Thoroughbred Owner Breeder

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THE £6.95 OCTOBER 2021 ISSUE 206

‘I want to have fun here’ Graham Smith-Bernal on his ambitions and vision for Newsells Park Stud


Transatlantic trade

US buyers target European yearlings

Howard Wright

Scottish racing’s funding threat

Ben Coen

‘I’d love to ride at the Breeders’ Cup’

Expert Eye 2015 Acclamation - Exemplify (Dansili)

All eyes on the future



Four times more than Acclamation and his sons Dark Angel and Mehmas in their first two seasons

First yearlings 2021

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

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£6.95 OCTOBER 2021 ISSUE 206

‘I want to have fun here’ Graham Smith-Bernal on his ambitions and vision for Newsells Park Stud


Transatlantic trade

US buyers target European yearlings

Howard Wright

Scottish racing’s funding threat

Ben Coen

‘I’d love to ride at the Breeders’ Cup’

Cover: Graham and Marcela Smith-Bernal with resident stallion Nathaniel, sire of Enable, at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire Photo: Bill Selwyn

Edward Rosenthal Editor

Smith-Bernal out to earn his spurs at Newsells G

raham Smith-Bernal isn’t interested in a quiet life – or an early retirement. The entrepreneur and businessman, who made his fortune developing litigation technology software that transformed the legal industry, is the new proprietor at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire, purchased from the Jacobs family. The UK breeding scene has endured a difficult time recently, losing investors of the magnitude of Khalid Abdullah, Hamdan Al Maktoum and David Thompson. To see a British owner-breeder step up to the plate and take on a business the size of Newsells, home to stallions Nathaniel and Without Parole and some of the finest broodmares in the world, is as encouraging as it is intriguing. So, what is Smith-Bernal’s plan with his new purchase? Radical changes seem unlikely according to the man himself, who is determined to build on the fine work that has seen Newsells establish itself as one of European horseracing’s premier nurseries. “I have always been a risk-taker, albeit calculated risk,” he tells Julian Muscat (The Big Interview, pages 20-24). “People say you have to fail once in business before you make it, although that hasn’t happened to me yet. But this is not creating a business from scratch, it’s an established business. I was able to see the results before I bought it. “What has been happening here is a proven formula. It is working, but if I do make any changes it will be with an objective perspective from outside the core business, if you like. People tell me I sold my businesses for a load of money, I have a lovely place in Italy, where I stay 20 per cent of the time, and I have lovely grandchildren. I should be putting my feet up, but that’s not me. “The reality is that I haven’t worked hard all my life, I’ve just thought hard. And I love a challenge. I bought Newsells Park first and foremost as a commercial venture. It appealed to me as a business I feel I can do something with, but I’m not doing it because I think I’m going to make lots of money. Far from it; it’s something I find interesting and exciting. I want to have a huge amount of fun with it.”

Tottenham fan Smith-Bernal goes on to talk about forming racing partnerships for some of the stud’s fillies, and also starting a syndicate that involves a number of former Spurs legends, including Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle and Steve Perryman. Sounds like a lot of fun to me! If subsequent profits match his enthusiasm, Smith-Bernal will be on to a winner. However, the prime motivation here is not financial reward. He continues: “Money is not a thing to be treasured. It’s the consequence of doing things right. Capitalism is not as bad as socialism, but at the end of the day just hoarding money for money’s sake I don’t think is particularly exciting. “I think there’s a duty for people, particularly those who are good at building businesses, to take on a challenge and, post-Covid, try to create

“The prime motivation here is not financial reward” meaningful businesses that in turn create meaningful jobs. That is what I would call rewarding.” Doubtless many of the US-based buyers who are heading to the European yearling sales this autumn will be eyeing up a purchase or two from Newsells’ famed academy. Significant involvement from American interests at Tattersalls has become a feature of recent years and James Thomas speaks to some of the big players involved to find out why the transatlantic shopping trip is now so important (pages 26-30). This issue also features an interview with jockey-of-the-moment Ben Coen (page 80) and a look at how World Pool is helping to showcase racing globally and drive increased revenues for the UK’s racecourses (pages 32-34).




October 2021


News & Views

Features continued

ROA Leader Less talk, more action please


TBA Leader Levy Board prize-money proposal

Caulfield Files


Dr Statz


Howard Wright Scottish independence – time to plan



US-based buyers 26 32




TBA Forum Celebrating breeders' 2020 Flat success


Breeder of the Month Kirsten Rausing of Lanwades Stud


Latest news and winners


Vet Forum

Breeders' Digest Time Test shows National Stud promise


Great British Bonus

World Pool British tracks making financial splash


Forum Your essential new ROA VAT Solution


The Big Interview

Raids on European sales paying off


ROA Forum

The Big Picture

Graham Smith-Bernal of Newsells Park Stud


The Finish Line With riding sensation Ben Coen

Features The St Leger at Doncaster

Why El Kabeir could build on fine start

How Dubawi and Frankel measure up

Changes News in a nutshell

Yearling auction figures continue gains


News Fixture list for 2022 revealed

Sales Circuit


Focus on atrial fibrillation





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ROA Leader

Charlie Parker President

Less talk and more action is essential


ith the Flat season building towards its climax this month it would be remiss not to take the opportunity to congratulate all the sport’s participants on bringing us a truly memorable summer of racing. Whether it was Adayar in the King George, Starman in the July Cup or a sensational performance in the St Leger by Hurricane Lane, racing has put on a real show for the British public. Roll on the National Hunt and all-weather seasons. What has shone through since the resumption of racing in June 2020 has been the resilience that the industry has shown in keeping the show on the road and moving the sport forward to new levels. This is in spite of poor returns from prize-money and real difficulties for owners and spectators in enjoying the oncourse experience. An enormous amount of work has been done by the BHA, as well as by the racecourses and the RCA, which has complemented the extraordinary efforts of trainers, stable staff, jockeys and all the supporting players to adapt to ever changing regulations and sometimes nonsensical rules. If we also reflect upon the cross-industry working group’s efforts on levy reform, the gambling review and further engagement with bookmakers over initiatives that can help grow the sport, then one could begin to believe that we may now make real progress. However, there remains at the heart of British racing serious issues around structure, financing and fixtures, which we seem to have been discussing for almost half a century. I believe that all owners, whatever the size of their interest, are primarily in the game for the excitement and fun that the journey can bring us. However, increasing frustration around prize-money levels, which in real terms have remained level or even fallen over the course of many years despite the dramatic increases in revenue generated by media rights, leads to periodic outbursts of anger from owners and in some cases an ending of their direct relationship with the sport. In addition, a perceived lack of real influence over the sport and an inability to help change the landscape can only increase the tensions, especially when international competition begins to flex its muscles. Despite very different funding and regulatory models, it is hard not to glance across the water and reflect on how poorly British racing is served on so many levels. If we look at average prize-money per race, Britain languishes in seventh place when benchmarked against other jurisdictions, despite being the highest generator of ‘value’ if one looks at yearling sales or stallion values. The winner of the 2,000 Guineas, on a three-year average, creates almost three times the stallion value of the Dubai Turf or Breeders’ Cup winner, and almost double the winner of the Japanese Derby.

The average prize-money per race in Britain is £16,000, versus £22,000 in Ireland and £24,000 in France – and £155,000 in Hong Kong! While we cannot target Hong Kong as our benchmark, we can and must look to compete with our direct neighbours and introduce some much-needed changes. When we analyse the return from the levy it is reasonable to calculate, based upon the previous reform package and what was considered a necessary level, that we are somewhere around £35£40 million per annum short on where we would hope to be. If we can plug that gap, and obviously not all levy funding is targeted at prize-money, then the average prize-money per race will start

“We must start to build the momentum, attract more investment and generate greater returns” to edge up. Add to this schemes that help racecourses generate more income, be it the recently announced 2022 additional Sunday cards or some imaginative changes to the type and timing of races and fixtures, then we can secure a bigger slice of a larger cake direct from the racecourses. We must start to build the momentum, attract more investment and generate greater returns across the whole of the racing landscape. The second piece of the jigsaw is to ensure that the governance and structure across the industry allows these changes and advances to be made. If we can operate as a true joint venture between the sports venues, its participants and the BHA to allow growth, initiatives and a collaborative approach over the coming decades, then perhaps we can stop talking about these issues and really start addressing them.



TAT T E R S A L L S O C T O B E R Y E A R L I N G S A L E , B O O K 1


Highest Rated Horse in the World 2021 ST MARK’S BASILICA

purchased at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale

TAT T E R S A L L S O C T O B E R YEARLING SALE Book 1 October 5 – 7 featuring the £20,000 Tattersalls October Book 1 Bonus CATALOGUE ONLINE

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Tatts UK | 2021 | October | Purchaser | Owner Breeder Full .indd 1

13/09/2021 10:53

TBA Leader

Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman

New HBLB prize-money proposal is great news T

he deliberations by the industry’s Fixtures and Funding Group, led by the BHA, in putting together the racing calendar for 2022 have been long and testing, but the outcome and, perhaps more importantly, proposals put to the Levy Board for its funding towards the fixture list set an exciting benchmark for their way forward. At first sight, the compilation of a sound fixture list might not appear to have too many direct consequences for breeders, yet as providers of the raw material we have a fundamental interest in the framework under which the horses we produce compete. There are several layers that make up the 2022 programme and among aspects that were given extra prominence were racing on Saturdays and Sundays, the wellbeing of participants, especially jockeys, and a number of other initiatives. However, funding is the bedrock on which the future prosperity of the sport will be built. For as long as I can remember, a substantial amount of the prize-money funds allocated by the Levy Board to racecourses comes in the form of an amount paid per fixture, via either the general prize fund or its predecessor, the basic daily rate grant. Neither of these methods fully reflected the type and quality of the races run on those days, so racecourses were able to switch funds from one meeting to another. As a result, various incentive and development funds were put in place to top up areas where it was thought necessary to steer racecourses into running races and at values that the BHA and horsemen required. The new proposal for 2022 of a ratecard-plus system is fully transparent and allows racecourse executives to choose exactly how much and where they wish to put their executive contribution. It means that this contribution is encouraged by a form of match-funding, and that the payments from the HBLB are transparent and available in time to pay out prize-money for each raceday. This is an exciting opportunity, as well as being an enormous advance for the BHA and horsemen, who can see exactly where the HBLB prize-money allocation is going and how racecourses react to the opportunity this brings. Outside the tracks themselves, British racing has no control – and little transparency – of the media rights payments received by racecourses. So, the HBLB’s prize-money allocation is the only element over which the sport in general has influence and through it the ability to incentivise racecourse executive contributions. The new ratecard-plus system allows racing to adjust, on an annual basis, where it wishes to allocate HBLB prize-

money and how much incentivisation of matched funding works. It provides simplification and clarity and also removes many of the complicated extra funds that were used to try to achieve the same results. The system of match-funding is very clear for racecourses to work with and will reward those which are prepared to support prize-money though their executive contributions – and will expose those which do not wish to do so. A one-off noticeable increase in the HBLB’s prize-money allocation and a small contingency fund have helped to get this revolution over the line. I see it as a small price to pay for the change to a system that can be used to its full extent going forward.

“The ratecard-plus system is transparent and allows courses to choose where they put their contribution” Of course, the system will be far from perfect, but through its transparency the BHA and horsemen can work with the racecourses to iron out any imperfections and unintended consequences. All three bodies – horsemen, BHA and racecourses – should now positively consider the opportunities this new system brings and, with the HBLB, can refine the model for 2023. To make further advances in prize-money, levy reform is needed as soon as possible, since the HBLB’s 2023 budget risks being affected by the falling off of the winter payment top-up towards 2022 prize-money and the start of the repayment of that loan and the interest on it. Racing has done its work in reforming and showing the need for extra support. Now the importance and urgency of help from the government needs to be stressed by all sides in the sport.





Weekend racing in focus as BHA reveals 2022 fixture list

Next year will see an increase in the number of meetings staged on Saturdays and Sundays


he publication of Britain’s 2022 fixture list last month revealed an increasing focus on weekend racing. An additional 18 meetings on Saturdays and Sundays have been scheduled for next year, with ten additional Saturdays programmed within an initial 1,482 meetings – four fewer than scheduled for this year. However, Racing League fixtures have not yet been accounted for as discussions concerning the future of the new summer Thursday evenings competition continue. A new series of valuable Sunday fixtures form part of the 2022 offering, with the sport’s leaders championing that aspect of the fixture list, along with longer breaks for jockeys. The hope is that the Sunday additions will help boost attendances and drive betting revenues, particularly when covered by ITV. It is expected that all such fixtures – there are eight scheduled between May and August in 2022 – would receive Levy Board prize-money funding with, in addition, racecourses making at least £65,000 in executive contributions towards purses, meaning the total available at these meetings will be in six figures. Next year’s list also includes a small number of rider-restricted fixtures to facilitate the slight extension of breaks for the busiest jockeys in March and



November (Flat), and August (jump). One quirk is that, due to the desire to maintain a three-week gap between the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, plus the vagaries of when Easter falls, the Scottish Grand National will be run before the Grand National for the first time since 1883. Richard Wayman, BHA Chief Operating Officer, said: “Fixture policy is an area of tripartite decision-making and, whilst there will inevitably be differences of opinion from time to time, there is complete agreement that the fixture list must continue to evolve as we listen to what racegoers, fans of the sport and the betting industry’s customers are telling us. “We have built on some of the initiatives trialled during the pandemic, such as the creation of additional relatively high value meetings on Sundays, and will continue to look for more opportunities to use the fixture list to support the future of the sport.” ROA Chief Executive Charlie Liverton said: “The fixture list is the sport’s main income driver, whether that is for participants or racecourses. It is therefore paramount that it meets the evolving needs of the horse population and those who choose to invest in British racing, either as owners or breeders, and those who are fans of the sport, be that as a punter, sponsor, or racegoer.

“The pandemic has been an opportunity for racing to consider new initiatives, including during the compilation of the 2022 fixture list. We must continue to look at ways of meeting the needs of the horse population, bookmakers and racing’s fans to ensure that, as a sport, we remain relevant and competitive. “The fixture list and the funding of the race programme is at the heart of the retention and growth of horses in training, which in turn directly or indirectly unlocks all of racing’s income streams. We look forward to further discussions around ensuring the fixture list meets the needs of all those who invest in this great sport.” The BHA has an unenviable task in trying to balance commercial considerations with participant wellbeing, and reviews over how well or otherwise the 2022 fixture list – which the BHA has little control over save for the 15 per cent of fixtures they own – does that were mixed. George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Racing Staff, called the fixture list a “slap in the face” for stable staff who had been “placed well and truly behind commercial benefits to the racing industry”. While outgoing National Trainers Federation Chief Executive Rupert Arnold took issue with elements of

Stories from the racing world McGrath’s remarks over stable staff in the context of the fixture list, others backed the sentiment that there is too much racing, especially at weekends. Trainer Ed Bethell, who is enjoying a fine debut season, was among them and said: “People need to come and want to work in this environment and have a better way of life because the work-life balance is tough. I work seven

days a week, but I don’t expect my team of people with me to work like me.” Other developments in the 2022 fixture list include the staging of two floodlit fixtures (rather than just one) on each day of the Cheltenham Festival; adjusting the fixture list for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday to ensure a good geographical spread of

fixtures over the four days and the introduction of evening meetings on the Bank Holiday Thursday and Friday; afternoon all-weather fixtures in the Christmas period will become floodlit fixtures; and staging a trial of race times involving more staggered start times of meetings, including some afternoon fixtures on the busiest days, not commencing until 3pm.

Tributes to popular jumps owner Andy Stewart Andy Stewart, who died in September aged 70, was one of those people in racing about whom many would have a tale to tell, invariably involving an act of generosity or kindness, or a good laugh. The Stewart family’s colours will forever be associated with the four-time Stayers’ Hurdle hero Big Buck’s, though any number of talented horses carried the famous white, red and black silks, as there have also been Celestial Halo, Cenkos and Saphir Du Rheu to name but three. Andrew Marshall Stewart was born in Romford on August 15, 1951, to parents who were both doctors. He would grow up to be a highly successful stockbroker, able therefore to indulge his passion for jump racing. As Stewart explained to Owner Breeder in an interview in 2010: “My mother had a useless stockbroker: everything he said to buy went down, and everything he said to sell went up. But I noticed that he had a brand new Daimler. I wondered how an idiot like that could afford such a car. So I went into the City in 1969 with Simon & Coates. I started on the lowest rung of the ladder, as a clerk, earning £502 a year. And I worked my way up.” He also did a lot for charities, including spinal research, which was close to his and his family’s heart after son Paul had a life-changing snowboarding accident in 2008. Stewart died peacefully in hospital in Guernsey following complications from a fall at his home in Barbados earlier in the year. Son Paul told the Racing Post: “Racing was his major love and it kept him going. He treasured the community and people he met in it and the joy it brought to him. “He loved the game and the people – it was like an extended family. He always wanted to be first in the business world, but in racing he was just as happy to come second to great friends.”

Andy Stewart: owner of magnificent staying hurdler Big Buck’s (below)

Big Buck’s, however, was not in the habit of coming second. His 18 consecutive wins between 2009 and 2012 was a world record over hurdles. The haul comprised those four Stayers’ Hurdles, or World Hurdles as the race was known at the time, four Liverpool Hurdles, four Long Distance Hurdles, three Long Walk Hurdles, two Cleeve Hurdles and a Cheltenham handicap hurdle. That last race on New Year’s Day 2009 was actually the start of the sequence and came after Big Buck’s had unseated Sam Thomas at the final fence in the Hennessy. The winning run was to end in the 2014 Cleeve Hurdle, after Big Buck’s had returned from a long injury absence, and he was not persevered with after one more run, in the Stayers’ Hurdle aged 11, in which he finished fifth.

There were other Cheltenham Festival winners, namely Celestial Halo in the 2008 Triumph Hurdle, Pacha Du Polder in the 2017 and 2018 Foxhunter Chase and, in partnership with the Johnson family, Salubrious in the 2013 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle. Cenkos was a great favourite – indeed, Stewart even named the company he founded in 2004, Cenkos Securities, after his early flagbearer – and not surprisingly, given he landed the Maghull Novices’ Chase, Tingle Creek and two Celebration Chases, while he was also twice third in the Champion Chase. Other notable winners, owned outright or with partners, included Le Duc, Le Roi Miguel, Phar Bleu, Napolitain, Nycteos, Oslot, Gwanako, Poquelin, Tataniano, Rocky Creek, Old Guard, As De Mee and Black Corton. The horses latterly ran under the name of the Stewart family, with the highest-placed finisher in the Grand National being My Will, who was third behind Mon Mome in 2009, while the following season saw their best effort in the owners’ championship when runner-up to JP McManus. Paul Nicholls was Stewart’s principal trainer and said: “It’s awfully sad. I knew he’d been poorly since he had that fall in Barbados, and he’s just not got over it. “I’ve known him for the best part of 20 years, and I reckon we spoke to each other and were in contact nearly every day in those 20 years. “We had many memories, but Big Buck’s’ fourth win in the Stayers’ was an amazing day.” Stewart is survived by his wife Judy and two sons, Mark and Paul.


›› 9


Balding has eyes on Bahrain Entries for the third edition of the Bahrain International Trophy at Sakhir racecourse close this month, with plenty of European trainers having the £500,000 contest in mind. The first two renewals each drew nine horses from Europe, and, with Japanese representation as well, organisers have made a successful start in their ambition to make it a truly international contest while showcasing the delights of a nation that did not previously leave much of an indent on racing’s world map. That has changed, with the likes of John Gosden, Aidan O’Brien and Godolphin’s duo of Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby all being involved last year, when the Fawzi Nass-trained Simsir edged out the Gosden-trained Global Giant by a neck, with a nose back to O’Brien’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign in third.

Andrew Balding had runners in the first two races, with Pivoine beaten just two lengths in sixth in 2019 and Bangkok – likewise owned by King Power Racing – ninth last year. Speaking last month, Balding said: “Bangkok has had a setback unfortunately and isn’t a candidate this time round, but over the course of the next couple of weeks we’re running a couple of horses that might enter calculations for the race. “It was a very strong race last year, and from that my feeling is that you really need a genuine Group horse to take out there. Hopefully there’ll be a horse who runs well here and gives us an option.” The Kingsclere trainer, who is having a superb season and remains in strong contention for the trainers’ title, attended the second running of the Bahrain International Trophy last year


where champions meet in the Kingdom of Bahrain

£500,000 Travel Incentives PRIZE MONEY





and had a thoroughly enjoyable trip. “It was excellent,” he said. “They made a real effort. There was a wonderful display of hospitality, a lovely atmosphere, and I’d be very keen to support the race again.” This month’s entry stage is free, while there is a supplementary stage early next month, with the ten-furlong turf contest taking place on November 19. It is an exciting time for racing in Bahrain, with a new ten-race turf series beginning in December, specifically targeting international horses rated 85-100. The series has a total prize-money fund of £550,000, while there will also be owner and trainer bonuses. The series will run alongside the best racing in Bahrain, including the prestigious King’s Cup, Crown Prince’s Cup and National Day Grade One.

An eye for success

October 2021

visit studlife online:

PRESTIGE-OUS WIN FOR MISE Tweenhills homebred 2-year-old Mise En Scene maintained her unbeaten record in the Gr.3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood since our last update. Mise En Scene was born and raised at Tweenhills for Qatar Racing. She’s by leading French stallion Siyouni and out of unraced Galileo mare Gadfly, a half-sister to Gr.1 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa. Gadfly has a Zoustar filly foal and is in foal to Kameko. Mise En Scene’s win was a first at Group level for young Newmarket trainer James Ferguson. Mise En Scene now has the Gr.1 options of the Fillies’ Mile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Fingers crossed she develops into a 1000 Guineas filly.

STAFF PROFILE Joe Robinson Stud Hand


Growing up… I’m from Lincolnshire and was brought up on a small family stud farm. After university I did the National Stud Course in Newmarket and then the Southern Hemisphere breeding season at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand. I started at Tweenhills in July 2021. Best part of the job… Seeing the yearlings develop from when they come in from the field to when they leave. I’ve also been involved with the stallions here; it’s a different test of horsemanship and it will be fascinating to see how they are in the covering barn next spring. Away from horses… I enjoy running and following football, cricket and rugby. I’m a regular in the Royal Exchange pub near Tweenhills… usually to make sure Ivo Thomas finds his way home. Horse to follow… I have a share in a horse with Chris Dwyer called Thaki – who has won two for us – and his Global Wisdom caught my eye when winning recently. He has been handled well by Chris and Tim Hide and could be exciting for them in 2022.

Mise En Scene gets up at Goodwood

SMART BUYERS FOR ZOUSTARS The first European yearlings by Zoustar proved popular at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale, topped by a colt who sold for £95,000 to Gr.1-winning trainer Bryan Smart. Other Zoustar yearling buyers included Mark McStay of Avenue Bloodstock who went to £65,000 for a colt; Stephen Hillen and Kevin Ryan who bought a colt for £60,000; highly respected breeze-up consignors Roger Marley and Mick Murphy; and trainers Donnacha O’Brien and Tim Easterby.

Millennial Moon as a yearling

Millennial Moon – named by Michael White and Samantha Wright as part of the QIPCO #FollowTheFoals competition in conjunction with Ascot – bolted up at Yarmouth on September 15. After showing ability in a strong Newmarket maiden on debut, the 2-yearold looked a smart prospect at the seaside track under Cieren Fallon for Qatar Racing and John and Thady Gosden.

GOSDENS PICK THEIR PRIDE John and Thady Gosden came to Tweenhills in September to view the Qatar Racing-owned Roaring Lion yearlings going into training in 2022. They also went to the breaking and pre-training yard of Tim Rusbridge to view more of our Lions – no longer cubs – with the day filmed for ITV Racing.

