to develop key long-term goals and a vision for racing, to support owners and sustain a healthy long-term future for racing. All resolutions were passed and board members confirmed. We would like to thank members for their questions posed in advance of the AGM. Answers to these are included in the recording, which can be found at a link on

Owner-sponsorship scheme

The ROA’s owner-sponsorship scheme, supported by the Tote and Britbet, allows members to add horses to a 12-month scheme. Owners receive a payment of £100 for the Tote logo to be worn on the chest and collar of their racing silks. Having an owner-sponsorship contract in place allows the owner to register for and reclaim VAT on the costs of ownership. For further details and to apply, see ‘Benefits, Sponsorship’ at The link also provides owners with information about maximising the benefits of the VAT scheme.

The decision aims to provide more flexibility through periods of congestion and avoid clashes and delayed races. Non-standard race times also minimise the need for on-theday changes, giving more clarity for broadcasters and racing’s customers. Non-standard race times will be used when there are four or more fixtures across Britain and Ireland in one session or in the period of racing between afternoon and evening racing. Race times for races covered by ITV will remain standardised whenever possible.

Shared ownership consultation launched

The BHA has launched a consultation into the regulation of shared ownership, to identify the current risks and opportunities and how these can be addressed to promote growth and consumer confidence in syndicates and racing clubs. The consultation forms part of one of the nine key goals for British racing’s recovery plan, which aims to retain key investors by reforming the rules for shared ownership to protect existing owners and increase the appeal for potential new owners. The consultation process is open until October 29 and will take the form of an online survey, accessed at
 Following completion of the consultation, responses will be analysed and recommendations will be drafted for discussion with industry stakeholders, ahead of being considered by the BHA board. The final decisions should be published in early 2021.

Nominations open for Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards

The VAT scheme allows owners to reclaim VAT on the costs of ownership

Non-standard race times

The BHA has confirmed that following a successful trial in February, nonstandard race times will be introduced on a permanent basis from October 1. This initiative will also be adopted by Horse Racing Ireland.

Now in their 17th year, the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards recognise the outstanding skills, commitment and contribution of stud and stable staff. The 2021 awards will look to recognise the extraordinary challenges faced by stud and stable staff in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, both during the suspension of racing to keep yards and studs moving and since its resumption to adapt to changes brought by the virus. The effects of Covid-19 have brought changes to the format of the awards,

James Frank: 2020 Employee of the Year

with the judging day for the finalists on February 22 likely to be conducted remotely. The new chair of the judging panel will be Nick Luck. The subsequent awards ceremony will be replaced by an interactive virtual event, allowing finalists to be with their yards, studs, friends and family to engage with the ceremony from a familiar location. A celebratory event is being planned for summer 2021. Nominations will close on November 10 and can be made on behalf of anyone working in a yard or stud via Video nominations will again be accepted to ensure the nominations procedure is as fair and inclusive as possible for all those involved.

Equine disease support services

The racing industry has launched an invitation to tender process to identify suppliers who will be able to take over certain equine disease support services for the racing industry, following the recent closure of the Animal Health Trust (AHT). The AHT was responsible for delivering the four pillars of equine disease support: disease surveillance across the National Herd, diagnostic testing, disease research and provision of expertise to the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. The invitation to tender process is intended to identify the suppliers for a long-term, cost-effective solution for the racing and non-TB horse industry to provide the more specialist tests as set out in the ITT document, while also working closely with the central disease surveillance team. Details of the ITT process, which will close on October 5, can be found on the BHA website.


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The GBB Observer View from the boundary Anyone can win a Great British Bonus! Recent results have seen a farrier buy a filly for £800 at Ascot sales last November, which has already won a £5,000 bonus when she won a Bumper at Kelso. An electrician has won £40,000 of bonuses from a filly that passed through the Doncaster sales ring for £5,000. A group of drinking companions from a West Country pub won a £20,000 bonus with a filly that cost only £9,000 from a Goffs UK yearling sale. And a syndicate won a £20,000 bonus with a filly that cost only £15,000 from the same sale. Some of the UK’s leading syndicators have taken this on board and are actively tapping into the GBB scheme. Tim Palin of Middleham Park racing is a recent convert. “What a super initiative. The GBB scheme looks set to thrive and Middleham Park racing will be targeting eligible fillies for the remainder of the sales season.”

Nick Bradley has already been shopping. “ We have already purchased four fillies for Nick Bradley Racing and will be looking to add more at the forthcoming sales.” Sam Hoskins of Hot To Trot Racing is coming from a different angle, but with equal enthusiasm. “The scheme will also encourage some breeders who perhaps couldn’t justify it before to consider racing a homebred filly… or leasing to a syndicate such as Hot To Trot!” Niall O’Brien and his Ontoawinner syndicates have already greeted a GBB winner. “The scheme has absolutely changed our buying habits at the yearling sales. We have already bought GBB fillies and syndicate members are already asking if a filly is fully eligible to the scheme, so we are really taking notice of those GBB door cards at the sales!”

