Thoroughbred Owner Breeder

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THE £6.95 SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE 205

Wonder woman

Chris Wright dreaming of Arc glory with his blockbusting filly

PLUS

Shannon Arvin

Keeneland President’s innovative approach

First yearlings

Sires to watch at the autumn sales

Neil Callan

‘Riding in Hong Kong has improved me’

www.theownerbreeder.com


Expert Eye 2015 Acclamation - Exemplify (Dansili)

All eyes on the future

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GROUP/STAKES WINNERS COVERED IN HIS FIRST TWO BOOKS OF MARES

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

First yearlings 2021

Contact Shane Horan, Claire Curry or Henry Bletsoe +44 (0)1638 731115 | nominations@juddmonte.co.uk

www.juddmonte.com


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

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Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stanstead House, The Avenue, Newmarket CB8 9AA Tel: 01638 661 321 • Fax: 01638 665621 info@thetba.co.uk • www.thetba.co.uk

£6.95 SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE 205

Wonder woman

Chris Wright dreaming of Arc glory with his blockbusting filly

PLUS

Shannon Arvin

Keeneland President’s innovative approach

First yearlings

Sires to watch at the autumn sales

Neil Callan

‘Riding in Hong Kong has improved me’

www.theownerbreeder.com

Cover: Wonderful Tonight and William Buick capture the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July Photo: Bill Selwyn

Edward Rosenthal Editor

Take Wright and Tonight to hit top spot in Paris W

hat better way to celebrate 40 years of racehorse ownership than by watching your filly conquer one of the world’s great races, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe? For music mogul Chris Wright, featured in this month’s Big Interview with Julian Muscat (pages 24-28), that is the dream scenario beckoning with four-year-old Wonderful Tonight, whose entire season has been built around an assault on the Paris showpiece. Granted typical ground conditions for Longchamp in October, it would be a brave man to bet against this €40,000 purchase capturing the prize to write yet another remarkable chapter in her owner’s racing story. Wright embarked on his equine odyssey in 1981 with the purchase of a yearling at Tattersalls, subsequently named Crime Of Passion. She proved a top-class two-year-old, placing at Royal Ascot and winning the Cherry Hinton Stakes in 1982, later becoming a foundation mare at her owner’s Stratford Place Stud. Owning and breeding racehorses have been Wright’s passion ever since, with the likes of Culture Vulture and the ill-fated Chriselliam carrying his silks to multiple Group 1 triumphs, while his stud operation has produced performers of the calibre of Dubai Golden Shaheen victor Muarrab and current leading Irish two-year-old Dr Zempf. It was actually the successful sale of a homebred colt at Arqana in 2018 that prompted the ‘spontaneous’ purchase of his latest star. For all the highs that Wright has experienced over the last four decades, from Classic success to Breeders’ Cup glory and Royal Ascot delight, seeing Wonderful Tonight land Europe’s premier middle-distance contest would undoubtedly top the lot. A quick glance at Wonderful Tonight’s race record explains succinctly her ideal requirements on the racecourse. On soft or heavy going she has not been defeated since making her debut at Doncaster in the October of her juvenile season.

Her three-year-old campaign yielded Group 1 wins in the Prix de Royallieu and Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day while visits to Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood this year saw her prove too good in the Hardwicke Stakes and Lillie Langtry Stakes. Pitted against brilliant three-year-old Snowfall in the Yorkshire Oaks last month, Wonderful Tonight finished fourth on ground officially described as good, as Albaflora, a filly she had beaten by an aggregate of 17 lengths on her previous two starts, finished four and a half lengths ahead of her on this occasion. Coolmore’s Snowfall is clearly a class act – her record 16-length demolition in the Oaks at Epsom had to be seen to be believed – and will again provide stiff opposition in Paris, as will

“On soft or heavy going she has not been defeated since her debut” Godolphin’s Derby and King George hero Adayar. But if the word ‘heavy’ appears in the going description at Longchamp come Sunday, October 3, I would expect Wonderful Tonight to emerge victorious. Neil Callan has yet to add the Arc to his CV but the jockey is now back in Britain after a successful spell riding in Hong Kong. The number of trainers who have already utilised his services – including old ally Kevin Ryan – suggests he’ll be able to pick up where he left off, having recorded a century in 2013 before departing for the Far East. With his eldest son Jack keen to embark on his own career in the saddle, Callan tells Graham Dench (The Finish Line, page 88) why he felt the time was right to head back to the UK.

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Contents

September 2021

24

News & Views ROA Leader Balancing bloodstock and betting

TBA Leader Building trust at the sales

News New Code of Practice launched

Changes News in a nutshell

Howard Wright St Leger sponsorship strife

Features continued 5

From Goodwood and York

The Big Interview With owner-breeder Chris Wright

First-crop yearlings Expert Eye among the sires to watch

Shannon Arvin Exclusive with Keeneland's President

Isfahan Sisfahan is German sire's latest star

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Bonus schemes vital

Sales Circuit 7

Reports from Europe and America

Caulfield Files 8 10

Acclamation sire line thriving

Dr Statz

Northern Dancer sets the standard

The Finish Line With jockey Neil Callan

22

Features The Big Picture

Breeders' Digest

Free entry scheme enhanced

14

TBA Forum

24

Great British Bonus

38 43

50 60 62 88

Forum ROA Forum

30

49

National Hunt success celebrated Latest news and winners

Breeder of the Month Her Majesty The Queen

66 74 79 80

Joint health The importance of nutrition

Vet Forum

Wind-testing in focus

82 86


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43

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Did you know? Our monthly average readership is

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KEEPING YOU IN THE RACE


ROA Leader

Charlie Parker President

Balancing act to boost bloodstock and betting

I

t has been heartening to see so many owners and fans back on racecourses. Despite a wet August it feels fantastic to see the sport returning to normal. Now we are into the sales season, with strong trade already seen in Deauville, which I hope will continue to demonstrate the strength of our sport and product. The sales are a reminder that while we focus on racing as a sport and a revenue generator at the highest level, the breeding and bloodstock industry provide the horses for racing. It follows that our race programme has to match our horse population and support the development of the horses as they mature. When we look at our bloodstock product and our racing product, we must ensure that they work in harmony and, together, protect the future of the racing industry in Britain. Sadly, horses in training figures for this year show that the twoyear-old horse population in the UK is falling – and dramatically so. We have seen a decline of around 9% in 2021. This may be in part due to a contraction in the breeding crop, albeit the class of 2021 were conceived in 2018, well before Covid arrived. But it could also be to do with where the two-year-old crop are plying their trade, away from the UK. Many professionals from overseas racing jurisdictions have recognised the quality of our bloodstock, the way they are reared and raised, and are investing earlier. However, the UK also has a race programme that is becoming less attractive for young horses when compared against our international competitors with respect to potential rewards. This is in part due to a move away from the balance between a strong developmental race programme and good betting races. We are beginning to focus on driving only betting revenue with shorter pathways to handicaps and more juvenile racing. You can already run a horse in a handicap chase that’s never jumped a fence, not that I would want to! We are losing maidens and novice races because people don’t bet on them as much – and therefore they are not as valuable to racecourses as a fixture full of handicaps. We need to assess this pathway carefully. With a lack of investment into the developmental race programme, you start to lose young horses from racing too. You are driving investors, whose value is in the paddock, away and into the hands of other racing jurisdictions. We need to look at balancing the product again, to support the needs of those investing in bloodstock, betting and racing. It is something we must bear in mind as we look at our race programme going forward to maintain investment in UK racing, from owners and breeders, both large and small. I believe we can provide a product that creates a strong bloodstock pipeline, develops the breed and more high quality horses, whilst maximising betting revenues. It is necessary to do so to protect our future.