Millennial Moon was born and raised at Tweenhills and is the first foal out of dual Gr.3 winner and multiple Gr.1-placed Wekeela. She has a yearling colt by Roaring Lion, a colt foal by Kingman and is in foal to Lope de Vega.

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

11144 - Tweenhills Stud Life - Oct 2021 (V4).indd 1

21/09/2021 14:12


Racing’s news in a nutshell

People and business Harry Derham

Assistant to 12-times champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls plans to start his own training career from a purposebuilt yard in 2023.

Guineas meeting

Newmarket’s Classic fixture will become a three-day affair from next year, adding a Friday to the current Saturday and Sunday schedule.

Stephen Mahon

Nicky Mackay

Calls time on career in the saddle aged 36. He rode 533 winners in Britain including Royal Ascot victories aboard Admiral and Sagramor.

Kevin Lundie

Flat jockey tests positive for cocaine for a second time and is banned from riding for two years, having previously received a six-month ban.

Trainer’s four-year suspension for neglect of horses in his care is reduced by six months by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Jessica Harrington

Mix-up that saw the wrong filly contest – and win – a two-year-old Galway maiden in July results in trainer receiving a €2,000 fine.

Gambling Commission

Parliamentary group launches inquiry into the competence and effectiveness of the industry regulator following numerous complaints.

Sean Bowen

Loses role as first jockey to trainer Harry Fry, who plans to use a number of other riders including Jonathan Burke.

David Flood

Trainer fined £1,000 for using threatening language towards a racecourse vet – calling him “a clown and idiot” – at Wolverhampton in March.

Alduino Botti

Italian handler enjoys 1-2-3-4 in the Premio Federico Tesio at Capannelle – only four runners took part in the £100,000 Group 2 contest.

Jumps handicapping

BHA to make “subtle changes” to how British jumpers are assessed following the poor home performance at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.


Operation announces plan to sell a significant number of horses, including horses in training, yearlings and broodmares, this autumn.

Haldon Gold Cup

Exeter’s feature race will be moved from its traditional Tuesday position to a Friday from 2022 in a bid to secure ITV coverage.

Fergal O’Brien

Joins forces with Graeme McPherson from October 1, with O’Brien in charge of training and McPherson running the commercial side.

Danny Cook

Popular jump jockey is forced into retirement aged 38. His 397 winners included eight victories – four at Grade 2 level – on Definitly Red.

Horse obituaries Grey Swallow 20

Son of Daylami won the Irish Derby at three and the Tattersalls Gold Cup at four for the Dermot Weld stable.



Shantou 28

St Leger winner became a prolific jumps sire whose progeny included Grade 1 victors The Storyteller and Death Duty.

Persario 22

Daughter of Bishop Of Cashel produced top sprinters The Tin Man and Deacon Blues among seven winning offspring.

THE AGA KHAN STUDS Success Breeds Success






Number of Stakes Winners

Number of Group Winners

Percentage of Stakes Winners/ Runners









Top Rated 3yo in Europe, St Mark’s Basilica

Number of 2yo Group Winners

Prize Money






All statistics to 21/09/21

Don’t miss their yearlings selling at Tattersalls this October!




Racehorse and stallion

Movements and retirements


Patricia Pugh’s outstanding chaser, winner of 19 consecutive races over jumps and ten Grade 1s for trainer Nicky Henderson, is retired aged 11.

Wonderful Tonight

Chris Wright’s brilliant filly suffers an injury on the gallops and is retired aged four. The daughter of Le Havre won twice at the top level.

Prince Of Arran

Globetrotting star for Charlie Fellowes is retired aged eight. Placed three times in the Melbourne Cup, he won six races and banked over £2m.

People obituaries Christopher Spence 84 Former Senior Steward of the Jockey Club who was the owner-breeder of Celeric, winner of the 1997 Gold Cup.

Andy Stewart 70

Passionate National Hunt owner whose silks were carried by the likes of brilliant hurdler Big Buck’s and top chaser Cenkos.

John Sutcliffe 81

Epsom trainer sent out Right Tack to win the 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes in 1969.




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Statistics correct to 16th September 2021

The Big Picture



Cazoo St Leger

Buick in the St Leger fast lane He may have gone into the world’s oldest Classic as oddson favourite, but there is always an element of doubt if a colt is tackling a mile and six furlongs for the first time, which was the case with Hurricane Lane. However, Godolphin’s son of Frankel was always travelling kindly under William Buick and cleared away to win by two and three-quarter lengths. It was a third St Leger triumph for the delighted jockey but a first for trainer Charlie Appleby. Photos Bill Selwyn



The Howard Wright Column

Cash conundrum awaits if Scotland changes tack



s Noah said to himself when he looked at the long-range weather forecast, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Which brings us to the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum, and what that could mean for British horseracing and betting. The September 2014 version, in which Scotland polled 55.3 per cent to 44.7 per cent against independence, was said to have been a “once in a generation” vote, but that was to ignore the Rottweiler-like grip that the subject has on the psyche of Nicola Sturgeon. Since succeeding former First Minister Alex Salmond shortly after the SNP’s major platform was apparently dismantled, Sturgeon has steadily laid the groundwork for another attack on

Would prize-money for the Scottish Grand National decrease in the event of independence?

Co-ordinated effort is wishful thinking If navel-gazing was to join skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing as a new Olympic pursuit, British racing could field a gold medal-winning team all of its own every week of the year, never mind every four years. Anyone who thinks that this summer’s spate of soul searching is a new phenomenon has a very short memory. Attempts to supply an answer to the riddle of how to attract more people to the sport come round as many times as a new moon, accelerated most recently by the advent of social media. The truth is that an activity which for convenience likes to call itself an industry, but is no such thing, has too many interacting component parts to be able successfully to mount a central strategy aimed at increasing general popularity. Apart from race-planning initiatives derived centrally, all the most significant ideas have come from individual thought processes, whether generated by people or entities. Generic themes such as music events, ladies’ days and nights, and countryside days have been developed by racecourses. Whatever some individuals might think, their overall benefits outweigh their faults. Specific racecourse events, such as Carlisle’s all-female jockey evening meeting and Arena Racing Company’s similarly constituted Silk Series, emanated from individual marketing staff. September’s Leger Legends charity raceday, which celebrated its tenth anniversary at Doncaster last month, came about through an idea floated and pushed through by trustees and staff at the Northern Racing College (now National Horseracing College). Joining forces with the Injured Jockeys Fund has helped the event to deliver significant



revenue for both entities, while generating swathes of popularity for the sport itself. The jury is still out after the first year of the Racing League and the SkyBet Sunday Series, but, having been borne along on a wave of individual enthusiasm, they deserve a Richard second chance to show they Phillips: have a place in the scheme of visionary things. And so to National Racehorse Week, which from the outside had the appearance of a central authority initiative but whose original premise depended entirely on one man, trainer Richard Phillips. Open days at the training centres of Epsom, Lambourn, Malton, Middleham and Newmarket owe much to local planning, as well as Racing Welfare support, but would they have blossomed into a whole week of nationwide activities had it not been for Phillips’ brainchild? I seriously doubt it. Ever since the BHB appointed Lee Richardson as its first marketing director in August 1993, the sport’s centralised promotion efforts have had to swim against the swollen tide of apprehension, derision and at times outright opposition. Today, Great British Racing has the unenviable, perhaps even unattainable, task of promoting British racing as an entity that is virtually impossible accurately to define in a sentence. Maligned for having ‘only’ around £1.6 million to spend each year, GBR would struggle to match KPIs of a similar organisation with ten, 20 or 100 times the budget. Better to leave it to those whose day-to-day jobs actually depend on attracting new or retaining existing customers – trainers, bloodstock agents, sales companies, racecourses, bookmakers – and let them promote the sport.

“A report suggested there would be an annual shortfall of £4.2 million in income should Scotland vote yes on independence” forced to seek independence from the rest of Britain in this sphere of sporting activity. No doubt there would be a rush from remaining venues to take up the slack, especially since they would expect to pick up financial assistance from the Levy Board that would otherwise go to Scotland. The extent of the Levy Board’s direct involvement with Scotland has been helpfully laid out for the purposes of this observation by Operations Manager Tom Byrne, who calculated that in 2019, the last ‘normal’ year for the organisation, the five Scottish racecourses were budgeted to receive £5.1m in fixture-related expenditure, including prize-money, raceday service grants and fixture incentive payments, which represented 6.7 per cent of the total £76.2m budget. On the other side of the coin, in terms of levy generation and based on shop-count data provided by the Betting & Gaming Council, Scotland’s betting offices are estimated to make up 11 per cent of Britain’s total, while overall fixtures at the Scottish courses account for just short of six per cent of levy generated. None of those calculations includes the imponderable of Scottish-based online punters. The consequences of both sides of the coin being turned over at the same time, pushing racing and betting in Scotland into no-man’s land, are likely to be significant. Some of Scottish racing’s major personalities might have changed since 2014, and one course has jumped into a different management arrangement, but the challenges and consequences remain just as formidable.

the union. Her plans appeared to have hit the buffers when the party fell short of winning a majority in the May election for Holyrood representation, but within a couple of months she had engineered a majority government through a wide-ranging power-sharing deal with the Greens. The arrangement falls short of a full coalition, since there are eight areas of policy that the Greens can continue to criticise, but marching towards “independence in Europe” is not one of them. In fact, shared policy statements have specifically called for a referendum by this time in 2023 and a commitment that a separate Scotland should join the European Union. Nothing could be clearer, at the moment, and although the bookmakers called the last result correctly, the current odds about Yes and No suggest there is no guarantee that the 2014 outcome would be repeated. In that case, British racing should start thinking about the future now. When the five Scottish racecourses last faced the prospect of a yes vote on independence, a commissioned report suggested there would be an annual shortfall of £4.2 million in income under that outcome. Time is hardly likely to have closed the potential black hole; indeed, Brexit and Covid-19 might actually have worsened the possible situation. Removing around seven per cent of fixtures from the British racing programme would have the biggest impact to the south side of Hadrian’s Wall, allowing that Scotland would also be


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19 15/03/21 09:30

The Big Interview


Graham Smith-Bernal, pictured with wife Marcela: “I want to have a huge amount of fun with it,” he says of his recent purchase of Newsells Park Stud

Graham Smith-Bernal is relishing the prospect of embarking on an exciting challenge as the new owner of Newsells Park Stud Words: Julian Muscat • Photos: Bill Selwyn


y his own admission, Graham SmithBernal has swallowed the lure of breeding “hook, line and sinker” since he bought Newsells Park Stud lock, stock and barrel in June. The man who made his fortune from courtroom software is talking from the stud offices on an afternoon when the skies match his bright disposition. He is contemplating his imminent debut as a leading consignor at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sales, where Newsells Park has topped the vendors’ charts for the last three years. Is he nervous? He considers the question for a moment before breaking out into a full-on smile. “No so much nervous as excited,” he replies. “I’m too reckless by nature to be nervous. What appeals to me is that there are so many imponderables.” It is as if Smith-Bernal, 63, is the proverbial child let loose in a sweet shop. His excitement is palpable. He speaks so quickly it’s a wonder he doesn’t trip over his words, yet it is soon evident his mind turns even more quickly. His voice can barely stay abreast, such is the rush of ideas, bon mots and rejoinders emanating from him. For all that, his diction never falters. He is a rare soul who can introduce two digressions into one sentence before resuming precisely where he left off. “I am always at my most creative at four or five in the morning,” he says. It is three o’clock in the afternoon. Prior to his purchase of Newsells Park, Smith-Bernal owned four horses in training, together with six mares and their progeny. Now he is up to 180 choicelybred head, and he’s not entirely sure what


to do with them all. It’s something upon which he cogitates as the yearling sales beckon. Since the stud has turned decent profits in each of the last five years, he has resolved to take a watching brief until the year’s end. That means Newsells Park will send the vast majority of its yearling crop to auction in time-honoured fashion. “I do love the idea of forming two or three partnerships, retaining some of our yearling fillies to race and really enjoying that experience,” he says of what the future might hold. “There would be residual value there, and if the fillies make it, you’re not just winning with them but you have the mother at home. You can control several other aspects too, such as the trainers they are sent to.” Smith-Bernal’s plans on this front remain embryonic, although there is no doubt he will introduce new facets to the stud’s modus operandi. The imperative as a commercial venture remains unchanged, as is the commitment to cater for highend clients who board horses at the 1,200acre Hertfordshire property. There are also plans to invest further in bloodstock, but Smith-Bernal is bound to implant his own footprint sooner or later. “Another of my major hobbies is wine,” he says, “and we happen to have 170 south-facing acres of chalk slopes here. It’s chalk that is absolutely perfect for making sparkling wine. Global warming means it is getting too hot [for optimum growing conditions] in the champagne region of France. That’s why the likes of Bollinger and Tattinger have bought sites in England.” The project remains a vision, and subject to planning permission, yet it has


Graham Smith-Bernal



The Big Interview ›› plainly taken root in Smith-Bernal’s fertile

imagination. “We already have a brand name for it,” he enthuses. “Shastye.” In that event, the wine had better sparkle. Shastye is the mare on which so much of Newsells Park’s success has been founded. In four separate trysts with Galileo she has bred Group 1 winners Japan and Mogul, Group 2-winning Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture, and Group 3 winner Sir Isaac Newton. All told, seven of her yearlings have passed through the Tattersalls auction ring for takings just short of 14 million guineas. There is no yearling out of Shastye in this year’s 30-strong Book 1 draft, although the blue hen, now 20 after two barren years, has been tested in foal to Dubawi. But that won’t slow the traffic to Newsells Park’s patch of the sales grounds. Not when the nursery has offerings like a chestnut son of Frankel and Without You Babe, and thus a full-brother to St James’s Palace Stakes winner Without Parole, who now stands alongside Nathaniel at Newsells Park. Two other lots instantly catch the eye. There’s a Dubawi daughter of Waldlerche, herself dam of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Waldgeist; and a Galileo filly,

“The reality is that I haven’t worked hard all my life, I’ve just thought hard” this one the first foal of Group 2 winner Aljazzi, who was bought by Newsells Park for 1 million guineas in 2018. These three yearlings reflect the diverse nature of Newsells Park’s activities. The Frankel colt belongs to John and Tanya Gunther, who are valued clients. The Dubawi filly is owned by Newsells Park in partnership with Dietrich von Boetticher’s Gestut Ammerland, while the Galileo filly belongs entirely to the stud. There is much to anticipate, although this will not be Smith-Bernal’s first taste of Book 1 action. “I have had the pleasure of selling two or three Book 1 yearlings before,” he says. “One was by Frankel whom everyone loved, but once he got into the parade ring he thought it was showtime and did his prancing pony routine all the way round. “We were having kittens until Sheikh


Graham Smith-Bernal A Dubawi half-sister to Waldgeist, pictured with General Manager Julian Dollar and Elody Swann, heads to Tattersalls October Book 1

Mohammed bid 300,000 guineas for him,” Smith-Bernal continues. “That was a great experience but I get the feeling that going behind the scenes this time is going to be a little different.” So much so that Smith-Bernal intends to station himself in the Tattersalls dining room. “I might slip down to the yard occasionally but I’ll be knocking back a glass or two with some of our clients,” he says. “Mind you, I’ll have to be careful not to spend too much time in the restaurant or I might buy more horses than I plan to. That happened at a sale I attended some years ago, when I bought two foals on the spur of the moment. I was hooked after that, and here I am.” Hooked is a particularly apt description. Even though he was a Newsells Park client for six years before he bought the farm, Smith-Bernal acknowledges his enthusiasm is in danger of being run away with. Equally, there is an element of self-reward about the farm’s purchase that he is determined to enjoy. “I have always been a risk-taker, albeit calculated risk,” he offers. “People say you have to fail once in business before you make it, although that hasn’t happened to me yet. But this is not creating a business from scratch, it’s an established business. I was able to see the results before I bought it. “What has been happening here is a proven formula,” he adds. “It is working, but if I do make any changes it will be with an objective perspective from outside the core business, if you like. People tell me I sold my businesses for a load of money, I have a lovely place in Italy, where I stay 20 per cent of the time, and I have lovely grandchildren. I should be putting my feet up, but that’s not me. “The reality is that I haven’t worked hard all my life, I’ve just thought hard.

And I love a challenge. I bought Newsells Park first and foremost as a commercial venture. It appealed to me as a business I feel I can do something with, but I’m not doing it because I think I’m going to make lots of money. Far from it; it’s something I find interesting and exciting. I want to have a huge amount of fun with it.” He already has some ideas about what that might entail. He moved in legal circles throughout his professional life, having started as a court stenographer before he developed a range of easy-to-use software that transformed a legal process that was naturally reticent to embrace new technology. “There are a number of very wealthy people in the legal community who are interested in investing in bloodstock with us,” he says. “Some of them want to get involved at a high level, perhaps in a racing and breeding syndicate where they start with one mare and one yearling.” Smith-Bernal is also a member of the 125 Club, which was established to commemorate the anniversary of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the 2007-08 season. Its limited membership is confined to fans and players past and present. Smith-Bernal would like to involve them too. “We have our own suite [at the football ground] and Ossie Ardiles [a World Cup winner with Argentina who played for Tottenham for a decade from 1978] is our ‘legend’,” he says. “Ossie has been to Newsells Park a few times already. [Former Spurs captain] Steve Perryman is a good friend, as is Glenn Hoddle. They have all been over to my place in Italy, so the challenge is to set up a syndicate of Spurs fans with these old legends who are idolised by them.” These will be partnerships with a difference. In addition to racing, SmithBernal wants them to get involved in the


THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT From the hallowed grounds of Keeneland comes the breeding stock sale that has and will continue to shape the next generation of our sport. With a deep catalogue of exceptional bloodlines, beautifully-bred weanlings and promising horses of racing age, the future is bright at Keeneland this November.

You won’t want to miss this.




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

The Big Interview

Graham Smith-Bernal

Graham Smith-Bernal’s acquisition of Newsells Park Stud also includes resident stallion Nathaniel, sire of Enable

›› breeding side. As much as anything, he

wants to spread the word about a pursuit that now enraptures him. Among the perks will be the use of his manor house at Newsells Park for hospitality. He also feels that breeding horses is less of a hostage to the chill financial winds blowing through the industry. Low prize-money affects all owners but the quality of bloodstock based in Britain offers some immunity from the financial deficit of putting a horse in training. “I think the top ten per cent of the breeding industry is viable and that is what I am interested in,” he says. “I see the top end of the market staying resilient, because of foreign buyers as much as anything else. I’m fairly confident about that, even though we have lost some big owner-breeders like Khalid Abdullah, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and David Thompson in the last 12 months.” It is refreshing to see lateral thinkers such as Smith-Bernal embracing racing and breeding. Innovative approaches to selling the concept have been few and far between. The sport tends to attract either outright dreamers or hard-nosed professionals bent on squeezing out every last penny of profit. Here is a man with a conciliatory foot in both camps. The sense of attainment at having made it, in counting your worth by seven- or eight-figure digits, has long ceased to matter to Smith-Bernal. In


business he outsmarted and out-thought his competitors by innovating to stay one step ahead, selling companies he founded before setting up the next one. It was water off a duck’s back to a nascent entrepreneur who left school at 16 and married his Bolivian wife, Marcela, two years later. His father was of a similar mindset: he established successful PR and promotions

“I think the top ten per cent of the breeding industry is viable” businesses while simultaneously founding the London Bach Orchestra and umpiring the inaugural world table tennis championship. His mother, meanwhile, was a professional pianist. Such an eclectic family hub may well have shaped Smith-Bernal’s moral conscience on the subject of wealth. “To me, money is not a thing to be treasured,” he says. “It’s the consequence of doing things right. Capitalism is not as

bad as socialism, but at the end of the day just hoarding money for money’s sake I don’t think is particularly exciting. I think there’s a duty for people, particularly those who are good at building businesses, to take on a challenge and, post-Covid, try to create meaningful businesses that in turn create meaningful jobs. That is what I would call rewarding.” It wasn’t dyslexia that afflicted him at birth; more a condition he equates to being very strong on the right side of his brain but not on the left. “My attention to detail is not very good,” he says. “I am not a structured person, I’ve never written a business plan in my life. My businesses just grew.” It will be fascinating to see how Newsells Park grows over the next decade. We can be sure it will change some of its shape, and Smith-Bernal’s intention to invest further in breeding stock affords the nursery every prospect of spawning new female lines that find favour with yearling buyers. It has been a whirlwind beginning for Smith-Bernal, and the tempo is soon to rise again at Tattersalls. In assimilating what he has taken on, has he learnt one thing that has taken him by surprise? “Not really,” he replies, before he smiles once more. “Actually, we need a new boiler in the house, but I don’t suppose that’s what you were really asking, was it?”

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Tattersalls Somerville Sales Topper

Transatlantic trade


Technical Analysis: top US turf filly is the latest star sourced at Tattersalls by Klaravich Stables

Yearlings purchased out of Europe to race in the US are carrying all before them – and now American buyers are armed and ready for more Words: James Thomas


here have been numerous examples of transatlantic talent searches yielding game-changing results through the annals of turf history. The cross-Atlantic raids with the most profound impact were almost certainly those conducted by Vincent O’Brien, Robert Sangster and John Magnier, whose search for ‘baby stallions’ led them to procure the lion’s share of youngstock by Northern Dancer. More recent times have seen a notable change in the direction of travel, with USbased buyers plundering the sales rings of Europe before recording some significant racetrack results once their bounty is back on home soil. Of course, the impact of US buyers’ European missions is not yet in the same stratosphere as the exploits of Magnier, O’Brien and Sangster, but the rich seam of high-ranking winners they are currently mining is noteworthy nonetheless. Indeed, the trend has not only been one of the most significant stories of recent European sales seasons, but also shows no signs of slowing. Matters reached a new intensity during this year’s Saratoga meeting, as Technical Analysis followed up her victory in the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes with a widemargin win in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes, Public Sector claimed the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes and Grade 3 Saranac

Stakes, while Star Devine, Rastafara, Serve The King and Sifting Sands all struck in black-type company. One name who has quickly become synonymous with American raids on European shores has his fingerprints all over the purchase of these stakes winners: Mike Ryan. The agent knows better than most how significant a trip across the Atlantic can be, as he was born and raised in County Meath before finding work at Windfields Farm while the Canadian operation was still home to Northern Dancer himself. Ryan is now the chief sales ring ally to leading US trainer Chad Brown, a protege of Bobby Frankel and widely regarded as the finest turf trainer in America. Aided by Brown and owners such as Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables and Peter Brant of White Birch Farm, Ryan has compiled an enviable roll of honour from a relatively select number of purchases at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. Ryan says that the idea of a Book 1 buying mission was first raised during discussions with Brown, Brant and Klarman in 2017, and came as prices in the form horse market began to spiral. “It was getting increasingly difficult to buy proven horses from Europe,” says Ryan. “There aren’t very many of them available, and when they are available they’re usually very high value horses. That was the catalyst, the idea that we

“It was a new expedition but one we were excited about”


should be looking at the raw product by buying yearlings and developing these horses ourselves by putting them into Chad’s programme in New York. It was a new expedition for us but one we were excited about.” The excitement felt before hitting the Tattersalls sales ground for the first time in 2017 will doubtless have paled in comparison to the exhilaration that has followed. Ryan and his clients returned with 12 yearlings from that initial foray, among which were the Grade 1 winners Newspaperofrecord, heroine of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the Grade 1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic scorer Digital Age. That crop also contained Graded stakes performers Good Governance,


Serve The King and Value Proposition. Another member of the cohort, Demarchelier, won the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge Stakes and became the first son of Dubawi to stand in Kentucky when taking up residence at Claiborne Farm in 2019. Ryan’s strike-rate with the yearlings purchased that first year was underpinned by much more than beginner’s luck, as he explains no stone was left unturned during long days spent inspecting the lots on offer at Park Paddocks. “We looked at somewhere between 350 and 375 out of the 550 that were in the book, so we went through it very thoroughly,” he says. “We needed to educate ourselves about the sire lines that we weren’t so familiar with, and there was a lot to learn and a lot to catch up

on. There are a lot of horses everybody knows, the likes of Galileo, Dubawi, Frankel and now Kingman, of course, but there were a lot of sires with stock there that we weren’t very familiar with that are capable of siring good horses. “We wanted to get as much exposure to the European horses as we could because, if it worked out, our plan was to come back and keep doing it. We worked it very hard, but not in our wildest dreams could we have foreseen how much success we’d have.” It is curious to think back to a period when Ryan and his associates were unsure whether a trip to Tattersalls would yield the kind of result they desired, as the fullness of time has revealed that the exercise has been a resounding triumph.

