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£5.95 SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE 193


Hunter Valley Farm

‘Kameko is the best I’ve trained’ Andrew Balding aims star colt at Champions Day prize

Kentucky operation on a roll

First yearlings

Young sires face the acid test

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani

‘Prize-money issue must be addressed’

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07/09/2020 16:33

Continuing his rise An exciting stakes victory for Bated Breath’s unbeaten colt Makaloun. His Highness The Aga Khan’s homebred holds an entry for this year’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Gr.1



IN 2020



MAKALOUN Bated Breath - Makana (Dalakhani) Criterium du Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage L., 8f, Deauville

+44 (0)1638 731115



British racing must stop shooting itself in the foot O

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


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£5.95 SEPTEMBER 2020 ISSUE 193


Hunter Valley Farm

‘Kameko is the best I’ve trained’ Andrew Balding aims star colt at Champions Day prize

Kentucky operation on a roll

First yearlings

Young sires face the acid test

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani

‘Prize-money issue must be addressed’

Sep_193_Cover2.indd 1

Cover: Trainer Andrew Balding, who enjoyed Classic success with Kameko in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas in June, pictured at his Park House Stables in Kingsclere Photo: George Selwyn

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Edward Rosenthal Editor

07/09/2020 16:33

ne of the success stories of this racing season has been the Sir Mark Prescotttrained Revolver. Benefiting from a gelding operation and a five-furlong hike in trip, the apparently backward juvenile has been transformed at three, running six times and winning on each occasion, earning himself a whopping 41lb hike in the handicap as a result. There’s a good chance that Revolver will have run in, and possibly won, a good race by the time you read this but at the time of writing, the facts stated that he had banked £26,361 for his sextet of victories – three of which were achieved at the Group 1 tracks Doncaster, Haydock and Sandown – averaging out at £4,393.50 per race. Now, I’m not sure what Sir Mark charges his owners for the privilege of having a horse in training at Heath House Stables. However, my educated guess is that the Ne’er Do Wells VI will not (yet) have covered the gelding’s training costs for the full year. Which is a depressing thought, because few horses win six races in their entire career, let alone within the space of two months, and it should be taken as read that such success results in a decent return for his lucky owners, thus encouraging them to reinvest and keep the whole show revolving, so to speak. Some could argue that the type of races Revolver has won, handicaps in the Class 3-6 bracket, will never carry, or merit, significant purses, or that this sizable son of Slade Power, purchased for €64,000 as a yearling, has considerable resale potential to the overseas or jumping market, which could land his owners a significant pay day. Yet that’s missing the point. If British racing plc wants to encourage people to purchase racehorses, especially at grassroots level, then prize-money must be overhauled and those who, financially, put most in should get a lot more out. Clearly these are challenging times for many businesses but the precarious financial plight of industry participants – owners and breeders included – has been many years in the making. Ed Vaughan, interviewed in the August issue, has already decided to give up what he views as

an unequal struggle and while Andrew Balding, this month’s Big Interview, praises his loyal band of owners, stating he is yet to lose a single horse this year, there is clear concern about where the sport is heading. “The rest of the world looks up to what we have, and as far as I can see, it is only prizemoney that’s lacking,” Balding tells Julian Muscat (The Big Interview, pages 18-22). “Look at the overall picture. We’ve got great racecourses, we’ve got great horses, we’ve got owners from different backgrounds, staff from different backgrounds, and we’re producing topclass jockeys. “We’ve got so much that every other racing

“Those who put most in financially should get a lot more out” nation is hugely envious of. We’re so close to having everything but it just needs a little bit of imagination to try to get us over the line in terms of getting that extra prize-money.” One of Balding’s main patrons, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, owner of QIPCO 2,000 Guineas victor Kameko, also explains the impact of decreased prize-money on his racing operation (The Finish Line, page 72). He says: “I think prize-money in Britain has been a problem for a long time; it’s the main issue we need to address. “Those horses we think are not good enough to become stallions or broodmares will move to where the prize-money is attractive. We have already moved horses to France, America and Australia. We have to be stricter than we used to be about what we keep in training in England.”



07/09/2020 19:10


September 2020


News & Views

Features continued

ROA Leader

Kayf Tara

Hard work begins now

TBA Leader Funding under pressure

News Julie Harrington to succeed Nick Rust

Changes News in a nutshell

Howard Wright Sport under scrutiny

5 7 8 10 16

Ghaiyyath strikes at York

The Big Interview With trainer Andrew Balding

Hunter Valley Farm Fergus Galvin and Adrian Regan on the up

First-crop sires Sales test for young stallions


Breeders' Digest Foreign investment vital

Sales Circuit Yearlings, stores and horses in training

The Finish Line With Sheikh Fahad Al Thani

New filming rules at JCR tracks

Great British Bonus 14

Latest news and views

TBA Forum 18

NH Breeders' Awards winners

Breeder of the Month 24 30

34 37 39 72

Forum ROA Forum

Features Big Picture

Tribute to a National Hunt legend

Highclere Stud and Floors Farming

Vet Forum Sinusitis in focus

52 58 60 66 70


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24 18 34


Did you know? Our monthly average readership is


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07/09/2020 18:47





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










ROA Leader

Charlie Parker President

Racing must modernise and innovate to prosper I

have spoken in my last few columns of the work that racing has to do over the long and short term to allow our sport to thrive. In the month the ROA publishes its annual report, these changes and the re-emphasis on what the ROA needs to do to support racing and owners has never been more relevant. The change starts at the top and I am delighted to formally take over the role of President. I am extremely proud to be taking on the Presidency of the ROA at a time when, more than ever, we need to represent owners and work with others to deliver the future of this sport. I would like to thank Nicholas Cooper for his brilliant service to the industry, helping to grow our organisation in number and influence whilst standing up for issues that really matter, such as equine welfare and prize-money. There has been change too elsewhere on the board, with Sally Bethell and Paul Duffy leaving after many years of dedicated service. We welcome Gay Kelleway to the board and welcome back Alan Spence and Sam Hoskins. The ROA has made good progress during the year, in spite of the pandemic that has caused so much difficulty throughout the country. The ROA has continued to strengthen and has transformed into a properly representative and engaging organisation. Charlie Liverton has led the highly skilled and dedicated team, delivering extensive modernisation of our services plus more engaging and interactive membership benefits. Most importantly, he has continued to fight for owners, tackling the major issues head-on. The future will present the ROA with some significant and existential challenges, which we are well prepared for. Covid has presented the whole industry, owners included, with a huge challenge. However, the crisis has also provided us with an opportunity to deliver real change and to drive forward our organisation and sport with an effective longterm vision. British racing must maintain its position as an internationally recognised, world-class sport that can grow its revenues, its participation and engagement, and attract new generations of owners, fans, jockeys, trainers and stable staff, bringing the passion of racing to millions. We want racing to maintain its place at the heart of the UK’s social fabric. It will take a huge effort and great imagination and innovation, which the ROA must play a central role in. We have to deliver a programme of modernisation and I am proud to say that the ROA is leading by example. The

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ROA will be underpinning its representation of owners with a clear set of long-term goals aimed at supporting ownership in racing, improving the experience of racing, encouraging growth of the sport, and ultimately ensuring a sustainable, healthy future. It is vital that we address the imbalances and inequalities in the sport. Racing can no longer hide from the future. It must embrace a progressive and fair approach, one that respects and protects its participants. This will in part be seen as we continue to negotiate new commercial agreements with racecourses. We want to work together with the racecourses and

“We will work together with racecourses and stakeholders to grow engagement in the sport� other stakeholders to grow engagement in the sport, to help explore and exploit new revenue streams, and to increase the size and scope of the industry, to the benefit of all. Most importantly, we must ensure that the ROA continues to champion the incredible support and contribution of owners to the industry. In these truly testing times, owners have given unprecedented support to racing. Without their commitment and passion the sport would face a very uncertain future. In the coming months we will be explaining our vision and objectives in more detail and we want to hear from racehorse owners. Our sport needs and deserves a healthy debate and we welcome your involvement and views.



07/09/2020 18:22

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TBA Leader

Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman

Challenging year ahead with income squeezed I

t has been great to have horseracing back up and running in Britain and being shown live on our television screens since the beginning of June. The BHA and members of the Resumption of Racing Group, who did the groundwork, along with the racecourses and all those involved in making sure the sport has been run Covid-free should be congratulated. It was extremely fortunate that the Levy Board had built up substantial reserves before the coronavirus crisis began and helpful that the resumption of racing enabled the payment of racecourse media rights to get back on track. The current situation is that funding from the Levy Board has been secured at increased levels from the beginning of this month, while some racecourse executive contributions have been reinstated and a programme has been devised that looks reasonably familiar until the end of 2020. However, looking ahead, 2021 is likely to be difficult for the whole country and this is likely to be reflected in reduced ownership levels and racecourse income throughout the year. It is generally accepted that British racing suffers from under-funding when compared with many overseas competitors. That said, there is now a real opportunity for the government to ensure a much-needed injection of money under the levy system by bringing bets placed in the UK on horseracing from abroad into the levy net. This would come at no cost to the government and would align us with the government tax regime and the situation in every other major racing nation. The whole industry should get behind this request to government to help it through this crisis. Of course, we would like to make further adjustments to the levy system, moving to a hybrid or possible turnover basis, or even a reversion to the originally proposed data-based levy, but these should be considered as long-term aims, to be taken up when the industry can properly engage with government and, perhaps more pertinently, there is parliamentary time. In the short term, the industry needs help now. A recovery plan for British racing that reflects the current expected income in 2021 will be challenging. Without an extra boost to the levy, and with much of the Levy Board’s reserves used up in 2020, as its Chairman has already said, the amount of support in 2021 cannot and will not be sustained even at this year’s levels. It should also be remembered that a recovery plan needs horses, a word that is singularly lacking from the extensive list of actions now being proposed, and while if – and that is a big if – we have enough owners, the big question remains.

Sep_193_TBA_Leader.indd 7

Will there be sufficient horses in the pipeline to sustain even the current racing programme? The inevitable downturn in breeding will be felt in a few years’ time, and history shows that such a downturn takes many years to redress with a recovery. The racing industry as we have known it is not going to be the same for some years to come. Whatever happens within the sport itself, the squeeze on the wider economy is likely to lead to fewer owners, fewer breeders and less racing, with possibly fewer racecourses. As much as possible must be done to ensure that owners, who pay for the purchase and keep of horses, and those who breed them are maintained at the highest possible level. Any five-year plan has to send a message of support and

“There is now a real opportunity to ensure a much-needed injection of money to the levy” hope to breeders large and small. They need to know that when the results of their matings in 2021 appear at the sales or on a racecourse, there will be a suitably aspirational and well-funded programme for them to be wanted commercially, or if they campaign as owner-breeders, they are rewarded for success via bonus schemes or prize-money. This message needs to be relayed by the whole industry and has to be conveyed well before the end of 2020. A signal that the whole of British racing supports British breeders, and needs them to sustain a level of production that allows the rest of the sport to fulfil its aspirations, is going to be essential in ensuring that supply of horses as we move forward.



07/09/2020 16:35


Harrington set for BHA hot seat


ulie Harrington will succeed Nick Rust as BHA Chief Executive at the start of 2021, British racing’s governing body announced last month. Harrington, currently Chief Executive of British Cycling, has a racing background. She is a former member of the BHA board and was a senior executive with Northern Racing for eight years, including a spell as Managing Director of Uttoxeter racecourse. Harrington has also previously worked as Operations Director for the Football Association, and was responsible for Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park, the FA training facility. Her early career was with Whitbread Inns as Regional Marketing Director, and then with British Airways as Retail Sector Director. As Chief Executive of British Cycling, she has dealt with some significant regulatory challenges, which should stand her in good stead in her new role; likewise her experience of working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as well as the

devolved governments in Scotland and Wales. BHA Chair Annamarie Phelps said: “I am delighted that Julie is coming back to the BHA and to racing, and the board and I are looking forward to working closely with her. “This is a vital leadership role for the organisation and British racing. Julie’s hands-on knowledge of horseracing, coupled with her governance and business experience, make her the ideal person to carry on with the task of restoring sustainable prosperity after the Covid crisis. We’ve got the right person, for the right job, at the right time.” Harrington said: “I’m so excited to be coming home to racing and playing my part helping this great sport to achieve a prosperity from which everyone benefits. “I know how important collaboration across racing has been over the past few months and I look forward to working with colleagues from all parts of the sport. “I’m proud to take on this leadership role in such a well-regulated sport, which

Julie Harrington: starts new role in January

enriches the lives of horses and people, and has a special place at the centre of national life and our rural communities.” Harrington was appointed by the BHA Nominations Committee, chaired by Phelps and whose other members at the time of the decision were Andrew Merriam, Maggie Carver and Nicholas Cooper, who has since been succeeded as the Horsemen’s Group member of the committee by Charlie Parker, the new ROA President.

Jockey Club in turmoil after Bushell resignation Delia Bushell’s short reign as Chief Executive of the Jockey Club came to an end last month, when she resigned after an independent barrister upheld a number of allegations made against her. Bushell, who succeeded Simon Bazalgette at the Jockey Club less than a year earlier, was the subject of a formal complaint lodged by one of her senior colleagues. She cited a “flawed and biased” disciplinary process, which followed allegations of bullying, the use of racist comments and sharing of offensive material. An independent barrister, revealed to be employment law specialist Jack Mitchell, interviewed 19 witnesses, including Bushell. The subsequent report, in which Mitchell concluded there was evidence to support a number of the allegations of misconduct, was considered by a subcommittee of the Jockey Club board,


which decided there was a case for disciplinary action. Bushell has rejected the findings and threatened to take legal action. In return, the Jockey Club defended its actions and said in a statement that the organisation “completely refutes the many false and unsubstantiated claims made against it, some of its members and its staff by Delia Bushell. Her departure was based entirely on the evidence from a full, fair and independent investigation into a number of serious allegations that were raised about her unacceptable behaviour.” It added: “The Jockey Club intends to vigorously contest any proceedings she may bring. The board stands by its decision, the process by which it was arrived at and the evidence on which it was based.” Bushell’s resignation letter was strongly-worded, describing the Jockey

Club as “a male-dominated organisation that has a history of ignoring serious complaints against senior men and which seeks to discredit and ostracise anyone challenging its status quo”. She added in relation to the complaints: “An employee whose role is impacted by the proposed restructure raised a grievance against me, with 22 allegations encompassing everything from victimisation to a lack of phone calls from me. “You instructed a supposedly independent barrister to look into these, and then this confidential matter was leaked to the press from within the Jockey Club, with clear intent to undermine my position and harm me.” Jockey Club Finance Director Nevin Truesdale, who had been one of the leading internal candidates to succeed Bazalgette, subsequently took on the role of Acting Chief Executive.


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07/09/2020 19:01


Stories from the racing world

Class act: Enable and Frankie Dettori will bid for a third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next month

Enable remains on course for Paris Brilliant mare Enable continued her preparations for a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on October 4 with a facile victory in the Group 3 September Stakes

at Kempton on September 5. Nobody would have become rich backing Khalid Abdullah’s six-year-old at odds of 1-14 but she performed as her

Delia Bushell: resigned as Chief Executive of the Jockey Club last month

Sep_193_News.indd 9

price suggested she would and cruised home under Frankie Dettori, defeating Kirstenbosch by seven lengths. In her final appearance on a British racecourse, having taken the same race before winning her second Arc in 2018, Enable looked on good terms with herself and will now try and make history with a third victory in the Paris showpiece next month. Trainer John Gosden said after the race: “That was mission accomplished. She had a go at kicking me saddling up, so it was important she had a race to take a little of that fizz out of her. “It was very good for her mentally to have the race. She has had a nice blow, which we could have done at home, but you can’t rehearse going to the racecourse. She has hopefully had a nice day out and it was great to see her. It’s a shame there wasn’t a crowd here to see her but c’est la vie.” Enable claimed her first Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a three-year-old in 2017 at Chantilly, defeating Cloth Of Stars by two and a half lengths, following up a year later at Longchamp when she held off the challenge of the ill-fated Sea Of Class to score by a nose. Chasing an unprecedented treble in 2019, she was outpointed close home by the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist.



07/09/2020 19:01


Racing’s news in a nutshell

People and business Southwell

Jump racing at the course is suspended following eight equine fatalities at the track since July.

Race times

Following a successful trial period non-standard race times will be used permanently from October to alleviate clashes on busy days.

John Dance

Owner associated with five-time Group 1 winner Laurens reveals intention to cut back significantly on his number of horses in training.

Becomes the first female jockey to record a five-timer in Britain, achieving the feat at Windsor on August 29.


Announces it will no longer have horses in training in Britain and is subsequently banned from racing horses in France.

Returns to sponsor the St Leger, having backed the Classic between 1995-1998, signing one-year deal with the option to continue from 2021.

Andrea Atzeni

Saleem Golam

Former champion apprentice in 2005, a title he shared with Hayley Turner, retires from the saddle and becomes a barber aged 37.

Becomes just the sixth current jockey to amass 2,000 winners under all codes, reaching the milestone on Modmin at Goodwood in August.

Hollie Doyle

Phoenix Thoroughbreds

Italian hits the 1,000-winner mark in Britain aboard the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Without A Fight at Haydock on September 3.

Jim Crowley

Ascot racecourse

Cieren Fallon

Named as second jockey to Oisin Murphy at Qatar Racing after stellar year that included Group 1 success on Oxted in the July Cup.

Track extends broadcasting deal with Sky Sports Racing until 2024.

Nicholas Wrigley

Appointed new Chairman of Aintree racecourse by the Jockey Club, a position previously held by the late Rose Paterson.

Horse obituaries Wahiba Sands 27

High-class chaser for David Johnson and Martin Pipe, beating Best Mate in the 2001 Grade 2 First National Gold Cup at Ascot.

Croco Bay 13

Winner of the 2019 Grand Annual Chase for owner Lady Jane Grosvenor and trainer Ben Case suffers a fatal injury at Southwell.

Subzero 32

Hugely popular in Australia, he won the 1992 Melbourne Cup and later became an equine ambassador for the racing industry.



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07/09/2020 18:51

An eye for success

September 2020


visit studlife online:


The Redvers colours were carried to success for another time this season when two-year-old Spright won a Class 2 conditions race at Chester. It was the second win of the year for the Karl Burke-trained filly who is by Charm Spirit and deserves her chance at Stakes level.


There was also a Tweenhills football game in which Sophie McCarthy (centre) was crowned ‘Woman of The Match’ – she drunk her prize, helped by Dayna Walsh! Adam Brookes is smiling but will surely have been disappointed with his performance!

The Archie Watson-trained Silver Machine was also a winner for the Tweenhills Fillies syndicate since our last Studlife page.

KING OF KINGSCLERE A few lucky members of the Tweenhills Team went on a trip to Andrew Balding’s Park House Stables in late-August and got to see the fastest 2,000 Guineas winner of all time, Kameko. We can’t wait to see him standing at Tweenhills in the future!

STAFF PROFILE Ben Shoare Stud Hand

Tell us about your time at Tweenhills… Well, I’ve only been here for 2 months but am enjoying it greatly. I’m originally from West Sussex and have only just graduated from Leeds Beckett University. Over the last 5 years or so I’ve decided to pursue a career in racing and bloodstock, so it’s fantastic to work with top racehorses in their second careers at Tweenhills.

And how do you spend your free time? Aside from keeping on top of the racing, I’m a keen golfer and cricketer – I had some memorable times opening the batting for the Sussex Second XI and playing a couple of first-class games while at uni too. I also play the ukulele! Can you give us a few horses to follow? Well, firstly the filly in the my photo – a yearling by Dark Angel out of La Rioja. I’m looking forward to Topofthegame retuning in the Ladbrokes Trophy, hoping he can produce a ‘Denman’ performance. I also really like Space Blues for the Prix de La Foret. Having followed Enable to Paris last year, I cannot wait for her Arc clash with Love and others.

Tweenhills, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BG

It was great to welcome a new member to the extended Tweenhills family when last year’s Champion Apprentice and Gr.1 winning jockey Cieren Fallon signed as second rider to Qatar Racing behind Oisin Murphy. Cieren won on Lost In Space on just his second ride in the colours!

Ivo Thomas showing he’s no t just a horse whisperer.

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


Racehorse and stallion

Movements and retirements

Rumble Inthejungle

Norman Court Stud in Wiltshire signs up four-year-old, who emulated his sire Bungle Inthejungle by winning the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.