Multiple bonus winners: Three 2-time bonus winners and one 3-time bonus winner Are you in their league? Trainer

Bonuses won

Karl Burke


Mark Johnston


Ralph Beckett


Roger Charlton


Richard Hannon


David O’Meara


Bryan Smart


Roger Varian


Syndicates Owner breeders Joint owners Everyone International studs Private owners

I specifically targeted the GBB fillies with a view to a spec purchase for resale to my clients. I was thrilled with my Due Diligence filly and her 100% eligibility to the scheme. We advertised her on our website highlighting the bonuses and she sold very quickly. I am now looking to do the same with another GBB filly in the upcoming sales. Ed Dunlop after purchasing a Due Diligence filly for 11,000gns at the Tattersalls Ascot sales

We couldn’t help but be influenced by the GBB scheme when looking for fillies at the sales. It might mean winning the full purchase price back for a lot of these fillies. Mark Johnston after Perfect Times won her second bonus

For more information on eligibility, visit

TBA GBB TOB A4 Page October Kv1.indd 1

21/09/2020 14:42

Product Focus

BLUE LIGHT INFLUENCES BREEDING SUCCESS The horse’s natural reproductive period coincides with the light-filled days of summer.


he desire to breed mares early in the year means that many foals are born at a darker time of year than Nature intended. This has consequences for breeding efficiency. Often, early foaling mares experience longer gestations, have smaller foals and can have trouble cycling post-foaling. As well as hormones that control reproduction, lengthening daylight stimulates important growth hormones that allow foals to mature in utero and mares to produce more milk and good colostrum. Specifically, it is the blue light wavelengths from the sun that drive these seasonal hormonal changes.

outdoors, stabled, or a mix of both. For dry mares it is recommended to start blue light treatment approximately 75 days prior to the start of the breeding season, and for pregnant mares start long day lighting 90-100 days before their due dates n

Published studies confirm that extending daylength for pregnant mares using blue light from Equilume Light Masks helps prevent prolonged gestations (reduction of 10-15 days) and optimises foal birth weights (average 4 kg increase). For more information or any queries contact Equilume: • +353 45 407 040 or


The Equilume Belfield and Curragh Light masks are specifically designed for breeding stock and enable mares to receive ‘long day’ light signals whether they are maintained

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23/09/2020 15:43

TBA Forum

The special section for TBA members

Flat breeders recognised and rewarded for 2019 successes


he best of British Flat breeding was celebrated at the TBA’s virtual awards on September 17. The event, which was supported by Weatherbys, recognised breeders’ successes from the 2019 season. Pre-recorded video interviews with the ten awards winners, including four statistical awards announced earlier in the year, were released during the event, which was premiered on the association’s YouTube channel. Edited versions of the videos and winner announcements were also published on the TBA’s Facebook and Twitter channels. Team Godolphin was one of the evening’s big winners, scooping four awards, including the inaugural presentation of the British European Breeders’ Fund (BEBF) Stallion Special Merit Award, which went the way of Night Of Thunder. The award was developed by the BEBF to recognise the extraordinary achievements of a stallion, with due consideration given to the sire’s covering fee and book of mares. As announced previously, Godolphin captured The Queen’s Silver Cup, having been crowned Leading British-based Flat breeder by prize-money in Great Britain and Ireland in 2019. This was the seventh consecutive time that the award had gone to Darley/Godolphin. Its two other awards, the BBA Silver Cigar Box (Leading British-based stallion by prize-money in Great Britain and Ireland in 2019) and the Barleythorpe Stud

Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions at Darley, with the BBA Cigar Box and Barleythorpe Cup. In total the Godolphin team collected four trophies

Watership Down Stud General Manager Simon Marsh with the H J Joel Silver Salver, which was won by Dar Re Mi for the second successive year

Silver Cup (Leading British-based stallion by individual winners in Great Britain and Ireland in 2019), went to Dubawi, who in 2019 was represented by the likes of toplevel winners Coronet, Ghaiyyath, North America, Old Persian and Too Darn Hot. The Tattersalls Silver Salver, given to the Leading British-based first-crop sire by prize-money in Great Britain and Ireland in 2019, went to Highclere Stud’s Cable Bay. His first crop featured Group 3 Molecomb Stakes scorer Liberty Beach, also third in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes.