The second visit led to the purchase of leading turf performer and triple Grade 1 winner Domestic Spending and Grade 3 scorer Counterparty Risk, while a third visit in 2019 led to the acquisition of talents such as Grade 2 winners Public Sector and Technical Analysis, the progressive Listed scorer Sifting Sands and the multiple Grade 1-placed Higher Truth. In 2020 Ryan was the third leading spender at Book 1, with 17 lots sourced at an outlay of 4,490,000gns. Allied to a determination to work the sales grounds hard, Ryan explains that there is a clear brief for the kind of horses they want to take home, albeit he says an open mind remains essential in sourcing as fast a horse as possible. “We focus more on the horses who



›› want to run a mile to a mile and a


quarter, not so much the five- and sixfurlong horses as there aren’t enough opportunities for them in America, and not so much the mile-and-a-half plus horses as there just aren’t races for those either,” he says. “So we know what kind of horses we want to buy. “I’ve learned through the years that athletes come in all shapes and sizes though, and I put a lot of emphasis on mentality as well. So it’s a matter of personal preference too and not everyone likes the same horse.” While Ryan may be the most active US-based buyer to hit the European sales scene in recent years, he is far from alone. Nor are the Americans simply after ‘twoturn’ horses. In 2019, Bradley Weisbord and Liz Crow unearthed Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine Aunt Pearl, and around 70 lots earlier agent Ben McElroy signed for Campanelle on behalf of Stonestreet Stables. The daughter of Kodiac was sent from

Chad Brown: sales ring ally with Mike Ryan

Tattersalls to the Wesley Ward barn and has since returned to Europe to prove herself one of the finest sprinting fillies around. Campanelle was back in Britain the year after her purchase to claim the Queen Mary Stakes before a trip to France saw her land the Prix Morny. Some 12 months on from her first Royal Ascot success, Campanelle returned to annex a dramatic renewal of the Commonwealth Cup. “Horseracing is a global endeavour and I enjoy competing worldwide,” says Stonestreet Stables’ owner Barbara Banke. “Campanelle is very courageous, very fast and loves Royal Ascot. She matched Lady Aurelia’s back-to-back


victories and we will be aiming for the trifecta next year. I love Royal Ascot too; it’s such a fun race meeting. Winning there is very special, and we hope to be back next year competing with a combination of homebreds and purchases.” Campanelle is not the only significant buy that Stonestreet Stables have made in Europe, as, aided by McElroy, the operation has also found the likes of Prix de la Vallee d’Auge scorer Twilight Gleaming, and other winners such as Captivance and Ruthin. With Stonestreet having interests in a number of American stallions, including leading light Curlin at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, the acquisition of European-bred fillies also has an importance beyond the racetrack. “The sales in Britain and Ireland offer a great opportunity for us to access different bloodlines,” says Banke. “We procure fillies that we think will ultimately be a good outcross for our US-based sires.” Although the outcross appeal possessed by yearlings bred and sold in Europe is clear, Banke says she would not rule out using British, Irish or French stallions with her purchases should the right mating present itself. “The first mating will be to a US-based stallion to give us a better idea about the type of producer they might be,” she says on future plans for the likes of Campanelle. “We are open to visiting foreign sires with any member of our broodmare band though as we aim to make global pedigrees and horses that can compete on the world stage.” While the fresh blood US buyers can find in the sales rings of Europe is one major draw, both Banke and Ryan stress that is not merely down to the most proven members of the continent’s stallion ranks. While Stonestreet’s familiar yellow and maroon colours have been carried by the progeny of Invincible Spirit, Kodiac and Sea The Stars, the operation has also thrown its support behind firstcrop names such as Churchill, National Defense and Ribchester. “We are open to well-established sires like Kodiac as well as first-season stallions,” says Banke. “In fact, a filly of ours named Ruthin became Ribchester’s first winner when she ran at Keeneland this spring.” Ryan echoed Banke’s sentiments about needing broad horizons when buying overseas, although understandably has a particularly high opinion of Kingman having purchased Domestic Spending, Public Sector and Technical Analysis, all of whom are by the Banstead Manor Stud sire.


Transatlantic trade

Barbara Banke: campaigns Campanelle

“We’ve been very successful with Kingman and he fits in very well in America because he throws horses with a great turn of foot and a high cruising speed,” he says. “We’re very open-minded though because you never know where you’ll find a good horse. “There are a lot of very good sires in Britain, Ireland and France and the depth of sire power at Book 1 is very, very strong, as are the female pedigrees. The physicals are our priority though; the pedigree just dictates how much the horse is going to cost.” US-based buyers have had an increasingly important role in underpinning the market, particularly at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, where American interests spent close to 8,000,000gns in 2020, almost ten per cent of the blue-chip auction’s turnover of 82,385,000gns. Despite the growing volume of investment, US-based purchasers have maintained a strong trend towards value acquisitions. Aunt Pearl recouped an investment of 280,000gns with interest when landing a Grade 1 at the Breeders’ Cup, Stonestreet Stables’ heroine Campanelle was sourced at 190,000gns before winning two Group 1s and £398,064 in prize-money, while Twilight Gleaming was only the 85th most expensive lot at last year’s Goffs Orby Sale when signed for at just £75,000. Ryan recently made seven purchases during Book 1 of the Keeneland September Sale at an average spend of $441,429, while the 48 dockets he has signed at Tattersalls’ equivalent in the last three years have an average value of 250,520gns. Among his purchases are the likes of Newspaperofrecord, who fetched


LANWADES Breeders of 84 winners* Worldwide in 2021 (to 23rd September) including 14 Group and Stakes winners




winning the Gr.1 Grosser Preis von Berlin (her 5th win), also winner of Gr.2 Lancashire Oaks and Listed Daisy Warwick Stakes in 2021.

winning the Gr.1 Doomben Cup in 2021, also winner of three Gr.2’s in 2021. He was sold as a yearling at Tattersalls October Book 2.

2yo filly, winning the Gr.2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, also winner of the Gr.3 Albany Stakes and also 2nd Gr.2 Lowther Stakes, in 2021.

Other Stakes winners in 2021 include: ALBAFLORA, ALEAS, LE DON DE VIE, ORIENTAL MYSTIQUE, WYCLIF. 2yo winners so far this year include: SANDRINE, BOONDOGGLE, HELVETIQUE, KAWIDA, ALIZARINE, EUROCRAT, SABLONNE, MADAME AMBASSADOR, MELODRAMATICA, SILVER KITTEN. *Includes 2nd and 3rd placings in Group/Listed races

Share our Success See our 2021 yearlings • all consigned by STAFFORDSTOWN TATTERSALLS OCTOBER SALES, BOOK ONE 5th – 7th October

GOFFS AUTUMN SALES 2nd and 3rd November

Lots 57 • 134




Lots 791 • 922 • 952 • 1164



STAFFORDSTOWN • • Tel: +44 (0)1638 750222


The independent option TM

Transatlantic trade ››

200,000gns, Domestic Spending cost 300,000gns, while Digital Age was a slightly more punchy 325,000gns. Although this trio all generated sixfigure sums in the sales ring, they have undoubtedly proved value buys having gone on to be seven-figure prize-money earners on the track. However, Ryan explains that shopping at this level of the market started as a reaction to the competition they faced when going after the most blue-chip lots, as opposed to a carefully executed plan. “We don’t necessarily buy at the highest end as it’s difficult to compete with the likes of the Maktoums, Coolmore, Sheikh Obaid and King Power Racing,” says Ryan. “Peter Brant was underbidder many times at 600,000gns, 700,000gns, even up to a million, but you’re constantly running second and we wanted to come back with some horses. “Obviously we adjusted pretty quickly because we said there’s no point banging heads with those big buyers because you’re just not going to be able to buy those horses. We soon realised there were a lot of very nice yearlings just beneath the top end.” However, last year Ryan broke with convention when going to 1,400,000gns for the Galileo half-sister to Group 1-winning sprinter Dream Of Dreams. He says of his priciest Book 1 purchase to date: “I normally don’t have that kind of money to spend on one given horse but she was the best filly I saw last year, either in Europe or America. She’s owned by Whisper Hill Farm [owned by Mandy Pope], that was the first time they’ve bought from Tattersalls, and she could be

Mike Ryan (right): purchases last year included a 1,400,000gns Galileo filly (above)


anything next year.” The question now is how far can American investment in the European bloodstock market go? Tattersalls’ Marketing Director Jimmy George says the growing impact US buyers are having rates a copybook case of success breeding success.

“The depth of sire power is very strong, as are the pedigrees” “We can talk all we like when trying to coax and cajole buyers to come to Tattersalls, but ultimately the success these horses are having is the biggest driver of all,” says George. “For the October Yearling Sale to produce more Saratoga turf stakes winners than any other yearling sale, and by a fair margin, would have been unthinkable a few years ago. “But that’s what people are really noticing as there’s now a compelling story to tell. Buyers like Mike Ryan and Chad Brown honed in on a sector of the market, in and around the middle market of Book 1, which is a very important sector, with one or two

of the headline acts as well, and they’re buying the kind of horses owners want in significant numbers. “Mike and Chad might have been the pathfinders but there are other buyers, people like Ben McElroy and Liz Crow, doing it very successfully too and American investment is very important to the market at the October Yearling Sale at the moment. It would be surprising if we didn’t see this momentum sustained.” Given their respective successes, it is no surprise that Banke and Ryan are among those planning on being active at the major dates across Britain and Ireland later this year, a promising sign for those selling perhaps, but a rather ominous one for those domestic buyers hoping to source future stars of their own. “Yes, we’ll be shopping,” was Banke’s response when asked about her activities at upcoming sales at Goffs and Tattersalls, while Ryan will be focussing on Book 1 as usual, saying: “I’ll be back this October as it’s a big part of our year now, and I’m sure there’ll be more people coming over in future. “You have the best of Ireland and Britain, and even some French-breds in there, and from all the top breeders, so it’s pretty hard to beat that. I’d have to say it might be the best yearling sale in the world. The only thing we’d ask for is good weather as last year was unbelievable!” There are, of course, no guarantees the British and Irish weather will remain fine for the upcoming yearling sales. But with a growing list of success stories to their name, there seems a distinct possibility that buyers venturing from the US will continue to run hot in Europe.

the main stage Europe’s First Major Breeding Stock Sale of 2021

Plying, the dam of G1 superstar Alcohol Free, headlines a quality Breeding Stock catalogue with major international appeal. Featuring outstanding drafts from HH Aga Khan Studs, Moyglare Stud, Godolphin, Derrinstown Stud, The Castlebridge Consignment, Baroda Stud, Jockey Hall, Norelands, Irish National Stud and many more.

Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale Kildare Paddocks, Ireland

PSRA Licence No: 001833

18-20 November 2021

World Pool

World in MOTION

Huge liquidity, better returns for punters and significant media rights deals that result in increased prize-money for owners – World Pool is a beacon of light for horseracing globally after the hardships caused by the pandemic


hey say the world is becoming a smaller place and while 6,000 miles separate the racecourses at Ascot in leafy Berkshire and Sha Tin in bustling Hong Kong, the two tracks are virtual neighbours when it comes to pool betting on some of the most prestigious racedays in the calendar. World Pool, which was launched in 2019, allows punters across the globe to bet into one single, giant pool at headline fixtures such as Derby day at Epsom, Royal Ascot and Irish Champions Weekend, generating huge liquidity and producing better starting prices. At Royal Ascot this year, across 35 races, £129 million was bet into the pool – up from £92m in 2019 - while the Tote+ win price beat the industry SP on 21 occasions, matching the returns for the other 14 contests. To date over £250m has been bet into World Pool on British racedays in 2021. By designating a meeting or raceday as a World Pool fixture, that necessarily means pictures of the event will be sold around the world, in a media rights package, to countries taking part – and if you can watch an event live, you are far more likely to place a bet. While global punters will be attracted by the enhanced odds available, including for the so called ‘exotic’ bets favoured by the Asian market, for the racecourses involved in hosting World Pool days


Nick Smith says World Pool has had a huge impact on Ascot’s betting business

comes the promise of a significant cash return – a new, vital income stream following the losses racked up during the Covid era. The concept was a long time in the planning, dating back to February 2007 and the Asian Racing Conference in Dubai when Winfried EngelbrechtBresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, introduced the idea that countries should be allowed to bet into each other’s pool for major global racing events. “We started with comingling and got that off the ground,” says Engelbrecht-Bresges, who joined HKJC in 1998 and has been instrumental in the World Pool’s development and expansion. “Then we had discussions with Ascot and the Tote – why not build on the success of comingling and launch a World Pool? Royal Ascot creates global interest – that sparked World Pool into life. “I think it has been a huge success. If you look purely at the figures of gross turnover, it creates an income and returns to racing you wouldn’t get otherwise. The World Pool days produce a major additional income for an organisation like Ascot – between £500,000 and


Words: Edward Rosenthal


World Pool racedays must appeal to domestic and international audiences


Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges: keen to see World Pool expand its reach globally

£800,000 per raceday, which makes a big impact to the bottom line.” British Champions Day at Ascot this month will be the 17th – and final – World Pool day in the UK and Ireland in 2021, the schedule having also taken in meetings at Newmarket, Epsom, Sandown, Goodwood and York. Nick Smith, Ascot’s Director of Racing and Communications, is in no doubt how important such days are to the racecourse’s finances. (British Champions Day is run by British Champions Series, a separate business, which will be paid directly by HKJC.) “It changes our betting business as a racecourse,” Smith says. “Going from an on-course bet with Ascot brand, assisted by the Tote, and being a service provider, we are now much more heavily involved in the betting industry directly. “Our relationship with HKJC is separate to other tracks and is based on a media rights model that sees us given a percentage of turnover. If a country takes the pictures, people will bet on the racing. HKJC send us the cheque and it’s in six figures for every raceday covered.” Such financial returns are providing a shot in the arm to racecourses following an 18-month period when the coronavirus pandemic played havoc with sports schedules worldwide, leading to venues

suffering massive losses, as Smith explains. “The key thing is that this will enable us to boost prize-money over the season,” he says. “We have had a £10 million-plus shortfall to deal with in 2021. That’s not a loss of turnover, it’s a loss of money. “We had pandemic insurance in 2020 but without that this year and with

“Royal Ascot creates global interest – it sparked World Pool into life” huge restrictions on crowds at Royal Ascot in June, this has been the biggest loss-making year in the history of the racecourse. We have managed, even in that climate, to have prize-money at 7080% of normal levels. “We’ve taken an enormous hit to our bottom line to try to remain as relevant as possible on the European stage. I say European stage because it’s impossible

for Britain to compete on the global stage – with the Middle East and Asian nations and even Australia and America to a lesser extent – in the modern era. But we cannot slip behind Ireland and France.” The Hong Kong Jockey Club manages the World Pool and allocates the schedule of racedays, and for good reason – Hong Kong-based punters account for around 70% of the money bet into the pool. The riches available in Hong Kong racing were highlighted by the news that it will stage the most valuable turf races over six furlongs, seven furlongs, a mile and a mile and a quarter next season, offering combined prize-money of HK$100m (£9.3m). HKJC needed government approval to launch World Pool, which has allowed Hong Kong punters to bet on international racing when its own domestic racing season has ended. World Pool has enabled HKJC to address the blackmarket betting sector in Hong Kong – where fixed-odds betting is illegal – while simultaneously showcasing the sport, building partnerships, and generating income on a global level. For Engelbrecht-Bresges, the possibilities that World Pool offers is exciting – but there are plenty of improvements required by individual jurisdictions to improve their betting product. He says: “In Great Britain, mostly there is no direct correlation between the attractiveness of the field size and the income. As for race programmes, racecourses are not always focussed on the optimal betting product. “Now they can see if they run a very competitive handicap besides the global top races, they can double their income. Staging an offering that is not attractive to the customer is unhelpful. You need



›› to entice the customer – create a new

product that is complementary to what you have in fixed odds [betting]. “From our internal findings, the most attractive races in Hong Kong – if you look at betting turnover – are Class 2 races, which are practically Group 3 standard under handicap conditions, with 12 or 14 runners. These races create betting at 20-25% higher turnover than other races. Why? Because they feature good horses, showing consistent form, in competitive races. “We know our customers very well across all age demographics – how long they study the form, what they want from a raceday – and I am a strong believer in fact-based information.” The idea of British race programmes catering to punters who are based thousands of miles away is somewhat strange yet very much in the thoughts of racecourse executives. King George day at Ascot was a World Pool fixture and while the headline race attracting only five, albeit high-class, runners, was not a surprise and in line with previous years, two of the supporting handicaps produced fields of just four and six runners – an undesirable situation when pool betting revenues are now so vital, and one the racecourse is keen to remedy ahead of 2022.

“Shergar Cup races are in the sweet spot for Hong Kong punters” “It won’t surprise you to learn that we’re having a complete look at the race programme on that day,” says Nick Smith. “[Those small fields] will not happen again. “Internally we have been through the programme and identified where things didn’t work. Race programmes in Britain, like the King George or Eclipse day, are pretty formulaic with a big Group 1, a couple of supporting Pattern races and a big knock-out handicap. “When ITV slips off air, perhaps we haven’t always put on the best card. In the new era where those races not on ITV are of fundamental importance to the World Pool, they must address the World Pool requirements. The whole King George card is under review.


“We’re all on a learning curve. We were supposed to have World Pool for the Shergar Cup, but the on-the-day reserves mechanism made it impossible for the HKJC to take it. The races are in the sweet spot for what Hong Kong punters are looking for. So, we’re reviewing how it can remain as appealing as possible to the Hong Kong market. There will be changes next year.” Those changes may well include switching races over the two-day meeting, with those likely to generate the bigger fields – and therefore produce more betting turnover – moved to the Saturday so they fall under World Pool conditions. Provided racecourses are not wanting to make significant changes to the Pattern-race schedule, the BHA is supportive of this effort to bolster betting and finances. Richard Wayman, the BHA’s Chief Operating Officer, says: “When it comes to their race programmes, outside of black-type races, racecourses can change their races however they like. They would require BHA approval to move Pattern races. “I’d be very surprised if moving a race from a Friday to a Saturday, for example, created any great issues. The only reason the BHA would sometimes say no to a black-type change is if by moving a race it creates a clash. But moving by a day isn’t going to do that. “The BHA is very supportive of looking to expand British racing’s involvement with World Pool and helping to explore the opportunities.” To date, four countries have hosted World Pool fixtures, with 20 countries betting into the combined pool on those days. Engelbrecht-Bresges, who this month will succeed Louis Romanet as Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, would like to expand the World Pool’s reach even further. He explains: “Firstly, I would love to increase the number of partners who bet through World Pool. The second element is to increase the number of jurisdictions that would participate in World Pool and not operate a separate pool. “We need the creation of a new protocol where we can even offer accumulator bets or a global bet with massive jackpots – a product extension. We want a global product, to showcase the best horses in the world, even extending to South America. “Could the Breeders’ Cup become part of World Pool? I would be very optimistic – discussions are ongoing. As for the Melbourne Cup, it’s something to think


World Pool

Richard Wayman: ‘BHA is supportive’

about but there are technical issues. There is no single Australian pool – New South Wales and Victoria operate independently. But the Melbourne Cup, a race with global recognition, would be perfect for World Pool.” The World Pool is also an opportunity to sell the merits of pool betting to UK and Irish punters. Alex Frost, CEO of Tote UK, is hugely supportive of the concept. He says: “I believe World Pool is arguably one of the most exciting projects in international horseracing. By combining global pool betting liquidity, it is a huge opportunity for British and Irish racing to grow betting and showcase the sport to a global audience. The benefits are already being seen with racecourses enjoying increased media rights payments and the UK pool growing by 40%.” He continues: “Despite the challenges of the last year we have continued with our plans to rejuvenate the Tote. There is little doubt that to be successful the Tote must have a strong online offering in what is now a largely digital world. We are achieving growth by investing in our people, technology and infrastructure, to increase the appeal of the pool betting product. “Over the last year we have improved the user experience on ie and the Tote App while introducing new value propositions, including Tote Guarantee and Tote+, which give all Tote customers industry-leading prices. This improved customer experience is particularly pronounced when combined with the additional liquidity in pools created on World Pool events. “The focus on improving the experience and increasing value for customers will remain at the heart of everything we are doing at the Tote. We hope that people will enjoy what is now a very different offering.”