Sussex Stakes winner is retired due to injury. The four-year-old son of Showcasing will stand at stud for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Loving Gaby

Top-class three-year-old filly in Australia for Phoenix Thoroughbreds, winning two Group 1s at Moonee Valley, sustains a career-ending injury.

Sands Of Mali

Ballyhane Stud in Ireland recruits the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes winner, also successful in the Gimcrack Stakes as a juvenile.


Exciting National Hunt sire becomes accessible to British breeders after moving from France to Chapel Stud in Worcestershire.

People obituaries Willie Robinson 86

Champion jockey in Ireland who was the rider of Mill House, great rival of Arkle, combining to win the 1963 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Graham Pratt 72

Max Dynamite

Grand servant to Rich and Susannah Ricci and the Willie Mullins stable, winner of the Lonsdale Cup and twice placed in the Melbourne Cup, is retired aged ten.


Owner and ROA member who had shares in staying chaser Philson Run and multiple Grade 1-winning hurdler Reve De Sivola.


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07/09/2020 18:51

Japan Racing Association OB Sept 2020 f-p.indd 1

27/08/2020 13:09

The Big Picture

Great Ghaiyyath The Godolphin silks have been carried by some outstanding middle-distance performers over the years and Ghaiyyath is easily up there with the best of them. The son of Dubawi, trained by Charlie Appleby (above right), took up his customary front-running role in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York and his supporters would have had few anxious moments in the extended ten-furlong contest. William Buick always looked supremely confident on the five-year-old as Ghaiyyath powered to a threelength victory over Magical, adding to his previous impressive Group 1 wins this season in the Coronation Cup and Coral-Eclipse. Photos George Selwyn



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07/09/2020 18:30

Juddmonte International Stakes

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07/09/2020 18:30

The Howard Wright Column

Comment from all quarters all of the time J


ockey Ben Curtis got it about right when he said: “Mistakes happen in any walk of life and it’s not happening any more frequently in racing than it used to. The only difference is it’s being highlighted.” He was talking about the debate surrounding interference in races, the latest ephemeral topic of the moment in early August. Yet he could have been referring to just about any subject of the time, given the overload of observation that makes up modern communications. Racing is no different

Nick Luck now hosts an excellent weekday podcast

to any other issue when two or more people have a view; mistakes – perceived or real – that might have gone relatively unnoticed in years gone by are now highlighted in seconds. Forty years ago, weekly comment columns were virtually confined to the trade newspapers, the Sporting Life, which employed ex-MP Sir David Llewellyn under the nom-de-plume Jack Logan, the Sporting Chronicle, whose editor Tom Kelly had no need to be concealed behind an assumed name, and The Racehorse, a well-read four-pager that had yours truly among its correspondents. Members of the public contributed their views through the letters’ pages, via communications sent by post, accumulated and sifted for relevance, before a handful made the print edition anything up to a week after composition. Instant gratification was a long way off. Twenty years ago, by which time first the Chronicle in 1983 and then the Life in 1998 had perished, the Racing Post was left in trade-paper isolation, threatened only by the shortlived appearance of The Sportsman, but the world of instant comment was about to explode. The internet was here, there and ready to expand everywhere, so that anyone with access to a modem could make a point to the waiting world. Today, followers of the sport can wade knee-deep through commentary should they have the time and inclination, while making their own contributions, informed or otherwise, along the way. Print coverage might have shrunk but the Racing Post, while recently conducting a review that forecast a 15-20 per cent reduction in the amount of content, now has two comment columns a day, not one, as well as ad hoc interpretations when new topics arise and a weekly internet TV show that dabbles in general observation. The two satellite channels have developed Sunday morning magazine programmes that use familiar guests to dissect items of news, and there is no limit to the number of websites,

Scrutinising syndicate membership costs ‘Caveat emptor’ is the fundamental principle of free trade, but of what should the buyer beware when it comes to entering racehorse syndicate ownership? As attention turns inexorably to the plight of owners caught in the pincer movement of reduced prize-money and the dullness of racegoing opportunities under Covid-19 restrictions, syndicates are increasingly lauded as one of the chief methods of retaining, if not growing, interest in the short and medium term. It came as something of a surprise to discover that the Racehorse Syndicates Association, a relatively fledgling organisation, lists 71 members on its website, although a random search threw up a number of dormant internet links, suggesting this is a fluid marketplace. RSA membership is open to “any individual or business


that is charging a management fee for the syndication of racehorses,” while the organisation’s aim is to “represent those involved in the business of racehorse syndication.” In other words, although membership is “subject to the acceptance and adherence to the BHA code of conduct for syndicates,” this is a promotional vehicle. Its chief value for potential syndicate owners is providing a source for names and bare details. The main drawback is that the quality of detailed information on each website varies enormously; it is not. Finding the facts behind some of the figures is not easy, and it is a touch ironic that one syndicator for which it is possible to deduce where the participants’ money goes is not an RSA member. This is an outfit that names 47 horses on its website, of


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07/09/2020 16:36

“Followers of the sport can wade knee-deep through commentary if they have the inclination” statement, “brought to you in association with Fitzdares, the world’s finest bookmaker,” first access to details of the industry’s latest combined recovery plan, including those references to seeking considerably more money from the betting sector. Another example of the new normal, I wonder. Maybe, but this is just part of the environment into which Julie Harrington will eventually step as BHA Chief Executive, although much may have been decided around Covid-19, Brexit, levy reform and some of the other big issues of the day before she steps through the High Holborn threshold – away-from-home working allowing – in the New Year. She cannot have escaped the phenomenon as British Cycling Chief Executive and sometime BHA director but being enveloped by the cacophony of sound and comment will be different. Ultimately, though, she has to be her own person. What others say may be interesting but her own counsel counts most.

whom 44 are sold out. The outstanding trio has been bought recently, and were initially advertised at 4,000, 3,000 and 2,500 shares for £59, £49 and £45 respectively. If all three sell out, total syndication fees for the first year will add up to £495,500, from stated original capital costs of £180,580. Interestingly, the offer also highlights first-year management fees for the trio totaling £117,105, or almost 65 per cent of the amount the horses cost in the first place, while mortality insurance for the most expensive works out at a hefty £8,720 if all shares are sold. Conditions of RSA membership make no mention of business practices, so caveat emptor? The BHA’s consultation exercise into the regulation of shared ownership, launched at the beginning of the month, is a timely addition to the line of inquiry in this area.

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from newspapers to betting companies, which offer written or visual observations beyond the usual tipping and odds suggestions. Thanks mainly to the strictures of coronavirus lockdown and the apparent need for certain personalities to maintain a public profile, the podcast has emerged as a more recent addition to the welter of commentary that fills the ether. Bookmakers, newspapers, information gatherers and media representatives have exploited a gap in an already crowded market, the most obvious for racing being the professionally perfect, half-hour weekday offering from Nick Luck. Curiously, before going out to the wider world, the BHA afforded Luck’s podcast, which begins with the promotional



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07/09/2020 16:36

The Big Interview

The team

WORKS These are challenging times for many businesses, racehorse trainers included, yet with a loyal band of owners, dedicated workforce and Classicwinning colt in his stable Andrew Balding has good reason to be optimistic about the future Words: Julian Muscat • Photos: George Selwyn


ne of Flat racing’s understated success stories in recent years has been Andrew Balding’s gradual ascent of the career ladder. Balding closed last season having set a series of personal bests. His 126 winners in Britain accrued prize-money in excess of £3.6 million, and he closed the campaign by saddling Donjuan Triumphant to land the QIPCO British Champion Sprint Stakes. That was Balding’s first winner on Champions Day, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and with a fair following wind he will return to Ascot in October with designs on the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Kameko will carry the stable pennant on a day sponsored by the family of the colt’s owner, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani. Donjuan Triumphant’s victory was gained at odds of 33/1 but nothing so extravagant will be available about Kameko. His victory in the 2,000 Guineas back in June was Balding’s second Classic winner after Casual Look’s Oaks triumph in the trainer’s inaugural season in 2003. This has been a campaign of trial


and error for Kameko, when the colt’s extravagant talent has made all things seem possible. But his last run, when a non-staying fourth in the extended ten furlongs of the Juddmonte International, marked him down as a miler. Even without Kameko, Balding’s Park House Stables, in the village of Kingsclere, has enjoyed another fruitful year. “I’ve been fortunate to have a broad balance of horses and we have contested more than our fair share of Pattern races,” he reflects. “We have won a few and several other horses have been placed. “We also have some good two-yearolds, which is always an exciting way to finish off any season. You always want more, but to be where we are now compared to where we were 12 years ago, we have to be pretty happy.” A look back to that chapter illustrates the point. In statistical terms 2007 represented something of a nadir, when Park House sent out just 39 winners in Britain. Balding’s signature victory that year was posted by the Queen’s Banknote, who landed the Group 3 Badener Meile in Germany.



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Andrew Balding

Andrew Balding has established himself as one of Britain’s premier trainers since taking out his licence in 2003

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07/09/2020 16:44

The Big Interview ››

“It was about that time when I realised the maths wasn’t adding up,” the trainer relates. “It was a struggle financially. We lost one of our biggest owners the year before I took over from my father [Ian] when Robert Hitchens died. He had more than 30 horses with us, and we’d also lost [Mill Reef’s owner-breeder] Paul Mellon, who was a huge supporter. They were big voids to fill. “It was also a time when we campaigned abroad with horses like Phoenix Reach,” he continues. “Their earnings didn’t show up in the statistics, but what helped was that we started to strike the right balance.

Kameko in action on the Kingsclere gallops under Michael ‘Taffy’ Cheshire and powering home to win the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in June (inset)

“We managed to retain some decent horses while selling others so that their owners could reinvest. We were generating income, so while our results got knocked back, the reinvestment allowed us to move forward.” A more visible expression of the subsequent change in fortunes can be seen in the Colour Room at Park House. It has the feel of a museum: a potted history of the historic stables as told through the array of racing silks, many of them instantly recognisable, of Park House’s patrons down the decades. In the fallow years not too many of those silks would have struck a chord. Yet subsequent additions attest to the recognition Balding has since earned from some of the biggest owners. In the gallery today hang the colours of Sheikh Fahad and other members of the Qatari royal family. Dubai is represented by Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum and Ahmad Al Shaikh, whose Khalifa Sat chased home Serpentine in the Derby. They are abetted by the blue-andwhite robes of King Power Racing from Thailand, together with those of Team Valor, Kirsten Rausing, Fitri Hay and Mick and Janice Mariscotti. It is an eclectic mix to add to the likes of The Queen, Jeff Smith and George Strawbridge, who have been ever-present since Balding started out 17 years ago.


“Training for my owners is like being dealt a pocket pair of aces”

“To get that sort of roster is something we set out to do from the beginning,” Balding says. “Training for them is like being dealt a pocket pair of aces. It becomes much easier to play the rest of your hand.” It’s fitting that Park House is back among the foremost training establishments in Britain. Several great horses have graced the estate, which today embraces 1,500 acres. John Porter trained seven Derby winners there from 1867, among them the triple Crown winners Ormonde (1886),

Common (1891) and Flying Fox (1899). A yard at Park House is named after Ormonde, the Frankel of his era who retired unbeaten after 16 starts. The yard from which Porter trained has been supplemented by others over time. Balding’s father, Ian, trained there for 39 years, during which he saddled more than 2,000 winners, and there have since been further additions as the present incumbent’s string swelled to more than 200 horses. “We have built new barns, new stabling and new gallops,” Balding says,


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Andrew Balding

“but throughout these infrastructure changes we have been very conscious of the history of the place. “The flip side of having a big string is that it becomes a lot more difficult to manage. We have over 70 full-time employees, the majority of whom live on site. My wife Anna Lisa has done a great job dealing with that, as have all the others in our management team in their own spheres. “My assistant, Nigel Walker, and my racing manager, Tessa Hetherington, have important roles, while my mother [Emma]

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still plays a big part. It’s a proper team effort, which allows me to concentrate all my efforts on training horses.” Every ounce of it has been required in this Covid-affected campaign. The turf season was just days away from its baptism when racing was suspended in March. Initial uncertainties about its resumption were followed by condensed rescheduling of the big races when the action resumed on June 1. With Kameko due to run in the 2,000 Guineas five days later, Balding was in uncharted territory. “We’d had our first proper work

morning during Cheltenham week, just before lockdown,” he says. “We had to keep Kameko going because until the end of April there was still a chance the 2,000 Guineas would be run as scheduled [on May 2]. “Then we had to take a pause, which wasn’t easy. It was the same for every trainer but happily it worked out for us. We managed to get it right, certainly for the Guineas, although a better trainer would probably have worked out Kameko’s best trip before I did!” As for the lockdown itself, Balding




07/09/2020 16:44

The Big Interview ›› almost shudders at the memory. “Even

with 200 horses around me, I felt like I was on a sabbatical,” he recalls. “I felt redundant from 12.30pm, when we finish with the morning, until evening stables. There was no need to go racing, no racing to watch on television and no owners coming to the yard. “At the time I was more worried about what was happening around the country, rather than in our little world in racing. But it was deeply concerning not knowing when racing would resume. “If the shutdown had lasted into July we would probably have had to lay off some of our staff. Happily, that situation didn’t arise, and we didn’t lose a single horse through it, which was amazing. I always knew I was blessed to have a wonderful bunch of owners and that just confirmed it.” Since resumption the pace of the truncated season has been unrelenting. “We haven’t been able to pause for breath,” he says. “It’s been one sevenday week rolling into another. It’s extraordinary: winning the Guineas seems like something that happened two years ago.” Despite that Classic triumph, the pandemic’s negative effect on prizemoney leaves Balding with no prospect of matching last year’s haul. He accepts the reasons behind it without protest, although preCovid prize-money levels were already causing him lament. Balding has raced horses in just about every global jurisdiction. Having won Group 1 races in Canada, Dubai and Hong Kong, he is well placed to offer an assessment of racing in Britain and how it compares internationally. He proffered his thoughts without prompting, and with a mixture of melancholy and incredulity. The words tumbled out of him in torrents, the sound of them serving only to heighten his angst at what he perceives as a grave injustice. “The constant in-fighting means we never properly celebrate what we actually have in British racing,” he starts. “The rest of the world looks up to what we have, and as far as I can see, it is only prize-money that’s lacking. “Look at the overall picture,” he continues. “We’ve got great racecourses, we’ve got great horses, we’ve got owners from different backgrounds, staff from different backgrounds, and we’re producing top-class jockeys. “We’ve got so much that every


Andrew Balding

“We’ve got so much that every other racing nation is envious of” other racing nation is hugely envious of. We’re so close to having everything but it just needs a little bit of imagination to try to get us over the line in terms of getting that extra prize-money.” So what’s the solution? “I think it

Oisin Murphy served his apprenticeship at Park House Stables and retains the ride on Qatar Racing’s Kameko

can be done if we all work together to generate more income for the bookmakers – provided they are fair with us in return. It’s about raising the sport’s profile, which, through the Covid situation, is happening right now. Television viewing figures are up, and I’ve been amazed by friends who are not into racing who have been watching it. They have become really engaged. “This has to be the way forward. It’s daft to clutter up newspapers with meaningless racecards; we need to focus on the top end of the sport. I totally understand the bottom end needs help and support but it is in everybody’s interest, whether they train 20 horses or 200, because it all filters down from the top. “If we can generate interest and enthusiasm among the public, betting revenues go up. That is a challenge we can all face together. Our racing festivals are so fantastic, we’ve got to push everyone in that direction. A little imagination can take us a long way.” He also believes more should be made of the annual race to be champion jockey, with a Grand Prix-style format in which points are awarded for the better races. “It’s pointless for jockeys to be charging around the country every day,” he says. “They will burn out, and as things stand, the one who becomes champion is the one with the fastest aeroplane or the hungriest agent. That’s not right.” Ironically, the current champion, Oisin Murphy, is a product of Balding’s renowned apprentices’ academy at Park House. He is also Kameko’s regular rider on account of his retainer with Sheikh Fahad. In the short term Murphy is young enough to cope with the workload, although Balding will want him fresh as paint when next season starts. Balding has never previously retained a Classic winner to race at four and although there has been no final decision on whether or not Kameko stays in training, he is palpably enthused by the prospect. “I’m excited by the thought of it,” he says. “The horse has had a busy time in the last 16 months so I’d like him to have a winter’s break. He is without a doubt the best I have trained. I don’t think he’s had much luck this year and with a clearer run I hope he will show just how good he really is.” With Kameko in harness and those two-year-olds waiting in the wings, Balding has much to anticipate. His ascent of the career ladder looks set to continue unabated.


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Al Kazeem TOB-September 2020:Oakgrove Stud



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Al Kazeem

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Hunter Valley Farm Scat Daddy set a high bar for Hunter Valley Farm to follow as the first horse sold by the outfit, fronted by Fergus Galvin and Adrian Regan (below right)

With a half-sister to Kameko to sell at Keeneland in September, there is plenty of optimism ahead of the yearling sales season at Hunter Valley Farm Words: Martin Stevens


he first lot Hunter Valley Farm ever sold at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale turned out to be Scat Daddy – the dual Grade 1-winning son of Johannesburg who became a game-changing sire for Coolmore. It might easily have been all downhill from there. But the operation has since also been responsible for high-class performers such as Qurbaan and Tom’s D’Etat while last November, they also sold Shedaresthedevil – then a two-yearold – for $280,000 to Flurry Racing Stables; turned over to trainer Brad Cox, she went on to lead home a one-two for the now Turkish-based stallion Daredevil in the Kentucky Oaks earlier this month. All in all, it has been a rapid rise to the top of the consigning ranks for the Irish natives who founded Hunter Valley Farm in 2004 – old friends and Irish National Stud breeding course graduates Fergus Galvin and Adrian Regan and silent partners Tony Hegarty and John Wade, who run a construction business in Chicago. “Scat Daddy set the bar very high,” says Galvin, looking back at the stud’s early years. “We’d bought him privately as a foal out of a field along with his dam Love Style. We were fans of Johannesburg and he was a big, stretchy

colt with a great walk. “The package wasn’t cheap, and we needed to get some partners on board, but we sold the pair for good money and Scat Daddy became a good two-year-old and even better three-year-old. What he achieved at stud was phenomenal and his early death was a massive loss for the industry as he was still only just getting going really – he could have been up there with the very best stallions.” Scat Daddy sold to trainer Todd Pletcher for $250,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale of 2005 and Love Style was moved on for $350,000 two months later at the company’s November breeding stock Sale. Scat Daddy won the Champagne Stakes at two and Florida Derby at three. He was among the leading fancies for the Kentucky Derby but finished a long way behind Street Sense, suffering a careerending injury in the race. Retired to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky at a fee of $30,000, he fell a little out of favour in his early years as a stallion and was quickly reduced to $10,000 by his fourth northern hemisphere season. However, the handsome dark bay soon surged back into the breeding industry’s collective consciousness by supplying a steady stream of fast, physically forward

“No Nay Never was a lovely foal – strong and well balanced”

runners with an affinity for Royal Ascot – think Caravaggio, Lady Aurelia, Sioux Nation and so on – and high-class runners at home such as Daddys Lil Darling and Lady Of Shamrock. He was also dubbed the Galileo of Chile when his southern hemisphere-bred horses dominated the country’s Classic races. Scat Daddy soon became one of the most talked about stallions on the planet, with Coolmore hiking his fee to $100,000 for the 2016 covering season in Kentucky. But then disaster struck. In December 2015, while walking from his paddock at Ashford Stud, he dropped dead of


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suspected heart failure. The enormity of the loss was magnified in 2018 when Justify, a colt from his final crop, became the 13th US Triple Crown winner. Proving that the sire could do later maturing talents as well as locked and loaded two-year-olds, his roll of elite winners has grown by two this year – through Combatant landing the Santa Anita Handicap and Con Te Partiro taking the Coolmore Classic and Legacy Stakes in Australia. Hunter Valley Farm’s role in the tale was not confined to the sale of Scat Daddy himself; it also sold his son No

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Hunter Valley Farm ›› Nay Never as a foal. The Norfolk Stakes

and Prix Morny winner is now carrying the flame for his sire at stud, with his first three crops conceived at Coolmore in County Tipperary yielding a long list of stakes winners headed by Group 1 performers Arizona, Ten Sovereigns and Wichita. “No Nay Never was a lovely foal, not overly big but strong and well balanced,” says Regan. “He had an excellent action and ticked all the boxes. I remember going to see him, and he just really caught the eye physically. “He was from Scat Daddy’s third crop and the sire was a little quiet at that point – it’s around then when people tend to back off stallions generally. He was back in Book 3 at Keeneland November but he was so good-looking that he made $170,000 and was one of the highest priced weanlings of the session.”