The annual TBA Stud Employee Award, which is generously sponsored by Peter Stanley’s New England Stud, recognises significant achievement by an individual in the stud-farming sector. The recipient this year was Jacques Prinsloo, who has worked at Whitsbury Manor Stud for 14 years, having previously worked with horses in the South African police force. Jacques won a £2,000 cash prize and the perpetual trophy, a magnificent Charlie Langton bronze. The runners-up for this award were Di

TBA Silver Salver winners Mick and Fiona Denniff

TBA Stud Staff Award, sponsored by New England Stud, winner Jacques Prinsloo and family with the impressive Charlie Langton trophy


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Pictured with the Tattersalls Silver Salver, awarded for Leading First Season Sire (Cable Bay), John, Carolyn and Jake Warren

AWARD WINNERS Bearstone Stud owner Terry Holdcroft with the Langham Cup, awarded to Small Breeder of the Year

Julian Dollar, General Manager of Newsells Park Stud, with the TBA Silver Rose Bowl, awarded to the Flat Breeder of the Year

Best (Cobhall Court Stud), Tom Hughes (Hazelwood Bloodstock), Robert McKellar (Cheveley Park Stud), Keith Warburton (Shade Oak Stud) and Sophie Watmuff (Chasemore Farm). Each received £250 and a certificate of recognition. The H J Joel Silver Salver, awarded for Flat Broodmare of the Year, went to Watership Down Stud’s Dar Re Mi for the second year in a row. The 15-year-old daughter of Singspiel, whose son Too Darn Hot garnered top-level honours in a pair of Group 1s last year, became the first mare to scoop the prestigious trophy on more than one occasion. Newsells Park Stud, represented by the likes of full-siblings Japan and Mogul in 2019, as well as Arc winner

Waldgeist, was crowned Flat Breeder of the Year for the first time and received the TBA Silver Rose Bowl, while Terry and Margaret Holdcroft’s Bearstone Stud, owner-breeders of the 2019 Prix de l’Abbaye winner Glass Slippers, claimed the Langham Cup for Small Flat Breeder of the Year. The Special Merit Award for the 2019 Flat Season, the TBA Silver Salver, was presented to Mick and Fiona Denniff, breeders of Beat The Bank, a dual Group 2 winner in 2019, and Kachy, the 2019 all-weather champion. Both descend from Hill Welcome, who was bought for just 3,000gns by Fiona in 2001. TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard commented: “Though Covid-19 has prevented us all gathering together to celebrate the Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening, we are delighted to be able to retain our winners’ video interviews and bring them to a wider audience. The videos give more people a chance to celebrate British-bred success and see behind the scenes of some of our most successful breeding operations. “I would like to thank all of our event supporters, but most particularly Weatherbys, for continuing to sponsor the event, New England Stud for its generous support of stud employees, and to the British EBF for introducing its new award and supporting the event.” To view the Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening videos, visit YouTube and search for ‘The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association channel – no account or previous registration is required. YouTube account holders can also sign in and subscribe to the TBA channel to receive notifications.

The BEBF’s Special Merit Memento was awarded to Night Of Thunder. Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions at Darley, is pictured with the award

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TBA Silver Rose Bowl – Flat Breeder of the Year NEWSELLS PARK STUD Langham Cup – Small Flat Breeder of the Year BEARSTONE STUD TBA Silver Salver – Special Merit Award DENNIFF FARMS TBA Stud Employee Award, sponsored by New England Stud JACQUES PRINSLOO, Whitsbury Manor Stud British European Breeders’ Fund Stallion Special Merit Award NIGHT OF THUNDER H J Joel Silver Salver – Flat Broodmare of the Year DAR RE MI, Watership Down Stud The Queen’s Silver Cup – Leading British-based Flat breeder by prize-money in GB & Ire in 2019 GODOLPHIN BBA Silver Cigar Box – Leading British-based stallion by prize-money in GB & Ire in 2019 DUBAWI Barleythorpe Stud Silver Cup – Leading British-based stallion by individual winners in GB & Ire in 2019 DUBAWI Tattersalls Silver Salver – Leading British-based first crop sire by prize-money in GB & Ire in 2019 CABLE BAY


23/09/2020 15:39

TBA Forum

Group 1 treble up in thirty minutes Indigo Girl (hood) wins the Group 2 May Hill Stakes


On the afternoon of September 13, there were three British-bred Group 1 winners in three different racing jurisdictions. Starting the ball rolling was the Newsells Park Stud-bred Mogul, who broke through at the top level in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, which replaced the Prix Niel on the Arc trials card. Following in the footsteps of his year older brother Japan, the three-year-old travelled smoothly and ran out a most convincing winner. At the Curragh, Bearstone Stud’s homebred Glass Slippers was gilding her record with a second Group 1 victory in the Flying Five Stakes, adding to her success last autumn in the Prix de l’Abbaye. Completing the treble was Barney Roy. The admirable gelding won a fourth Group 1 in the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden – his first win over 1m4f. Doncaster’s four-day St Leger Festival returned 13 British-bred winners. Chief amongst them was Indigo Girl, a daughter of Dubawi, who ran out the impressive winner of the Group 2 May Hill Stakes for owner-breeder George Strawbridge. The previous day and Foxtrot Lady, a daughter of former reverse shuttler Foxwedge, and a homebred of Jeff Smith’s Littleton Stud, won the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes. In winning the 7f race, she emulated her half-sister Dancing Star, successful in 2018. Earlier on the card and few would have begrudged Tarboosh (Bahamian Bounty) a maiden stakes win in the Listed Scarbrough Stakes. The seven-year-old was bred by Landmark Racing Ltd. Winner of the Group 3 September