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Current crop of TYPE 3YO SALES GRADUATES include: AUNT PEARL · 1st Breeders’ Cup JFT Gr.1 · 1st Jessamine Stakes Gr.2 BURGARITA · 1st Prix de la Seine L · 3rd Prix de Diane Gr.1 EL DRAMA · 1st Dee Stakes L · 2nd Thoroughbred Stakes Gr.3 FRANCESCO GUARDI · 3rd Denford Stakes L ISABELLA GILES · 1st Rockfel Stakes Gr.2 · 1st Prestige Stakes Gr.2 · 3rd Chartwell Stakes Gr.3 JUAN DE MONTALBAN · 2nd Derby Italiano Gr.2 JUBILATION · 2nd Prix de Cabourg Gr.3

LONE EAGLE · 1st Zetland Stakes Gr.3 · 1st Cocked Hat Stakes L · 2nd Irish Derby Gr.1 MARCH LAW · 2nd Chesham Stakes L SAFFRON BEACH · 1st Atalanta Stakes Gr.3 · 1st Oh So Sharp Stakes Gr.3 · 2nd 1,000 Guineas Gr.1 SEE THE ROSE · 1st Prix Six Perfections Gr.3 · 3rd Prix de Sandringham Gr.2 SKY ANGEL · 2nd German 1,000 Guineas Gr.2 · 2nd Prix Imprudence Gr.3 SOLDIER RISING · 2nd Saratoga Derby Gr.1 STATEMENT · 2nd Fred Darling Stakes Gr.3 · 3rd Princess Elizabeth Stakes Gr.3 SWEET BELIEVER · 3rd John Musker Stakes L



Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

Te l : + 3 5 3 ( 0 ) 5 6 7 7 2 4 2 1 7 • i n f o @ b a l l y l i n c h s t u d . i e • w w w. b a l l y l i n c h s t u d . c o m

Breeders’ Digest

Nancy Sexton Bloodstock Editor

Time Test’s fast start places National Stud on a high

includes three stakes horses, were the last stallions secured by The National Stud while under the chairmanship of the Duke of Roxburghe. A popular figure within racing circles, the Duke passed away in August 2019. All of which makes Time Test’s good start all the more of a celebration at the stud. “I’d seen the horse a fair bit when he was in training with Roger Charlton,” recalls Stud Director Tim Lane. “I’d dropped this filly off at the yard for John Deere and I saw this horse with his head over the door. He was a horse that immediately made you look so I went over and it was Time Test – I thought then what a beautiful horse he is, an oil painting.” Winner of the Joel, York and Tercentenary Stakes, the Juddmonte homebred later competed in the US, where he was twice Grade 1-placed. “Obviously, he went to America and ran well over there,” says Lane. “And then one day John McCormack rang us to say the horse was available. I said to him, ‘Let’s get going on it’, and Ben Sangster and I pushed the button. He was the first stallion that I bought for the National.” Although a winner at two, Time Test really came into his own as a three-year-old and older, which bodes well for the future. Already, however,

a number of his stock have displayed a measure of speed and precocity that will stand him in good stead. Tardis, who won the St Hugh’s Stakes over five furlongs at Newbury, is one example. Elizabeth Haynes’ homebred Romantic Time, who provided trainer William Stone with his biggest success to date when landing the Dick Poole Stakes over six furlongs at Salisbury, is another. “Obviously he’s a product of one of the best operations out there in Juddmonte and he’s got an amazing pedigree, being by Dubawi and out of [Group 1 winner] Passage Of Time,” says Lane. “It all comes back to Dubawi again, doesn’t it? They’re very willing horses who try for you. “There is also something inside this horse that is hard to describe. There is a goodness to him and I think you can see that coming out in his runners.” As ever, the market has been quick to respond, with a breeding right in the horse changing hands for 85,000gns to Peter and Ross Doyle at last month’s Tattersalls Online Sale. Here’s hoping that such momentum behind the horse continues on the track. In the meantime, he looks poised to provide some of the smaller breeders who used him in his second season with some good returns at this month’s round of yearling sales.



he prospect of Frankel becoming the first British-based champion sire in over three decades shifts a step closer to reality with every passing week. It is remarkable – and worrying as far as the British industry is concerned – to think that the last champion sire to stand in this country was Mill Reef, whose second championship arrived posthumously in 1987. Frankel, with representatives such as Adayar, Hurricane Lane and Snow Lantern contributing to a figure of just over £4.5 million in British and Irish earnings for 2021 at the time of writing, appears poised to finally draw the curtain down on the drought. Mill Reef reigned as one of the great attractions of the British bloodstock scene at his base, The National Stud, from 1973 until his death in early 1986, notably as the sire of Derby winners Shirley Heights and Reference Point. In that, he was a vitally important horse for his Newmarket home, ensuring that it retained a consistent presence within elite bloodstock circles. No horse of a similar stature has occupied the stallion yard since then. However, for anyone with even a passing interest in the fortunes of British bloodstock, there has to be major encouragement in the start of its young incumbent Time Test. Of course, Time Test has a long way to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Mill Reef. But a start that consists of three stakes winners, including the Group 3 scorers Romantic Time and Rocchigiani, and five stakes horses, among them the Moyglare Stud Stakes third Sunset Shiraz, from just 23 first-crop runners has certainly caught the industry’s attention. In all, Time Test has 74 two-yearolds to run for him and while there was a general positive consensus over his first yearlings when they came under the hammer last year – three sold for six figures – the fact remains that he stood for £8,500 and therefore sits at a place in the market where the onus is on him to make his own way. Poignantly, Time Test and his studmate Aclaim, whose own first crop

Time Test: fast start at stud makes him an exciting young stallion for The National Stud


Sales Circuit • By Carl Evans


Healthy Premier market places sale back on track

This first-crop son of Harry Angel topped the Goffs UK Premier Sale at £220,000

Goffs UK Premier & Silver Yearling Sales

After a lean experience during 2020’s Covid-affected sales season, this two-session auction of yearlings in Doncaster made a good recovery. “The Premier Sale is back on track!” said a delighted Tim Kent, Goffs UK’s Managing Director, and while trade was nowhere near the 2019 sale it did pick itself up after last year’s disappointing results. A particularly good second session involving a 91% clearance rate helped lift overall turnover by 16% to a figure of £13.3 million. Pinhookers experienced largely good results, with the majority of horses selling for more than their foal price – the standout, and sole six-figure mark-up, was gained by Redpender Stud’s Jimmy Murphy, who turned a €29,000 Dandy Man filly foal into a £130,000 yearling bought by Ross Doyle.


The average price of nearly £41,000 was up 20% and the median gained 19% when reaching a mark of £32,000. Thirteen lots made a six-figure sum, one more than last year, but down on the 32 who did so two years ago, although that was a markedly bigger event with 448 offered lots, 80 more than this year. Why the 2019 sale reached such highs can be explained by the presence then, but absence since, of some leading buyers, notably Shadwell. Sheikh Hamdan, who died earlier this year, is a man who racing will find difficult to replace, despite his daughter’s recent acceptance of the position as head of his racing and breeding empire. Sheikha Hissa’s father invested £2.2m at this sale in 2019 having been a leading buyer at it for many years. The Hong Kong Jockey Club was another often-busy buyer which played no part this time, while Godolphin has rarely invested and Coolmore’s MV

Magnier limited his spend to one horse, a £160,000 Starspangledbanner filly. In 2019 Magnier bought one horse, but at £440,000, gaining a Kingman colt whose valuation set a record for the event. Similarly, such well-known consignors as Highclere Stud and Newsells Park Stud were present two years ago, when the first-named operation turned over just under £1m and Newsells contributed £340,000 to takings. Their very presence would have attracted buyers, but neither stud offered horses this year. Fortunately for the industry the void left by notable spenders and consignors has, for the most part, been filling, and the 13 six-figure lots were bought by 11 different buyers. Such diversity is welcome. Trade was headed by a £220,000 colt consigned from Houghton Bloodstock, bred by Cheveley Park Stud and from the first crop of Darley sire Harry Angel.

That stallion’s former trainer, Clive Cox, was keen to secure the handsome dark bay yearling, and while he fell away as agents Alex Elliott and Oliver St Lawrence drove the price upwards, there was a silver lining in store. Elliott bought the hammer down on behalf of an unnamed client and later said Cox would be handling the colt’s training at his Lambourn yard. Timing can play such a crucial role in the bloodstock sales world, and it probably had a bearing on Richard Brown’s purchase of a £210,000 Kodiac colt from Tally-Ho Stud. Brown was acting for Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, whose brother, Sheikh Rashid, had enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at Deauville three days earlier when his Perfect Power won the Group 1 Prix Morny. That colt is trained by Richard Fahey, and apparently Sheikh Juma decided he too would like the Yorkshire-based trainer to handle one of his horses. Trade on day one was headed by a £120,000 Dark Angel colt from Yeomanstown Stud, and, while that valuation was not particularly notable, the sale represented the first time James Horton had stepped up to the plate and bid in person on behalf of racehorse owner John Dance of Manor Farm Stud. Horton, who has gained training and stud experience with some leading exponents, most recently with Sir Michael Stoute, has landed the role as private trainer to Dance at his recentlyacquired base in Yorkshire. Peter and Ross Doyle’s investment of just over £1m in 16 yearlings meant they were the sale’s leading buyers, while SackvilleDonald was busy with 14 purchases worth £576,000. Irish studs dominated the leading consignors’ list, which was headed by the O’Callaghan family’s Tally-Ho Stud, vendors of 20 horses for nearly £1.2m.

Sale, which has moved to Newmarket and been renamed the Somerville Sale. Such conjecture did not spoil the pleasure for Vanessa Thompson, who bought a Brazen Beau colt for 5,000gns at the December Sale and saw it leap six-fold in value when selling to Italian interests. There was kudos too for the colt’s consignor, Sarah Fanning, wife of jockey Joe, and who had just one yearling to sell this year – she’s looking for more horses to pinhook, and could well be sent them after this notable triumph. Trade at the Silver Sale saw 46 of the 69 lots find a buyer (67%), generating turnover of £407,000 at an average of £8,848.



Alex Elliott: agent signed the docket on the top lot, who is destined for Clive Cox

Best of the British in fourth on that list was Nottinghamshire’s Whatton Manor Stud, which gave the sale a miss last year but returned in grand style. Ed Player’s operation sold ten lots for nearly £600,000, including a colt by Ardad and filly by Kingman who each made £100,000. The second half of day two at the Premier Sale was given over to the Silver Yearling Sale catalogue. It did not take place in 2020, and was on the back foot this year with a much smaller catalogue of 69 offered lots. That compares to 160 in 2019 and 166 in 2018, and could be a reflection of the pressure being placed upon it by other sales, including Tattersalls’ revamped Ascot Yearling

The ‘free’ horse is flanked by Ed Sackville (left), Tom Dascombe and Michael Owen


• Would racehorse owners prefer a cash bonus or a free and potentially exciting yearling of their own choosing? Most incentives offered by sales companies to buyers and sellers are based around money, but Goffs UK came up with the novel idea of offering ‘Premier Prizes’, including a horse – or vouchers to buy a horse – in connection with their headline Premier Yearling Sale. The prizes were unlocked by the winner of Goffs UK’s Premier Yearling Stakes, which is restricted to horses who have been offered at the auction and which was run at York the week before the 2021 edition of the sale. Ever Given, a son of Kodi Bear, duly won the race and meant the Premier Prizes were heading in the direction of his owners, the Dandy Boys, and trainer Tom Dascombe. He received the free use of a Theault two-stall horsebox for six months, while the Dandy Boys will enjoy a red-carpet day at a York race meeting in the next year, and have taken delivery of the ‘free’ horse. In short, they gained vouchers worth £34,007, the equivalent of last year’s Premier Sale average, to spend on a yearling at the latest edition of the sale, and secured a Dandy Man colt for just under that price. Sums of money, call them bonuses if you like, that go into bank accounts are always welcome, but a gift horse has a uniquely memorable edge that is hard to forget. It will be interesting to see if the Dandy Man can do the Dandy Boys proud and highlight Goffs UK’s novel ‘Prizes’. With the Premier Sale’s average having risen to just under £41,000, the 2022 give-away horse has already gone up in value.



Sales Circuit ››

Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (£)


C Harry Angel - Red Box

Houghton Bloodstock


Alex Elliott

C Kodiac – Stunner

Tally-Ho Stud


Blandford Bloodstock

F Starspangledbanner - Under Offer

Alice Fitzgerald


M V Magnier

F Dandy Man - Nuclear Option

Redpender Stud


Peter & Ross Doyle

C Ribchester - Mirabile Dictu

Ballyhimikin Stud


Richard Hughes

C Dark Angel - Elusive Beauty

Yeomanstown Stud


Manor House Stud

C Mehmas – Interweave

Shinglis Stud


Sheikh Almalek Alsabah

C Havana Grey – Exrating

Grangemore Stud


Richard Ryan

C Havana Gold - Golden Spell

Baroda Stud


Oliver St Lawrence

C Ardad - Pigeon Point

Whatton Manor Stud


Blandford Bloodstock

F Kingman – Daban

Whatton Manor Stud


Longways Stables

C Acclamation – Dukinta

Lynn Lodge Stud


B Hills/McKeever Bloodstock

F Mehmas – Fainleog

Tally-Ho Stud


Alex Elliott

Figures Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)































Goffs UK Silver Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (£)


C Brazen Beau - Ambrix

S Fanning Sales


Scuderia Semeso

C Expert Eye - Oh Dream

Trickledown Stud


Will Easterby

F Ardad - Cards

Natton House Thoroughbreds


Tim Easterby

Figures Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)












2020 No sale 2019

BBAG September Yearling Sale

The best of available German bloodlines went on sale at this single session of yearlings, and an international buying bench was on hand to peruse. Stout pedigrees are not every trader’s idea of a suitable investment, but racecourse results dictate that this sale cannot be ignored, and, after a disappointing edition of the sale last year, it proved another auction which


shrugged off the worst of Covid’s influence. The average price gained five per cent at €43,448, the median was up ten per cent at €43,193, and the clearance rate gained 13 points to 79%. Of 195 horses on offer, 155 found a buyer, and turnover of €6.7m was a four per cent rise despite 41 fewer lots. Not all German vendors take a commercial view of their stock, and,

while turnover was up, the figure would have been markedly higher – €2.135m to be exact – if four of the five highestvalued horses had been sold, rather than bought in. They included Gestut Park Wiedingen’s Soldier Hollow filly who returned to her vendor when bidding halted at €700,000, and Gestut Rottgen’s Sea The Stars filly who was unsold at €680,000.


It is a vendor’s prerogative to set any reserve they like, but it is unlikely that sellers at a sale of high-quality yearlings in Ireland or Britain would be so out of kilter with the market in which they are offering their stock. The one in the top five who did find a buyer was Gestut Haus Ittlingen’s €350,000 Frankel colt out of the Pivotal mare Calyxa, a Group 3 winner who was placed in the Group 2 German 1,000 Guineas and also the Group 1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen and Premio Lydia Tesio. Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud signed the buyers’ sheet for the colt, whose Kingman three-year-old halfsister Camerata has won this year for Simon and Ed Crisford. Incidentally, Godolphin, who purchased just this one horse, also bought the top lot at this sale in 2019, an €820,000 Sea The Stars filly whose valuation set a record for the event that was matched last year by another daughter of Sea The Stars bought by Gestut Ammerland. The Godolphinbought filly has not been seen on a racecourse – her Lord Of England half-brother was offered at this sale and sold for €120,000 to Stall Hanse. Other notable sales at the latest edition included an Australia colt who left Gestut Karlshof with a €240,000 valuation after selling to Holger Faust’s HFTB Racing Agency on behalf of Darius Racing, while a Reliable Man filly

Anthony Stroud went to €350,000 on behalf of Godolphin for this Frankel colt

proved the pick of her sex when realising €220,000. Offered by Gestut Rottgen, which is home to the filly’s sire, she was knocked down to Berlin trainer Friedricke Schloms, acting for racehorse owner Jurgen Sartori. Faust became the day’s leading buyer with 11 purchases for €665,000, but British and Irish buyers made their presence felt. Breeze-up maestros Roger Marley and John Cullinan, who have become regular buyers at this sale, teamed up to buy four lots for €216,000,

including three offspring of Sea The Moon, while another breezer, Brendan Holland of Grove Stud, left with three horses including a €100,000 colt by Monsun’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, now one of Germany’s leading second-crop sires. Bloodstock agents Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock and Jeremy Brummitt both bought a trio of yearlings, Goff for €169,000 (including a €115,000 Sea The Stars filly) and Brummitt for €148,000.

BBAG September Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (€)


C Frankel – Chantra

Haus Ittlingen



C Australia – Dyanamore



HFTB Racing Agency

F Reliable Man – Weltmacht



Friedricke Schloms

F Lope De Vega – Quaduna



Andreas Suborics

F Saxon Warrior – Faizeh

Park Wiedingen


Panorama Bloodstock

F Acclamation – Waldblute



Ronald Rauscher

C Lord Of England - Anna Mia



Stall Hanse

F Sea The Moon - Gulden Gorl


C Siyouni - Akua’da


Blandford Bloodstock



Meridian International

C Protectionist – Izzy



Grove Stud

F Sea The Stars – Julissima



Meridian International

Figures Year


2021 2020 2019

Agg (€)

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Sales Circuit

The Somerville sale hit new heights with the sale of this Twilight Son colt for 120,000gns

a great start in the spring but was clearly no one-month wonder – and it took a bid of 85,000gns by breeze-up pinhooker Robson Aguiar to secure one of his fillies, this one offered by Scarlett Knipe of Cobhall Court Stud. Aguiar is no stranger to the sire, having breezed him and his number one son to date, the Group 1winning Perfect Power. While Ardad is soaring up the charts of recognition as a stallion, Expert Eye and Tasleet have yet to face that test, but their initial foals and yearlings are catching the eye and gaining approval from seasoned judges. Aguiar secured a Tasleet filly from Trickledown Stud for 75,000gns, while Freddy Tylicki picked up an Expert Eye colt with an 80,000gns offer on behalf of an undisclosed client.


Anyone with fond memories of Ascot as a sales venue who hopes Tattersalls will return its annual one-day yearling auction to that venue can forget that now. Picked up and transported to Newmarket last year when Ascot was sidelined by Covid-19, the event remained in its new home this year and was renamed. The results were undoubtedly impressive, and it seems the three-year stint in Berkshire from 2017 to 2019 has run its course. Consider the stats: turnover, while helped by an additional 35 lots, more than doubled to 4,952,000gns, the average price rose 76% to 21,345gns, while the median soared by 93% to 16,250gns. There was also a new high for top lot, a 120,000gns colt by Twilight Son whose valuation more than doubled the previous best of £58,000, a figure which was passed no fewer than 11 times at this revamped sale. Adam Driver of Global Equine Group secured the top lot on behalf of Raed El Youssef, who will keep his horse in Britain. That could prove a useful bonus for breeders Paul and Simon Venner of Petches Farm who still have the mare Baileys Dream, named after their feed company. The Venners admitted the valuation was more than they hoped, and the trip to the sale had begun ominously when the lorry carrying the yearling was involved in an incident which saw it “run off the road”. Miraculously the two equine passengers were unscathed, and soon on their way again in a lorry loaned by fellow consignor Keith Harte. Overbury Stud’s Ardad continues to fire in winners from his first crop – he had


Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale

Adam Driver: secured the top lot on behalf of Raed El Youssef to race in Britain

Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


C Twilight Son - Baileys Jubilee

Haras des Trois Chapelles/Petches Farm

Price (gns)

F Ardad - Sparkling Eyes

Cobhall Court Stud


Amo Racing/Robson Aguiar

C Expert Eye - White Cay

Kilminfoyle House Stud


Freddy Tylicki Bloodstock

C Night Of Thunder – Fleabiscuit

Whatton Manor Stud


Kevin Ross

F Tasleet - Royal Blush

Trickledown Stud


Robson Aguiar


Buyer Global Equine Group

Figures Year


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This auction was introduced last year for owners and trainers whose horses, for reasons of Covid-19, had seen little racecourse action before the traditional July Sale and wanted a slightly later selling opportunity. It proved popular, and some may have envisaged it taking trade from, or eventually replacing, the July Sale. That appears less likely now, although an August Sale seems set to retain its place in the calendar. A total of 775 horses were catalogued for the inaugural auction, but it came back to 465 this year and was reduced from three to two days, while the July Sale powered back with a catalogue of 861, which compared to 572 last year. It seems there is room for both, and when they took place in 2020 they did not appear to impact on the numbers catalogued for the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale, which is the traditional end-of-year cull held in late October. Once again the August Sale opened with a small group of mares, although they made little impact, and after a relatively quiet first day business went up through the gears 24 hours later, when the figures for turnover and average more than doubled those achieved during the opening session. This surge helped the average price of 18,794gns gain 14%, while the median went up 11% to 10,000gns. Turnover was bound to fall given the smaller catalogue – 313 offered lots, 248 fewer than in 2020 – and finished 36% down at 5,375,200gns, but a 91% clearance rate will encourage vendors to be back next year. Edmond Mahony, Tattersalls’ Chairman, referred to the “extraordinary level of international participation”, noting horses were sold to the Gulf region, Australia and the USA, in addition to countries around Europe. Twelve months ago Saudi Arabianbased interests dominated trade by buying the top three lots. Such interests were active again with Najd Stud, which is owned by Prince Faisal Bin Khalid, securing the top lot Fabilis, a three-time winning son of Frankel in the colours of Juddmonte and for trainer Ralph Beckett. Peter Doyle did the Prince’s bidding on this occasion, posting an offer of 350,000gns which headed interest from an Australian buyer. Four-year-old Zabeel Champion, a son of Poet’s Voice with six wins on his CV for trainer Mark Johnston, was


Tattersalls August Sale

Fabilis: Frankel colt will continue his career in Saudi Arabia after selling for 350,000gns

sold for 185,000gns to bloodstock agent Tom Malone and will begin a jumping career with Paul Nicholls, while a new series of £50,000 international handicaps in Bahrain lay behind the purchase of Shadwell’s Tawareeq for 180,000gns. Oliver St Lawrence and Bahraini trainer Fawzi Nass joined forces to secure the gelding, who was one of five purchases they made for a total of £280,500. All the previously-mentioned lots were sold on day two, while the first

day’s trade was headed by two-yearold Bunglejungleparty, who last year was bought by canny Con Marnane for a mere €12,000 at Goffs. Instead of sending the colt down the breeze-up route, Marnane put him into training in France, and after he had gained two places, including a Listed-race third, returned him to the ring. The fact he was still a maiden was a plus, said Marnane, who reaped 125,000gns when his colt was sold to agent Will Douglass, who was acting for a client in Qatar.


• Should sales of British racehorses to people who take them abroad be a concern for the industry? Yes, according to some, including trainers Ed Walker and John Gosden, but no if you listen to bloodstock agent Alastair Donald and shipper Kevin Needham. All four men have been quoted in articles looking at the subject of such trade – both in the sales ring and privately – during discussions which link to the subject of Britain’s relatively low prize-money. Consider that of the top five at Tattersalls’ August Sale, four were sold to race abroad. In simple terms, a horse with a Flat-race rating of 100-plus will struggle in stakes races and under big weights in handicaps, and even if they nick a Listed contest or heritage handicap the prize-money they gain is likely to be much smaller than the sum they can make if sold to overseas buyers. Walker has lost several good horses in that way, and, as a young trainer trying to make a mark, is understandably unhappy, while Gosden fears British racing could be rendered a nursery for other racing nations. Both trainers concede that owners have to play the system, but when two of Walker’s former horses won Group 1 races after being sold abroad he felt pretty peeved. In October last year he saw English King leave his yard, bound for Australia, after selling for a Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale record of 925,000gns. Donald, on the other hand, feels such trade is nothing new, but that viewing of overseas racing via satellite TV has made it more visible, while Needham says he is not transporting more ex-British and Irish horses to overseas nations. “There is only a limited number they can buy,” the Racing Post quoted Needham as saying – he was linking his point to ratings, vettings and to UK and Irish owners who actually want to sell. As Needham put it, “trade waxes and wanes”, and with Bahrain’s new international series of races coming on stream there could be more sales to that country, but possibly fewer to the well-established Dubai Carnival. One question is how many people are getting involved as owners in British racing, individually or in syndicates, having become aware of this potentially lucrative overseas trade. Walker and Gosden may have made pertinent warnings, but for some trainers it’s a handy marketing tool.



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Sales Circuit ››

Tattersalls August Sale Top lots Name/age/sex/breeding


Price (gns) 350,000


Fabilis 3 c Frankel – Mirabilis

Juddmonte Farms

Zabeel Champion 4 c Poet’s Voice - Stars In Your Eyes

Rabbah/Kingsley Park


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock Tom Malone

Tawaareq 4 g Shamardal – Sundus

Shadwell Estate


Oliver St Lawrence

Bunglejungleparty 2 c Bungle Inthejungle - Brazilian Breeze

Jamie Railton


C Gordon-Watson Bloodstock

Iowa 3 c Galileo - Bridal Dance

Ballydoyle Stables (Aidan O’Brien)


De Burgh Equine/Darby Racing

Figures Year


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The annual Gigginstown House Stud cull at this sale of jumping stock has become a regular and important feature, although the top lot came from another source. High Stakes, a son of Scorpion, has been a very progressive horse for trainer John Walsh in his native Ireland, knocking off four wins out of five in point-to-points before adding a Wexford point-to-point bumper to his score. Now seven, he didn’t run until last year, but that was said to be due to late development rather than injury, and it took a bid of £85,000 by Highflyer Bloodstock’s Tessa Greatrex to secure his passport. Greatrex will see a good deal more of the horse, for he will be trained by her husband Warren for their landlords, Jim and Claire Bryce, who now own Rhonehurst Stables in Upper Lambourn. The Greatrexes moved there a few months ago after the Bryces purchased the yard from Oliver Sherwood, and it is now being given some major upgrades and new toys – think vibrating floor and salt chamber – to bring it up to the latest spec. A feature of the long saga revolving around Gordon Elliott’s suspension from racing has been his determination to rebuild for the future by sourcing horses at sales of jumpers, be they proven performers or unproven stores. He lost a small number of horses following the furore which broke before his suspension – caused by a photo of him sitting on a dead horse – but the majority of his clients appear to have stuck by him, which has enabled him to carry out his sales raids. He again featured as a leading


Goffs UK September Sale

Highflyer Bloodstock landed multiple winner High Stakes on a bid of £85,000



• This was the smallest September Sale catalogue for some years and, while that made for competitive trade, it did not help the minnow buyers who were looking for an inexpensive but sound horse. Last year such buyers had 243 horses to peruse, and there were 199 on offer in 2019 and 217 the year before. That figure was down to 152 this year, reducing options to source a cheap horse. The median figure of £8,000 illustrates the challenge for those looking for a suitable horse in the £10,000 bracket. Such buyers would include the many British point-to-point trainers who handle horses for the fun of the sport, rather than commercial gain. Their clients are often elderly owners who like to see their horses running close to home, owner/riders or small syndicates with tight-rein budgets, but they fulfil a useful role for Racing PLC in taking in and prolonging careers for ex-jumpers. They also introduce people to racing – long lines of officials, administrators and racehorse owners have been hooked on racing or forged careers in it after discovering its pleasures via the amateur sport. At this sale one Oxfordshire point-to-point trainer said she had been looking for a horse since January, while a Gloucestershire trainer had a similar tale, saying she was trying to buy for a pub syndicate of veteran owners. While it is a good sign that trade is strong enough to make it hard for them to buy, it would be a shame if their clients turned away from ownership. Their traditional source of stock – Ascot’s regular sales of jumpers – seem to have been consigned to history. A gap in the market, albeit at a lowly level, is waiting to be filled.