For example, the industry should look at current Rules of Racing that stipulate which cards must host a maiden. We know which fixtures are better betting days, with more engagement on and off course, so let’s maximise those days and deliver the right race programme. We also know which days and times of the week are less popular with punters and racegoers, with lower engagement. So why not tweak the programme to align strong revenue-generating races on high engagement days and ensure a strong developmental programme on lower engagement days. Alongside that, you can continue to promote and maximise revenue from existing races, driving field sizes up and maintaining the numbers of horses in training. More radically,

“The industry should look at current Rules of Racing that stipulate which cards must host a maiden” you could look at improving prize-money for developmental races, like last month’s maiden at York, as the sport did with the funds from the Sports Winter Package, which saw material investment in the maiden race programme. These sorts of initiatives promote the development of the horse and an interest in keeping young horses in the UK. British racing should be aspirational. Horses need to be given space to develop and get their handicap mark. If we rush horses through the development race programme with a lack of investment, be that time or financially, you could even start harming the betting product. I hope that we keep sight of the future and maintain the balance to maximise revenue across the sport from breeder to owner to racecourse, and keep the quality of the breed as a priority across the whole industry.

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

U N R I VA L L E D S U C C E S S

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

purchased at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale

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

Tel: +44 1638 665931 sales@tattersalls.com www.tattersalls.com


TBA Leader

Julian Richmond-Watson Chairman

New code can help build trust at the sales T

rust can be found in many contexts and is a word that we, as human beings, use to describe relationships between ourselves as well as in our interaction with animals. It is a sense that we consider and assess every day, often subconsciously. Without trust and the relationships that are fostered as a natural consequence, our whole lives and being would be very different, perhaps even almost impossible to lead in the way that we do today. With all that in mind, the publication of a new Bloodstock Industry Code of Practice by the Bloodstock Industry Forum early last month is an important step forward. It should go a long way towards making crystal clear the way in which trust can be ensured between vendors, purchasers and agents when buying and selling horses, whether privately or, perhaps more importantly for public confidence in the sale process, at auction. The code is primarily intended to reflect a more modern, open approach to the business of buying and selling, having been drawn up in response to central recommendations made after an investigation by the BHA, whose review was released in December 2019. The new document clearly reiterates the laws of the land and how they apply to transactions involving horses. It leaves no-one taking part in the process in any doubt about what is required of them in order to make sure that everyone involved is acting properly and in the best interests of transparency. Such transparency is paramount, and it is clearly explained in the code. The most crucial element is the relationship between the buyer or seller with an agent, where trust is the principal element. Especially welcome in the new code is the introduction of a panel lawyer, which offers those who feel they have been wronged an opportunity to take free independent and confidential legal advice on their issue. This is a substantial advance on the present situation and will allow anyone who feels aggrieved to take their case to an expert. This will help in flushing out the genuine grievances from those built around rumour and innuendo. The BHA’s involvement in cases referred to it, with the sanction of being able to ban individuals found to be in breach of the code from licensed premises, is a huge step forward. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has not gone quite so far, but we must hope it sees the importance of getting fully behind the Code of Practice, because, working alongside the main sales houses at Tattersalls and Goffs, the potential now exists for serious sanctions to be imposed on those who

transgress. Hopefully, clarification that these sanctions are now potential and real, and ready to be used, will be enough to deter anyone from breaking the code. I must congratulate everyone involved in putting together the Code of Practice. The process has been tortuous, but I believe we have a sensible and workable document, with teeth, which will advance everyone’s trust in the business of buying and selling. And so, back to the word trust. I trust my trainer to do the best with my horses, my jockey to ride the horse to the best of his ability and the horse to do its best. In return I pay my trainers, blacksmith and vets on time. We should all remind ourselves that trust goes two ways and if that bond is broken,

“The document clearly reiterates the laws of the land and how they apply to horse transactions” it is better to address it, face the situation openly and move on. The animals we bring into this world trust us to look after them. My dog and my horses trust us to feed them and care for them, to ensure they are properly treated, and, when the end of their life comes, to be sure it does so with as little stress as possible. As human beings we are gifted with being able to understand the consequences of our behaviour, which brings with it challenges of responsibility that we have to meet. We should all, every one of us, remember our responsibilities to our human and animal companions and make sure their trust in us is not misplaced.

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News

TATTERSALLS

New Code of Practice offers greater protection to buyers at the sales

The updated Bloodstock Industry Code of Practice has been designed to prevent serious malpractice in the bloodstock sales industry

A

significant milestone was reached last month with the release of an updated Bloodstock Industry Code of Practice. Drawn up by members of the British Industry Forum (BIF) in response to recommendations made by the British Horseracing Authority’s ‘Review of the Buying and Selling of Bloodstock and Racehorses in British Racing’ in December 2019, the updated code was formally incorporated into the Rules of Racing on August 16. It replaces the former document, which has been in place since in 2009, and the ITBA Sales Code of Practice, operational since 2010. In a move that should lend confidence to the market, it has been designed to prevent serious malpractice in the bloodstock sales industry and ensure that buyers and vendors have mutual responsibility. Key elements of the updated code include the banishment of bribery payments from vendors to buyers, also

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“Key elements of the code include the banishment of bribery” known as ‘luck money’, the act of working for both sides on a sale without prior informed consent, and the practice of collusive ‘bidding up’. Since the previous code came into effect in 2009, the Bribery Act 2010 has been passed into law, meaning that bribery is considered a criminal offence in the UK and therefore punishable with up to ten years’ imprisonment. To that end, BIF has established a facility for anyone with such concerns to obtain free, initial and independent legal

advice from a panel lawyer, with all legal fees to be met by BIF. Anyone found by the BHA to be in breach of the code, whether bound by the Rules of Racing or not, may be banned in Britain from racecourses and other licensed premises. They will also be subject to exclusion from participating at Tattersalls and Goffs sales in Britain and Ireland. BIF is a cross industry group that consists of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA), Breeze-Up Consignors Association (BUCA), Federation of Bloodstock Agents (FBA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), Goffs and Tattersalls. Charlie Parker, President of the ROA, voiced his approval of the new code. He said: “We are pleased that BIF has announced the new Code of Practice


A rewarding process

For the auction houses, the completion of the new Code of Practice arrives at a timely moment, coinciding as it does with the start of the new yearling sales season. It has been a long process, but a rewarding one, says BIF Chairman Jimmy George, the Marketing Director

TATTERSALLS

that covers all aspects of sales-ring dealings, including the education of participants. “It is essential that owners feel protected when buying and selling their horses and the Code of Practice clearly makes significant steps towards achieving this. It has also been pleasing to see how the whole industry has worked together to formulate the Code of Practice, which must now be rigorously adhered to.” BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington added: “The BHA welcomes the publication of the Code of Practice and the collaborative industry approach that has been taken to achieve this milestone. The Code of Practice has been approved by the BHA’s board and will be incorporated into the Rules of Racing. It will represent a significant step forward in terms of enhancing trust in the process of buying and selling bloodstock in Britain and Ireland, and was one of the core recommendations of the review of buying and selling practices of bloodstock and racehorses within British racing, which was commissioned by the board of the BHA. “It is essential if we are to attract and retain owners in the sport that anyone involved in the purchase of bloodstock can have confidence that they are being treated fairly, and the Code will help further enhance British racing’s reputation on this front.”