Stakes in 2018, Juddmonte’s homebred queen Enable regained her crown with an easy win at Kempton Park on September 5. Juddmonte also had cause for celebration when Kalahara, owned and bred by the Wertheimer brothers, provided her sire Frankel with his 40th northern hemisphere Group winner when taking the Group 3 Prix d’Arenberg in great style. In winning the 5f speed test, the winner set a new race record. Another winner on the day was the Anita Wigan-bred Angel Power, who took the Listed Prix de Liancourt. Others to score in Listed contests over the first part of September included the Barton Stud Partnership-bred Ziegfeld in the Prix Millkom at La Teste de Buch; the nine-year-old Musa D’Oriente (Nayef), who won the Premio Pietro Bessero for the third consecutive year; Dutch Art’s son Starman, who remains unbeaten after three races and his win in the Garrowby Stakes at York; and Time To Choose, who

took the Premio Circo Massimo in Rome. Since racing resumed these pages have referenced a black-type winner for Kirsten Rausing each month and this issue is no different. She bred Alignak, a son of resident stallion Sea The Moon, who gained a first Listed triumph in the Stand Cup at Chester. In Australia the progressive Paths Of Glory set himself up for an assault on Group contests with victory in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup. Jumps racing returned to Auteuil for the autumn and Fortunes Melody showed fortitude to take the Listed Prix Pelat for owner-breeder John Williams. The three-year-old filly was providing her sire, the Mickley Stud-based Yorgunnabelucky, with his maiden blacktype winner. A couple of days later and Nathaniel’s three-year-old daughter No Profit took the Grade 3 Premio Ettore Tagliabue at Merano. Results included up to September 13. Produced in association with GBRI

TBA Membership Benefit in Focus – Third-party liability insurance Lycetts Insurance Brokers specialist equine division is delighted to be working in partnership with the TBA by providing third-party public liability cover to all its full members. The cover provided by this policy works as a policy of last response, to protect the individual member where there is not a more appropriate or specific liability policy that should have been effected to ensure that all eventualities are covered including whilst the member’s horse is away from its usual home. Key benefits of insurance include 24-hour cover worldwide with a limit of indemnity of £10,000,000 for claims in

of commercial equestrian insurance including Stud, Bloodstock and Personal Insurance. To discuss your detailed requirements further please contact:

respect of accidental damage or injury to third party property or persons. Lycetts has nearly 60 years’ experience of looking after the private and commercial insurance needs of their rural clients; with 13 offices across the country and equestrian divisions operating out of Newmarket, Marlborough and Berwick St. Leonard, they are able to assist on all aspects

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Amroth Bay wins TBA-sponsored RoR class Over the course of the August Bank Holiday weekend, the results of the 30 Retraining of Racehorse (RoR) showing classes were announced, including the RoR TBA Challenge Online Final 2020, which was won by Sophie Brown and Amroth Bay. The 16-year-old son of Alflora was bred by Keith Pugh and won four times on the racecourse – one bumper and three chases – from 25 starts. The RoR Online Show was put on as a replacement for the annual National Championships at Aintree’s International Equine Centre. Across the 30 classes, 297 former racehorses were entered, including from Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US. A triumphant Sophie Brown commented: “I have had Amroth Bay for five years out of Dan Skelton’s yard, where I rode him every day and looked after him. He was the first winner I ever led up and he will always be my favourite! “My plans are to compete in the

Former chaser Amroth Bay was the winner of the TBA-sponsored class

RoR TBA challenge series and the RoR Veteran series as he’s now 16. I will also try to do some showjumping

and possibly some more hunting in the winter, depending on my work and racing commitments.”

IN BRIEF To register visit and the member discount is deducted on the website once the checkout process has been initiated.

Webinar: Pregnancy loss research

GBB foals deadline

Breeders are reminded that the registration deadline for 2020-born foals into the Great British Bonus (GBB) is October 31. The scheme cannot accept entries after this date. For TBA members the cost of registering each qualifying filly to the first stage is £200 – a £100 discount on the usual £300.

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As part of an on-going webinar series, members are able to attend a webinar that focuses on the TBA-funded research into discovering the cause of early loss of pregnancy in mares. Titled 'Reducing pregnancy loss in the broodmare' and taking place on October 1 at 12.30pm, Dr Mandi de Mestre will talk attendees through why this research was needed, the significant breakthrough that has recently been made, and what the implications are for breeders. The webinars are free for members of the TBA to attend and those interested are advised to sign up by visiting the events page on the TBA’s website.