Hunter Valley Farm’s draft at this month’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale includes two sons of No Nay Never,

“We were lucky to find Sweeter Still – she’s back in foal to Kitten’s Joy” both with Galileo looming large in their female families. One is out of the Coolmore phenomenon’s daughter Hot Legs, the other out of Flowers Will Bloom,

a daughter of Fastnet Rock and Natural Bloom, a Galileo half-sister to Fairy Queen. The stud has played a smaller part in another transatlantic success story of recent years. It enjoys a close relationship with Qatar Racing, so when that operation found Vertem Futurity and 2,000 Guineas hero Kameko at Keeneland for just $90,000, it was set the task of sourcing the Kitten’s Joy colt’s dam Sweeter Still despite her slide into obscurity in the US. Sweeter Still, a Rock Of Gibraltar half-sister to Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns who was the joint-second top lot at $750,000 at Keeneland January in 2014, had endured a slow start to her breeding career, producing little of note from matings with champion sires Giant’s Causeway and Galileo. Consequently, it took Tim Lesley Thompson only $1,500 to buy the mare in foal to Calumet Farm’s first-season sire Optimizer when she went


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under the hammer long after the glamour sessions at Keeneland November in 2018. Sweeter Still was tracked down by Hunter Valley Farm last summer and purchased privately on behalf of Qatar Racing along with her Optimizer filly, who is being consigned to Keeneland this month. “It’s worked out for everyone,” says Galvin. “We were lucky to find her and she’s here now. The Optimizer filly is a May foal so the mare wasn’t covered last year but she’s safely back in foal to Kitten’s Joy now.” Explaining the roots of the alliance with Qatar Racing, he adds: “We met David Redvers over here in our early years, when he was still doing his own thing and he used to stay with us. “That was before he met Sheikh Fahad, but when he became manager of Qatar Racing he recommended any stock


Hunter Valley Farm also sold top two-yearold No Nay Never (left), today remembered by Adrian Regan (above left) and Fergus Galvin as “a lovely, strong foal”

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bought or based in Kentucky stayed with us, so we’ve been very fortunate. They’re very good clients and we have around half a dozen mares and weanlings for them here.” Fruitful relationships with European clients have been key to Hunter Valley Farm’s success. It works with, in various capacities, breeze-up vendors Brendan Holland and Norman Williamson, and its Keeneland September consignment includes an American Pharoah halfbrother to Tampa Bay Derby winner and Preakness Stakes hopeful King Guillermo on behalf of French-based Robert Nataf, who bought the colt as a foal. It was another connection with agent Stephen Hillen that inspired Hunter Valley Farm to pinhook another Preakness Stakes hopeful, Dr Post, as a foal for $200,000, as Galvin explains. “He was an interesting purchase as his dam Mary Delaney was originally raced by Mark Wallace in Britain and then Stephen, who’s a good client, brought her over here,” he says. “We put her with Eddie Kenneally, she developed into a good filly on synthetics and we sold her on for good money. She hadn’t done much as a broodmare but it was probably that familiarity with her career that helped make us buy Dr Post as a weanling.” “We have a good network of clients, and knew many of them



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Hunter Valley Farm ›› before starting Hunter Valley Farm,”

says Regan. “Lots of the relationships developed from openings made by quarantine arrangements. We’re less than ten minutes from Keeneland, so the convenience factor has helped the business a lot.” “We pinhook with a lot of different partnerships, made up of both European and American parties,” adds Galvin. “The key for us is looking for some hidden upside in the mares. We work the less expensive books very hard, and put in an awful lot of research into the pages at home before the sales. We’re looking for potential pedigree updates, maybe something we might have seen at a sale before, and hope something transpires.” “The Europeans in us insist there has to be good action and balance in the horse,”

“The sales since the pandemic could have been a lot worse” Regan continues, on the theme of the farm’s approach to pinhooking. “But then from a US perspective we’re looking for horses with height and a good length of leg, with an athletic frame.” So Hunter Valley Farm has the carefully selected stock, but in this year of worldwide pandemic will it have the market to sell into? “We’ve done a lot of farm visits and shows and the reception has been good,” says Galvin. “They’re a nice bunch of horses, the best we’ve had, so we’re cautiously optimistic. “The sales held since the coronavirus outbreak could have been a lot worse. There was a yearling sale in Texas recently and the clearance rate was very good considering they were selling into the middle market. It was an encouraging sign that there are still buyers out there.” “We have to expect the market will be down due to travel difficulties,” adds Regan. “Books 1 and 2 will likely hold their value but the later books will likely


Hunter Valley Farm offers a half-sister to Kameko at this year’s Keeneland September Sale

become progressively tougher.” Describing themselves as “positive people”, the Hunter Valley Farm team might be realistic about the state of yearling trade in Kentucky this year but they can already see some things that the current crisis might change for the better. “It’s important to commend the sales companies for having been conscious of working closely with sellers to try to make the sales as successful as possible in the circumstances,” says Regan. “And it looks as though video footage of sales lots might be here to stay. The sales companies have done a good job of updating their websites to host the media and it just helps agents get to see the stock on offer. Nothing will ever replace looking at horses in the flesh but this development certainly can’t hurt.” Regan and Galvin may be relentlessly upbeat - and understandably so, considering their enviable record of success in just 15 years of operation - but they do have reservations over one relatively recent development in the bloodstock industry: the increased emphasis on vetting. “If there’s one thing we’d be a little bit critical of in the US sales culture, we’re flabbergasted at how easily horses get marked down by vets,” says Galvin. “You see it a little in Europe now, but it’s more prevalent here. “Tom’s D’Etat was a lovely yearling we sold for SF Bloodstock, and he had a little x-ray issue, as did another recent useful graduate of ours, Multiplier, and both were marked down. Vetting is too critical, as so many horses go on despite those supposed issues. Tom’s D’Etat and Multiplier prove that as they’re both doing well at the ages of seven and six. “In our opinion, a potential buyer might be better served asking the consignor or person looking after the horse whether any vetting observations have impacted its soundness or are likely to in the future, or whether the problem is manageable. But instead, those horses are too quickly taken off buyers’ lists in the US.” Regan interjects: “That said, the good agents know what they can live with from a veterinary perspective. Many will be able to buy a nice horse who is marked down by others a bit more cheaply, so it can be an angle for some.” Considering the farm’s roll of honour, topped by Scat Daddy and tailed by Shedaresthedevil, those wise words ought to be heeded.


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#racebehindthescenes | visit

First-crop sires

Young PRETENDERS Almanzor, Churchill, Highland Reel, Ribchester and Ulysses are among a stellar cast of young sires who are represented by their first yearlings this autumn Words: Nancy Sexton


he wheel keeps turning. As the industry marvels at the achievements of Night Of Thunder and Mehmas, the leaders among their contemporaries of the past two years, the hunt is on for the next big name. The 2018 intake of new stallions consisted of 20 who were priced at £4,000 or above in Britain and Ireland, among them several real high-flyers. Time will tell how successful they may turn out to be in their second careers but for now, the autumn yearling sales look set to provide an enlightening insight into their potential.

Next season promises to be highly informative with regards to the power of Galileo’s legacy. A total of 17 of the supersire’s sons have already sired 70 Group or Grade 1 winners between them and chances are that this upcoming group will do their bit to further that tradition. Churchill (Coolmore/2018 fee: €35,000) is a particularly likely candidate. A powerhouse of a horse, he was a Group 1-winning two-year-old who trained into a dual Guineas winner at three, thereby demonstrating plenty of the speed and precocity associated with his own family. Churchill’s own powerful physique seemed to be a recurring theme among his first foals last winter. And buyers were quick to warm to them, with a 220,000gns colt leading the way among a group that averaged 101,143gns. “Galileo is already a fantastic sire of sires but I believe this ‘man’ of a horse may turn out to be the best because he had so much racing class and speed to go with his powerful pedigree and incredible physical strength,” says David O’Loughlin, Director of Sales at Coolmore. “He has all


The Galileo battalion

Churchill: first foals by the multiple Group 1-winning son of Galileo sold for up to 220,000gns

the credentials one could desire but his incredible physique, which he has passed on to his progeny, makes him a most exciting young sire.” Churchill has 20 yearlings in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, another 22 in the Goffs Orby and one catalogued to the Keeneland September Sale. Likewise, globetrotter Highland Reel (Coolmore: €17,500) is well represented across the board. This precocious yet durable horse gained many fans during his lengthy racing career, one which included a Group 2 win at two and seven Group 1 wins at ages three to five. He is also related to Starspangledbanner and had foals sell for

up to 150,000gns last year. Also well represented in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale is Ulysses (Cheveley Park Stud: £30,000), whose 14 representatives include a colt out of Group 1 winner Echelon. Foals by the Eclipse Stakes and Juddmonte International winner sold for up to €175,000 and he continues to be well supported by Cheveley Park Stud and the Niarchos family, as befits a Group 1-winning son of Oaks heroine Light Shift. “The book of mares Ulysses received in his first season included 36 Group 1 winners, or mares related to Group 1 winners, and last year after our parade of stallions, a number of foals by Ulysses


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were exhibited to invited breeders,” says Chris Richardson, Managing Director of Cheveley Park Stud. “I think those in attendance were impressed with what they saw and indeed this was reflected in the positive reception they received at the sales last year. His book of mares was again in excess of 100 this year. “They are characters who exude confidence, and appear brave when you walk into their boxes or approach them in the paddock. Like the sire, they appear well balanced, correct, with a good walk for the most part, and have a certain charm about them.” It will also be fascinating to see how Decorated Knight (Irish National Stud: €15,000) fares. Closely related to champion sire Giant’s Causeway, Decorated Knight won three Group 1 races including the Irish Champion Stakes, and has been heavily supported by his owner,

“The Ulysses yearlings are characters who exude confidence” Imad Al Sagar of Blue Diamond Stud. His first book included the stud’s Group 1-placed Princess Noor, stakes producer Nouriya and the Group 3 winners Lady Wingshot and Shaden. Princess Noor was subsequently sold and her resulting colt foal made 190,000gns. A Group 1 race record and pedigree also sits behind Mondialiste (Elwick Stud: £6,000). From an excellent Wertheimer family, the Arlington Million hero is another to have been heavily supported by his owners and hit a high of 60,000gns at last year’s foal sales.

Scat Daddy speed

It didn’t take long for the Scat Daddy line to take root in Europe through No Nay Never, and in Caravaggio (Coolmore: €35,000), a Coventry and Phoenix Stakes winner who trained on to take the Commonwealth Cup at three, there is the potential for a similarly important conduit. Caravaggio’s foals sold for up to 250,000gns last year and hit an average of around 100,000gns. A total of 11 hit six figures and the majority of that group are catalogued to resell at either the Goffs

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Almanzor heads continental list Few stallion prospects can boast the kind of profile of Almanzor (2018 fee: €35,000), whose retirement to stud at Haras d’Etreham was a real shot in the arm for the French industry. The first big runner sired by Wootton Bassett, Almanzor swept the Prix du Jockey Club, QIPCO Irish and British Champion Stakes, and has consistently attracted powerful support which is reflected in a first crop that includes the half-brother to American champion Uni, who is heading to Arqana. Another ten youngsters are catalogued to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale. One of Almanzor’s main rivals during that big three-yearold season was Zarak (Haras de Bonneval; €12,000), who offers the combination of a Group 1 race record and royal pedigree. The Aga Khan homebred is a Dubawi son of Arc heroine Zarkava and lived up to that heritage by winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and running second in the Prix du Jockey Club. It also promises to be an important sales season for Haras de Bouquetot, which houses Prix Jacques Le Marois winner Al Wukair (€8,000), Prix Jean Prat winner Zelzal (€8,000) and dual Group 1 hero Ectot (€5,000). Bouquetot also launched the stud career of Brametot (€10,000), the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Prix du Jockey Club winner who now stands at Gestut Ebbesloh in Germany.

Orby, Tattersalls Book 1 or Keeneland September Sales. The stallion has hit a high point already this year as the sire of a colt who made approximately $980,000 at the JHRA Select Sale in Japan. “Caravaggio is probably the fastest two-year-old that Aidan O’Brien ever trained,” says Coolmore’s David O’Loughlin. “He’s the fastest son of No Nay Never’s sire Scat Daddy and like our top class American stallion Munnings, he’s out of a Holy Bull mare. “So it’s a great package for sire success and coupled with the support he’s received from the best European breeders, he’s in a great position to make a top-class sire. And he covered a lot of Galileo mares – a sure way to make any stallion!” The Grade 1-placed El Kabeir

Almanzor: well represented at Tattersalls

Classic talent is also on show via champion The Grey Gatsby (Haras du Petit Tellier: €7,000), the 2014 Prix du Jockey Club winner who claimed the scalp of Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes. Meanwhile, of those with highclass juvenile form, it could pay to follow the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Ultra (Haras du Logis: €7,000), a welcome member of the Monsun sire line, and Acomb Stakes hero Recorder (Montfort et Preaux: €6,000), a precocious son of Galileo out of the high-class Memory who has 101 yearlings in his first crop. Attendu (Haras du Quesnay: €5,000), Birchwood (Haras de la Huderie: €5,000) and Johnny Barnes (Haras des Granges: €2,500), all of whom are quick representatives of the Acclamation sire line, are also represented at the Arqana or BBAG September Sales as are the Group 1-placed pair Whitecliffsofdover (Haras de la Haie Neuve: €3,000) and Counterattack (Gestut Karlshof: €6,500)

(Yeomanstown Stud: €8,000), another grey son of Scat Daddy, was also well supported in his first season. A saletopping yearling himself, he was a Grade 2 winner at two and successful in a pair of Grade 3 Kentucky Derby preps at three.

Group 1 talent

Another horse to consistently gain good reviews at last year’s foal sales was champion miler Ribchester (Kildangan Stud: €30,000). After all, he was a Group 2-winning two-year-old who trained on into a four-time Group 1-winning miler, while he also shares his sire Iffraaj with Wootton Bassett. “Breeders have had a lot of luck with Iffraaj over the years and there is no doubt that people have confidence in investing into a sire-line that they have done well




07/09/2020 18:00



First-crop sires

Caravaggio: first foals were well received

›› from in the past,” says Kildangan Stud’s

Anthony O’Donnell. “From talking to vendors who are currently prepping his stock for sales, a common theme is that his yearlings have willing attitudes and are very straightforward and eager to please.” Top miling form is also on show via the 2,000 Guineas and St. James’s Palace Stakes winner Galileo Gold (Tally-Ho Stud; €15,000) while those behind Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner National Defense (Irish National Stud; €12,000) will be hoping that he is the next in line to enhance the prowess of Invincible Spirit as a sire of sires. The now Irish-based Derby winner Wings Of Eagles (€12,000), whose first crop are the result of his single season at Haras de Montaigu, also brings Classicwinning form to the table as does the dual-purpose Jack Hobbs (Overbury Stud: £4,000), who was successful in the Irish Derby and Dubai Sheema Classic for John Gosden.

Decorated Knight: multiple Group 1 winner is closely related to Giant’s Causeway

The Dubawi legacy

With various sire sons of Dubawi, such as Night Of Thunder, New Bay and Al Kazeem, each in the midst of good seasons, it should pay to follow his younger representatives Postponed (Dalham Hall Stud: £20,000) and Time Test (The National Stud: £8,500), both of whom enjoyed successful debuts into the foal market last year. Postponed’s collection of foals included a 280,000gns filly that helped contribute to an average of 61,818gns for the King George and Juddmonte International hero. “Whenever I look at Postponed, I see a bigger version of Dubawi – he has all the same characteristics but more scope,” says Dawn Laidlaw, head of nominations at Dalham Hall Stud. “Postponed’s first foals at the sales were very well received and on the back of that, he covered his biggest book of mares this season – which wouldn’t be the norm for the third season.

‘The Churchill foals were consistently good-looking’


“I have a couple of Cotai Glory yearlings that I like. They’ve got a lot of quality and good temperaments. I also have a nice Caravaggio, who is a bull of a horse. And we’re looking forward to seeing the Ribchesters as he was co-bred by my head man Mike O’Brien.” Con Marnane “I thought the Churchill foals were consistently good looking, very strong with good walks and attitudes. I also liked the Profitable foals – again, goodlooking horses with good attitudes, like himself.” Geoffrey Howson Mike Ryan: Mastery and Practical Joke fan

His offspring have a lot of Dubawi about them, which is no bad thing and I think a lot of people would say the same about the progeny of Night Of Thunder.” Postponed has good representation in both the Tattersalls Book 1 and Orby Sales as does dual Group 2 winner Time Test, a son of Group 1 winner Passage Of Time from a fine Juddmonte family. “Time Test has been supported by some proper owner-breeders; he covered the dams of two Classic winners in his first year, as well as by those breeding for the commercial market,” says Tim Lane, Stud Director of The National Stud. “Like our other horse, Aclaim, he’s really stamping his foals; they have great quality to them.”

Speed to burn

Kodiac has already made great inroads as a sire of sires this season and so hopes will be running high for the next son in line, Flying Childers Stakes winner Ardad (Overbury Stud: £6,500).

“I thought that the Ribchesters were a good group of foals - athletic, good-looking horses with some scope. Churchill and Caravaggio also threw good foals.” Bobby O’Ryan “Two American horses come to mind quickly – Mastery and Practical Joke. The Masterys are consistent in that they have quality. He’s producing well-balanced horses with strength and scope. They look like him – he’s a stylish horse. “I think Practical Joke is going to be the middle breeder’s Into Mischief. He is bigger than most Into Mischiefs and he’s getting size and scope – they’re forward but they also look like they’ll go over a bit of ground at three. He’s very exciting.” Mike Ryan


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An expensive breezer himself, he also rewarded that investment by winning the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, there is plenty of buzz surrounding one of the next sons of Invincible Spirit in the pipeline, Profitable (Kildangan Stud: €12,000). This hardy sprinter enjoyed his finest moment when defeating Cotai Glory to win the King’s Stand Stakes and was well received at the foal sales last year, where his first crop sold for up to €205,000 – an impressive return on his fee. “It was great to see the breeders who supported Profitable in his first year at stud get well rewarded at last year’s foal sales,” says Kildangan Stud’s Anthony O’Donnell. “Profitable really stamped his stock. As foals they were strong, correct, fast looking individuals with plenty of quality and it is these same characteristics that we expect to appeal to trainers over the coming weeks.” As for Group 3 winner Cotai Glory (Tally-Ho Stud: €6,000), this attractive son of Exceed And Excel will not be short of representation given he has close to 120 yearlings on the ground. Nor will Aclaim (The National Stud: £12,500), whose first foals made up to €120,000. A Prix de la Foret-winning son of Acclamation from the family of Montjeu, he is well represented across the premier yearling sales. “Aclaim covered a good bunch of commercial mares,” says Tim Lane of The National Stud. “He’s also stamping his foals – he’s putting strength and athleticism into them.” It will also be interesting to see how former shuttlers Spill The Beans (The National Stud: £6,000) and Divine Prophet (Tara Stud: €7,500) fare. The late Spill The Beans deserves recognition following the exploits of his first Australian crop, which include 13 winners at the time of writing, while Divine Prophet, by Choisir, was a Group 1-winning miler in Australia.