GOFFS/SARAH FARNSWORTH

Stories from the racing world

Jimmy George (left) and Henry Beeby: both highlighted the release of the code as a demonstration of the industry working together in a collaborative manner

of Tattersalls. “We are thrilled to have signed it off and have it approved by the various industry bodies,” he said. “It is a living and breathing document that will remain under constant review. “It really has been a demonstration of the industry working together in a fully collaborative manner. It was very evident from the outset that all members of BIF, which was swiftly put together itself, embraced all the principles behind the report. That in itself was particularly heartening from the word go and we’re hugely appreciative of all the time and effort that the members put into it. “The publication of a new Code of Practice alongside a raft of changes can only enhance the buying and selling process. Confidence in the marketplace and its integrity has always been paramount.” His sentiments were echoed by Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby. “It has been a long, hard process and I have to say that Jimmy George did an

KEY THEMES WITHIN THE BLOODSTOCK INDUSTRY CODE OF PRACTICE The new Code of Practice is designed to prevent serious malpractice in the bloodstock sales industry, including by: BANNING • Bribery (whether described as ‘luck money’ or not) • Acting for both sides on a sale without prior informed consent • The practice of collusive ‘bidding up’

• Providing free, initial and independent legal advice from a panel lawyer as to criminal, civil and regulatory remedies in the event of a breach of the code • Ensuring that both vendors and purchasers are signatories to the code The Code of Practice will be reviewed annually to ensure that it remains robust and fit for purpose.

excellent job of chairing the forum,” he said. “It was a very good collective effort and a wonderful example of the industry pulling together. “No one has any need to fear it – it is something that is only a positive for the industry. “It is a code that fits well for the modern day. One thing that it does which was missing from the previous code is offer the option of confidential legal advice. I think the issue with the previous code was that because there wasn’t that option, people were perhaps put off in bringing a matter to attention.” It was revealed within the BHA’s Review of the Buying and Selling of Bloodstock and Racehorses, led by former police officer Justin Felice, that not one complaint had been made to the relevant bodies in the 12 years that the previous code had been in existence. Beeby added: “I know that Goffs and Tattersalls work to the highest standards when it comes to transparency and integrity. You have to remember that in his report, Justin Felice outlined that 95% of participants conducted themselves with integrity. This updated code hopefully makes it harder for the other small minority.” George also highlighted the fact that BIF has also developed an e–learning integrity module, which will be adopted as part of the trainer licensing process in Britain as well as being mandatory for members of the FBA. “Tattersalls and Goffs have committed to making full ownership details readily available to registered potential buyers as recommended in the review,” he said. The full code can be found on www. media.britishhorseracing.com or by visiting the relevant sale company’s websites.

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Changes

Racing’s news in a nutshell

People and business Gredley family

Moves a number of horses out of George Scott’s Newmarket stable for “private reasons”.

Pierre-Charles Boudot

French jockey receives a further sixmonth ban by France Galop having been indicted on rape charges in May.

Martin Buick

Leaves the Niarchos family’s racing team after five and a half years to join Hubie de Burgh’s De Burgh Equine.

Jon Pullin

Leaves role as Racing Director at Arena Racing Company to become Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham, succeeding Simon Claisse.

Jason Watson

21-year-old ends association with trainer Roger Charlton, for whom he recorded Group 1 wins on Aspetar and Quadrilateral.

Tom O’Brien

Jockey records his 1,000th winner in Britain and Ireland aboard the Ian Williams-trained Head On at Worcester on August 22.

Joe Colliver

Jump jockey, 30, suspended for six months after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine following a test at Wetherby in February.

Danny Brock

Rider handed 30-day ban under the ‘totting up’ guidelines having transgressed the rules on whip use on numerous occasions this year.

Southwell

The Phil Kirby-trained Lord Torranaga wins the final race on the Fibresand surface – the track is making the switch to Tapeta.

Davis Dennis

Sends out his first runners from his base in Oxfordshire following stints as assistant trainer with Tom Symonds and Matt Sheppard.

Jack Duern

Returns to race-riding aged 27 after leaving the sport for more than two years, supported by trainers Simon Dow and Steph Hollinshead.

Richard Kingscote

Relinquishes role as stable jockey to Tom Dascombe to progress association with Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute.

Jorge Navarro

US-based trainer pleads guilty to administering a doping programme to horses in his care over a four-year period and could be facing jail.

People obituaries Brod Munro-Wilson 76 Merchant banker and Territorial Army officer enjoyed success as an amateur jockey despite his unusual riding style.

Rufus Voorspuy 72

Sussex-based trainer who later became a publican in Dorset before settling in Scotland.

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Tony Wechsler 89

With partner Ann Plummer he owned 2019 Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Phoenix Of Spain and eight-time winner A Momentofmadness.

Tony Fairbairn 87

Former journalist who established the Racegoers Club to promote racing and the first telephone commentary service.


An eye for success

visit studlife online: tweenhills.com/studlife

September 2021

FIRST ZOUS AND LIONS SELL The first year Northern Hemisphere yearlings by Zoustar sold at the Arqana August Yearling Sale, as did the first yearlings from the only crop left by Tweenhills’ much-missed world champion Roaring Lion. Five Zoustars included a €135,000 half-sister (pictured) to Gr.3 winner Guildsman bought by de Burgh Equine. Other buyers of Zoustar yearlings included Peter and Ross Doyle, Mags O’Toole, and Roger Marley and John Cullinan. Eight Roaring Lions averaged over €120,000 with three bought by David Redvers, including a €300,000 colt out of Stakes winner Cheriearch. Left: A first 6-figure yearling for Zoustar in Europe

STAFF PROFILE Ivo Thomas Assistant Stud Manager

You last appeared here in 2018 – what’s happened since? A lot has changed at Tweenhills. From helping manage the horses daily I have really seen the quality of stock improve and I cannot wait to see the first European-bred Zoustars and only crop of Roaring Lions on the racetrack next year; we have some absolute belters. Hobbies away from horses? Golf has had to slow down as Adam Brookes refuses to play after I beat him a few months ago. I have my first pinhooks selling soon; a few of the lads chipped in to start something special! We have two crackers selling at Tattersalls Book 3… contact me for more information! Ok Ivo, give us a young horse to watch… Well, any 2-year-old by Havana Gold! Yearling-wise I’ll say our Zoustar colt out of Stakes winner Peach Melba: I thought he was one of the nicest colts on the farm. An Ghalanta’s filly by Zoustar was our first foal born this year and very few managed to eclipse her in my view.

SWEET SUCCESS FOR TWEENHILLS 2YO Majestic Glory, born and raised at Tweenhills, won the Gr.3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket in August.

Her dam Bella Nouf was bought by Tweenhills in 2018 for 325,000gns carrying Majestic Glory. Bella Nouf has a Roaring Lion yearling filly, a Zoustar colt weanling and is in foal to Kameko. Majestic Glory’s trainer Andrew Balding also trains another 2-year-old Stakes winner who was born and raised at Tweenhills in Nymphadora. The dams of both fillies are owned in partnership with David Howden. Majestic Glory at Tweenhills just before the foal sales

LISTED WIN FOR MO Messrs Howden and Redvers also own 3-year-old filly Mo Celita, bought privately after winning a handicap in May and now a Listed winner after making all in a competitive Deauville sprint in August. Mo Celita is trained by Adrian Nicholls and was given an excellent ride by Hollie Doyle. The Gr.1 Prix de l’Abbaye is a target and she’ll be an exciting addition to the Tweenhills broodmare band in time.

’ Team Tweenhills invade ‘The Native Butcher

Mo Celita carrying David Howden’s purple and white silks

LADY R’S GRANDSON TOPS SALE Day 2 of the Goffs UK August Sale was topped by a yearling grandson of Tweenhills’ foundation mare Lady Rebecca.

The colt out of Mary Eleanor, a daughter of Lady Rebecca

The son of Blue Bresil and winning hurdler Mary Eleanor was born and raised at Tweenhills and sold for £44,000. Mary Eleanor has a 2-year-old filly by Kayf Tara and is in foal to Nathaniel. Triple Gr.1 Cleeve Hurdle winner Lady Rebecca has a yard named after her at Tweenhills.