Sales Circuit ›› buyer at this sale, notably when

securing Forged In Fire, a Gigginstown House Stud horse who has been in training with Joseph O’Brien, for £42,000. This one, according to Aidan O’Ryan, was for a client at the yard, while Smoking Gun, another ex-Gigginstown/O’Brien lot, who

Elliott bought for £37,000, had been purchased on spec and was looking for a new owner. The two men also secured Enki Flacke from Gerald Quinn’s yard in a sale outside the ring for £40,000. The day after this sale Elliott regained his licence and returned

to the racecourse to saddle his first runners the following week. A clearance rate of 85% was further proof of buoyancy in the horses-intraining market, and the average figure of £11,805 was just below last year’s record of £12,358. The median rose 33% to £8,000.

Goffs UK September Sale Top lots Name/age/sex/breeding


High Stakes 7 g Scorpion - High Performer

John Walsh

Forged In Fire 6 g Presenting - Green Star Fontana Ellissi 5 g Sinndar - Leni Riefenstahl

Price (£)



Highflyer Bloodstock

Gigginstown House Stud


Gordon Elliott Racing

Grange Hill Farm (Nigel Twiston-Davies)


Samuel Drinkwater

Enki Flacke 4 g Buck’s Boum - Holly Girl

P McBurney/Caherty Stables


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

Smoking Gun 8 g Gold Well - The Wounded Cook

Gigginstown House Stud


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

Figures Year


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This unique-to-Britain (or Ireland) sale of yearling and two-year-old jumping stores was held for the third time at the Futter family’s Yorton Farm Stud, near Welshpool in Powys. If the 2019 sale was a test case, and last year was one of further deliberation in the swirl of Covid, then the latest edition established the event’s place in the calendar. Turnover in excess of £1.1m, an increase of 89%, was way beyond the expectations of both Dave Futter and Goffs UK, and there were record average (£27,756) and median (£26,000) prices, plus a 95% clearance rate from sales of 41 of 43 lots. Not that the aggregate figure was achieved from one high-profile horse, a point underlined by the £80,000 top lot. There were several bidders on most lots, and particular demand from buyers who had plans to race their horses in France, where the programme for three-year-old jumpers is well established. In a nutshell, buyers of two-year-old jumpers at Yorton can expect to see their purchases in action in France next year. On the minus side, the Irish pointto-point pinhookers who made their presence felt at the first two sales were present but less conspicuous as buyers on this occasion. The impact of Covid-19, which has beaten holes in two point-



Goffs UK Yorton Sale

A successful Goffs UK Yorton Sale was topped by the sale of an Isfahan gelding for £80,000

to-point seasons and left these traders with unraced stock, was thought to be a factor. Futter has asked for the event to be judged over a five-year period to allow its young graduates opportunities to make a mark as pinhooks, point-to-pointers or under Rules, but the early signs are promising. Winners have been emerging in France, and there have been profits for pinhookers who have reoffered their purchases at store sales. This year’s top lot, a handsome twoyear-old gelding by German stallion Isfahan – sire of this year’s Deutsches Derby winner Sisfahan – was sold to former jump jockey Marcus Foley, who runs a breaking and pre-training yard

called Lew House Stables in Oxfordshire. He was asked by racehorse owner James Hook to find a horse – “a Cheltenham winner” – to retain and place into training, and the Isfahan was chosen. Hook said the gelding would be named Chasing May, after a friend, Charles May, who tragically died in a farm accident at the age of 20. Tom Malone was left as underbidder, and Futter could enjoy a pinhook of his own, having bought the gelding at Baden-Baden last year for €15,000. Foley has plans to expand his current business to include pinhooking young horses, and he also bought three other lots with a view to trading them on, including a £26,000 two-year-old son of


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Sales Circuit ›› Night Wish.

French bloodstock agent Nicky Bertran de Balanda bought five horses for a total of €165,000, headed by a Pether’s Moon two-year-old who was offered at last year’s sale but retained at £30,000. Twelve months later he proved more popular, and, while trainer

Alan King was keen to land the prize, he had to give best to the Frenchman at £75,000. Francois Nicolle will take delivery of the horse, said de Balanda, and the same trainer could well end up with one or more of the four horses bought by former trainer Sue Bramall. The pick was a £45,000 son of Envoi

Allen’s sire Muhtathir, who will go with the other three buys to Bramall’s home in Ireland before being sent to race in France. Futter summed up the occasion by saying: “You cannot even dream of having a sale like this – it’s been a lifetime’s achievement.”

Goffs UK Yorton Sale Top lots Sex/age/breeding


Price (£)


G 2 Isfahan - Just For Show

Yorton Farm


Lew House Stables

G 2 Pether’s Moon – Azza

Yorton Farm


NBB Racing

G 2 Muhtathir – Apperella

Yorton Farm


Sue Bramall

G 1 Pether’s Moon – Fabrika

Yorton Farm


Alan King/Highflyer Bloodstock

Figures Year


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Arqana Lumet Show

Paul Nicholls will train the top lot from this sale, a €42,000 son of Kapgarde. The three-year-old store was Lot 1 of the 61 offered, but that proved no deterrent to buyers, and in particular bloodstock agent Joffret Huet, who bought the hammer down on Nicholls’ behalf. A glance at the catalogue gave an indication as to the trainer’s interest, for not only did it show the store was a half-brother to four-time winner Goldchop, but his dam was a half-sister

to Nicholls’ talented chaser Gwanako. Held at David Lumet’s pre-training complex Ecurie de la Ridaudiere, near Angers, the sale is an opportunity to view young jumpers cantering and jumping before they go onto new homes and the breaking stage. This was the ninth edition, but only the fourth since Lumet teamed up with Arqana. The liaison seems to be working well and, while the day’s turnover and clearance rate dipped slightly, the

average figure of €15,425 was up eight per cent while the median grew four per cent to €12,500. Two-thirds of the horses found buyers. The leading filly – a two-year-old, also by Kapgarde – was sold to trainer David Cottin for €36,000, while Florent Fonteyne of Trotting Bloodstock picked up a €33,000 Gris De Gris gelding from the family of Alan King’s high-class chaser Crystal D’Ainay. Trotting Bloodstock was the leading buyer with five purchases for €92,000.

Arqana Lumet Show Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (€)


G Kapgarde - Emy Chope

Haras de la Ridaudiere


JH Bloodstock

F Kapgarde - Poli Bamba

Haras de la Ridaudiere


David Cottin

G Gris De Gris - Tempete D’ainay

Haras de la Ridaudiere


Trotting Bloodstock

Figures Year


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Sales Circuit Osarus Yearling Sale

Forced off its usual September slot in La Teste de Buch last year by Covid-19, the Osarus Yearling Sale made a welcome return last month as an important outlet for French breeders. However, ultimately it was a challenging sale, with only 62% of yearlings changing hands for statistics far removed from the 2019 edition. A figure of €50,000 was enough for two yearlings to share top honours, a far cry indeed from 2019 when a daughter of Myboycharlie headed

Bradley, who came away with four lots worth €56,500. Irish-bred breeze-up pinhooker Con Marnane, who maintains a small string in France, was also active, paying €71,000 for eight yearlings. Osarus’ Managing Director Emmanuel Viaud was philosophical following the sale, highlighting that while it had endured its “difficulties”, there had been some positive elements, notably the presence of Rouget, the purchaser of seven lots.

proceedings at €170,000. Nicolas de Watrigant of Mandore International combined forces with trainer Jean-Claude Rouget to secure a second-crop son of Almanzor to head the first session, while Middleham Park Racing and Toby Jones of TJ Bloodstock hit the same €50,000 mark to come away with a son of Gutaifan on the second day. The latter is due to join trainer Tom Dascombe. Among the other British-based buyers, it was a productive trip for Nick

Osarus Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (€)


c Almanzor - Passion Blanche

HSV Agency


Mandore International/J-C Rouget

c Gutaifan - Senafe

Haras des Faunes


TJ Bloodstock/ Middleham Park Racing

c Toronado - Victhur

Haras du Buff


Mandore International

f Cloth Of Stars - Wheels Of Love

Jedburgh Stud


MAB Agency

c Al Wukair - Dawaes

Elevage de Traou Land


Mandore International

Figures Year


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2020 No sale 2019

The North American yearling sales market is in rude health judging by results from the first two books of the Keeneland September Sale in Lexington, Kentucky, writes Nancy Sexton. Granted, the sale took time to find its feet, with a selective first day of trading hindered by a clearance rate of 60%. However, there was still fierce competition for the top lots and by the second session the market had warmed up sufficiently for the opening book to end on a high. Cumulatively, 208 horses were sold through Book 1 for a total of $90,622,000 and an average of $435,683, up seven per cent from 2020. The median of $350,000 represented a rise of four per cent. By the close of Book 2, $200,419,000 had been traded on 620 yearlings at an average of $242,791. A total of 15 yearlings had been sold for $1 million or more. Such results were achieved without a


Keeneland September Sale Books 1 & 2

A first-crop son of City Of Light sold out of Book 2 to top the sale at $1.7 million

single purchase from either Godolphin or Shadwell Estates, both former heavy influences at this sale. Instead, the market was underpinned by the buying power of high-spending partnerships, some of whom were acting with an eye on a stallion career down the road; they included Donato Lanni, agent for SF Bloodstock, Starlight, Madaket, et al, who paid $7,650,000 for 14 colts and the BSW/ Crow Colts Group, which invested a total of $5,980,000 for 17. There was also healthy participation from Japanese and Australian buying interests, and although British and Irish activity across the first book was thin on the ground, a good number of them had defied all the odds to travel to Kentucky and were gearing up to spend as the sale moved into its later books. Although Book 1 is naturally perceived as the creme de la creme, it was Book 2 that yielded the sale highlight in a first-crop son of Lane’s End Farm’s City Of Light who sold for $1.7m to the partnership of Woodford




Rosilyn Polan: sale-topper was the only horse offered by the breeder over the week

›› Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds and

Talla Racing. His sale paid a handsome compliment to his young sire, whose four Grade 1 wins included the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Pegasus World Cup Invitational. Progeny of the son of Quality Road have gained positive reviews throughout the season, as illustrated by an average for Books 1 and 2 of $447,679 – a fine return off his first-year fee of $40,000. The sale-topper was the sole horse offered during the first week of trading by Rosilyn Polan, who had bred the colt out of the stakes-placed Tapit mare Anchorage. “I have always known he was special, and I knew that people would like him, but usually people like a horse for a

certain price,” said Polan. “Nobody can ever dream of a million dollars.” Asked how she would celebrate, Polan said: “Clean stalls, turn out yearlings, clip ears, feed, go to bed early, get up and ship my horses tomorrow to Keeneland. That’s the best part of it, is that it keeps you real.” Woodford Racing, which is fronted by Lane’s End owner Bill Farish, also combined with West Point Thoroughbreds to purchase the Book 1 sale-topper, a son of Lane’s End’s own Quality Road who was sold through Eaton Sales for $1.6m. West Point also later partnered with Talla Racing to purchase a $1.55m son of American Triple Crown hero Justify out of Book 2. The Quality Road colt was one of two million-dollar lots during the book for the leading sire and is out of Catch The Moon, a jewel within the broodmare band of breeder Stonestreet Farm as the dam of Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Girvin and this season’s Preakness and Travers Stakes runner-up Midnight Bourbon. Although purchased to race under the Woodford Racing and West Point partnership, likely plans call for breeder Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Thoroughbreds to remain an interest. “The market is strong,” said Farish. “For horses like this, it’s been very, very hard to buy as you can tell by that



Sales Circuit

Bill Farish of Woodford Racing, Terry Finley of West Point and Barbara Banke

price. It’s competitive. That’s how we hoped it would be.” Meanwhile, the Justify colt marked a landmark moment for consignor Stonehaven Steadings, who had bred the youngster out of the Grade 3-placed True Feelings. “Probably the most exciting thing I have experienced in this business” was the reaction of Stonehaven Steadings’ Director of Bloodstock and Client Development Aidan O’Meara following the sale. Jacob West, agent for Repole Stable and St Elias, wound up as the week’s leading buyer with 24 bought for a total of $11,325,000. A productive buying trip for MV Magnier also saw him leave Kentucky with $6,175,000 worth of yearlings.

Keeneland September Sale Books 1 & 2 Top lots Sex/breeding


Price ($)

c City Of Light - Anchorage

Rosilyn Polan


Woodford Racing, West Point & Talla Racing

c Quality Road - Catch The Moon

Eaton Sales


Woodford Racing & West Point Thoroughbreds

c Justify - True Feelings

Stonehaven Steadings


Talla Racing & West Point Thoroughbreds

f American Pharaoh - Letgomyecho

Betz Thoroughbreds


Northshore Bloodstock

c Into Mischief - Superioritycomplex

Mt. Brilliant Farm


Winchell Thoroughbreds

c Tapit - Danzatrice

Gainesway, agent


Whisper Hill Farm LLC

c Curlin - Dashing Debby

Gainesway, agent


MV Magnier

f Into Mischief - Embellish The Lace

Bluewater Sales


Spendthrift Farm

f War Front - Vaulcluse

Gainesway, agent


Seahorse Stables

c Quality Road - Brielle’s Appeal

Dixiana Farms, LLC



Mayberry Farm

Figures Year


Agg ($)

Average ($)

Median ($)

Top price ($)



















* three-day sale



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INTERNATIONAL OWNER IN FOCUS King Power Racing Winter Power’s blisteringly quick victory in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in August also signified another leap forward for her owners King Power Racing who, in just four years, have developed into one of the leading owners in British racing. King Power Racing’s blue and white silks were first seen on the track in 2017 and have quickly become some of the most recognisable in British racing, having been carried to victory now by two Group 1 winners and more than 20 Group winners. Donjuan Triumphant became the first Group 1 winner for King Power in the 2019 British Champions’ Sprint Stakes, one year after Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s death, a poignant swansong for the Andrew Balding-trained sprinter. The identity of the winning trainer was apt as it was to Balding that King Power turned when the family decided to expand their equine pursuits to encompass racing. Alastair Donald of SackvilleDonald has assisted in the growth and development of the Srivaddhanaprabha family’s racing and breeding interests in that time and says that it is their attention to detail and commitment to getting it right that is the hallmark of all they do. “When they do something, they like to do it properly. Before they got involved, they researched the trainers, they researched me, examined the stats. We built up a relationship from there. Tragically, Vichai didn’t live to see the success, but when Top took over as chairman of King Power, luckily he took on his father’s racing mantle too.” That total commitment and dedication was evident already from the success of Leicester City and the domination of the King Power Foxes polo team at the highest level. Their racing string now consists of around 80 horses in training split between several trainers including Tim Easterby, who handles Winter Power, and Balding. When her racing career eventually comes to an end, Winter Power will become a member of King Power’s blue-chip broodmare band. Their British-based mares board at the Player family’s Whatton Manor Stud, and former stars now retired to the paddocks include Tisbutadream, a Listed winner and Group 3 placed half-sister to Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Persuasive. “Tisbutadream had her first foal in the spring, a lovely Kingman colt, and it is enormously exciting to think that the likes of Winter Power, Queen Power and Angel Power will become broodmares in the future. There is so much to look forward to,” Sackville predicts. It is a prediction that rings true for British racing, and the nation’s sporting scene generally, which has been enriched enormously by King Power’s passion and dedication to the pursuit of success through flying fillies and goal-scoring greats alike. Tel: 01299 851625 Tel: 01299 851625 Tel: 01299 851625 Tel: 01299 851625


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Sales Circuit Canadian Premier Yearling Sale There was plenty of encouragement to be had out of the results of Canada’s Premier Yearling Sale, held at Woodbine near Toronto in early September, writes Nancy Sexton. In stark contrast to 2020, when the ceiling was C$90,000, five yearlings sold for C$100,000 or more to boost the aggregate to C$3,144,400, up 12.5% from 2020. The average increased slightly to C$19,901. With Coolmore Kentucky stallion Practical Joke having made a fast start with his first runners – notably as the

sire of Grade 2 winner Wit – it was no surprise to see his sole representative make an impact, with the filly in question selling for a sale-topping C$180,000 to Josh Nelson. Consigned by Shannondoe Farm, she is the second foal out of the restricted Canadian stakes winner Silent Treat, by Silent Name. Veteran Canadian sire Silent Name also featured as the sire of the most expensive colt, a son of multiple stakes producer Sweet Bama Breeze, herself a stakes-placed runner by City Zip. He was sold by the sale’s leading

consignor, Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency, for C$160,000 to agent Stuart Simon, acting on behalf of William and Anne Scott. Peter Berringer, President and Sales Chair of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS), was satisfied with the sale. He said: “The CTHS was pleased to see five yearlings selling for over C$100,000 in this year’s sale, along with the positive growth in gross sales, taking into account the fact that we are in our second year of a delayed start with a shortened racing season due to the Covid-19 health pandemic.”

Canadian Premier Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (C$)


f Practical Joke - Silent Treat

Shannondoe Farm


Josh Nelson

c Silent Name - Sweet Bama Breeze

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency


Stuart Simon, agent

f Old Forester - Gladiator Queen

John Carey


Bruno Schickedanz

c Tourist - Aunty Mo

Cara Bloodstock


Al & Bill Ulwelling

Figures Year


Agg (C$)

Average (C$)

Median (C$)

Top price (C$)



















ONLINE SALES £60,000 lot heads inaugural ThoroughBid auction There was a first successful sale in the books for fledging online auction house ThoroughBid as its inaugural sale, staged on September 12, was led by a £60,000 half-sister to Trueshan. The brainchild of Will Kinsey and Ross Alberto, British-based ThoroughBid was launched in July with an emphasis on transparency, flexibility and convenience; lots are catalogued on the company’s site,, alongside information such as ownership, veterinary notices, race form, sales history and progeny ratings. Its first catalogue attracted 23 lots, including horses in training under both codes and breeding stock who were based in Britain, Ireland and France. Of those 23, 18 came under the online hammer and seven were

sold, headed by Jolie Comtesse, an Evasive half-sister to Alan King’s Group 1-winning stayer Trueshan who realised £60,000 to AK Stud. The mare had been purchased earlier in the year by Mark Gichero, who offered her through Dunraven Stud, via a French website, and put in foal to Trueshan’s sire Planteur, was duly well received on her return to market. Next best at £21,000 was Kilbarchan, a winning daughter of Jukebox Jury sold in foal to Blue Bresil to Richard Burton. The ThoroughBid team expressed their satisfaction at the performance of their first sale, particularly at the fact that it attracted participation from Ireland, France and Kuwait alongside Britain. Plans are already in place for a second sale. Meanwhile, a breeding right in ascendant young sire Time Test headed the Tattersalls September Online Sale by selling for 85,000gns

to Peter and Ross Doyle. The seventh auction to be conducted on the platform, it featured the sale of 11 lots for a total of 188,200gns. Doyle reported that the breeding right in Time Test had been purchased on behalf of a client who planned to support the horse “with some very nice mares”. On a day where breeding rights proved in demand, Haras Mont di Mont also went to 35,000gns to secure one such interest in established Group 1 sire Havana Gold. The platform also came into its own in the case of the most expensive horse sold, Espouse. Despite being in Kentucky for the Keeneland September Sale, agent Alex Elliott was able to turn his attention to Tattersalls and strike a successful bid of 32,000gns for the winning daughter of Elusive Pimpernel.