Arrogate: late star has 55 yearlings in Keeneland


Arrogate yearlings to provide fitting tribute When it comes to this year’s group of US-based first-crop sires, there is no better place to start than Arrogate (Juddmonte Farms/2018 fee: $75,000), the richest North American racehorse of all time as the earner of $17,422,600. A striking son of Unbridled’s Song, he demonstrated sensational ability, most memorably when stopping the clock in 1.59.36 - the fastest ever 1m2f run at Saratoga - in the Travers Stakes, won by almost 14 lengths. He also captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup. Arrogate died earlier this year, meaning he leaves behind just three crops. His first book included 42 Graded stakes winners, among them champion Songbird, whose resulting filly is catalogued in the Keeneland September Sale. Arrogate, whose first foals averaged $311,250, is represented by 55 yearlings at Keeneland and 12 at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase Sale. He also has a colt catalogued to the Tattersalls October Sale. Anticipation also runs high for Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Three Chimneys Farm: $70,000). Another exceptional runner whose six Grade 1 wins included the Breeders’ Cup Classic, his first foals caught the imagination last year, selling for up to $750,000. Gun Runner shares his sire, Candy Ride, with the increasingly successful

Twirling Candy, as does the unbeaten Grade 1-winning two-year-old Mastery (Claiborne Farm: $25,000). Mastery’s first foals averaged $161,800 and his 82-strong group on offer this time around includes a relation to Stradivarius in Fasig-Tipton. Coolmore’s American arm, Ashford Stud, holds a strong hand as the base for champion two-year-old Classic Empire ($35,000), Practical Joke ($30,000), a multiple Grade 1 winner at two and three by Into Mischief, and Cupid ($12,500), a Grade 1-winning son of Tapit. Classic Empire and Practical Joke both returned weanling averages in excess of $100,000. Grade 1 talent also abounds in the form of Calumet Farm’s duo Keen Ice ($20,000), who defeated American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes, and Bal A Bali ($15,000), a six-time Grade 1 winner in Brazil and the US who is an interesting member of the Relaunch sire line. Weanling buyers also appeared to like the look of Cigar Mile Handicap hero Connect (Lane’s End Farm: $20,000), a son of Curlin whose first foals sold for up to $250,000. There is plenty of goodwill, meanwhile, behind Grade 1-winning sprinter Lord Nelson (Spendthrift Farm: $25,000). Billed as ‘Pulpit’s last great son’, he suffered a lifethreatening bout of laminitis that delayed his stud career by a year. Not only did he survive but he was able to cover a good book of mares in 2018 and has 45 yearlings catalogued across both sales.

Aclaim: Group 1 winner is related to Montjeu

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07/09/2020 18:00

Kayf Tara tribute


The retirement of Kayf Tara from stud duty leaves a major void in British National Hunt breeding but he looks set to remain an enduring presence Words: Emma Berry Simon Sweeting: “I owe him everything”


hen the 2021 breeding season commences at Overbury Stud, for the first time this century Kayf Tara will not make his familiar regular jaunt alongside Dan Matty from his stable, along the lane, to the covering shed. There is much to look forward to at Overbury, both during the Flat and National Hunt seasons, with young stallions Ardad, Jack Hobbs and Frontiersman all awaiting their first runners. But the horse who made the place and gave Simon Sweeting a dream start in the stallion business will be called to action no more after an honourable second career that stretched 20 seasons long. And longevity is very much the watchword when it comes to Kayf Tara,

who takes up his well-earned retirement at the age of 26. In four seasons on the racecourse, first under the nurturing eye of Sir Michael Stoute, he was later switched to the care of Saeed Bin Suroor and became a standard-bearer for what was then Godolphin’s elite corps. In just his fifth appearance on a racecourse he held off Double Trigger to win the Gold Cup at Ascot before going on to win the Irish St Leger later that season. He would claim each of those races once more before retirement, along with wins in the Yorkshire Cup, Goodwood Cup, Prix Kergorlay and Prix Vicomtesse Vigier as well as three champion stayer titles. One of 13 Group 1 winners produced by the Weinfeld family’s Meon Valley Stud over the last 40 years, along with


Thistlecrack: one of the best sired by Kayf Tara


his full-brother Opera House and halfsister Zee Zee Top, Kayf Tara, as a son of Sadler’s Wells and Irish Oaks winner Colorspin, was eminently qualified for stallion duties. His staying prowess, however, meant that he would always be of greater appeal to National Hunt breeders than to commercial Flat breeders. Retained by Sheikh Mohammed throughout his lengthy stud career, despite some lucrative offers from Irish farms, Kayf Tara’s retirement to stud coincided with Simon Sweeting taking on the running of Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire in 2000. Interviewed for this magazine in 2015, Sweeting said: “I owe him everything really. He was our first stallion. The whole thing started with him. The stud was available, the horse was retiring – he was the first animal that came here. “Horses like him are very few and far between. He came at the right time and everything just worked. I’m very lucky that Sheikh Mohammed let us have him. John [Ferguson] said to me, ‘If you can find a stud you can have a stallion’.” Kayf Tara has spent the last two decades of his life at Overbury keeping a watchful eye on the comings and goings of the main yard from his stately corner box. Unlike many other stallions of a mature age, he has never really lost that lithe look of a racehorse. Even as the years have dipped his back a little, it is still easy to discern the athlete he once was. And those athletic genes have been imparted to horses who have become some of the top names of the jumping game over recent seasons, collectively assisting their father to 11 leading British jump sire titles – a run that will likely continue for some years to come.


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the last decade, so did the appreciation of his talents among National Hunt breeders and, crucially, that came in Ireland as well as Britain. It takes a special sire to be able to entice Irish breeders to send their mares across the water when they have such a range of choice among the leading jump sires in their home country. Recognition generally comes late to National Hunt stallions, an understandable byproduct of their slower-maturing offspring. Kayf Tara’s enduring presence at stud at least

One of his early stars was the ‘Hennessy’ winner Carruthers, beloved by many for his connection to his late breeder Lord Oaksey and a proper flagbearer for Mark and Sara Bradstock’s small stable. A member of Kayf Tara’s second crop, Carruthers’ ten wins under rules also included the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase and Leamington Novices’ Hurdle. It wasn’t until Planet Of Sound won the Guinness Gold Cup for ownerbreeder Charles Lloyd-Baker at Punchestown in 2010 that Kayf Tara was represented by his first Grade 1 success, but the top-level winners have flowed since then. At the head of the honour board is the King George winner Thistlecrack, an exhilarating jumper in his prime and also a Grade 1 winner at Cheltenham, Aintree and Ascot. Bred by Robin and Scarlett Knipe, his dam Ardstown was the daughter of another Ascot Gold Cup winner in Ardross. Another whose flamboyant style of running will live long in the memory is the

“It takes a special sire to be able to entice Irish breeders”

Kayf Tara and Dan Matty at Overbury Stud


David Young-bred Special Tiara, Britishborn but trained in Ireland by Henry de Bromhead and carrying the stars-andstripes silks of his American owner Sally Rowley-Williams. His good days were many and the best of them came hand in hand with three Grade 1 triumphs, most notably the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Tea For Two has his own footnote in history as the mount of Lizzie Kelly when she became the first woman to ride a Grade 1 winner over fences in Britain in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. The duo returned the following season to land the Grade 1 Betway Bowl at the Grand National meeting. Identity Thief, Ballyandy, Blaklion and Edwulf are among Kayf Tara’s other toplevel winners on a list which could well be enhanced in the near future by one of last season’s leading novice hurdlers and recent TBA award winner, the Overburybred Thyme Hill. As Kayf Tara’s roll of honour grew in

allowed breeders to patronise him fully once his prowess was realised, and that will in turn ensure that his influence in National Hunt racing is felt for some years to come. At last month’s TBA National Hunt Awards, he scooped the Whitbread Silver Salver for the leading active British-based National Hunt sire for the ninth year in a row and, for the sixth consecutive year, won the Horse & Hound Cup for the highest number of individual chase winners in 2019/20 among the active stallions in Britain. The key word in both of those award categories is ‘active’ and the baton will now be passed to one of his counterparts to step into the breach. No matter which of the younger British National Hunt stallions steps forward to claim those accolades, there will be a void left in British National Hunt breeding by the retirement of Kayf Tara, and it is a large one to fill.


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07/09/2020 18:25

ULYSSES A Legend in the Making

He is by the great Galileo, out of a Classic winner, and achieved a Timeform rating of 130. His first crop foals proved extremely popular last winter, selling for €175,000 (to Jamie Railton) and €150,000 (to Yeomanstown Stud), etc. He is well represented at Tattersalls October Yearling Sales with 14 high quality yearlings catalogued in Book 1 Also selling at Goffs Orby, Tattersalls Book 2 and at all the other major yearling sales.

Be part of his success story Cheveley Park Stud Tel: +44 (0)1638 730316 • • L@CPStudOfficial

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07/09/2020 16:15

Breeders’ Digest

Nancy Sexton Bloodstock Editor

Some early positives but foreign activity remains key



et’s accentuate the positives. Back in March there was the looming possibility of losing auctions as the pandemic ground the sales season to a halt. The breeze-up and store sales were the chief sufferers but each ultimately found a new date and although delayed, the majority held up relatively well. The industry gave a sigh of relief; the blockbuster prices may have been missing but horses were moved on and plenty of people will kick on and trade this autumn. There was also an increased cooperation between the sale companies, a welcome development that was seen to best effect at the amalgamated Arqana May and Goffs Breeze-Up Sale. As for the introduction of online bidding platforms, they have swiftly become a much needed support to the traditional sales arena, particularly at the horses in training sales where international trade is so important. Consider this: at the recent inaugural Tattersalls August Horses In Training Sale, 79 horses were sold online for a total of 1.6 million guineas, 19% of the sale’s entire turnover. “Online bidding has been a revelation,” says Jimmy George, Tattersalls’ Marketing Director. “We introduced it 12 years ago and it was probably a bit early then for the European market so we withdrew it. “But it had been bubbling away under development before this year and the reaction to it in the post-lockdown market has been fantastic.” Its popularity is obviously good news for the horses in training and breeding

Chad Brown (centre) and Mike Ryan have become big players at the Tattersalls sales

stock sector. However, the yearling and foal market is quite a different animal, given that it relies so much more on physical inspection. Yearling buyers will always act with more confidence with the horse there in front of them, and to that end, it is to be hoped that our sales are still able to attract their usual international audience despite the current challenges of the outside world. An increasingly important aspect of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale has been the participation of American-based buyers. Agent Mike Ryan and trainer Chad Brown set the ball rolling several years ago, coming away from Newmarket with champion Newspaperofrecord and the Graded stakes winners Demarchelier and Digital Age from their first foray into the market. Subsequent trips have also since yielded recent Saratoga Derby Invitational winner Domestic Spending. Prix Morny heroine Campanelle,

meanwhile, was sourced out of last year’s October Sale by American agent Ben McElroy on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm. As a measure of exactly how important American interests have become, statistics show that last year they accounted for 58 yearlings worth a total 13.45 million guineas out of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale. In turn, those graduates continue to fare well in America, which would make it all the more disappointing should American buyers have to scale down their involvement this year. The picture is still murky, according to Mike Ryan when asked by Owner Breeder. “We don’t know if we’ll be able to come,” he said. “Obviously we’re hoping that we can. But at the moment, we just don’t know what will happen.” A lot of work, however, is going on behind the scenes and as such, Tattersalls take a more positive position. “We’re very conscious of the challenges,” says George. “It is doable for American buyers to attend the sale in compliance with the full regulations, though it does mean people might have to make changes to their routine. “We’re doing our best to see if changes can be brought in to facilitate the participation of people attending on international business – we’re in regular contact with individuals at Cabinet level on that. And we’re also in constant contact with the buyers. They’re very aware of the success of European horses in America and are keen to attend.”

CAN THERE BE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? For the best part of 15 years, Galileo has carried all before him at stud and now at the age of 22 can boast a total of 17 Group/ Grade 1-producing sire sons to complement his reputation as one of the breed’s elite damsires. Now add another landmark to his illustrious career. Last month, Mac Swiney became the first stakes winner inbred to Galileo when successful in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh, a race that was appropriately also won by the horse’s sire New Approach and damsire Teofilo. Both horses were Jim Bolger masterpieces and indeed, it was Bolger who masterminded the breeding of Mac Swiney and is now revelling in his success as the horse’s owner and trainer. Bolger has never been afraid to think outside the box when it comes to bloodstock. For instance, he was the first to pursue

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the cross of Sea The Stars over his half-brother Galileo when the former retired to stud in 2010 and only days before Mac Swiney’s Group 2 win, had saddled Sasta, a Dawn Approach filly inbred 3x3 to Galileo, to win at Cork. Currently, Mac Swiney is the best of ten winners out of 31 runners and 74 named foals inbred to Galileo. With so many routes into the horse now available to breeders, the idea of doubling up on the supersire was always something that was only going to become more prevalent as time went on. But Mac Swiney’s development into one of the season’s best twoyear-olds will undoubtedly fuel interest in the pattern and who knows, perhaps he will even be good enough to play a hand in next year’s Derby, a race that has been dominated by Galileo blood in recent years and for which Mac Swiney is already 25/1.


07/09/2020 16:38


winner 100. German 1.000 Guineas, Gr.2

Classic contenders Miss Yoda

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

Talk to us and we will assist you!

Premier Yearling Sale 4th September 2020 October Mixed Sales 16th and 17th October 2020 entries close: Monday, 7th September

Sales Circuit • By Carl Evans

Tepid yearling trade points to challenging season ahead

A £170,000 son of Starspangledbanner led the way at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale

lower. Last year’s top lot was a £440,000 Kingman colt, this time it was a £170,000 Starspangledbanner colt, bought by Richard Ryan for a racing organisation called Teme Valley. Last year for the same client, Ryan spent £280,000 on a Wootton Bassett colt. Twelve months ago Oliver St Lawrence spent £260,000 on a Mehmas colt for Fawzi Nass, this time his biggest


Europe’s first yearling sale of 2020 took place more or less as planned, just a week later than initially scheduled, but without a Silver Sale to follow it into the ring. Unfortunately the Silver Sale was not the only absentee, for while a number of potential visitors would have been deterred from attending by travel restrictions, a no-show by Shadwell was a blow to vendors and the sales company. The leading buyer in each of the past five years, Shadwell’s Sheikh Hamdan bought 16 lots at the sale in 2019, adding just under £1.9 million to turnover. This was not the first time members of the Maktoum family have been key buyers at an auction one year and absent the next, but at a time when markets are jittery, solid support from leading players helps retain confidence. The Hong Kong Jockey Club was another buyer conspicuous by its absence, and while Coolmore’s M V Magnier bought the £440,000 top lot in 2019 – his only published purchase – he spent just £34,000 on a Churchill colt this time. Godolphin has rarely bought at the event, and did not do so on this occasion. Given the pandemic, no one expected trade to add to the gains enjoyed at this event last year, and with 45 fewer lots pulling on turnover, it fell 38% to £11,503,500. The average price was also down 27% at £34,034 and the median dropped 23% to a mark of £27,000. Six-figure lots fell from 35 to 12. On a brighter note the clearance rate, although down, was a highly worthy 84%, just three points down. A summary of the sale showed that Goffs UK attracted the buyers – both in person and online – but prices were


Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale

Anna Sundstrom enjoyed another successful foray into the Goffs UK market

TALKING POINT • Middleham Park Racing, the leading syndicate specialists, were among buyers at the Premier Sale taking a very positive view of racing’s future. They bought five horses, headed on the final day by a £110,000 Showcasing filly. Following that sale Tom Palin and Mike Prince claimed they had already sold, via social media, 50% of two horses they bought on day one. The buyers came from Middleham’s large customer base. Sharing the costs of owning racehorses is becoming more popular, and in a world of financial uncertainty, Middleham Park’s model continues to have a bright future.

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investment for the same owner was £115,000 for a son of Havana Gold. Breeze-up pinhooker Mick Murphy of Longways Stables went to £170,000 on a Muhaarar filly last year, this time his biggest investment was £95,000 on a Night Of Thunder colt. The list went on. What that should tell buyers considering investing in a yearling at forthcoming sales – and they have plenty of options – is that some lovely horses with very good pedigrees are likely to be available at affordable prices. This was a point firmly made by Lady Carolyn Warren of Highclere Stud, which last year was the leading consignor at the Premier Sale, selling 12 for £964,000. This time it took a smaller draft and sold eight for £232,000. Pinhookers felt the pinch on many a lot, but there were successes too, and when it came to beaming smiles, Anna Sundstrom of Coulonces Consignment produced two, the first when selling the top lot, the second when her daughter Moa, 19, consigned a Caravaggio colt she bred and sold for £85,000 to trainer Kevin Ryan. “Moa did the work and deserves every penny,” said her proud mum. The O’Callaghan family’s Tally-Ho Stud was the leading consignor, trading 21 lots for £739,500, while Peter and Ross Doyle took top-buyer honours when securing 19 for £997,000. The sight of Ross Doyle and trainer Richard Hannon eagerly seeking out the racy Doncaster types with which they have done so well down the years was a reassuring one.



07/09/2020 18:40

Sales Circuit Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


c Starspangledbanner – Dalakania

Coulonces Sales

Price (£) 170,000

Buyer Richard Ryan

c Dark Angel – Futoon

Grangemore Stud


John & Jake Warren

c Acclamation - Duchess Power

Longview Stud



c Acclamation - Crown Light

Tinnakill House


Richard Ryan

c Havana Gold - Majestic Alexander



Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock

c Kodi Bear – Usem

Lewinstown Farm & Lemongrove Stud


Phil Cunningham

f Showcasing - Sweet Alabama

WH Bloodstock


Middleham Park Racing

c Acclamation - Western Safari

Redpender Stud


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

c Dark Angel - Cut No Ice

Yeomanstown Stud



f Kodiac – Zvarkhova

Loughtown Stud


Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

f Mehmas – Applauding

Alice Fitzgerald


John & Jake Warren

c Dark Angel - Swiss Dream

Highclere Stud



Three-year tale Year


Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)



















Battered by the implications of Coronavirus this sale of unbroken store horses suffered a downturn in business that can only sound further alarm bells for impending auctions of jumping foals. Gordon Elliott and his bloodstock advisor, Mouse O’Ryan, did their bit to give the event a lift, leaving with the top two lots, including the headline act €300,000 half-sister to brilliant chaser Altior. Elliott seems to be ring-fencing his business with some well-heeled clients who are prepared to defy warnings of economic downturn and get on with enjoying the thrill of jump racing. Thank heavens for their input. Other buyers at this two-day event appeared to show caution or circumspection, although some were clearly grateful of a chance to grab a slice of value and spent accordingly. Colin Bowe, Ireland’s frequent champion point-to-point trainer and a man who has traded such horses as Samcro and Envoi Allen, increased his spend from €321,000 last year to €434,000 when buying nine horses, while his friend and training colleague Denis Murphy shelled out €407,000 on another nine.


Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale

This regally-bred Walk In The Park half-sister to Altior was the star of the show at €300,000

Among those taking a more cautious approach was the event’s leading buyers, the Doyle brothers of Monbeg Stables, who more or less halved their spend. Last year they bought 33 horses for €1,687,000, this time it was 24 lots for €863,000. A smaller catalogue and the loss of some choice lots which had to be

rerouted and offered at Doncaster resulted in a marked drop in turnover as that figure fell below €10m for the first time since 2012. Given that 96 fewer horses were available to view the clearance rate’s decline from 83% to 70% was disappointing, and while comparing the figures with last year is a debateable subject, a 19% decline in


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the average price was further evidence of a rough ride. So too was the fall in sixfigure lots, from 44 last year to 11. Altior’s half-sister who headed trade was a daughter of Walk In The Park and the Key Of Luck mare Monte Solaro, a winner over hurdles and the dam of four successful foals. In addition to Altior, they include the Grade 3-placed hurdler Princess Leya. She has been a wonderful asset to the Behan family who raced her, and who offered her latest three-yearold from Coole House Farm. On this occasion O’Ryan was able to reveal that he and Elliott had bought the filly for KTDA Racing’s David Page and Dave Rabson, who will race and then breed from their purchase. O’Ryan was less forthcoming about ownership plans for a Milan gelding he

Gordon Elliott: the purchaser of €561,000 worth of stock with Aidan O’Ryan

and Elliott bought and who headed the first day’s trade with a €195,000 valuation. Offered by Castledillon Stud, this one was a half-brother to Fayonagh, a fast bumper filly who won

Champion Bumpers at Cheltenham and Punchestown for Elliott before a suffering a fatal injury. Russell MacNabb secured a €155,000 Authorized gelding for Pat Gallagher at the Land Rover Sale, and he clinched another fine asset for the same racehorse owner when buying another jewel by Walk In The Park, this one a gelding who was sold for €195,000. Willie Mullins will be in charge of the youngster’s training schedule. Walk In The Park, a member of Coolmore’s roster of jumping sires, ran away with the leading sires’ position, his 19 lots selling for €1.3m at an average of €68,421. His fee at Grange Stud has been ‘private’ since he moved to Ireland from France at the end of 2015, but the 18-year-old son of Montjeu will not be friendless next covering season.

Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale Top lots Age/sex/breeding


Price (€)


3 f Walk In The Park - Monte Solaro

Paddy Behan/Coole House Farm


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

3 g Milan - Fair Ina

Castledillon Stud, agent


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

3 g Walk In The Park - Maple Lady

Redpender Stud


Gallagher Equine Ltd/R MacNabb

3 g Getaway - La Scala Diva

Castledillon Stud


Kevin Ross Bloodstock

3 g Kayf Tara – Triptoshan

Glenwood Stud


Gemma/Andrew Brown/Joey Logan

Three-year tale Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)



















Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale Created in 2018 as an early opportunity for store vendors to sell stock ahead of the bigger mid-summer auctions this sale had made pleasing progress from year one to two. That progress was halted by the arrival of Covid-19, and while it eventually took place more than three months later than initially scheduled the results were notably down. A clearance rate which had run at around 75% for the first two years fell to 58% and while the catalogue contained fewer lots, a halving in turnover was not a result that Tattersalls Ireland could have imagined at the turn of the year. Two three-year-old geldings headed

Sep_193_SaleCircuit2.indd 41



• Warwickshire-based Charlie Poste, a pinhooker whose wife Fran trains their store purchases to run in point-to-points, had talked of using caution ahead of the first, belated store sale held in early August. He has done well with May Store Sale purchases, and bought five lots for €99,000 at the sale in 2019. However, the early closure in March of the pointing season left him and many others with unsold stock. As a result, he bought just one horse at this year’s auction, a €28,000 son of Getaway. • At the end of Derby and May Store Sale week Tattersalls announced it had decided to withdraw from hosting and sponsoring the International Horse Trials to which it had given its name 15 years ago. It will continue to host other equestrian sports at Tattersalls Ireland’s Fairyhouse site, but the news was another reminder of the compression which the horse world faces from the economic decline caused by Covid-19. How deep that decline will be remains a debate for economic forecasters.



07/09/2020 18:40

Sales Circuit ›› trade with valuations of €40,000. The

first was a son of Spanish Moon, offered from the Bleahen family’s Lakefield Farm and sold to Hamish Macauley, and the second was a Springhill Stud-

consigned son of Snow Sky who fell to point-to-point rider Harley Dunne. Macauley said point-to-point trainer Matthew Flynn O’Connor will handle the Spanish Moon.

Geldings swamped the top-ten board, but a filly by Shade Oak Stud sire Telescope got among them when selling for €30,000 to Colin Bowe and his stable number one rider Barry O’Neill.

Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale Top lots Age/sex/breeding


Price (€)


3 g Spanish Moon - Mariane D’Anjou

Lakefield Farm


Hamish Macauley/Ballycrystal Stables

3 g Snow Sky – Sherwolf

Springhill Stud


Moffatt/Harley Dunne

3 g Kayf Tara - She Took A Tree

Ballincurrig House Stud



Three-year tale Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)



















The push-me pull-you nature of bloodstock sales 2020 was encapsulated in the run-up to, and running of, this sale of unbroken jumping stores. Initially set to take place in June until the killer illness and wrecking ball known as Covid-19 appeared, it was held in midAugust before a largely home-grown audience. Attempts to gain easy access for buyers based outside of Ireland were taken to government level, but the stipulation requiring a 14-day isolation period on arrival in the country would not be lifted. This led to several examples of détente which would have been highly unlikely in a ‘normal’ year, examples being the inclusion of Tattersalls Ireland’s Simon Kerins on the roster of Goffs auctioneers, and collaboration between bloodstock agents which saw those based in Ireland helping ‘colleagues’ who could not attend the sale in person because they were based outside the country. Trade could be termed satisfactory, although in the circumstances ‘surprisingly good’ might be a better description. Bear in mind some of the choice lots had been rerouted from this sale and offered at Doncaster a couple of weeks earlier as a way of assisting vendors at a time when crossing borders is fraught with challenges. The pick of this catalogue was offered on day one when there was strong demand for quality stock. Of the 220 lots offered in that first session,


Goffs Land Rover Sale

Gordon Elliott will train this son of Network, who led the Goffs Land Rover Sale at €185,000

189 found buyers, which equates to a very healthy 86% clearance rate. Day two, which involved a session of horses deemed just below the peak, proved much tougher for vendors as a clearance rate of 58% testifies. With 66 fewer lots offered across the whole sale turnover was always going to fall, and did so by 36% to a mark of €9,816,500, but falls of 12% in the average (€31,976) and 13% in the median (€26,000) have to be deemed much better than many would have expected. Plenty of circumspection is, however,

likely at the forthcoming November foal sales. Judging by this auction and the Summer Sale held by Goffs UK at Doncaster, it is extremely good news that trainer Gordon Elliott is very much alive and kicking from his base in County Meath. Elliott will be the chief sufferer of Michael O’Leary’s decision to gradually wind down his Gigginstown House Stud operation and pull out of racing – a five-year plan O’Leary announced in May 2019 – but the trainer is not sitting around hoping for a miracle.


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His phenomenal record of big-race victories – which includes no fewer than three Grand Nationals in his first 12 years of training – has impressed and attracted racehorse owners from far and wide, and at this sale he spent €520,000 on four lots during the first session. They included the €185,000 top lot, a son of Network from Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm, a €130,000 No Risk At All gelding from the same consignor, and a son of Kalanisi from Castletown Quarry Stud. Elliott and his bloodstock advisor Mouse O’Ryan rarely reveal client names, and it will be interesting to see whose colours these youngsters will carry. The same remark applies to Grand Roi, the four-year-old hurdler who Elliott bought at Doncaster for £400,000 when seeing off no less a rival than JP McManus. New faces, or existing owners becoming more involved, will be crucial to getting racing, breeding and

TALKING POINT • Pinhookers who buy unbroken jumpers with a view to running them in one or two point-to-points before reselling have become key buyers at the leading store sales. They were hit when point-to-pointing was shut down in March, leaving them with unraced or unsold stock, so how would they respond when another batch of lovely stores was available? The Doyle family of Monbeg Stables definitely drew their horns in at the Land Rover Sale, buying ten lots at the first session for €510,000 – last year they bought 22 for €938,000. Colin Bowe said he expected to buy fewer horses at better prices, but he only partly succeeded in that plan, apparently drawn to the goods on offer. Last year he bought three for €317,000, this time he bought seven, but managed to reduce his spend slightly, parting with €300,000. Meanwhile, a partnership involving agent Michael Shefflin and point-to-point owner Paul Holden upped their involvement when securing seven horses for €244,000. Holden’s daughter Ellmarie trains at stables in Kilkenny. bloodstock sales through the current choppy waters – but which some would say were bubbling before Covid-19 arrived – and so a €155,000 investment by Pat Gallagher of Gallagher Bloodstock in an Authorized gelding from Johnny Collins’ Brown Island

Stables was one notable and welcome transacton. Gallagher has owned winners, but this represented a change of gear. His emissary at the ring, Russell MacNabb, said Gary Moore would train the new purchase.

Goffs Land Rover Sale Top lots Age/sex/breeding


3 g Network - Tornade D’Ainay

Oak Tree Farm

Price (€) 185,000

Buyer Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

3 g Authorized – Tangaspeed

Brown Island Stables


Gallagher/Russell MacNabb

3 g Kalanisi – Mirazur

Castletown Quarry Stud


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

3 g No Risk At All - Roselia Rouge

Oak Tree Farm


Aidan O’Ryan/Gordon Elliott

3 g Buck’s Boum - Voix Du Coeur

Clifton Farm


Margaret O’Toole/Tom Malone

Three-year tale Year


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)



















Unplanned until Covid-19 disrupted racing and the sales calendar, this threeday event at Tattersalls’ Newmarket headquarters proved successful on several levels. After a slow start with some breeding stock, it gathered pace during two days of horses in training, reaching a 95% clearance rate on the final day. That carried the overall percentage of cleared horses to one of 91%, so it certainly fulfilled its remit of selling the goods on offer. It gained good prices for enviable lots, with six horses breaking the six-figure mark headed by a trio who fell to Ted Voute. He was buying for Najd Stud Company, a Saudi Arabian-based entity.

Sep_193_SaleCircuit2.indd 43


Tattersalls August Sale

›› Ted Voute struck online at 220,000gns for Walkinthesand at the Tattersalls August Sale THE OWNER BREEDER 43

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Sales Circuit



Ted Voute: purchased the top three lots on behalf of Saudi Arabian-based interests


Walkinthesand, a four-year-old colt with a BHA rating of 110 and consigned from Richard Hannon’s yard on behalf of well-known owner Saeed Suhail, proved to be the top lot when making 220,000gns. In a busy spree on the final afternoon, Voute also paid 185,000gns for To Nathaniel, a three-time winner for John Gosden, and 180,000gns for Tell Me All, a dual winner at two for Sir Mark Prescott. In a classic case of online shopping, Voute’s purchases were carried out from the comfort of his home in StratfordUpon-Avon. He had visited the sales on the first day, arranged “a slew” of vettings and then created a short list of possible purchases before heading back to Warwickshire. From there he bid using Tattersalls’ online service, and commented later that it worked smoothly, and was probably better than being in the ring. Watching his screen, he was able to note rival bids coming in from a potential buyer in Bahrain, although he would not have known their identity. Of the other trio of six-figure horses, sprinter Swindler from Andrew Balding’s stable and Buffer Zone from the yard

• Is the August Sale here to stay? The general opinion was that its timing worked well in comparison to the July Sale, giving owners and trainers slightly longer in the season to race and assess horses, and enabling them to run at such major meetings as Goodwood and York before heading to the ring. Agent Will Douglass said it worked well for his Qatari clients, whose season restarts when the weather cools in September. Tattersalls’ Chairman Edmond Mahony kept the door ajar on a possible restaging next year, although with sales at Deauville and Doncaster around the same time, plus the York race meeting, there is much to ponder. In addition the July Sale, July race meeting and various stallion parades form a dovetail to lift Newmarket as a social gathering point and hub of business. • Perhaps worryingly for racing, 775 horses were catalogued for the August Sale, to go with 572 at the July Sale, a total of 1,347 horses whose owners and trainers entered to sell. Given economic concerns relating to the fallout from Covid, that suggests a lot of owners are reducing stock or heading for the door marked exit. Backing that up is the figure of 840, which is the total of horses sold at both this year’s July and August Sales combined. That compares to 535 sold at last year’s July Sale. In other words, an additional 305 horses (most of which were in training) have been sold at Tattersalls’ two in-training sales to the end of August. A more revealing set of figures, however, will relate to Tattersalls’ Autumn Horses-inTraining Sale at the end of October, traditionally the biggest auction of its kind and coming at the end of the turf season. Will it be a smaller catalogue due to horses having been placed in the August Sale, or will that exit trickle be gathering pace? • Buying horses online via a computer seems to have come of age in 2020, hastened towards an established place in the auction world by the restrictions Covid places on travel – or the fear of catching the virus through being at an auction. Ironically, following much debate about transparency, a person bidding in the ring against an online bidder now has no chance of knowing who they are or were up against. Admittedly, bidders who are at a sale often tuck themselves out of sight to try and keep their identity hidden until the hammer falls, but an online bidder is truly obscure. of Ger Lyons were bought by Bahrain trainer Fawzi Nass in conjunction with his advisor Oliver St Lawrence, while BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe gained the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Vindicate for Saudi Arabian clients. Middle Eastern investment played a big part in shifting higher-end horses, and while many international buyers

from racing nations large and small were notable by their absence – denied travel through Covid-related restrictions – horses at all prices found buyers. Online bidding certainly helped, with 79 horses being bought by online bidders and a further 93 being underbid. A total of 1,600,000gns was turned over via that service.

Tattersalls August Horses in Training Sale Top lots Name/age/sex/breeding


Price (gns)


Walkinthesand 4 c Footstepsinthesand – Masseera

East Everleigh Stables


Voute Sales

To Nathaniel 3 c Nathaniel - Too The Stars

Clarehaven Stables/The Castlebridge Consignment


Voute Sales

Tell Me All 3 g Lope De Vega - Confidential Lady

Cheveley Park Stud/Heath House Stables


Voute Sales

Swindler 4 g Invincible Spirit - Priceless Jewel

Ed Walker Racing


Oliver St Lawrence B/S

Buffer Zone 5 g Bated Breath – Buffering

Glenburnie Stables/The Castlebridge Consignment


Oliver St Lawrence B/S

Vindicate 3 c Lope De Vega – Aurore

Freemason Lodge Stables


BBA Ireland

Figurees Year


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)









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Europe’s leading sale consignor is taking entries for the Foal and Mare Sales at Tattersalls and Goffs

If you would like to discuss selling with us, please contact either: Bill Dwan (+353 87 648 5587) or Andrew Mead (+44 7940 597573)

Sales Circuit Tattersalls Online August Sale

This was Tattersalls’ second online sale following one held on the eve of Royal Ascot. Whether such pioneering events have a future among traditional sales it is too early to say, but the story so far is of high reserves and low clearance rates, with good sums available for the right horses. Just two of five lots sold at Tattersalls’ inaugural event, while just five of 15 changed hands at this auction. However, each sale turned over just under £600,000, and while Tattersalls will have incurred software start-up costs to enable buyers to register and place bids, not to mention marketing investment, such events are a lot cheaper to stage than traditional sales. For the purchasing of foals, yearlings, stores and broodmares – let alone breezers and young jumpers – it is hard to imagine they could out-perform

TALKING POINT • The stand-out in the catalogue was exciting two-year-old filly Aloha Star, who had finished second in the Phoenix Stakes a few days before the auction opened, although she was subsequently demoted to third. Buyers would have been fully aware of her additional black type, but at £600,000 she was bought in by her vendor. So too were the next four lots in the notional top lots board, their prices ranging from £230,000 up to £340,000. If online auctions gain a reputation for attracting horses with unrealistic valuations the image of such auctions could become tarnished. For now it is a path-finding exercise, and every lot a welcome guinea pig. in-the-flesh auctions, but for transactions involving horses in training with form in the book there is lots of potential. For a company like Tattersalls that could mean offering horses trained around the world, and not solely from the company’s traditional sources based in Britain, Ireland and France. An international flavour was apparent

at this sale and could be found in the £175,000 top lot, Limerick maiden winner Great House, a December-foaled colt of 2016. He is set to race in Australia after being bought by Highclere Racing, which has begun putting together syndicates down under. A son of Galileo, Great House was offered from Donnacha O’Brien’s stable.

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


Price (gns)


Great House 4 c Galileo – Anja

Bawnmore Racing (Donnacha O’Brien)


Highclere T/Bred Racing

Akhania 7 m Dalakhani – Fidelite

Fernham Farm


Alex Elliott, agent

Meaningful Vote 3 c Pivotal – Adore

Thomastown Castle Stables (Fozzy Stack)


Peter Chu

Figures Year 2020


Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)






Tattersalls Ireland August Sale Parts I & II

Tattersalls Ireland made changes to the format for the final sale of the year dedicated to unbroken jumping stores in Britain and Ireland. Cutting it from three days to two, the sales company made the first day a select event, giving late-maturing three-year-olds a slightly higher profile as part of their presentation, but it maintained the open nature of the second day. Initially there was to be a third day, but with so many upheavals in the sales calendar it was a blessing that it took place in any format. British buyers were absent due to the need for those entering Ireland from abroad to self-isolate for two weeks, and that requirement also meant the ubiquitous trainer Gordon Elliott and his bloodstock-buying pal Mouse O’Ryan were unable to attend. The two men have been key buyers at all the sales of jumping stock in 2020, but had attended Newmarket earlier in the week where they

TALKING POINT • Under the watchful eye of Covid-19, the annual round of store sales in Britain and Ireland showed downturns in horses offered, turnover and clearance rate. A number of horses would have been sold off the farm as vendors sought to generate cash flow during the early months of uncertainty in the spring, but the drop in turnover of nearly €16m is harsh for sales companies who pulled out all the stops to stage auctions in trying circumstances. Taking the results from Tattersalls Ireland’s May, Derby and August Sales, Doncaster’s Summer (Spring) Sale, Goffs’ Land Rover Sales Parts I & II and the additional Monday afternoon in Doncaster when 55 Derby and Land Rover horses went under the hammer, 533 fewer stores were offered (1,454, down from 1,987), and 510 fewer found a buyer (1,027 sold in 2020, 1,537 sold in 2019). The clearance rate dropped six points to one of 71%. Turnover for these sales came in at €28,080,629, a fall of 36% on the 2019 figure of €43,946,594 (this after converting Doncaster’s Sterling turnover into Euros at 0.89 to the Pound). The above data once again ignores Doncaster’s August Sale where 56 stores were offered, but whose figures are combined with horses in training. spent 60,000gns on two horses at Tattersalls’ August Sale. They still made an impact at Tattersalls Ireland’s Fairyhouse complex, buying the top lot at this sale through Mouse’s father,

Bobby O’Ryan. His €54,000 investment in a Soldier Of Fortune filly, offered by Michael Browne under the Mocklershill Stables banner and foaled by the mare Didn’t I Tell You, was a price that was


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beaten twice last year when geldings by Davidoff and Westerner made €80,000 and €72,000 respectively. The Davidoff was bought by Donnchadh Doyle of Monbeg Stables and given the name Magic Tricks. He subsequently finished a promising second of ten in an Irish point-to-point just ahead of the shutdown of racing and all the spring sales due to Covid-19. Horses like him were therefore caught up waiting for a first or second run – or a sale at which to be offered – which impacted on their trainers’ ability to

restock with fresh stores. Given that and the impending squeeze on economies, let alone question marks over racing and the return to full-scale sport in front of paying customers, a clearance rate of 69% at Part I of this auction and 70% at Part II were acceptable figures. Last year’s sale managed a 68% clearance, although it was considerably bulkier with 669 horses on offer, compared to 300 at Parts I & II combined this time. So the buyers were present, and prepared to buy horses, but at a lower

level. Comparisons of the average and median prices with last year were irrelevant, but while the number of €50,000 horses was reduced to one from four last year and six the year before, the average price of €8,550 at Part I was on a par with the 2019 figure. The second day’s Part II catalogue achieved an average of just €4,244 and two joint-top lots of €15,000 for geldings by Milan and just-retired Flemensfirth. There’s not much meat in the sandwich for store vendors given those sort of returns.

Tattersalls Ireland August Sale Part I Top lots Age/sex/breeding


Price (€)


3 f Soldier Of Fortune - Didn’t I Tell You

Mocklershill Stables


Bobby O’Ryan/Aidan O’Ryan

3 g Court Cave - Willoughby Sue

J & S Kidd from Boardsmill Stud


Brian Loughnane

3 g Kalanisi - Silver Charmer

Boardsmill Stud


Kevin Ross Bloodstock/Imperial Racing

Figures Year 2020


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)






Tattersalls Ireland August Sale Part II Top lots Age/sex/breeding


Price (€)


3 g Milan - Fuel Queen

MCC Farms


Alex Ott

3 g Flemensfirth - Lunar Beauty

Peter Nolan Bloodstock


Joseph O’Brien

3 f Sageburg - Tilly Ann

Charles Simpson from Lowtown Stables


Norman Lee Racing

Figures Year 2020


Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)







for all your consigning needs please contact either: Bill Dwan (+353 87 648 5587) or Andrew Mead (+44 7940 597573)

Sep_193_SaleCircuit2.indd 47


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Sales Circuit Canadian Premier Yearling Sale

There was a glimpse into what the future holds for the North American market in the Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, Canada’s flagship yearling event staged at Woodbine racetrack, writes Nancy Sexton. With a smaller catalogue, there was always going to be the threat of a drop in turnover and that played out, as total sales diminished by 12% from last year to C$2,795,300 for 142 yearlings sold. The average also took a hit, falling by nine per cent to C$19,685, although that figure reflects well against 2018, when 152

horses averaged C$18,532. Also missing were the usual handful of six-figure lots, with a transaction of C$90,000 enough to secure top billing compared to C$240,000 12 months ago. What was encouraging, however, was the level of actual trade. The clearance rate of 72% was a major improvement on 2019, when 64% of horses found new homes in the ring. In addition, there was a 11.5% rise in the median price to C$14,500. The sale’s highlight came early on into the session when John di Sciola paid C$90,000 for a son of leading Canadian sire Old Forester from Bernard

McCormack’s Cara Bloodstock. A half-brother to three winners, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Smarty Jones mares Holidaysatthefarm. John Sikura’s Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency, which maintains a major presence in both Kentucky and Canada, supplied each of the other three lots to break the C$80,000 barrier. They were led by a daughter of Kentucky sire Mr. Speaker, who realised C$82,000 to owner Jim Menzies of Piano Bar Racing, and a colt by veteran Canadian champion Langfuhr, who made the same amount to owner Derek Chin.