Hair and blood samples to Weatherbys

Breeders, stud managers and veterinarians are reminded that the Animal Health Trust has closed and will no longer be receiving hair and blood samples. These should now be sent to the DNA fulfilment team at the main Weatherbys office in Wellingborough, or, if instructed by the owner of a horse or breed society, to another parentage verification provider. It is advised that when posting the sample, please ensure that the microchip barcode sticker is attached to the plastic envelope, as well as on the foal markings form and blood tube or hair sample. This will enable the sample to be tracked through the process. For any queries, contact the stud book department at Weatherbys on 01933 440077 or email


23/09/2020 15:40

TBA Forum

edigrees are important for David Ward, in business and personally. Managing Director of Derbyshirebased Ward Recycling, the UK’s largest independent metal and waste recycling company, he has spent the past decade building on a lifetime passion for thoroughbred racing and breeding. Ward explains: “The business was started by my grandfather Donald from humble beginnings, followed by my father, also Donald. Then came my brother Michael and myself, and now all our children are involved to form the next generation.” His involvement with racing also traces to family influences. “My grandfather had a bet nearly every day,” he recalls, “and when I was a lad, my father would come back from work in late morning and we’d get off in the car for the races, most notably to York. “My father was a big influence on my life, and they were the best of times, but I lost him about 14 years ago. Since then, as finances have allowed, I’ve done a few things I know he would have really enjoyed doing, such as getting a box at Manchester City, and a place in Florida, where I’ve taken a boat. “I hope it doesn’t come across that it’s all about me, but it helped me to get over losing him. It’s the same with the horses, because he was from a generation that wouldn’t have thought about owning a racehorse. “I’m a sentimental person by nature, and when Starman won at York, I watched on my own, while my wife Sue stood against the rails with our trainer Ed Walker, and I thought, ‘Here you are, Dad, this is as much for you as for me.’” Ward dipped his toe into ownership for the first time in 2008 with two horses that barely beat another rival. He began to take his interest to a more serious level three years later, when trainer Tom Dascombe introduced him to bloodstock agent Ed Sackville. At the Goffs Orby sale in Ireland they bought two yearlings – Hurry Home Poppa, the more successful racehorse, with four wins from 32 starts, and Northern Star, winner of a single Class 6 race but comfortably the bigger influence on her owner’s longer-term plans. With Kodiac as her first mate, Northern Star produced dual winner Sunday Star, a close third in this year’s Group 3 Summer Stakes at York; then came Starman, by Dutch Art, winner of his first three races




Starman records an impressive success in the Listed Garrowby Stakes at York

in hugely progressive fashion, and she has a two-year-old Kingman filly named Lodestar. Ward recalls: “We saw this particular horse and I said to Sue, ‘I’ve only once in my life before seen anything that was love at first sight.’ We bought her for €50,000, and it was such an emotional purchase. “That was Northern Star. My relationship with her was wonderful. She came home to us between her two- and three-year-old seasons, and I’d come home from work and sit with her in the stable. It was just one of the best things. For her to produce these three foals is marvellous, although she herself died after the third, which was absolutely heartbreaking.” Emotion aside, Ward admits he began with no special strategy. “I just wanted to have a horse to race and then hopefully breed from if she was suitable,” he says. “I’ve now got a few more mares based with Ed Player at Whatton Manor, which is about an hour from our home in Ashbourne, so the small breeding operation has grown. “I’ll buy horses to race but it will be mainly fillies, to try and find another that may be good enough to become a broodmare. Breeding is where I get the most enjoyment, and I suppose it’s a quirk of fate that of all the horses I’ve had, the best have been ones I bred myself – Sunday Star and Starman, the first two. “Although Starman is improving at such a rapid rate of knots, he’s far from the finished article. The ultimate dream would be for him to race at four and maybe five, and who knows he may even make a stallion. We could be in fantasy land at the moment, but it would be fabulous if he could turn out to be

something special. “We’ve had big offers for him. Am I tempted to sell? No. I’m a dreamer, an emotional person, so if I sell, what do I do, go and buy something else that may not turn out as good? “For me it’s a journey, which I’m enjoying with Ed Walker, Ed Sackville and everyone else in the team, including Brian O’Rourke, who has our yearlings for pretraining and is a magician at turning the horses into the finished article before they go to the trainer.” Talking about the team ethic, Ward adds: “You have to take good advice from people you trust, and make collective decisions, which is the bit I enjoy more than anything. When the horse wins, everyone is as emotionally delighted as the next person in the team.” As to the future, Ward continues to place his faith in fillies, including New Day Dawn, a five-year-old by Dawn Approach, who raced as a partnership horse but whom he now owns outright. She won only once but has had her worth considerably enhanced by the Sussex Stakes success of Mohaather. New Day Dawn is out of a half-sister to Roodeye, Mohaather’s dam, and is in foal to Showcasing, Mohaather’s sire. Ward adds: “Last year I bought a number of fillies at Tattersalls Book 1, including a Frankel and a Sea The Stars. Ultimately, I’d like to have four or five topclass broodmares with whom I can mainly breed my own horses to race rather than going to the sales. “I’ll always buy the odd one, because it’s an enjoyable experience going to the sales, but breeding your own stock is by far the most rewarding and the most interesting experience.”