Caulfield Files


t’s a tribute to the O’Callaghan family’s record for ‘making’ stallions – and to Scat Daddy’s magnificent achievements with his European runners – that El Kabeir received a warm welcome when he took up stud duties at Yeomanstown Stud in 2018. Billed as “Scat Daddy’s best ever two-year-old son to race in America” and priced at €8,000, the six-year-old attracted nearly 150 mares, even though his record established him firmly as a dirt specialist. This support is now translating into a solid start to El Kabeir’s stallion career, with the good-looking grey holding sixth place in mid-September on the Anglo-Irish list of first-season sires, as well as seventh place on the European table. His first black-type success came when Don Chicco, a son of an unraced Oasis Dream mare, won the Premio Giuseppe de Montel at San Siro in June. El Kabeir didn’t have long to wait for his next notable performer, thanks to Masekela, a 30,000gns yearling out of a 12-furlong Group 3 winner. After failing by only a short head to catch the future Group 1 winner Native Trail in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes, Masekela followed up with a head victory over the future Group 2 winner Bayside Boy in the Listed Denford Stakes at Newbury. Another son – the Irish gelding Rerouting – was the next to gain black

Masekela (left): one of two stakes winners from the first crop of El Kabeir


type, when third in the Group 3 Solario Stakes, but the distinction of being El Kabeir’s leading earner falls to the quirky Harrow. A son of a five-furlong winner at Wolverhampton, Harrow was recording his third consecutive success when he got the better of Ever Given in the Weatherbys Scientific £200,000 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster. El Kabeir – whose name apparently translates as The Boss – had also been very effective as a two-year-old, but he wasn’t in the same mould as the likes of No Nay Never, Caravaggio, Lady Aurelia, Sioux Nation and Acapulco, all of whom made their name over five or six furlongs. It was over seven furlongs, on his second start at Saratoga, that El Kabeir recorded a nearly 11-length victory at Saratoga, in which he led throughout. The remainder of his juvenile career was spent in Graded stakes events. He made amends for two disappointing efforts on sloppy/muddy tracks when he tackled two turns for the first time, in the Group 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes over an extended mile at the end of November. He again led throughout and he hung on to win by a short-head. Those five juvenile starts earned El Kabeir a weight of 118 on the year-end Experimental Free Handicap, 8lb below the equal top-weights American Pharoah and Texas Red. El Kabeir’s owners, Zayat Stables, also owned American Pharoah, who was to dominate the Triple Crown races. El Kabeir never made it to the Classics but he was kept busy in the first few months of his second season, notably winning the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes in January and the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in March, both over an extended mile. The colt’s staying-on third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial encouraged his trainer John Terranova to talk of the Kentucky Derby as a possible target, but El Kabeir didn’t race again until the end of October. Unfortunately, he rarely regained his former high standard during this latter part of his career. His only success in his remaining 11 starts came when he scrambled home as a short-priced favourite in a seven-furlong Listed race at Laurel. He had little to show for being kept in training at the ages of four and


El Kabeir adding to Scat Daddy legacy I Scat Daddy: late Coolmore stallion continues to exert a major influence

five and a change of trainers and even a change of surface did nothing to revive his fortunes. His one appearance on turf, in a Grade 2 at Pimlico, saw El Kabeir

Dubawi sons on the ascent Sprinters currently dominate the upper echelons of the first-season sires’ table, with four of the top five places being held by Cotai Glory, who made 25 of his 30 starts over five furlongs, Caravaggio, whose only unplaced effort came on the one occasion he was tried over a little further than six furlongs, Profitable, who made 21 of his 23 starts over five furlongs, and Ardad, who made seven of his nine starts over five furlongs. I could add that all four were also precocious, with Caravaggio gaining his first success on April 18, Ardad on June 8, Cotai Glory on July 10 and Profitable on July 24. Galileo Gold, the other member of the top five, may be best remembered as a top miler but don’t forget that he was also smart at two, when he gained the first of his three consecutive juvenile victories as early as June 9. However, speed and precocity aren’t essential to success as a first-season sire, as two Juddmontebred sons of Dubawi – New Bay and Time Test – have been demonstrating over the last two seasons. New Bay ran only once as a two-year-old, making his debut as late as November 25, when he finished a two-length second over a mile on

Bloodstock world views

Chantilly’s all-weather track. Whereas the winner, a Cape Cross filly called Urjuwaan, failed to earn black type, New Bay thrived as a three-year-old, to the extent that he won the Prix du JockeyClub after a highly creditable second in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and ended his season with third place behind Golden Horn and Flintshire in the Arc. Unfortunately, he failed to win another Group 1 at four and, instead of joining the Juddmonte stallion roster, New Bay was sold to stand at Ballylinch Stud, who have done a very good job with him. He took high rank among the first-crop sires of 2020, notably enjoying Group success with New Mandate and Saffron Beach. Saffron Beach has gone on to finish second in the 1,000 Guineas before winning the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes, and a very admirable total of ten members of New Bay’s comparatively small first crop have so far attained Racing Post ratings of 100+. The fact that his second crop numbers little more than 60 foals hasn’t stopped him confirming his talent. Bayside Boy became the first Group winner from this crop when he narrowly defeated Reach For The Moon in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes, and there is a pleasing support team, featuring Cresta, Mise Le Meas, Adjuvant, Daisy Peers and New Pursuit. He has seven winners from 21 starters, and more can be expected throughout the autumn. Time Test wasn’t without talent as a

thanks to the likes of Ten Sovereigns and Land Force, and now Caravaggio is holding third place in what appears to be a close-fought battle for this year’s title

“El Kabeir’s early results must also lend encouragement to Coolmore” of champion first-season sire. Caravaggio already has his first three black-type winners under his belt, thanks to Agartha, who has consistently proved herself one of Ireland’s leading juvenile fillies, Dizzy Bizu, a Listed winner in France, and Her


finish only seventh of eight, so he is unusual among European stallions in that dirt was his preferred surface. But then, it was also the preferred surface for his sire Scat Daddy, who never ventured onto turf. El Kabeir’s early results must lend encouragement to the Coolmore team, who have invested heavily in their belief that Scat Daddy’s highest-ranked son, the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, is going to match Scat Daddy’s prowess and versatility as a sire. Of course, few horses proved as versatile as Scat Daddy’s own sire, Johannesburg, whose juvenile career saw him become a top-level winner in four different countries, scoring not only on dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but also on turf tracks ranging from firm to good to soft. Coolmore’s faith in Scat Daddy’s stallion sons has already been boosted by some of his eldest sons. No Nay Never was the leading first-crop sire of 2018,

New Bay: Ballylinch Stud stallion enjoying another good season with his juveniles

two-year-old, but his record of one win and two seconds was good enough to earn him a Timeform rating of only 91p. In other words, he appeared to be something of an underachiever for a son of two Group 1-winning two-year-olds. Dubawi had been rated 123p as a juvenile, while Time Test’s dam Passage Of Time was rated 113p after winning three of her four starts. The following year saw Time Test fulfil much of the potential of his first-rate pedigree. His smooth victory in the London Gold Cup suggested he would hold his own in much stronger company and he duly landed the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 2 Joel Stakes. Further Group successes followed as a four-year-old, including a victory over Mondialiste in the Group 2 York Stakes. Unfortunately, his York success marked his final appearance in Britain and he was

World, a highly regarded Wesley Ward-trained filly who was an impressive winner of the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth on her debut in August. Caravaggio’s switch from Coolmore to Ashford before the 2021 season may eventually prove helpful to Sioux Nation, the 2017 Phoenix Stakes winner who certainly won’t be short of ammunition when his first crop reaches the races in 2022. As for El Kabeir, he is likely – as so many young stallions do – to find it more difficult to maintain his progress with his second and third crops. Having sired 118 foals in his first season, he was bred to 87 mares in his second year and to around 70 in his third. However, his fellow Yeomanstown stallion Dark Angel has proved that a stallion can survive dwindling support in his early years if he’s good enough, and El Kabeir’s early results hint that he also has sufficient talent.

transferred to Chad Brown in the US. Time Test seemed well qualified to gain the top-level success that had eluded him in Europe, but he continued to frustrate at the top level, finishing second in each of his three starts, including two Grade 1s. His final defeat, by just over two lengths in the Fourstardave Handicap, was made to look better when the winner, World Approval, went on to take the Breeders’ Cup Mile. So Time Test failed to win a Group or Grade 1 race, which is one of the main criteria that Juddmonte tries to uphold when retaining stallions. That said, Time Test’s broodmare sire Dansili also lacked a Group 1 success on his CV and that didn’t stop him becoming a major success. Time Test was instead retired to the National Stud, at a fee of £8,500, and his early runners suggest that he is going to prove a real asset to connections. He has already enjoyed black-type success with three of his daughters – Romantic Time (Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes), Rocchigiani (Group 3 Zukunftsrennen) and Tardis (Listed St Hugh’s Stakes) – and a fourth daughter, Sunset Shiraz, was third in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. That’s excellent going for a crop numbering only 74, and it was no surprise when a breeding right to Time Test sold for 85,000gns on September 15. He looks set to play his part in adding to Dubawi’s burgeoning reputation as a sire of sires.


Dr Statz

John Boyce cracks the code

Dubawi still in front - but Frankel snaps at his heels


eaching a crescendo as it did on Irish Champions weekend and at the Doncaster St Leger meeting, if there is one thing that the month of September has taught us it is that the great Dubawi is still at the height of his powers. The one-two in the Group 2 Park Stakes with Glorious Journey and D’Bai and the courageous victory by Bayside Boy – by Dubawi’s son New Bay – in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes merely served to underline a point made earlier in the month by Dubawi’s youngest stallion son Time Test, who sired his first two Group winners. It is fair to say that Frankel, with his two middle-distance superstars Adayar and Hurricane Lane, has been hogging the limelight this summer, readily occupying a role vacated by his own indomitable sire Galileo. But, as I write, Dubawi still leads the up-and-coming Frankel by number of 2021 stakes winners, which is no mean feat given the Banstead Manor Stud sire’s penchant for siring middle-distance and staying Classic winners. Moreover, Dubawi had a close hand in the making of Adayar, having sired his high-class Classic-placed dam Anna Salai. The stamina index of Frankel’s stock aged three and older of 9.9 furlongs, compared to Dubawi’s 9.2, hands Frankel a tactical advantage in that such extra stamina opens up so many more of our top staying races to his typical representative. We have known for years that our top middle-distance races are more highly valued than their sprint equivalents, this despite their equal blacktype status. It is the reason that a speed-orientated stallion will never become champion sire. As it stands, Frankel – given longevity – is on track to eclipse whatever numbers of stakes winners and Group winners are eventually posted by Dubawi, all of which are already records for a British sire. But there are a few that he will struggle to overcome. The obvious ones are his strike-rates for stakes and Group winners, for which Dubawi will not give much ground on. But as Frankel is a few years ahead of Dubawi in career terms, perhaps he will continue to be a force for longer. But on like-for-like terms, it is always


Dubawi: possesses a 16% stakes winners to runners strike-rate

going to be nip and tuck between the pair. Currently, Dubawi leads by 16% stakes winners from runners to Frankel’s 15.5%, while Frankel has sired 10.8% Group winners to runners compared to 10.2% for Dubawi. Moreover, the average Timeform mark of Dubawi’s stakes winners is 114.5, compared to Frankel’s 113.7. It must also not be forgotten that both Frankel and Dubawi have built their reputations from a discernably different quality of mare. Right from the outset of his career, Frankel was all the rage and his first book set a very high standard. Dubawi, meanwhile, started his career at £25,000 and it took him ten seasons before he eclipsed Frankel’s first fee of £125,000. Frankel’s first yearlings may have disappointed some, but his first two- and three-year-olds certainly didn’t. In fact, the success of his current three-year-olds is a measure of how impressed breeders were with his first runners. The likes of Adayar, Hurricane Lane and Snow Lantern are products of mares sent to Frankel on the back of his outstanding first crop. A good measure of the effectiveness of a sire is to compare the success of his stock to the success of all their other siblings by other sires. By this measure, Dubawi is making a better fist of things. His 16% stakes winners to runners were from mares that typically produce 12.1% by other sires. Frankel, on the

other hand, sires 15.5% from mares who normally produce 16.8% by others. But a word of warning here as it is always difficult to improve on what very good mares have already achieved. It is well known that in general terms mares tend to be less effective as they age, and, if a stallion attracts a lot of dams of stakes winners, their age profile is bound to be higher. Hence, the average age of Frankel’s mares at 10.3 years is much higher than the age at which other sires covered his mares, which stands at 9.5 years. In Dubawi’s case, his mares’ average age is a comparatively low 9.8 years. In an effort to compare like with like, we can confine our comparison of the two super sires to just elite mares, those in the top 15% of the population ranked by either their pedigree or progeny records. Both stallions have been exposed to enough such mares by now to make it a worthwhile exercise and it mitigates Dubawi’s early-years disadvantage. For a start, 63% of the dams of Frankel’s runners can be classed as elite, compared to 54% of Dubawi’s, but the Darley sire has produced 19.6% stakes winners from his best mares, compared to Frankel’s 17.5%. Whatever the respective merits of these two great sires, what is clear is that Britain is now home to the two best living stallions in Europe. When is the last time we could have said that?

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arlier this year the Racehorse Owners Association launched the ROA VAT Solution, providing owners with a quick, slick and simple approach to reclaiming VAT on their horseracing activity. When you own a racehorse, paying VAT along the way is unavoidable. The ability to reclaim VAT on ownership costs is now easier than ever with the ROA VAT Solution. With over 20 years of experience of the racehorse owners VAT scheme, our team has a wealth of experience to assist you with VAT matters. Davina Grewal joined the ROA VAT Solution team in June, with 12 years’ business, finance and VAT experience gained in the UK and East Africa. Prior to returning to the UK in 2017, she lived in Tanzania, where she worked in the finance department of a busy international road haulage company, later setting up her own media, printing and events business. Glen Hillsmith joined the ROA VAT Solution team in July, with a wealth of experience around racing VAT, having worked at the BHA sponsorship and VAT desk, and Weatherbys VAT services for the last seven years. Prior to this he lived and taught English in Budapest, and had an eight-year stint at Barclays International Trade Services. ROA VAT Solution can deal with HMRC on your behalf and take the

Davina Grewal and Glen Hillsmith are managing the ROA VAT Solution

trouble out of reclaiming VAT – giving you more time to focus on the sport you love. Whether you’re transferring your VAT over to ROA VAT Solution or applying for a new VAT registration, the process is seamless. We will work on your behalf with HMRC to ensure your quarterly VAT returns are submitted promptly, accurately and in line with HMRCs Making Tax Digital

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Racing Digital: the next-generation platform Racing Digital is the joint venture company created by the BHA and Weatherbys to transform and serve the sport by creating a nextgeneration digital platform for managing racing activities. Over the next three years many of the current systems that owners use, such as Racing Admin, will be replaced with Racing Digital’s new product. The technology platform will respond much faster to change, using data in a more intelligent way. The platform will provide a huge


opportunity for the sport to harness the power of technology and for digital innovation to play a critical role in the sport’s Covid recovery plan. The first six months of the project is focused on understanding the needs of customers. The project build will be iteratively and changes to the platforms are expected to come online in Q3 2022. Some elements of the current platform will remain in use until July 2024. More about Racing Digital and the team assembled to

deliver the project can be found at This is a project that directly affects owners on a daily basis and your involvement early is crucial to its success. The Racing Digital team are holding workshops to discuss how participants use the current system. If you would like to be involved in these, and have any ideas around what can be done better or would just like to have a chat about Racing Digital’s plans, contact ideas@racingdigital.

New contact details: • 01183 385680 • @racehorseowners



Members can take advantage of discounted entry and fine dining at Ascot on Saturday, October 16

CHAMPIONS DAY MEMBER OFFER The stage is set for QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday, October 16. The best international Flat performers from across the globe will compete for a share of the £4 million prize-money on offer for the nation’s richest raceday. This year is the 11th anniversary of this unique day’s racing, which marks the finale of the British Flat racing season. Its popularity is unprecedented and the day looks sure to attract a star-studded card. At the time of going to press most entry options are already sold out. We are pleased to provide two special offers to members who would like to enjoy the day’s racing.

Members can enjoy either:

discount on Queen Anne Enclosure tickets, • 5to0%include a free racecard

• 10% discount on fine dining (subject to availability) The Queen Anne Enclosure provides a trackside viewing lawn and parade ring viewing area. There will be a range of bars and on-the-go eateries and access to on-site entertainment. Details of how to book these and other Ascot offers can be found in the members’ area at

New board members approved The ROA’s 77th Annual General Meeting took place on September 1. All six resolutions set out in the Annual Report 2020/21 were approved by members. The resolutions included a significant step forward in the governance of the ROA with changes to its Articles of Association. The AGM also marked further improvements to governance as the ROA’s transition to a skills-based board continued, with the approval of the co-options of Ken McGarrity and Khalid Almudhaf, alongside the election of Philip Davies MP and Mouse Hamilton-Fairley, and reelection of Celia Djivanovic. Mr Almudhaf is a long-term UK racehorse owner and Kuwaiti businessman who will provide in-

depth knowledge of the ownership experience in the UK as well as invaluable insight into foreign investment into British racing. Ken McGarrity is a long-term owner who has been the ROA’s Scottish representative for the past six years. He will continue to bring his experience as a group finance director to his role as Chair of the ROA Audit Committee. Charlie Parker, President of the ROA, said: “We have had a very strong year in the circumstances, making progress on vital owner issues and progressing our own development as an organisation. With the new board members, new articles and a clear mission to be the voice of owners, I am confident we have an exciting year

Philip Davies MP was elected to the ROA board earlier this year

ahead, improving ownership – from the stable to the racecourse – and shaping racing’s future in the UK.” A full replay of the AGM can be found online at



ROA Forum

One meeting a day rule for riders set to continue The BHA and PJA confirmed in August that the one-meeting per day protocol for jockeys, initially introduced as part of measures designed to ensure racing’s safe return behind closed doors during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been extended through 2022. Following consultation with jockeys and industry stakeholders, the BHA’s board has approved the move, which permits jockeys across both codes to ride at only one meeting per day. Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of the BHA, said: “Jockeys played a key role in ensuring racing’s return in 2020 was a success, adapting to a new way of working in unusual circumstances while still producing at the highest level on the track. “It is our job to do everything we can to ensure the welfare of our jockeys and it has become clear over the last year that the overwhelming majority of jockeys appreciate no longer competing at multiple meetings per day, and having to contend with the physical and mental pressures this placed upon them.”

The one meeting per day restriction was introduced during the Covid era and will be retained in 2022

MEMBER BENEFITS The ROA is constantly reviewing and updating its members’ benefits, working with partners to support the ownership experience. To follow are some of the key benefits of being part of the ROA.

• Free racecourse admission • Third-party liability insurance • 20% discount on most BHA registration fees • Monthly copy of The Owner Breeder magazine plus PDF version emailed

• • Raceday Curtailment Scheme • Members discounts on Racing Post, Racing TV, Ascot ROA/Tote Owner Sponsorship Scheme


Advice on ownership matters

The ROA Third Party Liability Scheme is designed to protect an owner if their racehorse causes damage or injury to a third party or their property. Members of the ROA enjoy this cover, which has a limit of liability of £10 million per incident. In the case of a syndicate, this benefit doesn’t cascade down from a member to a non-member. The law may define a racehorse’s owner as any individual who has a financial interest in that horse, so all members of a partnership or syndicate should be mindful of their potential exposure to this risk. The ROA website features more information on why this is an important consideration for syndicate members to be


ROA members receive a host of benefits as part of their subscription package

aware of. There is a pdf of frequently asked questions and video clips. See Syndicate members can of course join the ROA to enjoy the peace of mind the scheme provides. The scheme extends to owners who are also amateur breeders. Full details of this and the other benefits of membership can be found at

News in brief ROA Horseracing Awards

Save the Date for the 39th ROA Awards on Thursday, December 9, 2021. We look forward to seeing members at the ever-popular champagne reception, dinner and awards evening, which will be held at The Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The ROA is proud to be a diverse and inclusive organisation and aims to ensure all our events are welcoming and enjoyable for everyone. If you have any additional requirements or questions about attending the awards, please contact Ruth Diver at or 01183 385680.

ROA/Tote Owner Sponsorship Scheme

The ROA/Tote Owner Sponsorship Scheme enables racehorse owners to register for and reclaim VAT. Horses can be added to one of four 12-month schemes during the year. The owners’ silks carry Tote branding each time the horse races. Horses must be owned by ROA members to join the scheme. To add a horse, or renew sponsorship for a horse previously covered by the scheme, see or call the ROA office on 01183 385680. Additional Tote logos can be obtained from John at Horse Requisites on 01638 664619. Each set of logos costs £20 + VAT. Horse Requisites also offer a stitching service for new silks requiring logos, which is an additional charge.

Whip consultation

An online questionnaire, which forms the first stage of the open, public consultation around the use of the whip in British horseracing, concluded last month after running for ten weeks. Over 2,000 responses have been received from industry participants, stakeholders, followers and members of the general public. These submissions will now be assessed, with the aid of an expert independent data analyst. As part of the consultation process, respondents were offered the opportunity to volunteer to take part in focus groups. Several such sessions have already been held and

detailed discussions with relevant industry individuals and organisations are in progress. Thank you to all owners who took part.

Jump handicapping review

The BHA is set to change the way British horses will be handicapped to correct a perceived imbalance in ratings. This follows a review of handicapping which was undertaken following the poor performance of UK-trained horses at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, when just five races were won by the home team. Older horses will receive bigger drops after being beaten and the approach to handicapping novice hurdlers will be reassessed. The governing body confirmed there will be “no seismic change” in the system, but “subtle changes” to certain areas of their methodology to get the distribution of ratings close to where it had been between 2008 and 2011. Work is well under way, with a target date of January 1, 2022 to complete this process. BHA Head of Handicapping Dominic Gardiner-Hill provides an in-depth explanation on the rationale for the review with relevant analytics at news.

Jumpers to Follow

Now in its 15th year, Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow is an essential tool to guide you through the autumn and winter and into the spring. Not only will it whet the appetite for the upcoming National Hunt season, but it will keep you informed throughout the whole campaign. With sections covering French imports and former pointto-pointers, to trends and statistics on a dozen feature races spanning November to February, there really is something for everyone inside Jumpers To Follow. This year’s foreword has been written by Grade 1-winning trainer Olly Murphy. Members can enjoy a £3 discount on the cover price of £11.95 + shipping. See the code in the members’ area at

Work ongoing at Windsor With the support of the BHA Inspectorate, Windsor is carrying out levelling works on undulations in the straight. Work began in early September to allow time to establish things ahead of racing starting again in April 2022. It is the intention that the race programmes will, as much as possible, subject to race distances being compatible with each course, remain on the same days, thereby generating as little disruption as possible. Three Flat fixtures have been transferred from Windsor in October to Lingfield (AWT, October 4), Wolverhampton (AWT, October 11) and Bath (October 18).


Due to the planned resurfacing of the all-weather course at Southwell this autumn, which will see a new Tapeta surface laid, a number of their previously scheduled fixtures have been moved, including to Kempton (October 5), Chelmsford (October 7), Newcastle (October 26) and Lingfield (November 2). All race conditions remain the same where possible,

with the exception of Newcastle on October 26, where the following amendments have been made: • The programmed 1m4f Class 4 61-80 Hcap will now be run over 1m2f as a 66-85 Hcap • The programmed 3YO Class 6 1m6f Hcap will now be run over 1m4f for 3YOs and up • Catterick’s 2m Class 6 46-60 Hcap on the same day has dropped to a 46-55

Fixture swap

The BHA has confirmed the fixture scheduled for Ayr on Saturday, October 30 will now be staged at Musselburgh on the same day. In return, the meeting scheduled for Musselburgh on Monday, November 22 will be held at Ayr on the same day. It is the intention of the courses that the race programmes will as much as possible, subject to race distances being compatible with each course, remain on the same days, thereby generating as little disruption as possible.


ROA Forum

MAGICAL MOMENTS John Cook backs himself at the sales – if not always his horses


Breton Rock, pictured winning at Ascot, banked over £660,000 during the course of his career


t sounds amusing, and it will become more so as time heals to owner John Cook, who joked he “woke up the following morning with bruises from kicking myself” after Indigo Times had scored at 28-1 at Newmarket. His friends had been taking the mick after Cook admitted he had not backed his horse – “I could have lied”, he points out – although with a winner’s purse of more than £20,000, it was far from a bad day at the office. To talk to, Cook is one of those people you instinctively feel is part of the bedrock of ownership in Britain. Down to earth, open, the sort of bloke you’d happily have a pint with. Horseracing and ownership has


been part of his life for more than a quarter of a century, his toe first dipped in the water in 1995, when a friend bought a horse and he took a share. Trained by George Foster in Lambourn, its cheap price tag ended up being reflected on the racecourse. It was the start, however, of a journey that has gone on to deliver much more. Indeed, the good times started to roll pretty soon after, with Cook joining the Lambourn Valley Racing club launched by Foster and who had as a flagbearer En Vacances, leased to the club by Juliet Reed. “His first run for us was at Newbury, which was a great experience, and he

went on to win three times, including twice at Newbury, and was beaten just a neck in the Cesarewitch,” says Cook. Further syndicate experiences followed, including in a management capacity, one of which was with Blandford Bloodstock, run by Tom Goff and Richard Brown. The latter was to become an important and long-term part of Cook’s ownership experience. He explains: “Richard introduced me to David Simcock, and I became his first owner. Richard bought a filly at the sales in October 2003 and said she’d win, and on April 26, 2004 she was the first to wear my colours, at Windsor. “She did win, two runs later at

Goodwood. I named her Elisha – someone I knew had just called their baby Elisha.” Sadly, Cook’s wife was to die a couple of years later, and the sport and his interest in ownership, you sense, was something that subsequently provided some succour. A trip to Doncaster for the sales proved fruitful, for he returned the owner of a yearling he was to call Keen Bidder. “I went with George Foster and got him for £18,000 – I got a bit carried away, hence the name,” says Cook. “He won eight grand on the track but I sold him for 40.” Cook’s buying – “I try not to pay more than 20 grand” – and selling has served him well, never more so than with his thumbing through the sales catalogue before what was then the DBS Premier Yearling Sale in Doncaster on the last day of August 2011. “I picked out lot 40 as he seemed to me to have a strong back pedigree, and Jenny Simcock, unbeknown to David, ended up buying him on spec for £20,000,” recalls Cook. “I phoned her and the rest is history. I named him Breton Rock and he went on to win more than £650,000.” Breton Rock won his first two races, both at Salisbury, and never looked back. Indeed, he was to win eight more, including the Hungerford Stakes, Criterion Stakes, Park Stakes, and, most magically of all, the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at 50-1 as a seven-year-old. “I will never get a horse like Breton Rock again,” says Cook. “Well, it would be a miracle, wouldn’t it? David thought his price at Goodwood that day was an insult, but it was unbelievable how the race fell into his lap. You hardly dare dream of having a horse like that.” Rock is not the only Breton – Cook has a grandson called Bret, with a Gibraltar visit giving rise to the Rock – the owner has had, and while Breton Star managed a few places but not a victory in a short career, he did carry Cook’s colours on his debut in a rather

famous Newmarket maiden in August 2010. “He came last in Frankel’s first ever race; it’s another claim to fame anyway!” quips the owner. But to return to the winners, Indigo Times’ recent victory was, like Breton Rock’s Lennox strike, “quite a surprise”. It added to what has so far been a good year for his owner, with ten winners at the time of writing. Indigo Times has provided five, fellow four-year-old Morlaix three, and the three-year-old Heath Rise two. “Every year I’ve had a winner, and I’m a lucky owner,” admits Cook. “I’ve had 38 winners since I’ve been with David, and most of it is down to him and his knowing how to place them – he was definitely right about running Breton Rock in the Lennox!”