Tweenhills, Hartpury, Gloucestershire, GL19 3BG W: www.tweenhills.com T: + 44 (0) 1452 700177 M: + 44 (0) 7767 436373 E: davidredvers@tweenhills.com


Changes

Racehorse and stallion

Movements and retirements

Santini

Richard and Lizzie Kelvin Hughes’ top chaser, runner-up in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup, moves from Nicky Henderson to Polly Gundry.

Caspian Prince

Popular sprinter renowned for his frontrunning style is retired aged 12. He won 23 races including the Dash at Epsom on three occasions.

Alpine Star

Niarchos family’s Coronation Stakes heroine is retired to the paddocks after failing to fire in the Prix Jacques le Marois behind Palace Pier.

In Swoop

Gestut Schlenderhan’s German Derby winner and Arc runner-up is retired aged four following his fourth in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Logician

Battaash

Outstanding sprinter for the late Hamdan Al Maktoum and Charlie Hills, winner of 13 races including four Group 1s, is retired aged seven.

Horse obituaries Sakhee 24

Outstanding middle-distance performer for Godolphin, winner of the Juddmonte International and Arc in 2001.

Bernardini 18

Won the Preakness Stakes for Sheikh Mohammed before retiring to Jonabell Farm, siring 15 Group/Grade 1 winners.

Mastercraftsman 15

Coolmore’s Irish 2,000 Guineas victor sired Classic winners The Grey Gatsby, Alpha Centauri and Kingston Hill.

Arctic Owl 27

Top-class stayer for the James Fanshawe stable, his ten career wins included the Prix Kergorlay and Irish St Leger.

Squire Silk 32

Winner of 12 races for Sir Robert Ogden including the 1997 Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree.

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Son of Frankel, winner of the 2019 St Leger, is retired and will start his stallion career at Peter and Emma Hockenhull’s Shade Oak Stud in 2022.



The Big Picture Free just fabulous in Sussex Owner Jeff Smith (left, with groom Cassia Cooper) had “jet black hair and no worries in the world” the last time he won the Sussex Stakes, with Chief Singer in 1984, but the smile was just the same in the Glorious Goodwood winner’s enclosure this year after Alcohol Free justified the decision to take on male rivals. The Group 1 triumph came under Oisin Murphy, the filly beating 2,000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare to become the first of her sex to win the famous race since 2004. Photos Bill Selwyn

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Qatar Goodwood Festival

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The Big Picture

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Qatar Goodwood Festival

Bowthorpe brilliance Lady Bowthorpe gained her maiden Group 1 success on her first attempt at a mile and a quarter in the Nassau Stakes. The daughter of Nathaniel produced her trademark turn of foot under Kieran Shoemark (pictured above with owner Emma Banks), who was also making his breakthrough at the top level, to defeat Zeyaadah by a length and a half. William Jarvis, Lady Bowthorpe’s Newmarketbased trainer, was enjoying his first Group 1 strike since Grand Lodge’s St James’s Palace Stakes victory in 1994. Photos Bill Selwyn

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The Big Picture

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York

Mishriff magic at York Prince Faisal’s globetrotting star Mishriff had enjoyed top-level success in France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE ahead of his engagement on the Knavesmire in the Juddmonte International Stakes. In front of a packed grandstand, the four-year-old son of Make Believe, trained by the father-and-son team of John and Thady Gosden, produced a sensational performance under regular rider David Egan, streaking home six lengths clear of Alenquer. Photos Bill Selwyn

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LANWADES Breeders of 79 winners* Worldwide in 2021 (to 20th August) including 13 Group and Stakes winners

ALPINISTA

ZAAKI

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

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

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

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

LANWADES

The independent option TM


Share our Success See our 2021 yearlings • all consigned by STAFFORDSTOWN Tattersalls Ireland September Sales, held at Park Paddocks, Newmarket • 21st and 22nd September 37 Colt BOBBY’S KITTEN – FRANCOPHILIA by Frankel By the sire of SANDRINE: first foal of dual winning daughter of Gr.1 winner LADY JANE DIGBY, dam of 7 runners - 7 winners 198 Colt ANODIN – NIMIETY by Stormy Atlantic By a Champion 1st Season Sire in France: dam won 3 races and is dam of dual winner NEBULOSA (at 3, 2021) 388 Filly FAST COMPANY – ALBORETTA by Hernando By a Classic sire, a rare opportunity to purchase a filly from the esteemed “AL” family

Goffs Orby Sale • 27th – 29th September 89 Colt SAXON WARRIOR – KINAESTHESIA by Sea The Stars By first-crop Classic winner and first foal out of a winning daughter of a 2yo Stakes Winner

Tattersalls October Sales, Book Two • 11th – 13th October 791 Colt SEA THE MOON – NEZHENKA by With Approval Dam a dual winner (Timeform 100) has so far bred 3 winners of 14 races; second dam a Stakes Winner 922 Colt BOBBY’S KITTEN – SAGESSE by Smart Strike Very closely related to SANDRINE, winning dam is half-sister to 4 Black Type winners and a further 5 winners 952 Colt ROARING LION – SEYCHELLOISE by Pivotal Three-parts brother to SANDRINE; half brother to SEA THE SHELLS. Dam won 4 (Timeform 104); 2nd dam Group winner at 2 1164 Colt SEA THE MOON – ALVARITA by Selkirk Dam, a Stakes Winning daughter of World Champion ALBORADA is dam of 8 winners including 2 Black Type winners

Goffs Autumn Sales • 3rd and 4th November

112 Colt NEW APPROACH – LUISA CALDERON by Nayef By a Classic winner and sire, this colt is ¾ brother to dual Gr.2 winner LOXLEY; dam is sister to Champion, Gr.1 winner

Colt SEA THE MOON – AKRANTI by Pivotal Second foal; dam is PIVOTAL daughter of Group and Listed winner AKDARENA.

336 Colt SEA THE STARS – ALAMODE by Sir Percy By a great Champion; the dam was Group-placed winner at 2: third dam World Champion ALBORADA

Filly HAWKBILL – AKSAYA by Sea The Stars From sire’s only European crop; dam is daughter of Group and Listed winner AKDARENA

337 Filly SEA THE MOON – ALBIZZIA by Archipenko By a leading young sire in Europe; dam, a winner from the great “AL” family

Colt SIR PERCY – MARIA DI SCOZIA by Selkirk Half-brother to 3 winners; dam won twice (Timeform 90) and is granddaughter of Champion MARIA WALESKA

342 Colt ROARING LION – ALL AT SEA by Sea The Stars From the only crop of a Champion; dam won 4 races incl. 3 x Listed races and is the dam of a triple winner, her first foal

Filly OASIS DREAM – BOHEMIAN DANCE by Dansili Half-sister to CITRONNADE (2 wins at 3, 2021); dam won at 3 and is daughter of Champion ISLINGTON

345 Colt KENDARGENT – ALMA MATER by Sadler’s Wells By a multiple Champion Sire; dam is a SW half sister to Champions ALBORADA and ALBANOVA

Tattersalls October Sales, Book One • 5th – 7th October

Tattersalls December Yearling Sale • 22nd November Colt SEA THE STARS – ALTESSE by Hernando Dam won Listed and is half-sister to a further 7 winners, including Gr.3 winner ALLA SPERANZA, dam of Gr.2 winner SHINE SO BRIGHT

57 Colt GALILEO – HERE TO ETERNITY by Stormy Atlantic Half brother to Gr.1 winners TIME WARP (12 wins, £3,927,641) and GLORIOUS FOREVER (6 wins, £2,153,894)