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Breeder of the Month Words Hyperion Promotions Ltd

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A popular stallion has hundreds of opportunities to produce a Group 1 winner whereas a broodmare might have about a dozen. Not surprisingly, few manage to breed even one top-flight winner let alone two or more. When Mogul emulated his full-brother Japan by winning the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, he elevated his dam Shastye to that elite band of broodmares that includes such legendary names as Urban Sea, Hasili, Miesque, Dahlia and Height Of Fashion. Unlike most of those, Shastye was by no means a top-class racehorse with only two wins and a second in a Pontefract Listed race. What she did possess, however, was an outstanding pedigree as a half-sister to the 1998 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Sagamix and the Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Sagacity. At the 2005 Tattersalls December Sale, it required a bid of 625,000gns from John Warren to secure the Danehill

Mogul (right): another star for Shastye

mare for Newsells Park Stud. That price has proved to be a bargain with her yearlings so far earning more than 11,000,000gns, a figure sure to receive a hefty boost when a full-sister to Mogul and Japan goes through the ring at this year’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. Her frequent matings with the world’s greatest stallion Galileo has undoubtedly helped, but few other broodmares have achieved such outstanding results with the Coolmore colossus. Julian Dollar, General Manager at the Hertfordshire-based stud, told GBRI: “Shastye has been vital to Newsells That success qualifies the daughter of Dream Ahead for a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland in November, but before then she will bid for a second Prix de l’Abbaye. The Holdcrofts are looking forward to breeding from their dual Group 1 winner one day, but in the meantime are busy on their Shropshire stud preparing two of her close relations for sale at Tattersalls this autumn. A Twilight Son filly out of Aunt


BEARSTONE STUD Terry and Margaret Holdcroft’s star homebred filly Glass Slippers is making a habit of winning major international sprints and there could be more to come. The winner of last year’s Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp was scoring for the first time since that memorable triumph when getting up close home to add a second Group 1 in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Park, I suppose. She’s been absolutely exceptional, producing Group 1 winners throughout and obviously she’s been incredibly commercial for us. We’re a commercial outfit that needs to make money, so she has been incredibly important and we’re lucky that we’ve got three daughters of hers here at the stud. That’s one of the reasons we decided we had to put the sister into the sale.” Shastye is currently in foal to Dubawi and Dollar explained the reasoning behind the switch. “She was barren to Galileo last year, having had the filly in January. She got in foal towards the end, then lost the pregnancy soon after coming back to the UK, so we gave it one more throw of the dice this year but she was empty on the first two covers and we just couldn’t afford a mare like this to go empty again. So we switched to Dubawi and we’ll have a good think about who she’s going to go to next year. “She’s 19 but she looks fantastic. You’d think she was 15 or 16 at most, so hopefully we’ll get a good few years out of her yet.” Nicola, a half-sister to Glass Slippers, is going to Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Sale and a foal by resident stallion Washington DC out of another half-sister, She Mystifies, is in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale. The family has served Bearstone extremely well since Terry Holdcroft bought Ocean Grove from Robert Sangster in 1996. From a covering with their own stallion Mind Games, she bred Night Gypsy, the dam of seven winners including Glass Slippers and the Listed winner Electric Feel.




The Foundation for Future Success



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23/09/2020 14:53

Vet Forum: The Expert View

Understanding shipping fever in horses


ong distance transport of horses is increasingly common, with horses frequently travelling by road, boat, rail, or air. Many elite horses are transported between continents to competitions and for racing, and in the thoroughbred industry the shuttling of breeding stallions between the northern and southern hemisphere is now commonplace. While most horses cope well with long-distance travel, approximately 5-10% of horses will develop the respiratory disease complex known as ‘shipping fever’.

What is shipping fever?

Shipping fever is the colloquial term for the respiratory infection that develops in association with transport. When identified and treated early, affected horses usually recover quickly. However, in severe cases, the infection can progress to pleuropneumonia, a life-threatening bacterial infection of the lungs and the pleural space surrounding them.

What are the risk factors?

As the name suggests, the major risk factor for shipping fever is transportation over long distances (Figure 1). So why is long-distance travel such a problem? When the head is tied in an elevated position for a prolonged period, it allows bacteria that inhabit the nose and throat to contaminate the lower airways, and prevents the drainage of mucus and debris. It results in accumulation of bacteria and inflammatory cells within the lower airways, which the horse is unable to clear without lowering its head. This is compounded by confinement in an environment with high humidity and poor air quality. While ventilation varies widely depending on the type of transport, in many cases horses are exposed to increased levels of respiratory irritants, including fungal spores, mould, dust, and ammonia from urine. Dehydration is also common during transport, as horses have limited access to hay and water and may lose water through sweating. This, too, impairs the clearance mechanisms that normally help the lungs clear debris and infectious material. Transport also increases levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which suppress the immune system, meaning the horse is unable to fight off infections. Racehorses and sport horses are particularly at risk of shipping fever, although any horse can be affected.

abscessation, laminitis, and colitis.