Canadian Premier Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding


Price (C$)


c Old Forester - Holidaysatthefarm

Cara Bloodstock


John di Sciola

f Mr. Speaker - She Stands Proud

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency


Jim Menzies

c Langfuhr - Sweet Bama Breeze

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency


Derek Chin

Figures Year 2020


Agg (C$)

Average (C$)

Median (C$)

Top price (C$)






5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms Overlooking Eel Brook Common South West Facing Garden Approximately 2,867 sqft


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

AMONGST THE TOP FIRST SEASON SIRES IN EUROPE IN 2020 • ONLY 3YO EVER to win Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint • Won 6 races at 2, 3 and 5 years and $1,424,417 in the USA and Ireland – all on Turf • Sire of 7 individual winners of 10 races (to 7th Sept 2020) • Only stallion son of KITTEN’S JOY (Champion Turf racehorse and multiple US Champion sire) in England and Ireland


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

A LEADING EUROPEAN SIRE IN 2020 • Sire of 25 individual Black-type horses to date including: ALPINE STAR (Gr.1 winner at 3 in 2020 and Gr.2 winner at 2) QUEST THE MOON (Gr.2 winner and Gr.1-placed in 2020, and Gr.3 winner x 2) WONDERFUL MOON (Gr.2 and Gr.3 winner in 2020, and Gr.3 winner at 2) • Sire of 2 Champion 2yo’s in Germany. • 2nd only to GALILEO in order of % Black-type winners to runners in 2020 with 8.33% (as at 17th August 2020)


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

A POTENT MIX OF SPEED & STAMINA • Undefeated Champion 2yo; Champion 3yo and Derby winner • Sire of 47 individual Stakes horses including Gr.1 winners WAKE FOREST and SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD • Sire of 82 lifetime individual 2yo winners • The last respresentative of the MILL REEF sire line at stud in England and Ireland


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

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

First Foals 2021

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

i n fo @ l a n • w w w.lanwade s.c om • Te l: + 44 ( 0) 1638 750222

LANWADES Lanwades_FP_Owner_Sept20.indd 1

The independent option TM

07/09/2020 17:09


Bloodstock breeding

Coronavirus and commerciality Covid-19 has affected businesses across every sector, not least bloodstock sales. It is possible many bloodstock breeders will see a decline in profits this year with losses more than likely.

The last few months have seen drastic changes in many sectors in the UK in how they operate in a bid to overcome the impacts of Covid-19. The British bloodstock industry has seen the cancellation and rearranging of several bloodstock sales, the suspension (and now resumption) of racing behind closed doors with numerous new safety measures put into place. There is a very real possibility that bloodstock businesses may see a severe financial impact this year and it remains to be seen how damaging this will be given the seasonality of sales in the UK. The issues relate not only to weak sales but also the impact on valuation of mares. Given the prospect of losses this year it is a good time to consider how these losses can be used in the context of the owner’s tax position. When a business generates a tax loss for a particular period, the owners will usually seek to claim loss relief in the most beneficial way. In order

Smith & Williamson OB Sept 2020 dps.indd 2

to be eligible to claim the loss against other income the business must be trading and the trade must be carried on throughout the period ‘on a commercial basis with a view to the realisation of profit’. ‘On a commercial basis’ has been the subject of many tax tribunals over the years, concluding that business owners must be seen to be displaying business acumen and operating the business in a similar way to competitors within their industry. “With a view to the realisation of profit” is slightly easier to address as business plans and financial forecasts will be of real importance here. If it can be easily demonstrated that income will eventually outweigh expenditure (within a reasonable amount of time) then this test could be met. This second test identifies some difficulties when looking at bloodstock breeding – what is a reasonable amount of time and what happens when a foal

(or mare) is sold at a loss for example? From HMRC’s perspective stud farming is taken to mean the occupation of land for the purpose of breeding thoroughbred horses. It is also considered to be a farming activity which is the occupation of land wholly or mainly for the purposes of husbandry. Traditional farming businesses (arable, livestock etc) that meet the conditions of trade loss relief i.e. commercial basis and with a view to realisation of profit are caught by the ‘hobby farming’ rules. These rules restrict loss relief for farming businesses where losses are made in the previous five years (or six years for a new business only). As many bloodstock breeders will know, unless a foal becomes very attractive as a result of success in its lineage it is difficult to generate a profit within the opening five/six years of operations;

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especially considering the upfront costs such as nomination fees and the keep costs over the years. This was addressed in part by HMRC and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association in 1982 when it was established that bloodstock breeding is deemed a long-term venture and loss relief (for commercial trades) would be available up to 11 years after commencement of the business, compared to the standard five years for other farming businesses. This does provide some comfort for thoroughbred breeders.

In summary, HMRC treats bloodstock breeding the same as any other business albeit with a potentially longer timescale for making an initial profit. However, the underlying position of a profitable operation and actively managed commercially (including in the initial 11-year period) are still crucial to any successful loss relief claim. Breeding can be a difficult business but many wise and experienced breeders regularly make profits. However, with the impacts of Covid-19 being felt around the industry, even experienced breeders may find

themselves in a precarious profitability position this year. Robust business plans and financial forecasts are now more important than ever in the case of justifying the commerciality and return to profitability for breeding businesses.

Penelope Lang Partner, Smith & Williamson LLP t: 01722 431 064 e: Offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton.

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at 14/08/2020. Tax legislation is that prevailing at the time, is subject to change without notice and depends on individual circumstances. Clients should always seek appropriate tax advice from their financial adviser before making financial decisions. Smith & Williamson LLP Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International. The word partner is used to refer to a member of Smith & Williamson LLP. 113320lw.

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21/08/2020 13:54

ROA Forum

The special section for ROA members

JCR relaxes on-course filming policy


he Jockey Club has announced an update and relaxation to its policy for on-course filming during August. The policy provides clarity for owners on what can be filmed and where, and how that content may be used. The policy states: All parties attending racedays at Jockey Club Racecourses may use smartphones to film content for personal use from any area their ticket/badge/accreditation allows, except within BHA-controlled integrity areas, including the stables and weighing room. For parties with valid access to racing areas – such as owners and trainers – smartphone filming is permitted in the pre-parade ring, parade ring and winner’s enclosure. Any filming should not inhibit interviews or broadcast operations being undertaken in these areas by rightsholders ITV, Racing TV and the Racecourse CCTV broadcast. All parties should take great care when filming, particularly in proximity to racehorses. If JCR considers anything to present a health and safety concern we will take steps to mitigate this and ask for the cooperation and understanding of all parties concerned. Content may be published on personal platforms, including social media accounts. Live broadcasts are not permitted due to media rights restrictions, so content should be

Jockey Club Racecourses’ new policy applies to the 15 tracks in its portfolio

• •

recorded on smartphones and then posted. For the avoidance of doubt, racing clubs and syndicates are permitted to gather and publish content from JCR racedays on their branded social media, online and closed-loop platforms. Any content filmed on-course may not be exploited commercially or licensed to any third party. Commercial entities may not gather and publish content without the prior agreement of the racecourse executive and Racecourse Media Group. Professional filming equipment is not permitted on-course for health

and safety reasons, without the prior agreement of the racecourse executive and RMG. Professional quality digital replays of all races staged at JCR may be obtained via Racecourse Media Group through broadcasting.requests@ No filming of any races can take place. Jockey Club Racecourses operates.

Fifteen racecourses where this policy applies: Aintree, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Huntingdon, Haydock Park, Kempton Park, Market Rasen, Newmarket – July Course and Rowley Mile, Nottingham, Sandown Park, Warwick and Wincanton.

Filly foals registration The Great British Bonus (GBB) is an industry-wide prize scheme for breeders and owners of British-bred Flat and jump fillies. Owners, breeders and winning connections of each horse can win up to £20,000 per eligible race. The scheme is open to GB-bred fillies on the Flat and jumps who qualify under the following categories:

• 100% GBB – up to £20,000 bonus

per race, for foals born in GB, sired by stallions standing in GB.

• 50% GBB – up to £10,000 bonus

per race, for foals born in GB, sired by stallions standing abroad.


The Covid-19 pandemic and issues at the Animal Health Trust impacted on workloads around this year’s foal registration deadline and the final registration date for 2020 filly foals has been extended to October 31. The final registration date for 2019 filly yearlings remained August 31, ensuring that the status of eligibility for fillies with a GB suffix in this season’s yearling sales is clearly known. No concessions will be made for late registrants. The Great British Bonus is predominantly funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and registration fee income from owners and breeders.

Full details of eligibility, registration, bonuses and qualifying races can be found at


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Giving owners a voice: a message from a member


The ROA has been receiving a high volume of feedback from members around the impact of Covid-19 on their ownership experiences. The email below expressed the sentiments of one owner. Owners have adapted to new protocols following racing’s resumption

Dear ROA team, My wife and I have three racehorses in training. In July the training fees were £9,535.08 including VAT. Weatherbys costs were an additional £1036.38 including jockeys’ fees and entry fees for four races and other entry fees that were not declared. The total income was £226.26 prizemoney for one placed horse. The net cost is £10,345.20, of which we will receive a VAT refund on the training fees. Each race cost us over £500 in horse transport, trainer expenses, entry fees and jockey fees. We also have a retired nine-year-old gelding and a four-year-old mare that never ran who is now in foal. In normal economic circumstances we may have considered the purchase of a yearling but this is totally out of the question and there will be mounting pressure to reduce our responsibilities. We regard the horses as part of the family and would not put them through the sale ring not knowing their fate. The racing industry must appreciate that many owners at grassroots level will leave racing, as the costs compared to enjoyment and prize-money cannot be justified. Racecourses do their best to provide a service to owners and our experiences at Kempton, Lingfield, Sandown, Bath and Salisbury have all been similar. The staff try their best but the overall experience is sterile and disappointing. This probably accounts for the low turnout of owners. We fear we are seeing a widening divide between the rich owners and those at grassroots level. Whereas many wealthy owners will not be affected by reduced prize-money and the current economic downturn, the average small owner certainly will. Our suggestion is for owners to be helped towards the costs of sending a horse to the races. Training fees will depend on where the horse is trained and some savings can be made if needed by finding a lower cost trainer. The raceday costs are, to a large extent, fixed. The beneficiaries of all races are the betting industry, racecourses, trainers, jockeys and staff, all funded by owners who receive a very poor return on their investment. This is a worrying situation that could, left unchecked, lead to racecourses closing, smaller trainers going out of business and owners leaving the sport. From an ROA member living in Wiltshire

Palace House

The National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House in Newmarket reopened its doors to visitors in July. The centre, situated on the fiveacre Palace House site in the heart of Newmarket, is definitely one for the bucket list for horseracing fans. The site comprises three linked areas; the National Horseracing Museum, the Fred Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art in Palace House, and the Rothschild Yard, the flagship yard for charity Retraining of Racehorses. Visits typically take from three hours to a full day. Visitors can enjoy multi-media guides, family trails and interactive exhibits suitable for all ages. It is an accessible site with step-free access to all areas. There’s something for everyone, with The Tack Room restaurant, a gift shop and adjacent car parking. Further details can be found at The museum is currently open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Tickets must be booked in advance by calling 01638 667314. To take advantage of a discount on annual admission passes simply log onto the members’ area and use the discount code.

Racing Post Members’ Club

Racing Post Members’ Club Ultimate offers a suite of racing information with news, ratings, stats, tipping and offers. The resource is a must for any owner, providing access to horse form, pedigrees, results analysis, Racing TV replays and much more. ROA members can enjoy a discounted subscription, with 12 months for the price of nine (£261.75 saving £87.25). Members’ Club Ultimate provides access to the digital newspaper so you can also view every page of the paper on your phone, tablet or computer the night before publication. ROA members should log into the members’ area at to find out how to secure this discount.


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07/09/2020 18:17

ROA Forum


The McMurrays find true love with their first racehorse purchase

Claire, Jordan, Oliver and Ray McMurray after Happy Romance captured the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes at York in August


o say that the McMurray family have enjoyed beginners’ luck with their first horse, Happy Romance, is to put it extremely mildly. That is not to say, however, they did not play a big part in creating that good fortune, for it was through Oliver McMurray’s diligent study of a few trainers’ sales purchases that the bay daughter of Dandy Man entered their lives, and changed them for the better. While son Oliver, having completed his pedigree research and assessment, knew what he wanted, dad Ray and mum Claire were blissfully unaware of their soon-to-be association with the Richard Hannon yard and a filly who would turn out to be a spectacularly shrewd purchase. Oliver explains: “I registered dad’s email address with the Hannon stable without him knowing, and then he got a call from Richard while on holiday in Italy – it was a bit of a surprise to say the least! But two weeks later we were down the yard, and owning a horse.”

“The sport is made out to be elitist but that’s not what we have found” That juvenile had won four of her six starts at the time of writing, notably the Weatherbys Super Sprint, Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sales race and Group 3 Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes, in the process banking over £195,000. Oh, and she was fifth in the Group 2 Queen Mary before winning at Newbury. “I’ve always liked racing but the intensity and passion has grown in the last few years,” says Oliver. “I got more interested at 18, when I was able to go and legally bet, and am 23 now. We

love Ascot and Newbury, which are 15 minutes away, and Cheltenham. I just threw the suggestion out there to dad about potentially getting a horse. “I’d seen Richard had been to the sales, so I went through his purchases, and a few other trainers too, and landed on ‘Happy’. I liked what I saw of her pedigree, and Richard does well with two-year-olds, and fillies generally, and is only 20 minutes away. “I’d like to start breeding in future, so a filly appealed, and of course they are generally cheaper than colts.” Having got off to a flying start with their first horse, a question about whether the family would likely be adding to Happy Romance had barely been asked before Oliver fires back: “She won’t be the last, not a chance! Dad has had some buzz off it. For Newbury it was me and dad who went, and for York it was me, dad, mum and my sister Jordan. We stayed up at York the night before, and the night of the race.


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Happy Romance makes it four wins from six starts in the Group 3 Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on September 3

“I had a message from Meg Nicholls the other day, wondering what our chances of getting a jumper were, but we’ll get the Flat season out of the way first!” To have two or three magical moments already in the memory is some going, and Oliver continues: “York was nearly ten years to the day since we celebrated my grandad’s 70th birthday at the Ebor meeting; he’s an Irishman and I got into horseracing through his interest, really. “Newbury and York were both fantastic days, and Royal Ascot was special too. Not being allowed to go when you have a two-year-old run at Royal Ascot was a bit of a shame, but it’s the time we’re in. “It’s a joke really, the start we have had with our first horse. People have said to us that an owner might have to wait until their tenth or 15th horse to have one like it, or maybe never have a horse as good as we’ve got. “We do realise how lucky we are, and know that it’s not like this all the time;

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Richard’s told us he’ll bring us back down to earth!” He continues: “Apart from winning with Happy, being around the set-up at Richard’s has been a really good aspect of being racehorse owners. We didn’t know what to expect, and the sport is made out to be elitist, but that’s not what we have found at all. “Meeting Richard, and Richard snr, it’s all been a special experience, totally different to just being a racing fan and punter.” It’s also very different from the day job, which for Oliver, Ray and Claire means the family’s property development company, while Jordan is a paramedic. Ray adds: “I’ve always been interested in horses. I had a pony when I was younger, while my uncle had horses good enough to join the Irish equestrian team. Oliver’s interest, mind, is at another level. “I know what he’s looking at on his phone at work – it’s not fast cars or women, it’s horses! - and Richard Hannon calls him ‘The Encyclopedia’.”

The Encyclopedia has been impressed with how Sean Levey has ridden Happy Romance on all six starts, though he admits it’s hard to look beyond Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore in talking of favourite jockeys, while in terms of future targets for their filly, there is plenty to discuss. The Firth of Clyde Stakes, the Middle Park and the Moyglare were all in the mix at the time of speaking with the McMurrays, while of course with an exciting juvenile filly, it would be entirely forgivable if the mind wandered into 2021 and races such as the Fred Darling and 1,000 Guineas. Should Happy Romance continue her ascent, she will, of course, attract further admiring glances, and possibly hard-toresist offers. For now, however, the family is more than happy to enjoy the ride, knowing they have had a rare and amazing start to life as racehorse owners. “I’d like to breed from her, and we’d all like to keep her; there are no thoughts of anything else right now.” affirms Oliver.


07/09/2020 18:17

ROA Forum

INDUSTRY UPDATE Levy Board funding

In August the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) agreed to fund requests from racing for £3.2m of immediate and short-term funding. The Levy Board acted swiftly during August to a request for additional funding of £259,000 for the month of September to cover potential divided races. The Levy Board agreed to fund £1.46m of racecourse reconfiguration costs. These are one-off costs incurred by racecourses to meet regulatory standards and guidance for hosting fixtures in the current environment. A cap of £75,000 per course is in place across all racecourses meaning that 34 of the 40 racecourses with costs to date will be funded in full. A process for reclaiming expenditure has been agreed with the Racecourse Association. The Levy Board also agreed the funding of £1.5m for PPE and face coverings used on racedays and a process for reclaiming expenditure was agreed with the BHA.

Pontefract takes the plaudits

We would like to thank members who have provided feedback on their raceday experiences over the past two months. We appreciate it has been a challenging time for owners who haven’t been able to enjoy access to the parade ring and contact with their horse, trainer and jockey on the racecourse. All feedback received has been shared with industry stakeholders to

on the PASS message. Staff were welcoming and helpful at every stage – observing too that full cleaning of tables and chairs were made after each use. “All in all they get full marks from us for a safe but high quality owner experience in these difficult times.”

The raceday experience at Pontefract has been commended by members

help shape and improve the delivery of the raceday experience. A number of racecourses stood out in their delivery of experience to owners. Excellent feedback was received from owners who attended Goodwood, York and Pontefract, in particular. Mr and Mrs O’Brien, of Lovely Bubbly Racing, contacted us to say: “We attended Pontefract as owners on August 14 and wanted to express our appreciation for the exceptional effort made by the course management to make the day very enjoyable. “The quality of the meal was excellent – and three courses at that – plus a free glass of bubbly, viewing arrangements were varied and very good. Though it did not affect us, the arrangements to celebrate a winner were notable and very commendable – I hope some were there to take full advantage. “The course had taken the trouble to do a power point illustration of zones on the website and a very comprehensive informative addendum

Appearance Money Scheme

Racehorse owners have warmly welcomed the re-introduction of the Appearance Money Scheme from September 1. The scheme, designed to improve the return to owners at the middle and lower tiers, sees qualifying races making payments of £300 on the Flat and £350 over jumps for horses finishing between fifth and eighth place. The scheme includes some enhancements in the area of eligible steeplechases. These enhancements involve making payments to the remainder of the field, subject to horses meeting minimum rating requirements. Race values can be viewed in full on

Prize-money positives

Redcar has announced an increase to the majority of prize-money values on September 15 and 23. The value of Pontefract’s 6f Class 2 EBF fillies’ handicap on September 17 has been increased by £10,000 and is now worth £30,000. On September 24, the value of Pontefract’s Class 4 EBF fillies’ nursery handicap has been increased by £3,000 to £10,000.

News in brief Live racing data

Ascot racecourse has announced a collaboration with Total Performance Data (TPD) as its tracking data distribution partner, to leverage integrations with broadcasters, bookmakers, form websites and pro punters around the world. Ascot has been producing tracking data for some years through its partnership with Longines Swiss Timing. TPD currently provides live tracking data from 37 racecourses worldwide. The agreement will see TPD

commercialise and broaden the reach of Ascot’s existing Flat tracking data and make use of TPD’s tracking system so that Ascot’s jump racing fixtures can offer time and stride data. Sky Sports Racing and AtTheRaces. com were able to use this partnership to show live split times and post-race data for this year’s Royal Ascot.

Vaccination records

Following the successful introduction of the digital capturing of vaccination records earlier this summer, owners and trainers are reminded that a

valid historical vaccination record and supporting passport pictures for approval must be submitted for all horses well in advance of making an entry. Failure to submit vaccination records will result in the horse not being able to race. Vaccination records also need to be uploaded and up to date on the app when the horse is being returned in training. Check with your trainer or contact the Weatherbys support team on 01933 440011 if you have any questions or require assistance.


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NUTRITION FOR LIFE The Dodson & Horrell breeding range looks after the specific needs of horses at stud, starting from conception right through to the sales ring. The range recognises the different needs of different breeds throughout the year and provides the right level of nutritional support.

For more information call 01832 737300 or visit

The GBB Observer View from the boundary… Interview with David Redvers after his £40,000 purchase of SPRIGHT, for himself and friends, won at Chester. Your win with SPRIGHT is proof positive that the smaller owner and cheaper yearling purchases are taking their share of the Bonuses. How much is this scheme needed at this time to give encouragement to owners at all levels?