Colt STORMY ATLANTIC – KARAMELA by Mastercraftsman By the sire of 50 Group winners; dam won 7 races incl. Gr.3 in Argentina; family of Irish 2000 Gns winner BACHELOR DUKE

134 Colt GALILEO – MADAME CHIANG by Archipenko Dam won Gr.1 Champions Fillies and Mares’ Stakes, Ascot; her first foal is 2021 Stakes winner ORIENTAL MYSTIQUE

Colt BOBBY’S KITTEN – SONGERIE by Hernando Closely related to SANDRINE. Dam a Group winner in France at 2 (Timeform 115) and is dam of 4 winners to date

STAFFORDSTOWN info@lanwades.com • www.lanwades.com • Tel: +44 (0)1638 750222


The Howard Wright Column

Let’s hope new St Leger backer stays the distance be credited with getting the great race back on its feet again, after another of several unsteady periods that have studded its history since 1776. Given that sponsorships by bookmakers are more usually associated with fiendishly-difficult-to-

solve handicaps, which generally guarantee them a financial edge over punters, Ladbrokes’ initial take-up of the St Leger under the guidance of Mike Dillon and the subsequent follow-on by Hills has been commendable, and highly successful.

BILL SELWYN

F

ingers crossed for this month’s St Leger at Doncaster. Not for the race itself, which promises to continue the glorious resurgence that has marked the last 15 years. But for its new sponsor, the online second-hand car dealer Cazoo. Whereas this year Cazoo became only the fourth backer of the Derby and Oaks – after Ever Ready, Vodafone and Investec, for those who are counting – after the Jockey Club bowed to commercial inevitability and changed the rules of racing to allow sponsorship of the Classics from 1984, it will be the tenth individual company to attach its name to the world’s oldest Classic. The recruitment firm Pertemps has the distinction of two stints as St Leger sponsor, coming to the rescue for a three-year spell in 1995 and again being the white knight during the Covid-19 restrictions last year. It and the immediate predecessors Ladbrokes (2005-16) and William Hill (2017-19) can

Adayar powers away to win the Cazoo-sponsored Derby at Epsom

Racing should beware big dose of regulation Beware the dead hand of government, which could soon wrap its icy fingers around the neck of professional football in Britain and may in time have similar designs on British horseracing. Before England’s run to the final of the Euro 2020 championships provided a rosy glow around the sport, a fan-led review of football’s administration had delivered interim findings to DCMS minister Oliver Dowden, in which the chief message was summed up by the author: “I have stated publicly that there is a strong case for a new independent regulator, and I have heard nothing in evidence that has dissuaded me from this view.” So, no change of mind, just a reinforcement that the answer to British football’s ills, perceived or otherwise, is a big dose of regulation, as advanced by Tracey Crouch, author of the review, qualified coach, manager of a girls’ team but better known to the racing fraternity as the sports minister appointed in 2017 who resigned the following year over what she regarded as a delay in introducing reduced limits on stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals. The underlying premise of a fan-driven review whose chief finding requires oversight by an outside regulator cut no ice with the Daily Mail’s chief sportswriter Martin Samuel, who wrote: “Regulating football is hot stuff. The queue of former sports ministers angling for this position would stretch around the block. And whoever is appointed to this

22 THE OWNER BREEDER

role would be a government pick. Why is the political class so sure it has all the answers, when the evidence of recent years suggests anything but?” Answers on the back of a used ten-pound note, please, to DCMS head office, with a copy to the BHA board, which could be next in the firing line, if its industry-nominated members do not have their wits about them and choose to ignore the unwritten edict that says they should leave sectional interests in the cloakroom before they make their way to formal meetings. After all, even leaving aside Crouch’s previous, shortlived experience as sports minister, she knows all about independence and regulation within an equine-associated organisation, being the second independent member of the Horse Welfare Board alongside Chairman Barry Johnson. As such, she will be well aware that the HWB includes representatives from racing’s tripartite Members’ Committee structure of the BHA, racecourses and horsemen, a body whose composition is currently under scrutiny. There is a serious question to be asked whether representatives of those who operate under the sport’s regulations should play any part in setting the regulations in the first place. Perhaps the sport’s senior administrators should provide the answer before someone cut from the same jib as, say, Crouch, does it for them.


Dillon’s dexterity in persuading the Coolmore team to match Sheikh Mohammed’s interest in the St Leger paid handsome dividends for the profile of the race, as the Irish combo set about making up a six-win deficit when Milan provided its first success in 2001. Three further wins for Godolphin, to Coolmore’s five, means there is still some catching-up to be done, so the attraction of the sponsorship should continue. That’s not to say the identity of the sponsor will always shine brightly. There have been as many downs as ups since 1984, beginning with the initial backer, Holsten Pils, the German lager brand that seemed an ambitious partner in a region that had a reputation for its mild-and-bitter drinking culture. When sinking ground conditions forced Doncaster to abandon St Leger day in 1989 and the race was rescheduled at Ayr a week later, Holsten management decided not to follow over the border and the firm’s involvement ended, with a second blank appearing against the race title in 1990. Holsten’s eventual successor introduced a very different product to the portfolio, being Coalite, the manufacturer of smokeless fuel that had works near Doncaster. However, having backed the Classic from 1991-93, the company’s days were numbered. Ten years later the fuel industry had already begun to change beyond all recognition and Coalite went into

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Manufacturer of Horse Bedding Bedmax Limited, Northumberland

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“After Coalite, Doncaster soon got the double up when a deal with Rothmans disappeared in a puff of smoke” administration and then receivership, leaving a considerable number of redundant employees with much reduced pensions. If Doncaster’s management backed the wrong horse there – without being clairvoyant, of course – they soon got the double up, when a deal with Rothmans disappeared in a puff of smoke. Sponsorship by the cigarette company, which was chaired by the BHB director Lord Swaythling and used the Royals brand in the race title from 1999-2002, was probably on borrowed time from the start, for the act that was to prohibit most UK sponsorship by tobacco companies was enacted in November 2002 and came into force the following February. At least the involvement of Coalite and Rothmans lasted three years apiece; the most calamitous Leger sponsorship covered just one year. TeleConnection, a start-up telecommunications company run by a thrusting north London entrepreneur, entered in a blaze of hope in 1994 on what should have been a three-year deal, but failed to meet its obligations for 1995 and left without trace. TeleConnection was representative of a brave new world of business, built around computers. In that sense, Cazoo comes into a similar category, having been founded as a tech start-up in 2018 by Alex Chesterman, inventor of Zoopla, and built itself a £5 billion valuation despite not turning a profit until the three months to June 30 this year. Fingers crossed for its continued upward curve.

By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales Manufacturer of Horse Bedding Bedmax Limited, Northumberland

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23/06/2021 09:29

THE OWNER BREEDER 23


The Big Interview

Music for

THE SOUL Chris Wright admits he would have been better off financially focusing on business rather than crimes of passion such as racing and rugby – but in the final reckoning memories are what matter most Words: Julian Muscat • Photos: Bill Selwyn and George Selwyn

I

t is midday on a regular Wednesday when Chris Wright sits back in his London office to chew the cud. His phone barely stops ringing; he deals with each call quickly so as to fully interact. In the process Wright offers affirmation of an old truism: if you want something done, ask a busy man. On this morning he has already played tennis, a favoured pastime, and attended a Brexit strategy meeting that has left his head spinning with the ongoing complexities of travelling horses to Ireland and France. He outlines some of the issues with a furrowed brow, yet his expression changes instantly at the mention of two words. Wonderful Tonight is the apple of his eye, and no wonder. The promise of soft autumnal ground beckons his filly invitingly. There is no telling where her fairytale journey might end. “If I was asked which race in the world I’d most love to win, I’d say something like the Queen Mary because it’s something I can aspire to with my mares,” he says. “It’s within my scope; I’ve been second and third in it before. But if had a totally unrestrained choice, the race of my wildest dreams, I would say the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.” That is where Wonderful Tonight is heading, given a fair following wind. And as Wright intoned, it’s an unusual departure for him and his Stratford Place Stud, which was established in 1983 to house Wright’s first racehorse of note, the fast filly Crime Of Passion. Speed has been Wright’s creed ever since.