How to monitor for shipping fever

Figure 1: Long-distance transport is the major risk factor for shipping fever

Strenuous exercise impairs the normal defence mechanism of the lungs. Viral infections, which are common in horses that have been comingled with others prior to transport such as at a sales or competition venue, are another predisposing factor. Exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage is also a risk factor, as blood within the lower airways provides a favourable environment for bacterial growth.

What are the signs?

Clinical signs of shipping fever can be noticed within 24-72 hours of transport and are often subtle and non-specific in the early stages. Horses typically first develop a fever, followed by signs including lethargy, depression, and decreased appetite. Respiratory signs including nasal discharge, cough, and increased respiratory rate are present in some but not all cases (Figure 2). Horses that develop pleuropneumonia often have significant pain associated with inflammation of the pleura, resulting in a reluctance to move, pawing, or abnormal gait, and this can easily be confused for signs of colic, tying-up, or laminitis. Horses with severe shipping fever are at risk of developing potentially fatal secondary complications including lung

Rapid diagnosis and treatment in the early stages of shipping fever is vital. After transport, the horse should have its temperature taken twice daily, and be monitored closely for lethargy, inappetence, or signs of respiratory disease including nasal discharge or cough. Any horse that develops a fever after travel, or has signs of ill health, should be examined by a vet immediately.

How is the condition diagnosed?

The vet will first perform a complete physical examination, including listening to the lungs with a stethoscope to identify any abnormal lung sounds. Bloodwork is usually performed at this stage too, which can identify any evidence of inflammation or infection, as well as evaluating the horse’s overall health including hydration status. Bloodwork abnormalities depend on the duration and severity of disease, but inflammation and infection may be reflected by increases in the inflammatory biomarkers, fibrinogen and serum amyloid A. There might also be an increase in circulating white blood cell count, and it is important to have a baseline white blood cell count to evaluate disease progression. In severe cases, the horse may also be dehydrated or have increased kidney values. If physical examination or bloodwork reveals concerning abnormalities, then further diagnostics are warranted. The most useful diagnostic technique is ultrasound examination of the thorax to identify changes to the lungs including pleural roughening, lung consolidation and abscesses (Figure 3), and accumulation of fluid within the pleural space (Figure 4). If bacterial infection is suspected, a tracheal wash can be performed to obtain a sample of fluid for bacterial culture. If fluid has accumulated within the chest, then this fluid can also be cultured. Other diagnostics that might be performed include radiography of the chest to further evaluate for pneumonia, and nasal swabs to test for viral infection.

What is the preferred treatment for shipping fever?

Figure 2: Nasal discharge is seen in some, but not all, cases

The mainstays of treatment of shipping fever are antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and supportive care. While some mild cases of shipping fever will resolve within days with anti-inflammatories


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By Hayley Chidlow BVSc DipACVIM MRCVS and horses that recover often return to their previous levels of performance. Many thoroughbreds that recover from pleuropneumonia will return to racing.

How to prevent shipping fever

Figure 3: Ultrasound image of a lung abscess

Figure 4: Ultrasound image of fluid in the pleural space

and supportive care, if infection is left untreated the disease can progress quickly, and severe cases may develop pleuropneumonia within a short period of time. For this reason, if there is any suspicion of bacterial infection, broadspectrum antibiotics are normally initiated even before the results of bacterial culture are available. If pleuropneumonia develops, then referral to an equine hospital is usually required for intensive medical therapy. Pleuropneumonia is often caused by more than one bacterium, therefore a combination of antibiotics are usually used to provide complete coverage against the common pathogens involved. The antibiotic regime can then be adjusted if the results of bacterial culture suggest the antibiotics may not be effective. Non-steroidal antiinflammatories such as flunixin are important to reduce fevers and improve the horse’s demeanour, appetite and comfort. Intravenous fluid therapy may be needed in horses that are dehydrated. Prophylactic digital cryotherapy (ice boots) can also be used to reduce the risk of laminitis developing. If a large amount of fluid has accumulated within the pleural space, it may need to be drained using cannulas

or indwelling chest drains (Figure 5). In severe cases with abscess development, antibiotics may need to be continued for months, and some horses require surgery to drain the abscess or remove an infected piece of lung.

What is the survival rate?

In simple cases of shipping fever, with early intervention and appropriate treatment, most horses recover fully and return to their previous performance. The prognosis for pleuropneumonia is also good if early, intensive medical treatment is employed. Reported survival rates for pleuropneumonia vary from 50-75%,


Shipping fever is a risk for any horse that is transported a long distance, but competition and racehorses are particularly at risk. Fever is normally the first clinical sign observed, followed by depression, inappetence, and signs of respiratory disease such as cough, nasal discharge, and increased respiratory rate. Any horse that develops these signs after travel should be immediately examined by a vet, as if left untreated the disease can progress to pleuropneumonia, a life-threatening infection affecting the lungs and pleural space. With appropriate treatment, most horses recover in one to two weeks, however horses with pleuropneumonia can require weeks to months of intensive treatment.