“I’ve had 38 winners with David Simcock; he knows how to place them” Being based in Wellingborough – if Cook shouted loudly enough from his garden he could save himself a phone call to Weatherbys – he does not get to watch every winner in person, as the 78-year-old understandably finds, for example, a six-hour round trip to Goodwood a bit much, but he has seen plenty and also has an open invitation to Simcock’s Newmarket yard. “I go once a month but can pretty much pop in when I like as I’m near enough family,” he says. “We’ve done well out of each other, you could say.” How well owners do out of propping up the sport is a moot point, with Cook’s share out of Heath Rise’s victory at Kempton in August amounting to, wait for it, £917. “It’s scandalous really,” he muses.

“Unless you’re extremely wealthy I can’t see how you can be in racing without sometimes selling a horse for a profit. I was a van salesman and in insurance, and my wife worked, so between us we had a good income, but there’s no doubt Breton Rock has sustained my involvement. “I have eight horses at the moment, all with David, two two-year-olds, two three-year-olds, two four-year-olds, a five-year-old and a six-year-old.” It is the aforementioned Heath Rise whom the owner seems particularly excited by, saying: “I really do like him. He’s got a strong pedigree – he’s by Gleneagles and out of Cubanita, who at five was a Group 3 winner and Group 1 runner-up for Kirsten Rausing. He’s a slow burner and should make a lovely four-year-old. I can dream with him.” While Heath Rise, who is typical of the staying type Cook confesses he often ends up with, will spend the winter further strengthening up, there are four with an all-weather campaign ahead of them – Morlaix, Indigo Times, Deal A Dollar and Mindspin – and so there is plenty to keep their owner ticking over. Chelmsford, with its “pretty good prize-money and being handy for Newmarket”, will be a port of call, while the owner then came out with something that, with respect to the track, has got to be a first in the history of this column. “I quite like Wolverhampton,” blurts out Cook. “It’s quite good there as an owner, and it’s an easy journey from here.” Also quite an easy journey is the one to Norfolk, where now 11-year-old Breton Rock is happily in retirement, with beach near at hand and a still doting owner as a visitor. Finding good homes for those horses still in his ownership at the time of their retirement is an important duty for Cook, though it’s nothing more than you’d expect from an owner who clearly derives much pleasure from his horses and appreciates the need to give back when their racing days are done.


ROA Forum

Vertem Northern Racing Awards Tickets are £90 per person. Subsidised tickets are available for stable staff. Accommodation is available at The Grand Hotel, a short walk from the racecourse, at £95 per double room. For further details see the Events page at or email Arry Renton on arenton@

Epsom Owners and Trainers Awards

Newcastle racecourse is the venue for the Vertem Northern Racing Awards in November

The Vertem Northern Racing Awards sees the northern racing community – trainers, owners, jockeys and stable staff, as well as other professionals from the racing industry – come together to celebrate the racing successes from the north at a glittering black-tie event at Newcastle racecourse on November 26.

The evening will include a drinks reception, three-course meal, and awards ceremony with nine coveted awards celebrating Flat and jump racing. There will also be a charity auction and raffle. Live music from popular band The Monotones will ensure dancing and partying!

The Epsom Owners and Trainers Awards sees the region’s racing community – trainers, owners, jockeys and stable staff, as well as other professionals from the racing industry – come together to celebrate the racing successes on and off the racecourse with a black-tie event which raises vital funds for Racing Welfare. Epsom Downs is the venue for the event, which will be held on November 27. This year the ROA is headline sponsor of the evening. For more information and for ticket enquiries please contact James Schofield at

Fitzdares Racing Welfare Charity Raceday at Wincanton A riding safari in South Africa is one of the lots at the charity auction

• Charlie Church Scottish landscape, oil on canvas framed • Meet with Boodles jewellery designer, £4,000 voucher and lunch for two • Lioness bust in bronze by Charlie Smith, limited edition of 12 • One week’s South African riding safari at Umndeni Lodge for eight people

Wincanton will host a special charity raceday at the track on Sunday, October 24 to support Racing Welfare. What better way to get up close to the action for an afternoon of jump racing in the Somerset countryside? The seven-race card will be preceded by a charity Flat race in which amateur jockeys from within the racing industry will be in action. Tables of ten in the Paddock


Pavilion can be purchased for the event. The cost is £100 per person and includes Premier Enclosure entry, a racecard and hospitality in the Paddock Pavilion. The Paddock Pavilion hospitality package includes a welcome drink followed by lunch, and four bottles of wine per table. A light afternoon tea will be served. There will be a live auction of four very special lots, which comprise:

Tables and places for the raceday and lunch can be booked through Andrew Johnston at johnston.nnp@ There is also an online auction offering an impressive list of items, with something to suit everyone. To view and bid for items see www. If you are unable to attend but would like to support the fundraising initiative for Racing Welfare you can do so at fundraising/wincanton-charityraceday.



aniel & Claire Kübler are well recognised for leading the way when it comes to developing and training their team. Winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award in 2020 they were once again shortlisted in 2021, scooping the Excellence Award in the Development & Training Category. C








The challenge of finding high quality staff is rarely far from the minds of many trainers. The Kübler’s are one of the innovative, forward thinking teams bucking that trend. “It’s creating an environment with a great work life balance, real opportunities to develop and feeling a part of a special team that makes the difference,” says Claire. You’ll always get a warm welcome from friendly familiar faces at Sarsen Farm, a stunning new yard in Upper Lambourn. The ambition to develop people for long term success is mirrored when it comes to your horse. Combining high quality horsemanship together with analytical, scientific thinking underpins their methods. “The art of horsemanship is a huge part of what we do at Sarsen Farm. Horsemanship is a skill that can be taught and developed. The team are brilliant at sharing their experiences together,” says Daniel. “There’s a lovely blend within the team of youthful talent, skillful experience and enthusiasm.

Everyone wants to get the best from every horse” Leading the way is yard manager Lauren Webb, a finalist in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards in the leadership category in 2021. The investment into the team has led to 2021 being a break through season, both in terms of numbers and quality of winners. Only a couple of trainers have had more winners or won more prize money from fewer horses this season. It is clear, Daniel & Claire are ambitious and set to continue building on recent successes. They’ve got some of the best facilities in the country and most importantly a talented team to care for and develop your horse. Contact Daniel on 07984 287 254 Kübler Racing Ltd, Sarsen Farm, Maddle Road, Upper Lambourn, Berkshire, RG17 8RG

Product Focus

Latest research of blue light and breeding


ew research presented this April at the Equine Symposium of the British Society for Animal Science’s 2021 Conference showed that pregnant mares wearing blue light masks in the final 100 days of gestation had shorter pregnancies, earlier postfoaling ovulations and produced foals that were more mature at birth. The exciting studies, conducted by researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria also found that foals from mares wearing light masks in the final months of pregnancy were 15 minutes faster at getting to their feet after birth than foals born to mares that did not receive additional light. The two-year study was conducted at the historic Brandenburg State Stud in Germany. The blue-light stimulated mares developed larger follicles in the late stages of gestation and could be bred sooner after foaling. Foals born from mares wearing light masks also had shorter hair coats, demonstrating that the light perceived by the pregnant mare is transmitted to the foal and influences their physical development in utero.

performance lighting During the natural breeding season mares foal in the late spring and early summer months, when longer hours of natural daylight stimulates the normal mature development of the foal and a rise in the mare’s reproductive hormones allowing her to conceive again soon after foaling. This facilitates a shorter time window for foaling and a tighter breeding season. These new study findings show how correct light management of our pregnant mares can improve breeding efficiencies similar to Nature, but still allow foaling earlier in the year to fit with industry timelines. Blue light treatment for dry mares should begin approximately 75 days prior to the start of the breeding season and for pregnant mares light masks should be fitted 90-100 days before their due dates and can be provided by using Equilume Light Masks or Stable Lights.


TBA Forum

The special section for TBA members


Britain's Flat breeders take centre stage at annual awards

Gina Bryce hosted proceedings at the well-attended Flat Breeders' Awards Evening at Chippenham Park


embers of the thoroughbred breeding and racing community convened at Chippenham Park on Thursday, September 2 to celebrate the best of British bloodstock at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s annual Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening, sponsored by Fitzdares. A total of 14 awards were presented for success in 2020 at the event, which was hosted by racing broadcaster Gina Bryce, including the prestigious Andrew Devonshire Award, presented in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry. This year’s recipient was Lady Emma Balding. The wife of former trainer Ian and mother to broadcaster Clare and Classic-

winning son Andrew, Lady Emma is a former TBA Trustee and was instrumental in the creation of the Retraining of Racehorses charity by obtaining a bequest from the Mellon family. At the helm of Kingsclere Stud she has nurtured families through generations. In Europe the stud has produced many successful performers including Racing Post Trophy winner Elm Park and German Group 2 victor Passing Glance. Further afield, Side Glance, a son of Passing Glance, won the Cox Plate in 2013, and more recently Urban Aspect, better known as Ka Ying Star in Hong Kong, has been a Group 3 winner. Lady Emma’s daughter-in-law Anna Lisa collected the award on her behalf

and said: “When she is informed of winning the award she will be totally overwhelmed.” She thanked the team back at Kingsclere Stud, including Pete Beasant, a long-standing member of the team, before noting that there is never a day in which her mother-in-law does not walk around the fields, seeing all the foals and mares. She signed off by saying that the award would mean the absolute world to Lady Emma. Dalham Hall Stud employee Ken Crozier received the Dominion Award. A key part of the Godolphin/Darley team, Crozier’s tenure at the Newmarket stud commenced in 1982. His earlier work experience included a position at Floors Stud in his home town of Kelso and

Julian Richmond-Watson presents the Dominion Award to Ken Crozier (left)

Chris Richardson and John Price collect Mayson’s award from Rachael Gowland

Jake Warren (right) collects the Industry Merit Award from James Broughton

Philip Wilkins (left) receives the Filly of Merit Award from Philip Newton

Claire Sheppard presents the H J Joel Silver Salver to Jake Warren

Fitzdares' Bobby Burns presents the Langham Cup to Gaie Johnson-Houghton


since that time his career has included work in both the northern and southern hemispheres with numerous stallions. Shadwell’s Ron Lott was the recipient of the TBA Stud Employee Award. Kindly sponsored by New England Stud, Lott took home a magnificent Charlie Langton bronze perpetual trophy and a £2,000 cash prize. The runners-up and recipients of £250 were David Gardner, Greg Hooley, Antonia Neal, John Rice and Bev Woodley. Two new awards were added to the evening’s proceedings. The Filly of Merit Award, for a two- or three-year-old filly that had achieved significant success on the racecourse, was presented to Philip Wilkins, breeder and owner of Liberty Beach. The daughter of Cable Bay won the Cecil Frail Stakes in 2020 and was third in both the King’s Stand Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye. The second new award, the Barton Stud-sponsored Industry Merit Award, recognises those within the industry who are making progress through their business, role or personally to

expand the reach of British breeding by increasing engagement, involvement or developing innovative concepts to improve the thoroughbred breeding sector. The award was presented to Highclere Stud on account of its new 50/50 and Euro4Euros stallion terms. The Warren family also collected the H J Joel Silver Salver (Flat Broodmare of the Year), for Beach Frolic, dam of Palace Pier.

Liam O'Rourke receives the Queen's Silver Cup from Kate Sigsworth

Chris Harper (right) and wife Nicky receive the Tattersalls Silver Salver from Matt Prior

Gaie Johnson-Houghton was the recipient of the Langham Cup, which is awarded to the Small Breeder of the Year. In 2020 Johnson-Houghton was represented as a breeder by the exploits of Mohaather, winner of the Sussex Stakes and the Summer Mile. The TBA Silver Salver was awarded to Anita Wigan. From only a small broodmare band she was represented by Nando Parrado and Angel Power, both Group 2 winners during the season. Breeder of Glass Slippers, winner of the Flying Five Stakes and memorably the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, and French Group 3-winning juvenile Lullaby Moon, Terry and Margaret Holdcroft’s Bearstone Stud was named Flat Breeder of the Year (TBA Silver Rose Bowl). The British EBF’s Stallion Special Merit Award was presented to Mayson. The Cheveley Park Stud resident enjoyed a breakout 2020, headlined by the July Cup success of son Oxted. The statistical awards announced at the beginning of each year were also presented at the event. The Godolphin operation’s flag-bearing stallion Dubawi won both the Barleythorpe Stud Silver Cup for leading British-based stallion by individual winners and the BBA Silver Cigar Box for leading British-based stallion by prize-money. The Queen’s Silver Cup, for leading British-based breeder by prize-money, completed a trio of awards for the Godolphin operation. The other statistical award, the Tattersalls Silver Salver, for the leading British-based first season sire, was presented to Chris and Nicky Harper for their stallion Adaay. TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “It has been fantastic to be able to recognise and celebrate the successes of British breeders in person again. Our sincere congratulations extend not only to the winners but also to all the nominees this evening for their outstanding achievements domestically and on the global stage. We are incredibly grateful to William Woodhams and the team at Fitzdares for their support of British thoroughbred breeding as headline event partner, and to all our event supporters.”

Terry Holdcroft collects the TBA Silver Rose Bowl from Anita Wigan

Shadwell's Ron Lott (left) receives the TBA Stud Employee Award from Peter Stanley

Anita Wigan receives the TBA Silver Salver from Sam Bullard

This year's victorious breeders with their trophies

Lady Emma Balding received the Andrew Devonshire Award


TBA Forum

Sustainability research conducted to assist TBA members Environmental impact assessments and carbon calculations were carried out on two different stud farms – one in Newmarket and the other in the West Country – in May 2021. The headline findings from these studies were shared with TBA members at the virtual AGM on July 14 and have since been uploaded to the TBA’s e-learning platform, TB-Ed (register to view). The assessments looked at biodiversity, emissions, carbon storage, soil health and water quality. As a low input grassland management sector, it was identified that thoroughbred breeders were likely to already be in a strong position, but the Climate Change Act (amended 2019) pledged to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and all sectors are likely to come under increased scrutiny. The Agriculture Act (2020) announced the gradual phasing out of the Basic Payments Scheme and, whilst the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) is yet to be introduced, it is thought that it is likely to award public monies for public ‘goods’, such as enhanced air and water quality, improved soil health, increased biodiversity, and flood mitigation measures, as well as public access and heritage preservation. The TBA wanted to support breeders in optimising the sustainability of their farms and in transitioning to the new subsidies framework. The case studies identified biodiversity opportunities with wildlife corridors (positioning of woodlands, hedgerows and infield features); prioritisation of native plant and tree species and

Environmental impact assessments took place at two stud farms

diversification of the native species; and the importance of layers in woodland (low-growing native species of shrubs and brash and retention of deadwood). Several grants may be accessible for woodland, with the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) scheme supplying funding for the planting and management of native species in suitable locations and the Woodland Improvement Scheme, that may potentially provide funding for the replacement of non-native sycamores, that can cause atypical myopathy. Stud farms were considered to be effective carbon stores with the soil under paddocks and plant material in mature woodlands storing carbon and active sequestration in younger woodland. However, the carbon emissions from the horses themselves and any other livestock grazing the premises, as well as horse

transport, feed (soya) and bedding, providing challenges for the industry to consider over the coming months and years. Soil health could potentially be improved with the return of organic matter from composted horse manure to paddocks. Soil compaction was a risk where there was frequent rolling of paddocks, whilst poaching of gateways and water troughs could be reduced with their placement on higher land, as well as the stoning of these high frequency areas. Ideally, natural watercourses should be fenced off to avoid sedimentation and faecal contamination. The TBA is producing a sustainability guidance booklet for breeders and this should be available to members in the autumn.

SIGN UP NOW TO TBA STUD FARMING COURSE The TBA’s ever popular Stud Farming Course is set to return this year and bookings for the three-day course are being accepted. The cost of the course is £395 for TBA members and their employees, and £495 for non-members. There are discounts for members sending four or more delegates. Ideal for breeders and stud employees who wish to update their knowledge ahead of the busy breeding season, the course will take place at the British Racing School, Newmarket, between Tuesday, December 7 and Thursday, December 9. The course will be delivered by industry experts and cover an extensive range of stud management topics, including


mare reproductive management, bio-security and infectious diseases, rearing of youngstock, grassland management, nutrition, sales preparation and stallion management. External visits to a stud and veterinary practice are also included and delegates have the opportunity to attend a dinner on the first evening of the course, which will provide an opportunity to talk to fellow delegates, speakers and industry professionals. Bookings for the course can be made through the events page of the TBA website. For more information or to register an interest, please contact Heather Ewence on heather. or 01638 661321.

NEW – Level 3 Paddock Management course added to TB-Ed

Suffered an injury? IJF facilities are open to those in the breeding industry

IJF facilities available to breeding industry personnel It is not just jockeys that can access the services provided by the Injured Jockeys Fund, as CEO Lisa Hancock explains. Can the facilities the IJF offer be used by those in the breeding industry? We support jockeys (anyone who has held a licence) and their dependents for their whole lives and our doors are open to everyone in the industry as long as there is capacity. Those in the breeding industry are welcome to come in on a very reasonable self-funding basis or via the Racing Welfare occupational health scheme. In Newmarket for example, which is probably the biggest centre for breeding in the UK, we very much have the capacity to welcome everyone in. What services could prove useful to those in the breeding industry? We are lucky to have a large part of the country ‘covered’ now with Oaksey House, Jack Berry House and Peter O’Sullevan House, and the teams working from each. Each have fully equipped state-of-the-art gyms, hydropools and offer a range of clinical services and classes. Last year alone we undertook over 8,000 clinical sessions, 1,000 in the hydro pools and 3,500 in the gyms across

the three centres. At each, we are now able to offer jockeys, and others, pretty much everything they need for their mental and physical health whether they are injured or operating at full fitness. Have you seen an increase in mental health issues during the last year? Yes, definitely. We work now with Changing Minds, a brilliant team of clinical psychologists and their expertise is invaluable to us. They guide us on how best we can offer support to individuals who may be finding life difficult and they have quickly come to understand the unique pressures and stresses that racing presents – a nomadic lifestyle, the adrenalin, the physical exertion required and the challenges of diet and pressure – and therefore the vulnerabilities that this all causes in individuals. We now have a trained psychologist on site at all three centres one day a week, to offer both immediate help to individuals and to assist our own team with advice on how best to support others. We are increasingly now being able to diagnose vulnerable individuals earlier in their careers, and this will have such a positive effect in the longer term.

A new course on Paddock Management at Level 3 was released on the TBA’s eLearning platform, TB-Ed, last month. This follows on from the Level 2 course on the same subject and is aimed at those with some knowledge of the practicalities of caring for grassland. The five key areas addressed in the course are paddock suitability, productivity, performance, methods of preparing grazing and approaches to improving it. Some specific topics addressed include the impact of seasonal features and climate on paddocks, types of grasses, soil sampling, soil structure and use of machinery to improve grazing. A full description of the course can be found at and the courses are available to TBA members and associates at a discounted price of £75. Visit TB-Ed and register to view all courses and video content.

Former CEO launches debut novella Former TBA Chief Executive Gavin Pritchard-Gordon has launched his first novel. Titled Cliffside and written under the pseudonym of Gavin Alexander, Cliffside has been introduced as a debut novella of seduction and blackmail, which focuses on the life and decisions of Katie Petherick. The book could prove to be an ideal stocking filler come the festive period and is available either as a paperback or e-book, and can be purchased from major online bookselling sites or from any good bookshop.



TBA Forum

The green and white striped silks of Kirsten Rausing have been carried to success at regular intervals this season and the Lanwades Stud owner added another couple of homebred stakes winners to her season in August. The four-year-old Frankel filly Alpinista was sent over to Germany by Sir Mark Prescott and duly delivered in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin to emulate her granddam Albanova. Rausing was also represented by Oriental Mystique (Kingman), winner of the Listed Prix Luth Enchantee. The high-class miler Palace Pier (Kingman), bred by Highclere Stud and Floors Farming, added the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois to his CV, while a week later Grand Glory was a last-gasp winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet. The British-bred proved to be a powerful opponent in stakes events in North America during the month. Fergus Anstock’s The Kathryn Stud was represented by the three-year-old colt Public Sector on the lawn at Saratoga and the son of Kingman did not disappoint in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes, winning by a length. The New York state track also witnessed a first success of the year for Viadera (Bated Breath), with the Juddmonte homebred taking the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes. There were also stakes strikes for the Normandie Stud-

bred Serve The King (Kingman) and the Newsells Park Stud-bred Sifting Sands (Dubawi) in the Better Talk Now Stakes. At Colonial Downs there was a first stakes win for Toronado's daughter Tuned in the Old Nelson Stakes. Across the border in Canada and Nathaniel’s daughter Mutamakina proved not for catching in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes on the turf at Woodbine. Juddmonte was in sparkling form during the month. The aforementioned Viadera scored in America, while her full-sister Sacred Bridge maintained her impressive debut season with a win in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes. Acanella (Dansili) won the Group 3 Snow Fairy Fillies’ Stakes, while later in the month another filly, Yesyes, took the Listed Chester Stakes. Fast ground and a fast pace was just the ticket for Sacred as the three-year-old Cheveley Park Stud homebred ran out the impressive winner of the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes. The previous day Earlswood (Pivotal) had taken the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh. Majestic Glory and Mise En Scene were both Group 3-winning juvenile fillies. The former, a daughter of Frankel bred by the Bella Nouf Partnership, took the Sweet Solera Stakes, while the latter, bred by the Gadfly Partnership, captured the Prestige Stakes.


Alpinista continues Rausing’s stellar season Sacred Bridge: one of two Group winners in August for her dam Sacred Shield

Godolphin were at the double as Yibir (Dubawi) landed the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes, while Albahr, another son of Dubawi, won the Stonehenge Stakes. Runner-up to Hurricane Lane in the Dante in May, Megallan (Kingman) reverted to a mile and comfortably took the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes. Fellow John and Thady Gosden inmate Reach For The Moon, bred by The Queen, took the Group 3 Solario Stakes in great style. At Baden-Baden the Litex Commercebred filly Tabera won the Group 3 Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe. There were stakes victories for the Crossfields Bloodstock-bred Tis Marvellous in the Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes, the Keyfan Bloodstock-bred Tardis (Time Test) in the St Hugh’s Stakes, the South Acre Bloodstock-bred Attagirl in the Roses Stakes, the Shadwell-bred Master Matt in the Abergwaun Stakes and the Golden Horn colt Sun Of Gold in the Prix Michel Houyvet.