24 THE OWNER BREEDER

Runner-up in the aforementioned Queen Mary Stakes in 1982, Crime Of Passion won the Cherry Hinton Stakes on her next start. Stratford Place, in Gloucestershire, has since become a monument to Crime Of Passion’s daughters and granddaughters but Wright’s designs on breeding might have ended before they started. “I should have sold her after the Cherry Hinton because we had an astronomical offer,” he reflects of Crime Of Passion. “I didn’t know what to do; I never thought she’d be worth anything

“Frankly, it was the sort of offer I should have accepted, but I didn’t” like that much. Frankly, it was the sort of offer I should have accepted, but I didn’t. “They then came back with even more and I still didn’t take it,” he continues. “The agent told me his client wanted to buy two fillies that ran at Newmarket that week. They’d bought one of them, and that was the Queen’s filly, Height Of Fashion [subsequently dam of Nashwan et al]. So it was Sheikh Hamdan, just at the time when he was

Chris Wright has watched Wonderful Tonight record victories at Royal Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Festival this year

starting his Shadwell operation. “Was I stupid? Yes. Do I regret it? No.” Wright, who turns 77 on September 7, can have few regrets about a life well lived. The son of a Lincolnshire farmer, he was charged with organising music entertainment as social secretary of the students’ union at Manchester University, and advanced from there to establish Chrysalis Records, with partner Terry Ellis, in 1968. He bought Ellis out in 1985 ahead of


Chris Wright

taking Chrysalis public, having produced a succession of successful acts including Jethro Tull, Ultravox, Blondie and Spandau Ballet. He subsequently diversified into commercial radio and television production, notably the Midsomer Murders drama series, and at various times bought into high-end sports teams. Wright’s first venture in that domain saw him align himself with the US soccer franchise Philadelphia Fury in

1977, since when he has been involved with the Sheffield Sharks basketball team, the London football club Queen’s Park Rangers, and the rugby union club Wasps, winners of 11 trophies in as many years until he sold out in 2008. All that has come and gone, yet Wright’s involvement with racing and breeding remained constant. It has endured for 40 years now and he remains as much in thrall to it as he was when he bought his first horse in 1981.

As much was evident when Wonderful Tonight, named for Eric Clapton’s lyrical ballad, won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Wright’s face glowed with pride. Words all but escaped a man who is rarely lost for them. It was his inaugural winner at a venue where he had come close too many times to mention. He said he felt “like I’ve died and gone to heaven”. That Wonderful Tonight carries his

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THE OWNER BREEDER 25


BILL SELWYN

The Big Interview

Wonderful Tonight shows her rivals the way home at Glorious Goodwood in the Lillie Langtry Stakes under William Buick

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silks is down to a spirit of adventure redolent of the man himself. In August 2018 he was feeling flush at the Arqana yearling sales in Deauville, where he had just sold a son of Siyouni for €380,000. David Menuisier then alerted him to a daughter of Le Havre who had failed to make her reserve. “We went to look at her and that was that,” Wright recalls. “We bought her for €40,000.” It was a celebratory purchase of the kind which tends to end in regret. Not this time. “It was one of those things where everything worked out,” Wright relates. “Along with everybody else who was involved, we have to thank Hubert Honore [proprietor of Haras d’Ommeel]. If he hadn’t sold my Siyouni yearling so well, none of it would have happened. There was a lot of luck involved.” There was also Menuisier’s

26 THE OWNER BREEDER

involvement. Wright has come to respect the trainer who has brought Wonderful Tonight through the ranks with great patience. “I’d had a horse or two with David before but when he comes down to the stud to look at the horses he sees things not everybody would see,” Wright says. “In my view there is something quite special about him as a trainer.” Wonderful Tonight is right up there with the best horses Wright has owned. Together with Crime Of Passion, the yellow and blue livery has been carried by Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Culture Vulture and Chriselliam, brilliant winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2013. Tragically, she had to be euthanised after she contracted a rare hoof infection the following year. It was a shocking denouement, all the more so for the seemingly

innocuous initial veterinary diagnosis. But Wright has become accustomed, if not quite immune, to the thoroughbred’s vicissitudes. He also savoured giddy moments with 1993 Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Nicer and 2007 Middle Park Stakes winner Dark Angel, both of which he owned in partnership, yet the fact remains that the four best fillies to sport his silks were all sales purchases, rather than homebreds. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to buy his racehorses instead of breeding them? He is slightly affronted by the question. “Well, I bred [dual Group winner] Bungle Inthejungle,” he responds in a flash. “There have been others too.” And with that, he delves into a file containing not just his mares but their close relatives. He flicks through the


Chris Wright

So, what’s the secret? Odd socks and a large handbag Superstition. It’s the title of Stevie Wonder’s monster hit, and a word which resonates strongly within Chris Wright. Wright’s stellar filly, Wonderful Tonight, has already ensured that one or two more superstitions have taken root. He became reluctant to watch her live on the racecourse when she embarked on her winning ways in his Covid-enforced absence. So much so that he stayed at home when Wonderful Tonight landed the Group 1 Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day. However, Wright’s continued absence was untenable when he decided to keep the filly in training as a four-year-old. With some trepidation he went to Royal Ascot for Wonderful Tonight’s seasonal reappearance in the Hardwicke Stakes, where her victory surely banished the possibility of his presence cursing the filly. Not quite. “When I got to Ascot I found I was wearing odd socks,” Wright says. “They were put together wrongly when they came back from being washed: one sock had bigger dots than the other. So, when I went to Goodwood for the Lillie Langtry Stakes, I found those socks, separated them again and wore the same odd socks.” Wonderful Tonight duly won again, in the process condemning Wright to wearing his odd socks each time she runs. But that’s not all. He also noticed that his wife, Janice, had taken an unusually large handbag to Royal Ascot. “When I asked her why, she said that Nick Williams’ wife, Saskia, has a special large handbag she always takes to Melbourne when Nick has runners there,” Wright relates. “Apparently, Nick’s horses always won when she has the bag with her, so Janice went out and bought the same handbag. She took it to Goodwood as well.” Needless to say, both accessories will be on display when Wonderful Tonight bids to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 3.

pages at speed, pausing occasionally to remark: “I’ve bred an Italian Oaks winner, which we sold as a yearling... and Muarrab, who won the Golden Shaheen... and Dr Zempf.” He would have carried on but for a recalibration of the question which, for all its fickle tendencies, was really a prompt on the joys of breeding. “Ah yes,” he says. “The best way to describe it is the way I think about Crime Of Passion’s descendants. Everything from her I feel is mine, even members of the family I have sold on. I see granddaughters of hers running and still feel really emotionally attached to them even though they no longer belong to me.” He shudders at another question: had he ever thought about selling up during the worst of times? He pauses at length. “There are probably times when

“I got to know the horses a lot better during the Covid-19 lockdowns” I should have done, but no time when I thought I would,” he says. “I have never even been close. We built the stud from land surrounding the house which we bought from a local farmer. You couldn’t reproduce that now if you wanted to.” Wright’s involvement with the 20 or so mares based at Stratford Place, which is named after the London location of the old Chrysalis office, went up another notch during the Covid lockdowns. They obliged him to spend more time at his Gloucestershire home. “Being there permanently meant I got to know the horses a lot better,” he says.