Figure 5: Chest tube in a horse with pleuropneumonia

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Where possible, horses should be shipped in a box stall that allows them to lower their heads freely during travel. If a horse must be tied-up, then frequent breaks should be taken to allow the horse to lower their head and to offer feed and water. It is important to ensure good ventilation during transport, and to reduce allergens within the environment by using good-quality hay that has been damped or soaked. The horse should be well hydrated before travel, which can include allowing plentiful access to grass, soaked hay or mash feeds, or even the administration of intravenous or oral fluids by a vet prior to transport. Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as steroids, should be avoided in the week before travel.

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The Finish Line with Gay Kelleway Gay Kelleway was a trailblazer as a jockey, becoming the first woman to ride a winner at Royal Ascot aboard Sprowston Boy, trained by her father Paul, in the 1987 Queen Alexandra Stakes. Having taken out her training licence in 1991, she has sent out over 650 winners and enjoyed success around the world. Earlier this year Kelleway was elected to the board of the Racehorse Owners Association. Interview: Edward Rosenthal


acing has been my entire life since my 13th birthday. I got on the horsebox and we travelled through the middle of London to move from Sussex to Newmarket. I think my life changed dramatically from that moment. I’ve been a jockey and a trainer for three decades and I want to put something back into racing – that’s why I stood for election to the ROA board. I’m a great believer in the British owner and ownerbreeder. We’re losing them and need to keep the sport strong. I want to keep the dream alive of owning racehorses and winning big races, which happens in places like Australia and America where they have plenty of syndicates. Syndicates are hugely important. I’ve got my plumber, my electrician, my gardener involved – everyone has a share or bits and pieces in a horse. It’s about getting the man in the street involved, even if it’s taking an eyelash. But it’s giving them an interest. It’s an affordable sport and anyone can become involved for a minimal price. We need to try and simplify horseracing. It’s too complicated for the outsider. Racing is enormous fun and it’s not just about heading to the races; it’s going to the yard and seeing everyone who works there, understanding what goes into training and the preparation, going out on the morning gallops. I want the sport to be accessible and I want people to go racing not just for concerts but to enjoy the horseracing itself. Two years ago I started to base myself for three months in France. Now I take horses across the Channel, run them once and leave them with Anne-Sophie Crombez, who I helped to set up over there. I have owners and syndicates that don’t have horses in Britain any more but race in France. I’m involved in five horses in France and I show a healthy profit every year after paying my training fees. The place money is very decent – one of

my horses has earned £30,000 and he hasn’t won a race yet. We need more money through the levy. How are we going to generate it? I’m not a mathematician but I have different ideas. One is to tax bets and put that money back into the sport. We go on about bookmakers but they make the least amount of money in horseracing. They make more money on football, other sports and machines. I actually looked at about five stables to buy in France but I’ve got a lovely yard in Exning, Newmarket. I weighed up the situation; a lot of my owners wanted to stay in England. I’m not 25 years old any more, I’m 56 and I didn’t want to take the chance of moving out there and starting all over again. As it turned out, after what happened with Covid, it probably would have been a good idea but you can’t predict the future. Every year I get new owners. I travel a lot and get myself here, there and everywhere. If I’m in a restaurant in London and I overhear a conversation that someone likes racehorses, I’m

straight in there! The man who became my biggest owner, he couldn’t get away from me – he was sat next to me on a flight to Japan for 12 hours. Where can racing improve? By giving owners a better experience at the races. They’re not looked after well enough, either owners who spend a lot of money on horses or new owners to the sport. Philip Hobbs had runners at Newton Abbot and said that win, lose or draw every owner that day received a picture of their horse. Little things that don’t cost a lot of money can go a long way. Sorbie Tower, third in the St James’s Palace Stakes [behind Bijou D’Inde and Ashkalani], is the best horse I have ever trained. He was an aeroplane. I think if I hadn’t been so naïve back in the day I would have won the Irish Guineas. Now I would have gone straight over there. But the horse I’m most fond of is Vortex. He took me all over the world. He was an amazing horse to deal with and loved getting on the horsebox. Vortex was a Group 3 winner on my home track at Newmarket, was the top horse in Sweden for a couple of years and won at the Dubai Carnival as an eight-year-old. He was the soundest horse I’ve ever trained. I’m as hungry as ever; I still get up at 4am every day. What’s my ambition? I’d love to train a Royal Ascot winner. I’ve had a short-head second in the Buckingham Palace, a third in the Hunt Cup and lots of placed runners. Then I can turn round and say I’ve ridden and trained a winner at Royal Ascot.

Gay Kelleway with her favourite horse Vortex, winner of 17 races

Hollie Doyle is a top five jockey. She reminds me of [former top US rider] Julie Krone. She has the right work ethic, is very focussed and a real grafter. Hollie has a brilliant ability to settle horses and she’s naturally matched to a horse; if you were painting a racehorse and a jockey, she’d be the size you’d paint on a horse. It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Hollie won the championship. Why not?


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is the record-breaking son of Dubawi who was even higher rated than sire sensation Night Of Thunder.

Don’t miss his first yearlings, at the sales now.