Will the scheme encourage breeders to use GB stallions and encourage future stallion investment?

The Great British Bonus is a critical tool to enable British breeders and trainers to market their stock to owners. Chester is one of the few tracks making significant executive contributions in the wake of Covid-19, so Spright was running for a reasonable prize – but the GBB turned a good result into a fantastic one. Results like that change behaviour and incentivise owners to buy GB-bred fillies to race.

Does the scheme help the smaller breeder keep cherished bloodlines – either racing themselves or leasing to syndicates?

I believe it will certainly help at the commercial end of the market.

Knowing that your homebred filly might now cover her training fees is certainly a help, both to the breeder and the syndicator. Will pinhookers pick up on the scheme? The clever ones will!

The thought process behind the GBB scheme was to try to drive up the prices of fillies in the sales ring, to help the smaller breeder. What are your thoughts on this?

Would you like to see the scheme extended – if so, into what areas?

I’d like to think the bonus will drive up the prices of GB-bred fillies, but, realistically, over the next few years, the bonus will safeguard and shore up the market for fillies – whereas, without it, the market might collapse completely.

Let’s see how the market reacts to it this autumn, but I would be hopeful that, as it starts filtering through, it will be seen to alter behaviour. At that stage, consideration should certainly be given to increasing its impact and spreading it wider.


Total prize money distributed:

Trainers making the most of GBB Total number of winners:





Bonuses won

Karl Burke


Mark Johnston


Ralph Beckett


Charlie Appleby


Roger Charlton


Richard Hannon


David O’Meara


Bryan Smart


Roger Varian


Doing its level best for racing The Great British Bonus is an incredibly good incentive. I think that it will support fillies, both Flat and Jumps, at all levels of the market. Matt Coleman, Bloodstock Agent

Does my horse qualify for GBB? There are two categories of eligibility: 50% GBB and 100% GBB. Fillies and mares eligible in the 50% category can win up to £10,000 per race, with 100% GBB qualifiers winning up to £20,000 per race.

For more information on eligibility, visit

TBA GBB TOB A4 Mailer.indd 1

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Selling your property? Talk to us and learn about the packages we can put together for you to market your property to our 20,000 monthly readers. 01380 816777


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TBA Forum

The special section for TBA members

National Hunt stars celebrated at Breeders’ Awards Evening S imon Sweeting and Overbury Stud were the big winners at the 2020 National Hunt Breeders Awards Evening that took place last month. The ceremony, which celebrated the successes of the 2019-20 National Hunt season, was held live and hosted by Nick Luck. Recently retired from active duty, Kayf Tara once again scooped both stallion statistical awards, the Horse & Hound Cup for leading active Britishbased stallion (2019-20 individual chase winners) and the Whitbread Silver Salver (leading active British-based stallion, 2019-20 earnings). The former was won for the eighth time, while the latter was secured for the tenth time. Overbury Stud was also the recipient of the Mickley Stud Trophy as breeders of Thyme Hill. Winner of the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December, the son of Kayf Tara was crowned leading novice hurdler, having won the leading National Hunt Flat horse trophy the previous season. That title was awarded to the unbeaten Black Sam Bellamy gelding Red Rookie this time around and breeder Peter Phillips was awarded the Batsford Stud Trophy. Kayf Tara is also the sire of Ballyandy, who won the Overbury Stud Trophy for leading hurdler. The admirable nineyear-old was bred by Jeremy Hinds’ Pleasure Palace Racing. Dr Geoffrey Guy was the recipient of a pair of trophies. The first awarded was the Yorton Trophy, which was won by super mare Honeysuckle, who was

Lizzie and Richard Kelvin Hughes enjoyed a superb season with top chaser Santini

Lady Buttons' owner-breeders Keith and Jayne Sivills with the Distillery Stud Trophy

David and Kathleen Holmes with the Shade Oak Trophy for mare Midnights' Gift

Vicky Lewis (left) and Lucy Procter with trophies for Honeysuckle and First Royal

Doug Procter of The Glanvilles Stud, where brilliant hurdler Honeysuckle was bred

Peter Phillips bred Red Rookie, winner of the Batsford Stud Trophy

crowned leading hurdler mare. Her dam First Royal was given the accolade of Broodmare of the Year, with the Dudgeon Cup. Both were received on the evening by Doug Procter of The Glanvilles Stud, who manages the interests of Dr Guy. Santini, who missed out on winning

the Cheltenham Gold Cup by the narrowest of margins, was crowned leading chaser and Richard and Lizzie Kelvin Hughes received the Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy. The eight-year-old had previously won the leading novice hurdler and leading novice chaser awards. This year’s leading novice


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Copperhead's breeder Jane Micklethwait with the Peel Bloodstock Trophy

Jeremy Hinds' Pleasure Palace Racing bred star hurdler Ballyandy

Rachel Tregaskes, breeder of Legends Ryde, with the Midnight Legend Trophy

chaser award was sponsored by Peel Bloodstock and the recipient was Jane Micklethwait, breeder of Copperhead, whose biggest victory came in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase. Keith and Jayne Sivills gained their third successive leading chaser mare trophy, this year sponsored by Distillery Stud, with Lady Buttons. David and Kathleen Holmes were awarded the Shade Oak Trophy. Midnights’ Gift, a homebred daughter of Midnight Legend was crowned leading novice hurdling mare, while the Midnight Legend Trophy was awarded

to Legends Ryde. Rachel Tregaskes, representing her father Geoffrey, was the recipient of the leading National Hunt Flat mare award. John Smith, father-in-law of top showjumper Holly Smith, was awarded the Eric Gillie Trophy for breeding Unowhatimeanharry. The son of Sir Harry Lewis was finally recognised with this special award having missed out in previous years. The final award of the evening saw an emotional Peter and Emma Hockenhull rewarded for their contribution to the National Hunt

industry with the Queen Mother’s Silver Salver. TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard commented: “A key event within the jump breeding community, it was a sign of the times that this year’s awards evening was to be staged virtually. However, it was a fabulous evening with last season’s finest being showcased and rewarded, and I would like to congratulate all nominees and winners. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the TBA’s NH Committee, Nick Luck and all of our sponsors for their vital ongoing support.”

NATIONAL HUNT BREEDERS' AWARDS – ROLL OF HONOUR Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy for Leading Chaser Santini – Mr & Mrs Richard Kelvin Hughes

Batsford Stud Trophy for Leading NHF Horse Red Rookie – Peter Phillips

Distillery Stud Trophy for Leading Chaser Mare Lady Buttons – Keith Sivills

Midnight Legend Trophy for Leading NHF Mare Legends Ryde – Downfield Cottage Stud

Peel Bloodstock Trophy for Leading Novice Chaser Copperhead – Jane Micklethwait

Eric Gillie Trophy - Special Achievement Award Unowhatimeanharry – John Smith

Overbury Stud Trophy for Leading Hurdler Ballyandy – Pleasure Palace Racing

Dudgeon Cup - NH Broodmare of the Year First Royal – Dr Geoffrey Guy

Yorton Trophy for Leading Hurdler Mare Honeysuckle – Dr Geoffrey Guy

Horse & Hound Cup - Leading active British-based stallion by individual chase winners in GB & Ire in 2019-20 Kayf Tara

Mickley Stud Trophy for Leading Novice Hurdler Thyme Hill – Overbury Stallions Ltd

Whitbread Silver Salver - Leading active British-based sire by prize money in GB & Ire in 2019-20 Kayf Tara

Shade Oak Stud Trophy for Leading Novice Hurdler Mare Midnights’ Gift – Pitchall Stud

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Queen Mother’s Silver Salver - NH Special Achievement Award Peter & Emma Hockenhull



07/09/2020 17:04

TBA Forum

British-breds shine at Deauville Palace Pier: unbeaten run now stretches to five races


The British raiding party was all over Deauville in the month of August and with it came a number of British-bred winners. The premier mile contest of the French season, the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, was plundered by the team of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori with Palace Pier. Bred by the partnership of Highclere Stud and the late Duke of Roxburghe’s Floors Farming, the threeyear-old son of Kingman extended his unbeaten record to five races. Fellow Banstead Manor Stud resident Bated Breath had an August to remember with five stakes winners, three of which were foaled in Britain. Hunscote Stud’s homebred Cairn Gorm got the ball rolling with a length victory in the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month the Stuart Williams-trained Breathtaking Look, bred by Ellis Stud and Bellow Hill Stud, won the second Group 3 of her career when taking the Prix de Meautry. Other victories at Deauville included the smart Shadwell homebred Tawkeel, who set herself up for the autumn with a win in the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette, George Strawbridge’s stayer Call The Wind (Frankel) in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay, and Meon Valley Stud’s Telecaster, who made all for an impressive win in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville at the end of the month. Earlier that day the George Strawbridgebred Stunning Spirit ploughed through the mud for a first Pattern win in the Group 3 Prix Quincey. There was also a Listed win at the track for Godolphin’s homebred Well Of Wisdom (Oasis Dream) in the Prix de Tourgeville. Success was also celebrated Stateside. At Del Mar in California, the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap was won by the Lord Margadale & Andrew and Belinda Scott-bred Bodhicitta, a daughter of Showcasing. Another west coast scorer was the Jupiter Bloodstock-bred Sloane Garden, who took the Luther Burbank Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. On the east coast, at the spa town of Saratoga, the Bunny Roberts-bred Feel Glorious (Bated Breath) took top honours in the Perfect Sting Stakes. A day later and the Kingman gelding Domestic Spending, who was bred by Rabbah Bloodstock Limited, was victorious in the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes. Closer to home and Pyledriver (Harbour Watch), bred by Knox and Wells

& Roger Devlin, stamped his card for the Group 1 St Leger with an authoritative win in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. The final Classic of the season is also on the cards for the Mascalls Stud-bred Subjectivist after his 15-length romp in the Group 3 March Stakes at Goodwood. The Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar-bred Extra Elusive deserves special mention. The five-year-old gelding took a pair of Group 3s. The first, the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock Park from subsequent Group 3 Strensall Stakes scorer Certain Lad (bred by Barry Walters), and the second, the Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor, on the final weekend of the month. The Shutford Stud-bred Charm Spirit gelding Kick On is proving to be a standout in Scandinavia this year and at Ovrevoll in Norway took the Group 3 Maris Sveaas Minnelop. Earlier in the month at the track the Kenny Kok-bred Seaside Song (Harbour Watch) took the Listed Lanwades Stud Stakes. At the age of six, Glen Shiel (Pivotal) gained a first Group victory when winning the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh, while Cheveley Park Stud’s homebred Regal Reality (Intello) won the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes the same day, but at Salisbury. The Thompsons had a day earlier seen their Frankel homebred Veracious win the Listed Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock Park.

British-breds also captured Listed prizes in Germany. The Litex Commerce homebred Pessemona took the Mulheimer Stutenpreis, while the Genesis Green Stud-bred Song Of Life took the Preis der Stadtsparkasse Dusseldorf. Kirsten Rausing’s Lanwades Stud supplied a pair of stakes winners. The first, Alpinista, a homebred daughter of Frankel, preceded her Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks second with an impressive win in the Listed Upavon Stakes at Salisbury the week before, while the Leroidesanimaux gelding Le Don De Vie set himself up for an assault down under with a first Listed win in the August Stakes at Windsor. Usually held in April, the Listed Further Flight Stakes was staged at Newmarket on August 1 and the 1m6f test was won by the Millsec Ltd-bred Withhold. The Redgate Bloodstock & Peter Bottowley Bloodstock-bred Dakota Gold (Equiano) won the third Listed race of his career when taking the Beverley Bullet Stakes, and Zoetic, bred by Brendan Boyle, provided her young trainer James Ferguson with his first stakes winner when coming out best in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes. Having obtained minor black-type both on the Flat and over obstacles, Buildmeupbuttercup (Sixties Icon) upgraded herself to a stakes winner when taking the Listed Tourist Attraction Mares Hurdle at Killarney in the month. Produced in association with GBRI


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07/09/2020 17:04


Deadline extended for GBB foal entry

Due to Covid-19 and delays to the issuance of passports, the registration deadline for 2020-born foals into the Great British Bonus (GBB) has been pushed back to October 31. The cost of registering a filly foal into the GBB scheme at the first stage is £300. However, for TBA members, there is a £100 discount, so for each qualifying filly, the cost to a TBA member is £200. To register visit greatbritishbonus. and the member discount is deducted on the website once the checkout process has been initiated and membership name and number inputted.

Employer information

In August the government produced guidance for employers regarding immigration, which can be viewed by visiting and searching UK points-based immigration system. The main points of the document are: • From January 1, 2021 if you want to recruit anyone from outside the UK you must be a Home Office licensed sponsor. This includes hiring people from the EU. • As a sponsor, you will be able to recruit skilled workers from anywhere in the world. Only people who meet the job and salary requirements will be eligible. • If your organisation is not already a licensed sponsor and you think you will want to sponsor eligible skilled workers from January 1, 2021 you should apply now. Applications are now open and it is advised to get them in as soon as possible.

Business rates review

The BHA has been requested by government to respond to a call for evidence to support a review of the

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business rates system in the UK. The TBA, along with the RCA and NTF, has been asked to assist in this process and the first meeting was held in early August. A member of the TBA board, the TBA executive and the TBA’s rates advisor, Ian Smith are involved in this process and the group are currently compiling a response to the first round of questions that centre on the areas of rates relief mechanisms and the rental multiplier figure. Ian Smith, being a former employee of the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) and specialising in studs and training yards whilst he was there, has a wealth of knowledge in this area and is providing the group with excellent insight into the area. He handles a good proportion of appeals to the VOA on members’ behalf and is very aware of the issues with the current system.

Discount for members at

As one of the benefits of TBA membership, members are able to access an exclusive 20% discount on all stallion reports purchased through Free broodmare sire nick reports are also available to members. The website provides an online database and statistics service for the breeding industry, which includes free sire progeny reports, horse form and pedigrees, and race and sale results, plus a range of downloadable detailed research reports on individual sires. For further information on this excellent member benefit, visit

New series of ‘How To’ videos

The TBA has been working on a new series of ‘how to’ videos, which support members with using the TBA website – These include how to join the TBA and how to renew membership through the website at a discounted fee for recurring payments. For the latest videos visit our YouTube channel.

Remember to register a change of yearling ownership Ahead of the autumn yearling and horses in training sales, TBA members are reminded that it is now a legal requirement that all horse owners register their ownership within 30 days of purchase with their passportissuing organisation. Weatherbys is the body that issues all passports for thoroughbreds registered with the General Stud Book. This legislation applies to all equines and so TBA members are reminded to ensure that any other horses in their ownership are also up to date with the requirements. Please see below guidelines on the horse passport legislation requirements: 1. It has been a requirement of the horse passport regulations since 2009 for all equine owners in Great Britain to register their ownership with the government-designated passportissuing organisation (Weatherbys) within 30 days of purchase. 2. From October 1, 2018 this became a legal requirement and is enforceable by Trading Standards. 3. The legislation also requires a horse’s passport is returned to Weatherbys to be updated with the new ownership details. Racing ownerships have been granted an exemption; however, when a horse comes out of training this exemption no longer exists. 4. The owner of a horse in training should have previously registered their ownership with Weatherbys before the horse went into training unless they are the breeder, in which case the ownership is already correct. 5. When a horse comes out of training and the racing ownership is terminated, the Weatherbys ownership (i.e. the ownership registered with Weatherbys before the horse entered training and was registered in the BHA database for racing purposes) becomes the valid ownership recognised by DEFRA and the Central Equine Database. 6. Even if a racing owner retains ownership of a horse after it finishes racing they will be required to register their continued ownership with Weatherbys – if they had not already done so prior to the horse going into training (unless, of course, they bred the horse).


07/09/2020 17:04

TBA Forum

Ground-breaking early pregnancy loss research funded by the TBA Research funded by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association has achieved a significant breakthrough in discovering a major cause for the early loss of pregnancy in equine mares. A study led by Dr Mandi de Mestre, head of the equine pregnancy laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College, revealed that a chromosomal defect known as aneuploidy occurred in a substantial number of the cases of early pregnancy loss examined. Dr de Mestre explains: “Aneuploidy involves having an abnormal number of chromosomes. It also arises in women and can either cause the pregnancy to be lost in the early stages or results in an imbalance that produces physiological differences. It’s similar to the cause of Down’s Syndrome in humans, for which there is now a screening process.” Explaining the background to the study, Dr de Mestre says: “The idea first came up ten years ago when we realised around 80 per cent of cases of early pregnancy loss had no known cause, in other words in the first two months, when the foetus and placenta is forming and organs are developing.

“There was a big black hole in our knowledge, which was the starting point for the TBA giving a grant to develop a method of studying these losses. “I have a fantastic team at the RVC and we worked very closely with vets at the Newmarket Equine Hospital, Rossdales in Newmarket and Equine Reproductive Services in Yorkshire on ways to be able to track the losses. As a result, we published a paper in 2016 that showed we had the tools to isolate cases, and that led on to the project we have just finished, which allowed us to address the question of what is actually causing the losses.” Looking at the findings, Dr de Mestre says: “In counting the chromosomes, we found that in just over 20 per cent of the early pregnancy loss samples we examined, there was an abnormal number. “The significance goes back to our original starting point, where in 80 per cent of cases we had no idea what was causing the pregnancy loss, and we’ve been able to chip away at one-quarter of the sample, which we feel is a substantial leap forward in understanding what is the underlying reason for the failure of these pregnancies.

“The next step will be to develop diagnostic tests and work out a costeffective and timely way to be able to screen mares, so that owners can use the information to know what to do next. The reassuring thing is that if a mare has a pregnancy loss through aneuploidy, it doesn’t mean there is a long-term problem, because a good number of the mares in our sample did have foals afterwards.” Dr de Mestre expresses her thanks to all those who have brought the study to fruition, saying: “This research has required huge efforts from everyone involved. Charlotte Shilton, with support from our wider team, has excelled identifying these aneuploid pregnancies. “We have also worked closely with the world-class geneticists at Texas A&M University, a large number of vets across the UK and Ireland who were really committed to the work, and breeders who agreed to participate in the research. And thanks too to the TBA for the funding, without which the research would not have been possible.” The study is available to view online at

VIRTUAL FLAT AWARDS due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Breeders, owners, trainers and enthusiasts are encouraged to virtually come together in viewing successes from the 2019 Flat season. On the evening ten awards will be presented:

Join in the online celebrations in the premiere of the Flat Breeders’ Awards Evening with video interviews with winners from across the country. Starting at 7pm on Thursday, September 17, the presentation of awards can be viewed on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. The annual event has moved to the TBA’s social media platforms following the cancellation of the evening in July

Tattersalls Silver Salver Leading British-based First Season Sire BBA Silver Cigar Box Leading British-based Stallion (Flat earnings) H J Joel Silver Salver Broodmare of the Year (Flat) TBA Silver Rose Bowl TBA Flat Breeder of the Year

British EBF Stallion Special Merit Award kindly sponsored by the British EBF Barleythorpe Stud Silver Cup Leading British-based stallion (individual Flat winners) TBA Stud Employee Award kindly sponsored by New England Stud The Queen’s Silver Cup Leading British-based Flat breeder (Flat earnings) TBA Silver Salver Special Merit Award (Flat) The Langham Cup Small Breeder of the Year (Flat)


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07/09/2020 17:04

BREEDER IN FOCUS – Lord Margadale


here is often a fine line between misfortune and good fortune in thoroughbred breeding and racing circles, and spotting which omen is over the horizon is not always possible. Lord Margadale, the current custodian of Fonthill Stud in Wiltshire, which was founded in 1956 by his grandfather John Morrison and father James, has peered around both sides of the phenomenon. Recalling that he part-owned Banoffee, the Cheshire Oaks winner of 2013 trained by brother Hughie Morrison, he says: “Sadly, after running in the Ormonde Stakes back at Chester a year later, she had an accident in training and died. I got a bit of money from the insurance, and partly because of that and in order to keep looking forward, I went out and bought the three-year-old filly Frangipanni at the Tattersalls July horses-in-training sale for 78,000gns. "She was sold by Serena Rothschild having won only one race for Roger Charlton, but was nicely bred, being by Dansili out of the July Cup winner Frizzante, a sister to the smart sprinter Firenze. And had it not been for Banoffee’s death and Frangipanni’s purchase, I wouldn’t have bred Tropbeau, which has made up for one or two of my other commercial errors!” Sold by Margadale as a Tattersalls Book 2 yearling for 60,000gns and then bought by Lady Bamford for €180,000 at the Arqana breeze-up sales last year, Tropbeau won the Group 2 Prix du Calvados and finished fourth in the Cheveley Park Stakes as a two-year-old, and won the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte first time out this year, before running fourth in the French 1,000 Guineas. Tropbeau was the product of a 2016 mating carried out less than 30 miles away from Fonthill, at Whitsbury Manor Stud, where Margadale recalls that his very first venture to the filly’s sire Showcasing three years earlier came when he was about to serve his second crop of mares for a nomination fee that he remembers as £2,500. He explains: “A long time ago, my mother was having lunch with John Hislop, who bred the great Brigadier Gerard, and asked him why he’d sent one of his mares to a particular stallion. His reply was ‘Because he was cheap and just down the road – but you’re having a go at me, aren’t you?’