“I used to see them only at weekends before, and you get quite attached to them watching them grow up.” That pleasure has been mitigated since Britain’s trade deal with the European Union ended at the end of last year. Transporting horses across borders now involves veterinary checks, extra bureaucratic costs and VAT payments on estimated bloodstock values. But the worst may be yet to come. “Don’t forget that some of the Brexit regulations were deferred and are due to become applicable on September 1,” he says. “It could get a lot more complicated.” He keeps his counsel on the possibility of basing some mares outside Britain on a near-permanent basis. Just because he has never considered selling does not mean he won’t recalibrate the geography. It is part of Wright’s make-up to want to know as much as possible about any new venture he engages with. He has come to understand the labyrinthine world of racing politics, which he now observes at close quarters from his place in the Racehorse Owners Association council.

THE OWNER BREEDER 27

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The Big Interview

Chris Wright

Crime Of Passion and Billy Newnes (centre) fend off Carolside and Silk Pyjamas (rail) in the 1982 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket

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Wright believes the concept of a BHA overlord in the Bernie Ecclestone mould is possible but would ruffle too many feathers. And he is mindful of a widescale revamp of the racing canvass for the danger in tradition becoming a casualty. He is largely sanguine about the state of play, although, like many, he is left feeling deflated by poor levels of prize-money in Britain. As somebody who travels frequently, he sees far more prosperous relationships between racing and betting models in other countries – in particular, France and Australia. He knows there is no prospect of a pari-mutuel monopoly, as there is in France, or the strictly on-course presence of private bookmakers in Australia. Nor does he foresee a day when visiting a betting premises in Britain will allow for the consumption of a decent glass and a sandwich to enhance the experience. “I can’t see that there is any magic solution,” he says of the prize-money impasse. “As for possible new income sources, you’re then on to media rights.

28 THE OWNER BREEDER

A while ago I lined up an expert who could genuinely have found out if there was potential to generate income from media rights, but that didn’t go anywhere. “I felt we should engage somebody to get to the bottom of it,” he continues. “It’s a very complex subject, but there’s no point in continually saying there is loads of money in media rights. We must get under the skin of it and find out if that is actually the case. “If not, then we’ll know where we stand, and we can stop talking about it. But there wasn’t the appetite to engage with somebody of that expertise and the degree of compensation he would require. Experts like that cost a bit more than £5 per week.” Wright’s investments in the orbits of racing, football and rugby weighed in at considerably more than £5 per week. He has had to assess those costs in tandem with the pleasure he has derived – or not, in the case of QPR football club. Nevertheless, it has been quite a ride. “Yes it has,” he says, “although if I’d been entirely focused on the business,

I would have been a great deal more successful and a great deal wealthier if things like racing, football and rugby hadn’t come into my life. There’s no question about that. “I think back to 20-25 years ago, when I flew to the US every week, and I wonder how I fitted it all in. God only knows, but at the end of the day you don’t have money and possessions, you have nothing but memories.” This begs one final question. Would he swap those memories in exchange for the money he has spent pursuing them? There is another long pause before he replies: “Well, I think I could have done better. “You’re bound to have some regrets. But when you go you don’t take your country estate with you, that painting on the wall. It might be worth a fortune but you don’t really own that painting, you’re the custodian of it. Someone else will be the custodian, but the memories are all yours.” There are almost certainly further memories to come from the rest of Wonderful Tonight’s career.


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19/08/2021 14:36


First-crop yearlings 2021

New kids on THE BLOCK Few topics are more hotly discussed than the latest intake of new sires – and for those with first yearlings of 2021 the outlook appears particularly bright with the late champion Roaring Lion leading a stellar cast that ranges from dual Champion Stakes hero Cracksman to top two-year-old U S Navy Flag Words: Nancy Sexton MIDDLE-DISTANCE STARS

ROARING LION

The sole crop of the much-missed Roaring Lion will most likely play a starring role at this year’s yearling sales, as they did last winter when his handful of foals through the ring sold for up to 105,000gns. Brilliant, charismatic and versatile, Roaring Lion lit up the 2018 season under the care of John Gosden with victories in the Juddmonte International, Eclipse, Irish Champion, Queen Elizabeth II and Dante Stakes alongside placings in the 2,000 Guineas and Derby. He was also an excellent two-year-old who won the Royal Lodge Stakes and ran a neck second to Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy. Roaring Lion stood a single season at Tweenhills Farm and Stud before sadly succumbing to colic during a shuttle trip to New Zealand. A total of 105 foals have been registered within that sole crop and, as to be expected, they include a number of particularly well-related youngsters, among them a daughter of Simple Verse. He possesses ten entries to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale and another eight in the Goffs Orby Sale. 2020 foal sale average: 66,625gns Top price: 105,000gns

30 THE OWNER BREEDER

BILL SELWYN

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

Roaring Lion: much-missed multiple Group 1 winner left behind a crop of 105 foals


CRACKSMAN

The first son of Frankel to stud, Cracksman is arguably best remembered for his pair of emphatic wins in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. With successes in the Coronation Cup and Prix Ganay also to his credit, Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred also boasts the distinction of having shared the 2018 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Award with the mighty Australian mare Winx. He was unsurprisingly popular in his first season as the recipient of 150 mares, and six of his yearlings are catalogued to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale. 2020 foal sale average: 32,469gns Top price: 95,000gns

POET’S WORD

Poet’s Voice - Whirly Bird (Nashwan) Stood: Nunnery Stud 2019 fee: £7,000 Poet’s Word stood for one season at Nunnery Stud prior to his switch to a dual-purpose role at Boardsmill Stud. However, he deserves to be taken seriously as a Flat prospect, not least because he was a proper Group 1 horse on his day for Sir Michael Stoute, as illustrated by his wins in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and King George. Furthermore, he is the joint highestrated representative of the Dubawi sire line at stud, a relation to Group 1 sire Inchinor and extremely good-looking, as his own 300,000gns yearling price tag suggests.

BILL SELWYN

Frankel - Rhadegunda (Pivotal) Stands: Dalham Hall Stud. 2019 fee: £25,000

Cracksman: Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred is the first son of Frankel to stud

Out of a champion two-year-old in Maybe, Saxon Warrior was himself an unbeaten two-year-old in a three-race campaign that was capped by a win in the Racing Post Trophy. Even better was to come at three, however, when he captured the 2,000 Guineas and ran a narrow second to Roaring Lion in the Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. His first 165-strong book included Group 1 winners and/or producers such as Cassandra Go, Gilt Edge Girl, Homecoming Queen and Love And Bubbles, while his first foals caught the imagination of pinhookers, with four of them selling for six figures. He has eight yearlings catalogued to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale and another 14 in the Goffs Orby Sale. 2020 foal sale average: 85,533gns Top price: 280,000gns

EXPERT EYE

Acclamation - Exemplify (Dansili) Stands: Banstead Manor Stud 2019 fee: £20,000 Expert Eye’s career for Sir Michael Stoute was defined by several performances out of the top drawer, notably an authoritative win over America’s best in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, a near five-length success in the Jersey Stakes and a wide-margin win in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood. By the same sire as Mehmas and Dark Angel and from a powerful Juddmonte family, Expert Eye has been strongly supported by both his breeder and outside players since his retirement to stud. For instance, his first book of 140 mares consisted of 30 stakes winners and 73 black-type performers

CRACK MILERS

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SAXON WARRIOR

Saxon Warrior has already hit the headlines this year thanks to a whopping average of 140,000,000yen (£918,000) achieved at the JRHA Select Sale in Japan; one colt, out of the Invincible Spirit mare I’m Yours, sold for 190,000,000yen (£1.246 million). Part of Saxon Warrior’s allure to Japanese investors is his place as one of the best colts sired by Deep Impact. And it is that access into such a powerful yet primarily Japanese-based line that also makes him so interesting to a European audience.