Recruiting staff from outside of the UK: guidance for employers Freedom of movement between the UK and the EU ended on January 1, 2021 and the UK has introduced an immigration system that treats all applicants equally, regardless of where they come from. The points-based immigration system now in place means that: • Anyone recruited from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, needs to meet certain criteria requirements and apply for permission first; • Employers will need to have a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK. Employers should plan ahead before recruiting anyone from outside the UK as it may take time to complete the necessary requirements and are strongly advised to seek professional


advice as a first step. Migrate UK specialise in providing corporate and individual immigration advice and offer free initial advice (15 minutes). Their main service relates to the points-based system (PBS) sponsorship and compliance, as well as training HR departments of UK-based organisations on required recordkeeping practices. Migrate UK are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) reference: F20000159. The OISC is an independent body responsible for ensuring that all immigration advisors fulfil the requirements of good practice. As part of their sponsor licence applications services, Migrate UK assist organisations:

• To obtain a sponsor licence • Check current and future vacancies against the immigration rules to ensure the requirements for sponsorship have been met • Advise/assist with advertising the vacancy as required • Advise on the suitability of key users to take on roles in respect of the sponsor licence • Recommend and check documentary evidence and prepare the online application After the sponsor licence has been issued, Migrate UK will provide 12 months' free compliance service. To find out more contact a member of the Migrate UK team on 01235 841568, email or visit

Abortion subsidy available to members

Molly King reflects on her programme placement with the TBA Having been surrounded by racehorses since a young age, I began working in horseracing after completing my A-levels. After briefly riding under Rules, I worked as a trackwork rider in Australia, then for several seasons as a racing groom for Emma Lavelle and also voluntarily took on the role of the Tedworth Hunt Point-to-Point secretary. My interest in bloodstock was always there but I think experiencing Flat and National Hunt racing in both hemispheres, at amateur and professional level, fed my passion and made me want to pursue it. With the aim of furthering my career prospects, I was eager to look for new opportunities and therefore I was delighted when it was announced that the format of the esteemed BHA Graduate Scheme had changed to allow non-graduates the opportunity to apply. The Development Programme, as it is now, is a fantastic platform for giving candidates a leg-up into the industry, no pun intended! It has opened doors for me that just would not have been accessible without the scheme. The initial two-week programme, which was one week of lectures on Zoom, and one week of visits and talks in and around Newmarket, was a great starter. The broad variety of sectors represented meant that I was able to enhance my knowledge of the wider industry and gain a greater insight into the managerial side. The opportunity to listen and talk

Molly King: enjoyed her TBA role

with a host of racing industry talents and experts, such as ITV Racing's Ed Chamberlin, Matt Coleman and Susannah Gill, was second to none, but what struck me most was their willingness to help and eagerness to see others succeed and follow in their footsteps. My eight-week placement at the TBA, as a follow-on from the course, has been immensely insightful. It has allowed me to gain confidence, learn more about the breeding industry, and I have met some extremely interesting and knowledgeable people. During my time in the office I have mainly assisted with the development of the TBA’s new e-learning platform, TB-Ed, and having learnt a lot from the courses and resources myself, I believe it is a great educational asset to the breeding and bloodstock sector. I cannot thank those who have helped me at the BHA and TBA enough. I have had a fantastic experience and would recommend the BHA Development Programme to anyone who wants to progress within the industry and see how diverse it is.

TBA to sponsor series of fouryear-old only point-to-points While maiden point-to-points open to four- and five-year-olds have been staged in Britain, the TBA is to sponsor a series of four-year-old only point-topoints this coming season. Aimed at encouraging the earlier racing of stock, the initiative will see five races staged between February and May across the country. Meeting South & West Wilts Yorkshire Jockey Club Belvoir Bicester Wheatland

Course Date Larkhill February 27, 2022 Charm Park March 6, 2022 Garthorpe March 20, 2022 Edgcote April 3, 2022 Chaddesley Corbett May 7, 2022

While EHV is not notifiable by law, the TBA encourages breeders to notify Stanstead House of all cases of an equine abortion or neonatal foal death that have taken place where EHV infection is suspected. This is in order to monitor any disease outbreaks and to act quickly to prevent further spread of the disease by facilitating communication between relevant bodies and to provide any necessary guidance to TBA members. To report an abortion please call the office on 01638 661321, where a member of the TBA team will take all the relevant details. A £200 subsidy towards the cost of a post-mortem is available to members who meet the following conditions: • In the case of an equine abortion or neonatal foal death (occurring within 14 days of birth) where EHV is the suspected cause of death, screening for EHV must be carried out at an approved laboratory (list available on the HBLB website). • The stud/mare owner must notify the TBA of an abortion/ neonatal foal death undergoing investigation for possible EHV infection within three days of its occurrence, and must complete the TBA abortion/neonatal foal death report form. • The stud/mare owner must subsequently notify the TBA of the result of the investigation within three days of receiving it and confirm whether EHV infection has or has not been implicated in the abortion/death. • A copy of the laboratory postmortem report must be submitted to the TBA within 14 days of the report date. This must contain the name of the owner of the mare and the mare's name, date samples where taken and received, the positive or negative result of the EHV screening and the charges incurred. • The foetus/dead foal must be from a thoroughbred mare residing in the United Kingdom and which is owned by a TBA member. The £200 subsidy is conditional on the understanding that the TBA will circulate any positive EHV results to its disease notification group.


Breeder of the Month Words Howard Wright

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If the names starts with Al, there’s a very good chance that the horse in question is, or has been, raced by Kirsten Rausing, the TBA’s Breeder of the Month for August, chiefly for the Group 1 success of Alpinista in the Grosser Preis von Berlin. Her victory took Rausing’s famous green and white colours to their 23rd win of the year, equalling her previous best achieved in 2011 and repeating granddam Albanova’s success in the equivalent race in 2004. “I feel very fortunate; we’ve had a wonderful year,” says Rausing, recalling that the successful Al connection goes back even beyond her purchase of Lanwades Stud, near Newmarket, in 1980. The direct sequence can be traced to 1973, when Alpinista’s fifth dam Allara was born. Allara was owned by the Aga Khan and Rausing bought into the family, which goes back to Nasrullah’s dam Mumtaz Begum, in 1985. She and racing partner Sonia Rogers purchased Allara’s two-year-old Alruccaba for 19,000gns at the Tattersalls December Sale after she had won a modest Brighton maiden from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard. Alruccaba did not stand further training but set out to found a breeding dynasty that Rausing’s instant recall of pedigrees charts the dam-side path to Alouette, Albanova, Alwilda and finally to Alpinista, stopping off at important staging points such as dual Champion Stakes winner Alborada and her granddaughter Alerta Roja, second in August’s Listed Hoppegartener SteherPreis before occupying the same placing behind Stradivarius in the Doncaster Cup. Whereas the Aga Khan’s adherence



Kirsten Rausing: enjoying a good season

to Al families involved made-up names, Rausing’s is largely deliberate. Alouette is a little bird, Albanova owed more to imagination than her full-sister Alborada, which is a beach club in Tenerife, Alwilda was a Viking queen, and Alpinista is an Italian mountaineer who climbs the Alps. Rausing explains: “I bought out Sonia soon after we sold Alruccaba’s first foal, and I thought the yearling ought to be Al because of the Aga’s line and called her Alouette. Since then, I have made a rule to myself to have all these fillies from that family beginning Al, although I have to say it’s getting quite difficult to find new names.” The same application can be seen in Rausing’s smart two-year-old filly Sandrine, who racked up a hat-trick as she progressed from a restricted novice stakes to Group 3 and Group 2 before a less-than-fortunate second in York’s Lowther Stakes. “Sandrine is from a family that goes back to Sushilla, whom I bought as a yearling in 1975, and her descendants have all been S,” she explains. “Sandrine

is just a French girl’s name, but it has Sand in it because her dam is Seychelloise, who in turn is out of the well-named Starlit Sands, by Oasis Dream out of Simmering Sea. Sandrine’s threeyear-old half-brother by Sea The Stars is Sea The Shells, while Starlit Sands’ three-year-old by Bobby’s Kitten is Sands Of Time, and her two-year-old by Dark Angel is Sablonne, which means sandy in French.” As an owner-breeder who also has to go to market, Rausing admits: “I’m down to very few long-standing families – the Als and the Ss. I have to sell females from the families, although in general I feel the market values them less than I do, but that’s how it goes. “When I bought Lanwades, I had to sell all the yearlings, including the fillies, to keep everything going and the wheels oiled. It was quite often disappointing to see a filly in whom you’d put a lot of thought and expense not being appreciated as much by the market, but I couldn’t support any particular families at that time, although I used to have one or two fillies in training. “When Alborada was a foal in 1995, she damaged her pedal bone. She should have gone to the sales but I didn’t think she would pass an X-ray on her foot, so I thought I had better bite the bullet and keep her. Of course, that proved to be a sound decision, and with her winnings she generously paid for a number of the other fillies to stay in training. “At one stage I tried to support a couple more families. The longer I have been in the game, the less interested I have been in other people’s work. I wouldn’t go out and buy a top filly because I don’t want to benefit from someone else’s work.”


INVEST IN THE FUTURE WITH... Photo Credit: TRM clients Sledmere Stud



The real deal! Over £3.4m already paid out to the winners of 191 races.

Owners making the most of GBB

I have kept horses in England for the past 25 years. These bonus systems are very important as prize money is relatively low in the UK compared with France, which would be closer for me.

Wow! With the £20,000 Great British Bonus, we won more prize money at Salisbury than we did with our recent Royal Ascot winner. Alex Cole, racing manager to Mrs Fitri Hay, owner of PRADO.

Markus Graff from Zurich, owner of FIVE STARS, a multiple bonus-winning filly.

I’ve never won so much in all my years in racing. This ensures that we can keep breeding from this wonderful family for a few more years. Richard Vine, owner and breeder of PERFECT MYTH, who has won £40,000 in bonuses.

Just got the email confirmation – what a pleasant surprise. Not only a lovely winner and lovely horse, and winning the bets, but £20k as well. I can tell you one thing, I will be looking for more British-bred fillies. Alan Rogers after his horse, GENTLE JOLIE, won the first of two £20,000 bonuses.

We’ll chase more Black Type and try to win another bonus. I’m not a wealthy man by any means so the Great British Bonus is a terrific incentive to owners to keep these mares in training. Brian Eckley after his horse LIBERTY BELLA won her £20,000 bonus.

Why wouldn’t you buy GBB fillies at the Yearling sales this autumn? For more information on eligibility, visit TBA GBB TOB Mailers A4_October.indd 1

Information correct at time of going to press

16/09/2021 10:37

Vet Forum: The Expert View

The heart of the matter: atrial fibrillation in focus


trial fibrillation is one of the most common causes of an abnormal heart rhythm in horses. As in humans, a horse’s heart consists of four chambers: two atria and two ventricles. One atrium and one ventricle make up each side of the heart. In the normal cardiac cycle blood flows from the body into the right side of the heart. The blood passes through the right atrium, into the right ventricle before being pushed into the lungs. The blood then returns from the lungs to the left atrium and passes into the left ventricle before the left ventricular contraction pushes blood into the large vessels to supply the rest of the body. In cases of atrial fibrillation there is a loss of the normal coordinated contraction of the atria. This means less blood is pushed into the ventricles to supply the body and cardiac output is reduced as a result. What causes atrial fibrillation and which horses develop the condition? There are two factors that predispose horses to atrial fibrillation. The first is the large size of the equine heart and the second is their high parasympathetic tone. These factors increase the likelihood of the normal electrical signalling of the heart becoming disrupted. The majority of horses that develop atrial fibrillation have minimal or no underlying heart disease. Though there are a subset of cases with atrial enlargement and congestive heart failure secondary to congenital or acquired cardiac disease that go on to

develop atrial fibrillation. There does not appear to be any gender predisposition to the development of atrial fibrillation. The incidence in racehorses has been shown to be around 0.29%, with atrial fibrillation being more prevalent in racehorses older than four years of age compared with two-year-olds. Atrial fibrillation can develop in any

Figure 1 ECG equipment recording the rhythm of a horse’s heart. ECG electrodes are attached to the horse’s skin and held in place by a surcingle

Figure 2 The top line of the ECG shows a normal sinus rhythm; in this ECG trace there are clear p waves (blue arrow) indicating normal atrial depolarisation and the heart rate is regular. The bottom line is the ECG trace from a horse with atrial fibrillation showing an irregular heartbeat and fibrillating (wavy) f waves (red arrow) instead of normal p waves


Top two-mile chaser Sprinter Sacre returned to racing after suffering with atrial fibrillation

breed, but the larger draft breeds and Standardbreds were more commonly affected in some research studies. What are the clinical signs of atrial fibrillation? The most common sign of atrial fibrillation is poor performance or exercise intolerance. Commonly owners report that a horse may be not

By Charlotte Easton-Jones MRCVS performing as well as it had in the past or feels lethargic when ridden. These changes in performance are more frequently detected at high intensities of work when the demand on the heart is most increased. At lower levels of exercise, the heart may not be as strenuously challenged and therefore the decrease in cardiac output may not limit performance. In such situations atrial fibrillation is sometimes detected at routine veterinary examinations, such as vaccination appointments, when the heart is auscultated (listened to with a stethoscope). In racehorses that develop atrial fibrillation during training or racing, the arrhythmia is frequently paroxysmal. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation are episodes of atrial fibrillation that occur intermittently and can resolve spontaneously. If paroxysmal atrial fibrillation episodes are occurring only during exercise, then an irregular heartbeat may not be present when the horse is auscultated at rest. Other clinical signs less commonly reported with atrial fibrillation include an increased respiratory rate, exerciseinduced pulmonary haemorrhage (bleeding from the lungs during exercise), muscle disorders and colic. How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed? Atrial fibrillation produces an irregular rhythm that can be detected when the horse’s heart is auscultated. There can be a number of different causes of an irregular heart rhythm in the horse and therefore an electrocardiographic (ECG) examination is needed to definitively diagnose atrial fibrillation. An ECG examination is performed by attaching electrodes to the skin of the horse (Figure 1). Often, clipping of the horse’s hair and the application of alcohol or gel is necessary to ensure good contact with the electrodes. The electrodes are connected to a transmitter or computer that records the ECG trace (a representation of the electrical activity of the heart). A normal ECG trace of a horse’s heart (Figure 2) is compared to that of a horse with atrial fibrillation. In the normal ECG trace, the heartbeat is regular and there are clear p waves indicating normal depolarisation and contraction of the atria. In comparison, in horses with atrial fibrillation, the heart beats are occurring at irregular intervals and the baseline is fibrillating (wavy), lacking normal p waves. These fibrillation waves are known as f waves. Electrocardiograms

Figure 3 Image of a horse undergoing an exercise ECG on a treadmill. The ECG equipment can also be worn under the saddle to record an ECG during ridden exercise

are usually performed at both rest and exercise (Figure 3) to assess a horse with atrial fibrillation. In horses with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, more prolonged recording of an ECG at both rest and exercise may be necessary to detect the transient episodes of atrial fibrillation. ECG equipment is readily available and can be easily worn by a horse both at rest and during exercise to monitor the rhythm of the heart. An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart, Figure 4) is frequently recommended to rule out underlying heart disease and any resulting enlargement of the heart that could predispose the horse to atrial fibrillation. Bloods are often submitted for haematology and biochemistry to rule out underlying systemic disease. The presence of an elevated heart rate at rest or additional cardiac murmur on auscultation may indicate underlying cardiac disease. Underlying cardiac disease may be detected by testing markers for atrial enlargement and cardiac muscle damage. What treatments are available for atrial fibrillation? Treatment of atrial fibrillation involves cardioversion back to a normal sinus rhythm. There are two main methods used for cardioversion currently: pharmacological conversion with a drug called quinidine, or treatment by transvenous electrical cardioversion (TVEC). Cardioversion is not usually performed within the first few days after the onset of atrial fibrillation as the arrhythmia may be paroxysmal and return to normal sinus rhythm without treatment. After the first few days, it is

important that atrial fibrillation cases are referred for assessment and treatment promptly to increase the chances of a successful cardioversion. Horses that have been in atrial fibrillation for longer periods have a reduced chance of being treated successfully and may have more remodelling of their hearts. Cardioversion is recommended in competition horses and horses that compete at high exercise intensities such as racehorses. These horses usually return to their usual level of performance after successful cardioversion. Treatment of atrial fibrillation is also recommended in horses that show average heart rates of greater than 220 beats per minute during regular exercise or have certain abnormalities noted on their ECGs. In such cases conversion is recommended for rider or driver safety as there is an increased chance of a ventricular arrhythmia developing that could result in collapse or death. Treatment may not be needed in horses that work at lower intensities of exercise, don’t have clinical signs or abnormal ventricular complexes on their ECGs. In such cases, repeated monitoring is recommended and these horses should be ridden or driven only by informed adults due to the risk of collapse or sudden death. Treatment is not recommended in horses that are in congestive heart failure or have underlying cardiac disease. Quinidine sulphate is an antiarrhythmic drug that is traditionally used for conversion of atrial fibrillation. Quinidine is administered to the horse by nasogastric intubation (a tube passed up the nose and down the oesophagus to the stomach) with repeated doses administered every few



Vet Forum: The Expert View ››

hours until cardioversion or side effects preclude further treatment. Side effects that may stop quinidine treatment include cardiac adverse effects such as dangerous ventricular arrhythmias or other systemic effects like depression, diarrhoea, colic and laminitis. The mean reported success rate of quinidine sulphate treatment over the past 25 years is 80%. Transvenous electrical cardioversion (TVEC) was developed as an alternative method of converting horses in atrial fibrillation to avoid the side effects and risks associated with pharmacological conversion. The procedure in general has a very high success rate (>95%), with even horses that have failed the traditional quinidine treatment converting in some cases. TVEC requires an experienced team of vets, specialised equipment and must be performed with the horse under general anaesthesia. TVEC therefore carries the usual risks associated with general anaesthesia. For the procedure, catheters are placed via the jugular vein under ultrasonographic and radiographic guidance into the left pulmonary artery and right atrium of the heart. The catheters allow electrical shocks to be administered to reset the heart back to a normal sinus rhythm. The decision of whether to use pharmacological conversion versus TVEC is case specific and the pros and cons of each procedure are discussed with the owner prior to deciding on a treatment approach. What factors determine whether treatment of atrial fibrillation will be successful? Many horses that are successfully converted from atrial fibrillation will stay


Figure 4 Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) image from a horse in atrial fibrillation demonstrating regurgitation (leaking) of one of the heart valves because of degenerative changes to the heart valve

in normal sinus rhythm. However, there is the possibility that the arrhythmia may reoccur in the future. Atrial fibrillation is reported to recur in up to 39% of hoses within a year of electrical or pharmacological conversion. The likelihood of recurrence depends on factors such as how long the horse was in atrial fibrillation prior to conversion and whether there is evidence of remodelling of the heart.


Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias in horses. It can impact performance and cause exercise intolerance in horses that are exercised at high intensities, such as racehorses and competition horses. Diagnostic work involves the recording

of ECGs at rest and exercise, along with echocardiograms and bloods to rule out underlying systemic or cardiac disease. Pharmacological conversion with quinidine or TVEC are treatments available for converting horses back to a normal sinus rhythm. Success of treatment is closely associated with the duration the horse has been in atrial fibrillation, as well as the extent of cardiac remodelling that has occurred. Horses are usually able to return to their normal level of exercise, including racing after successful treatment. There is the possibility that atrial fibrillation will recur after treatment, particularly if the horse has been in atrial fibrillation for a long period or has underlying atrial enlargement.

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Speak to your vet about using GastroGard® to treat and prevent EGUS. References: 1. Sykes BW, et al. ECEIM Consensus Statement – EGUS in Adult Horses. J Vet Intern Med 2015; 29: 1288-1299. GastroGard® 370 mg/g oral paste contains omeprazole. UK: POM-V IE: POM. Advice should be sought from the prescriber. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd., RG12 8YS, UK. Tel: 01344 746957. GastroGard® is a registered the Boehringer Ingelheim Group. ©2020 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Oct 2020. EQU-0200-2020. Use Medicines Responsibly.

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26/10/2020 20:35

Ben Coen grew up in a racing family and rode 40 winners on the pony racing circuit, so his success as an apprentice will not have surprised racegoers in Ireland. All the same, it was a big call when Johnny Murtagh, the former five-time Irish champion jockey and now a rising star of the training ranks, appointed him stable jockey last winter when he was still only 19 and had barely ridden out his claim. Murtagh insisted Coen was already “the real deal” and “right up there with the very best” – and he was right. The pair have enjoyed an unbelievable first year together, with Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood winners followed by an Ebor and an Irish St Leger, and the calibre of owner Murtagh is attracting now suggests things are only going to get better.

Interview: Graham Dench


y uncle Andy Slattery is a trainer and I grew up around racing, so that’s probably where I got bitten by the bug. I started riding when I was nine and began pony racing when I was ten or 11. I did pony racing until I was 16 and my last year was probably my best. I rode a treble at Dingle on my last day, and it was nice to go out on a high. Pony racing was a very good grounding for me and from when I was about 13 I was also getting experience by riding breeze-up horses for Andy and two other uncles. That was a real buzz, particularly when they sold well and went on to be nice racehorses. I was still in school when I started my apprenticeship with my uncle. Andy’s son Andrew was at the same school as me, and so was Gavin Ryan, and we would usually ride one or two lots before heading in for a couple of classes. If there was racing we’d have to leave early, and that’s the way we were. We weren’t focused much on school, but we got through it anyway. I rode my first winner at Dundalk on my 17th ride, on Timia for Keith Clarke, and I had seven winners there that winter, so I hit the ground running. My second year was just okay, but then I won on Hamley for Peter Fahey on Irish


a good ground horse and he was never enjoying himself there.

When I was younger I loved watching Mick Kinane and I was always watching jockeys like Pat Smullen and Ryan Moore on the big days. I liked their style of riding, and there are probably bits of all of them in the way I ride, but I’m taller and so I have to keep myself tidy. My weight is quite good despite my height. I’ll do 8st 12lb, or 8st 11lb if need be, and I get plenty of good rides at that sort of weight. Johnny doesn’t push me to do lighter and I wouldn’t miss out on too much unless there’s a good ride with a light weight in a big handicap.

Sonnyboyliston has been an unbelievable horse for my career, winning Europe’s biggest handicap and then the Irish St Leger. We were quite far back turning into the straight at York, but when I gave him a kick in the belly he took off and so probably landed there too soon, as he never kills himself when he gets to the front. At the Curragh though I couldn’t have planned it to go any better as we had a strong pace, then with Twilight Payment to aim at from the two pole we just got there at the right time. It was brilliant for my first Group 1 win to be a Classic, and for Johnny too. It was also great to win for the Kildare Racing Club, as syndicates don’t usually get to win Classics.

I think my first ride for Johnny finished second and then I had a double for him in Gowran and a couple of winners in Dundalk too. I started going in a couple of mornings a week and then at the end of last year he asked me to be stable jockey, even though I was still technically an apprentice and I’d only just ridden out my claim. Johnny always filled me with confidence from the first day I rode for him, and it’s been a brilliant year, with wins at Royal Ascot and Goodwood and then the two big races on Sonnyboyliston. I thought Create Belief was my best chance of the week at Royal Ascot if they got the rain, but then it was so wet that there was talk of racing being called off. Thank God it went ahead – it was unbelievable to win there.


Ben Coen guides Create Belief to victory in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot

Champions Weekend, and that was a huge thrill.

When I won on Ottoman Emperor at Goodwood it was my first time at the track. I walked the course beforehand and Johnny talked me through how to ride there, which was a big help. When he went on to Doncaster for the St Leger I think the ground had gone against him, as it was quite sticky. He’s

My younger brother Jake is riding as an apprentice now and has started with my uncle Andy, just as I did. He had his first ride the day after the Ebor, on Dare To Flare for Andy at Naas, and they won by a neck, so that was a good weekend for our mother and father! Off the track Jake and I are fine with one another, but I’ve ridden against him a few times now and we wouldn’t be too friendly once we are racing. Like any rider, I’d love to be champion one day, but for now I just want to keep improving my riding the whole time and getting better rides in big races. I’d love to get a ride in one of the big international races, and riding at the Breeders’ Cup would be a big ambition for me. I’d maybe have gone to England if I’d had an offer while I was still claiming, but I enjoy what I’m doing in Ireland and I’m not tempted now. I love my job helping Johnny and I’m very happy with the way it’s all going.


The Finish Line with Ben Coen

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Night Of Thunder: two G1 winners in 2021, and his sprinting daughter Suesa is not only rated the best horse in France this year, she’s officially the highest-rated French filly since Treve.

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