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Lord Margadale: 'we used Showcasing because he was cheap and down the road'

“It was the same with my using Showcasing at Whitsbury. The first time it was because he was cheap and just down the road. We produced a very nice filly called Eula Varner, whom we sold as a yearling for 75,000gns to Henry Candy. He thought she would be a stakes filly but although she won her maiden, she didn’t get there.” Undaunted, Margadale stuck by Showcasing and not only has the arrangement produced Tropbeau but also Bodhicitta (a filly out of Solfilia), who left Ireland for the US a year ago and this term has won a Grade 2 at Del Mar and finished second in a Grade 1 at Santa Anita. “Two Group 2 winners and a Group 1-placed from Showcasing,” exclaims Margadale, who must now decide whether to stick or twist with his next offspring for Fonthill, a filly foal out of Coquet whom he owns in partnership with Andrew and Belinda Scott, his cobreeders of Bodhicitta. “In an ideal world, with say eight or nine mares, I would like to put a filly into training every year, but since I own five and a half mares, that’s not always possible,” he says. “Tropbeau’s success may make a difference, so we will probably keep the Showcasing filly foal.” Having been bought in the wake of

misfortune, Frangipanni has continued to tread the fine line between triumph and tragedy. Margadale explains: “Her first foal, by Iffraaj, was a lovely colt who sadly broke a shoulder in the paddock, then she produced Tropbeau. I sent her back to Iffraaj and was slightly disappointed that the offspring, the two-year-old Toussarak, who is in training with Mark Johnston, only made 75,000gns, but then her yearling colt by Postponed sold very well to Darley for 280,000gns as a foal. “She has no foal at foot but is in foal to Dubawi, which is very exciting. If it’s a filly, I would put her through the ring and if I didn’t get blown away, I might keep her, but if it was a colt, I would almost certainly sell him. We’d always put them through the ring to qualify for sales races, but as a very small operation I have to be a little bit commercial.” How high to set the commercial bar is a perennial dilemma for a small breeder, Margadale admits. Then there is the question of Fonthill’s great Classic legacy emanating from the stud’s foundation mare Emancipation, whose daughter Set Free bred two Oaks winners for Margadale’s father, Juliette Marny and Scintillate, and the St Leger winner Julio Mariner – Juliette Marny’s brother – who was sold as a yearling in 1976 for 40,000gns. Today, Fonthill is home to three direct female descendants – Kasumi, owned by Margadale’s sister Viscountess Trenchard, whose third dam is Set Free, and the half-sisters Port Charlotte and Josefa Goya from the next generation. “It’s because they go back to Juliette Marny that I’ve still got them, even though they haven’t been terribly commercial,” Margadale says. “This family has a propensity to throw fillies, which on the whole have been better than the colts over the years. “If I was a truly commercial breeder, I probably wouldn’t own either Port Charlotte or Josefa Goya but when you have a family that you’ve had from the beginning, you want to keep it ticking over, because it’s always likely to throw up a good one. “We’ve tried to put a bit more speed into the old families, which tends not to come through in the first generation, but it’s horses for courses and we have to keep hoping for the best.”


07/09/2020 17:04

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Among the yearlings featured in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, one colt in particular will attract attention from the major buyers. That horse is a halfbrother to dual Group 1 winner Palace Pier, who enhanced his reputation with victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville. The fact the first-crop son of Highland Reel is being consigned like his older sibling by Highclere Stud certainly won’t harm his chances with the nursery consistently among the leading consignors and enjoying another excellent year on the racecourse. John Gosden, acting for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, paid 600,000gns for Palace Pier at Tattersalls’ October Book 1 Sale in 2018 and the son of Kingman has become the best horse from a family acquired by his joint-breeders 20 years ago. That was when Highclere Stud’s John Warren purchased the Listed-winning Bikala mare Miss D’Ouilly, who was infoal to Night Shift, for 50,000gns at the Tattersalls December Breeding Stock Sale and subsequently sold a one-third share to the Duke of Roxburghe. The foal she was carrying, Night Frolic, won a maiden race and has the rare distinction of breeding the winners of York’s two Classic trials in successive years, the Musidora Stakes with Joviality in 2011 and the Dante Stakes with Bonfire in 2012. It was through Night Frolic’s unraced Nayef daughter, Beach Frolic, that the family reached its Group 1 pinnacle when Palace Pier won the St James’s



Top miler Palace Pier pictured as a yearling

Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The only sadness of the occasion was that the Duke of Roxburghe did not live to see it, having died in 2019. The Duke bred many top-class horses at his Floors Stud near Kelso, notably the dual 1,000 Guineas winner Attraction, Hong Kong champion Viva Pataca and, in partnership with the Duke of Devonshire, Grade 1 winner Laughing. Highclere and Floors also combined to breed Group 3-winning stayer Rare Rhythm and there could yet be further chapters to write in the story of Miss D’Ouilly. Beach Frolic has a two-year-old colt by Camelot, in training with Sir Michael Stoute, a colt by Almanzor born in April and is in foal to Blue Point. SPECIAL MERIT AWARD – AUGUST

KNOX & WELLS LIMITED AND ROGER DEVLIN The rags to riches story of Pyledriver is likely to have brought a wry smile to the face of many small breeders striving


to compete with the superpower studs, not least because it has been achieved by first-time breeders. The William Muir-trained colt was defying a 3lb penalty for his triumph in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot when completing a Group 2 double in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, defeating two rivals, Mogul and Darain, who cost nearly seven million guineas between them. Together with two other friends, Roger Devlin and the brothers Guy and Hugh Leach bought Pyledriver’s dam La Pyle, a winner on the Flat in France, as a potential National Hunt horse, only for the daughter of Le Havre to show no aptitude for hurdling. After buying out their syndicate partners, Devlin and the Leach brothers retired La Pyle to the late Kevin Mercer’s Usk Valley Stud with Harbour Watch selected as her first mate. However, in a chastening first experience of the vagaries of the bloodstock market, the resulting foal, Pyledriver, failed to attract a single bid when offered for sale at Tattersalls. Although his pedigree had received a significant boost in 2016 when La Pyle’s half-brother Mont Ormel won the Grand Prix de Paris, by the following year Harbour Watch had fallen out of commercial favour. Undeterred by this setback, his owners decided to keep faith with their colt and put him into training. It is safe to assume the offers they have received for him since then will have dwarfed that missed 10,000gns reserve. It seems equally safe to assume that the next progeny of La Pyle to go through a sales ring will receive a much better reception than Pyledriver did.




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07/09/2020 16:41

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07/09/2020 15:36

Product Focus


ODSON & HORRELL SUREGROW is used extensively by world class breeders, commercial studs, and private breeders across the country, and is well recognised for its proven excellence in the dietary support of correct growth and bone development. This stud balancer may also be used to support balance in an existing straight based diet or when low intakes of hard feed are fed. It is a flagship Dodson & Horrell product, produced by scientists and expertly formulated to provide the very best results for broodmares, youngsters, and stallions. Suregrow provides optimum levels of quality protein (essential amino acids), minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to meet the needs of gestation, lactation, growth and development. This pelleted feed is a fully balanced, nutrient dense feed. It has a low recommended feeding rate and lowcalorie content which is useful for controlling calorific intake for heavy mares and to reduce the incidence of unnatural growth spurts in youngsters. Ideal for broodmares and youngstock who do not require a large amount of compound feed, either because they hold weight well or have access to good quality forage.

It has the additional benefits of ACTISAF YEAST, a yeast product which helps to stabilise the hindgut and improve fibre digestion. The added Hoof Support includes additional Biotin supported with Methionine and Zinc. Trials have revealed that providing horses with biotin at 16-20mg per day results in quality hoof growth, wall integrity, and improved hardness. FOS and MOS (Fructo oligosaccharides and Mannan-oliggasaccharides) are included and this dual action of FOS and MOS has been shown to further aid digestion and the immune system, in conjunction with Mycosorb, a mycotoxin binder, and additional vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Suregrow is a pellet that may be fed on its own in the bucket or added to existing stud feeds or chaffs as required. Detailed diets can be assessed by contacting Dodson & Horrell. The daily intake is recommended to be spilt over 2-3 meals each day.

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07/09/2020 13:43


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07/09/2020 16:38

Vet Forum: The Expert View

Sinusitis in the thoroughbred racehorse


he sinuses of a horse are extensive air-filled cavities in the head, extending from above eye level down to about the level of the long bony prominence on the outer face, i.e. facial crest. The sinuses are lined with a mucous membrane that produces a small amount of mucus that freely drains into the nasal passages. The roots of the upper cheek teeth (premolars and molars) extend into some of the sinuses, covered by a thin plate of bone, and the sinuses communicate with one another in a somewhat complicated manner. There are six pairs of sinuses (one on either side of the head). These are the frontal, maxillary, dorsal conchal, middle conchal, ventral conchal and sphenopalatine sinuses. The maxillary sinus is the largest and is divided into front (rostral) and back (caudal) parts. With the exception of the external facial bones, most of the bone forming the sinuses and their internal compartments is very thin and easily damaged and distorted by disease. A number of conditions can affect the sinuses, but we are going to concentrate on the most common one here – sinusitis.

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is inflammation or infection of one or more of the sinuses. The condition may be ‘primary’, meaning that it originated in the sinus itself, or ‘secondary’, when another condition, such as a tooth root infection, affects the sinus. It is a commonly encountered condition in horses of all ages. Primary sinusitis can occur in any age of horse but is common in young horses. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract involving one or more of the sinuses. In most cases, only one side is affected (unilateral). The infection causes a buildup of pus or muco-pus in the sinus, which typically drains down the nasal passage and out of the nostril on the affected side. If the infection is acute, traces of blood are sometimes mixed in with the discharge. The most common group of bacteria involved in primary sinus infections are the Streptococci – the same family as the bacteria that cause strangles. Any trauma to the head that causes bleeding into a sinus can also predispose to sinusitis, as blood is an excellent medium for bacterial growth. Secondary sinusitis occurs when there is a separate primary condition, such as

Skull dissected to demonstrate some of the sinuses

an infected molar tooth root, sinus cyst or bone fracture. In this situation the condition will often either not respond to treatment or will recur, if the primary problem is not resolved. In such cases the nasal discharge might be coloured yellow or tinged green (if there is a fungal component or feed material is entering the sinus via a diseased, overgrown or damaged tooth) or red-brown if there is bleeding associated with the primary or the secondary condition. If there is any dental involvement, the discharge will often have an unpleasant smell consistent with rotting food material.

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

The obvious clinical sign is a nasal discharge and this might be the only detail noted on initial examination. Other common signs include enlargement of the lymph nodes (glands) under the throat. In acute cases, the horse’s temperature might be elevated but this is unusual as a temperature spike has often resolved. The discharge is almost always on the affected side only and may

Horse with nasal discharge

or may not have an unpleasant smell. The horse might demonstrate pain response once the bone over the affected sinus is ‘tapped’ but this is inconsistent. If there is fluid accumulation in the sinus, there might be a slightly different sound on percussion – it sounds duller, a bit like tapping a barrel to see where the water level might be inside. At some point in the examination it is important to consider the possibility that the horse might be suffering from strangles, a highly infectious and contagious bacterial disease. If there is any suspicion of strangles, the horse should be isolated immediately, pending the results of laboratory tests. This is particularly the case if there is a history of strangles on the premises or the horse is a new arrival. In severe or long-standing cases, whether primary or secondary, there may be swelling or distortion of the face. A swab should be taken from the nasal discharge to submit for bacterial culture to determine the bacteria involved and which antibiotics might be most suitable to treat the case. Collecting a swab is particularly important if a strangles infection is possible. An endoscopic examination can often allow identification of the source of the discharge, i.e. it might be possible to see pus draining from one of the sinus openings into the nasal passages, thus confirming the diagnosis. Taking radiographic images of the head can also be extremely useful in determining the extent of the problem and possible underlying primary conditions. However, often treatment is started empirically, without endoscopy or other examinations. Nevertheless, it is good


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07/09/2020 16:55

By Deidre Carson MRCVS of the sinuses (sinusoscopy) via a hole drilled through the bone in the face is useful for diagnosis and treatment.


X-ray demonstrating fluid lines in sinuses

1. More laboratory testing, particularly culture and sensitivity of discharge samples. It is important to use the appropriate antibiotic and the correct dosage for any bacterial infection. 2. Radiography of the head, including the sinuses and cheek teeth. This is a very useful procedure for most cases of sinusitis, although it is important that the correct views (angles) are taken. Radiographic images can often confirm the presence of abnormal fluid in the affected sinus. They can also help assess the roots of the cheek teeth, for example for changes consistent with infection or abnormal

size, shape or position and can also help demonstrate other abnormalities such as sinus cysts. Pre and postoperative radiographic images can provide both diagnostic and prognostic information. 3. CT imaging. This technique allows three-dimensional imaging of the head and provides extensive detail of the anatomy and abnormalities involving the sinuses, cheek teeth, turbinates (parchment thin bony scrolls that form a major part of the structure of the nasal passages) and those parts of the head and sinuses that cannot otherwise be visualised. This can be done in the standing sedated horse. 4. Dental examination via the mouth. Many dental problems (but not all) can be diagnosed by looking inside the horse’s mouth. A gag (speculum) is needed to hold the mouth open and specialised mirrors or even oral endoscopes can be used to inspect the whole mouth. 5. Endoscopic visualisation of the inside

CT scan showing tooth root infection

CT scan showing sinus cyst

practice to perform such additional examinations if the initial response to symptomatic treatment is poor. In cases which don’t respond to treatment and have become chronic (long standing) or recur or where the sinusitis is suspected of being secondary to another problem, further diagnostics may include any or all of the following:

Primary sinusitis will usually respond to appropriate treatment with antibiotics. This should be combined with management changes including feeding from the floor or ground to encourage drainage from the sinuses. Bedding should be clean and dust free to reduce any irritation and light exercise can be continued, again to encourage drainage and air flow through the nasal passages. Provided the horse is not ill, turning it out of doors can be very helpful as grazing also encourages nasal drainage. If the condition recurs or does not resolve, further diagnostic tests should be undertaken to guide treatment. In some cases, it is necessary to provide longer term flushing and drainage through the affected sinus by inserting a catheter via a small hole in the face. This is then held in place by suturing it in place, or inflation of the catheter cuff within the sinus. Fluid can then be pumped into the sinus which carries out bacteria and inflammatory debris when it drains via the nostrils, thus helping to clear infection. Treatment for secondary sinusitis depends upon removing or resolving the underlying cause. For example, there might be a broken molar tooth that has allowed the tooth root to become infected and the infection has broken through the delicate bone plate over the root and entered the sinus. In such cases, the tooth must be removed and the resultant defect in the mouth packed, usually with dental impression wax, until it heals. Appropriate antibiotics will also be required. If there has been trauma that has caused fracture to any of the facial bones and the fragments have become infected, surgical debridement (‘cleaning’) might be necessary. In other cases where the sinusitis has become chronic or is secondary to a sinus cyst or other sinus anomaly, it might be necessary to surgically explore and ‘clean out’ the affected sinus. Historically this was performed under general anaesthesia using a procedure known as a ‘facial flap’, where a window of bone was removed over the affected sinus. Increasingly, however, many of these procedures are performed using sinusocopy in the standing sedated horse, meaning there is less damage to the head and a more rapid recovery.


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07/09/2020 16:55

The Finish Line with Sheikh Fahad Al Thani Champions Day at Ascot celebrates its tenth anniversary in October. It has been sponsored throughout by QIPCO, the private investment vehicle of six brothers from Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family. Among them is Sheikh Fahad, whose Qatar Racing and Qatar Bloodstock ventures are global entities with headquarters in Britain. Sheikh Fahad has won two races on Champions Day with Simple Verse and Roaring Lion and has high hopes that Kameko can provide a third victory this year. Interview: Julian Muscat


t was tough getting everyone on board for the first year of Champions Day. A lot of trainers and journalists were against the idea but I think now everyone loves it. It has become a celebration of racing at the end of the season. I’m very happy with the feedback from owners and trainers. We try to improve it year on year, but this year will be different with the Covid-19 restrictions. It’s unfortunate, but the most important thing is that racing is taking place. More than anything, we sponsored the British Champions Series because my brother Sheikh Hamad, Chief Executive of QIPCO, wanted to help British racing. There were problems raising prize-money for Champions Day but it was all about having a worthy finale. Even Her Majesty was there in each of the previous nine years, which we are delighted about. So it’s about helping the sport in Britain, where we have a lot of horses and where our stallions are based. It’s about giving a bit back. Winning the 2,000 Guineas with Kameko in record time was amazing. Then we went to the Derby and to be honest, I don’t think anyone learnt anything from it. We were all frustrated after Kameko ran in the Sussex Stakes, where he got no run at all, and the International clearly told us he does not stay beyond one mile. Even so, he got Magical off the bridle in two strides, which is not an easy thing to do. Hopefully Kameko will take his chance in the QEII and show us what he is all about. It’s been great to have Kameko so soon after Roaring Lion died. It Kameko and Oisin Murphy carried the Qatar Racing silks to victory in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas in June 72

gave us all a lift when we needed it. We’ve changed our plans in the last few years; we are breeding more of our own horses even though Roaring Lion and Kameko were both bought at auction. I think the best is yet to come from our breeding programme but that will take a bit of time. There’s a chance Kameko will stay in training but we do need a good stallion, having sadly lost Roaring Lion last year. For any operation of our size to keep going, we need good stallions coming into the programme. Oisin Murphy was still claiming 3lb when he came on board as understudy to Andrea Atzeni. When Andrea left we promoted Oisin at a young age and he has gone from strength to strength. It was a proud moment for us when he won the jockeys’ championship last year. Now we have taken on Cieren Fallon as Oisin’s number two. With jockeys only able to ride at one meeting each day, we need a second jockey because consistency is important. To me, Cieren is an outstanding young jockey. I think prize-money in Britain has been a problem for a long time; it’s the main issue we need to address. This year, with Covid, I understand the need for cutbacks, but it has really emphasised the problem. I think it’s time we sat down and tried to find a long-term solution because it has been patched up most of the time. A one or two-year deal is not the way to go because we need security going forward. We have to have a system in place as they do overseas, where they know year-on-year they can put up good prizemoney. It’s very important our best races offer competitive prizemoney. At the moment people want to win Classics in England. They are far superior to other races, and that is backed up by the ratings. But you can’t

take that for granted. If you wait too long it will become an even bigger problem. Other jurisdictions will start to attract better horses. We will probably have the same number of horses in Britain next year, but we will be looking at our horses closely. Those we think are not good enough to become stallions or broodmares will move to where the prize-money is attractive. We have already moved horses to France, America and Australia. We have to be stricter than we used to be about what we keep in training in England. Five years ago we had way too many horses in training. We changed the plan to concentrate on quality and we are seeing the benefits, especially in our breeding programme. My wife, Melissa, absolutely loves horses. She really enjoys show-jumping and is getting into racing by following our horses. She comes with me to the sales and around the farms. She named Kameko; she was with me at Keeneland and she actually did the bidding on the horse. Then she decided it should go to Andrew [Balding]. We have ten horses in training in the US and have high hopes for them. We have Shedaresthedevil, winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in early September, with Brad Cox, while the six yearlings we bought last year are with Simon Callaghan. We haven’t bought many yearlings: five in 2018 and six last year. It’s an exciting project that will hopefully see us competing in the best races. It’s been hard being unable to go racing as normal because of Covid. We’ve been twice: to Derby day to watch Kameko, and to see Darain run at Newmarket. We usually go to Del Mar for the summer, but not this year. There’s not much we can do about it. I have put on weight during lockdown and need to get some of that off because I’d like to start riding out again.


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07/09/2020 16:57




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