BILL SELWYN

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

Expert Eye: Breeders’ Cup Mile hero possesses the backing of Juddmonte Farms

THE OWNER BREEDER

31


First-crop yearlings 2021 ›› and/or producers.

2020 foal sale average: 33,705gns Top price: 180,000gns

LIGHTNING SPEAR

A popular stalwart for David Simcock who shares his sire with Siyouni, Lightning Spear won seven races and ran in the frame on a further nine occasions during his lengthy career. He struck at two yet was also at the top of his game as a seven-year-old when successful in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. Tough and durable, he also won two renewals of the Celebration Mile and ran second in two editions of the Lockinge Stakes, on one occasion failing by just a short head. Only a handful of his first foals went through the ring last winter and his stock deserve to be considered when they come under the hammer this autumn.

MASSAAT

BILL SEWLYN

Pivotal - Atlantic Destiny (Royal Academy) Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud 2019 fee: £8,500

Group 1 performer Massaat (second from right) ran second in the 2016 2,000 Guineas

Hungerford Stakes at four. A strong individual who is a halfbrother to the Group 1-winning sprinter Eqtidaar and Group 3-winning two-yearold Mujbar, he has been well supported by Mickley Stud while also possessing the backing of his breeder Shadwell. 2020 foal sale average: 11,350gns Top price: 18,000gns

BRILLIANT SPRINTERS

ZOUSTAR

Teofilo - Madany (Acclamation) Stands: Mickley Stud 2019 fee: £5,000

Northern Meteor - Zouzou (Redoute’s Choice) Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud 2019 fee: £25,000

Massaat showed top-class form when second in both the 2,000 Guineas and Dewhurst Stakes, potential that was vindicated when he landed the

This Tweenhills shuttler is already a proven Group 1 sire in his native Australia and so not technically a first-crop sire. But such has been his success down

under, where he was champion firstand second-crop sire, that co-owners Qatar Racing have shuttled the Group 1-winning sprinter since 2019, and thus his first British-sired crop are yearlings. Zoustar is one of the shining lights of the Australian stallion scene as the sire of 23 stakes winners headed by Sunlight, who led home a sweep of the top three placings for the stallion when successful in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes at Flemington, and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap winner Zoutouri. Not every reverse shuttler captures the imagination but that can’t be said for Zoustar, whose first crop includes yearlings bred by a range of leading European breeders, among them the Niarchos family, Haras de Saint Pair, the China Horse Club and the Aga Khan Studs. In all, his first 149-strong book

CLASSY PERFORMERS OUT TO EMULATE SUCCESSFUL RELATIVES

GUSTAV KLIMT (Coolmore, 2019 fee: €7,500) is not only a grandson of Rafha, being out of her Listed-winning daughter Massarra (a full-sister to Kodiac), but also a son of Galileo - and a fast one at that. He was a smart two-year-old who enjoyed his finest moment when overcoming trouble in running to win the Superlative Stakes and went on to run well in defeat at the top level on multiple occasions, notably when second in the St James’s Palace Stakes. JAMES GARFIELD (Rathbarry Stud, 2019 fee: €7,000), an Exceed And Excel descendant of Eljazzi, is another precocious member of the line. He packed in seven starts during a juvenile campaign that was highlighted by a win in the Mill Reef Stakes, yet also trained on to take the Greenham Stakes and run second in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at three. Meanwhile, MASTER CARPENTER (March Hare Stud, 2019 fee: £2,000) was precocious enough to become Mastercraftsman’s first winner at two. However, the popular performer ultimately won seven races for Rod Millman, including the Prix Daphnis, in a 53-race campaign that stretched over six seasons.

32 THE OWNER BREEDER

BILL SELWYN

When it comes to ‘stallion families’, few are currently more active than that belonging to Prince Faisal’s wonderful mare Eljazzi and her Classic-winning daughter Rafha. Rafha, of course, is the dam of leading sires Kodiac and Invincible Spirit, while another relation, Pride Of Dubai, was Australia’s champion first-crop sire of 2019-20. All of which bodes well for the younger members of the family, namely Gustav Klimt, James Garfield and Master Carpenter.

Gustav Klimt: grandson of Rafha was a high-class two-year-old and Classic-placed

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SMOOTH DADDY Could be the Daddy of them all!

t s irs ng #F arli Ye

TOP CLASS GROUP WINNER BY

SCAT DADDY

Tough and consistent Group turf winner

Won/placed 22 times from 31 starts including 5 Graded races on the turf. Beating Gr.1 horses Time Test, Messi, etc.

Good looking son of sire sensation Scat Daddy

Emerging sire of sires with No Nay Never and Caravaggio. Out of a Stakes winner/producer from the family of Catch The Blues and Sioux Nation.

First 5 sires all Gr.1 winning 2yos Cappella Sansevero

Far Above

Kuroshio

Smooth Daddy

My Dream Boat

Galileo Chrome

Standing at Starfield Stud, Ballynagall, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland N91 K8Y9 Micheál Orlandi, Compas Stallions

 + 353 (0)83 809 2299

 @CompasStallions

 compasstallions.com

 info@compasstallions.com


OSCAR P ERFORMANCE

BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF CHAMPION GRADE 1 WINNER AT 2, 3 AND 4 WORLD RECORD MILE AT 1:31.23 NO LASIX

Fee: $15,000 LFSN Contact: Kim Poulin . 859.231.0606 . kpoulin@millridge.com

CLASSIC WINNER, CLASSIC SIRE

MAKE BELIEVE. MISHRIFF showed a devastating turn of foot to win the Gr.1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York by 6 lengths taking his career earnings to over €12.5 million.

MISHRIFF IS FROM MAKE BELIEVE’S FIRST CROP – HIS BEST CROPS ARE STILL TO COME!

BALLYLINCH STUD

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

34 THE OWNER BREEDER


First-crop yearlings 2021 ›› included 60 black-type performers and

the resulting foals on offer sold for up to 150,000gns last winter. Zoustar has eight entries in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, while another nine representatives are heading to the Goffs Orby Sale. 2020 foal sale average: 59,111gns Top price: 150,000gns

U S NAVY FLAG

A fast horse with an iron constitution, U S Navy Flag ran no fewer than 11 times at two, when his wins ranged from a debut victory in May to the famous Middle Park - Dewhurst Stakes sweep, in which he became the first horse since Diesis 35 years before to pull off the double. He was similarly effective during another busy campaign at three, which was highlighted by a win in the July Cup and runner-up effort over a mile in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. U S Navy Flag is a brother to a similarly tough but top-class former Ballydoyle inmate in Roly Poly, a triple Group 1 winner, and out of champion two-year-old Misty For Me, a relation to Fasliyev. 2020 foal sale average: 41,000gns Top price: 72,000gns

HARRY ANGEL

Dark Angel - Beatrix Potter (Cadeaux Genereux) Stands: Dalham Hall Stud 2019 fee: £20,000 A high-class two-year-old who struck in the Mill Reef Stakes, Harry Angel developed into a brilliant sprinter thereafter for Clive Cox, his career highlighted by wins in the July Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup (by four lengths) at three. He was also the easy winner of the Duke of York Stakes at four.

TATTERSALLS

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

Havana Grey’s well-received first foals included this colt, sold for 130,000gns

This champion three-year-old European sprinter is the highestrated horse from the Acclamation sire line and hails from the family of last season’s Middle Park Stakes hero Supremacy. 2020 foal sale average: 20,688gns Top price: 55,000gns

the foal sales last year, as illustrated by a top price of 135,000gns. 2020 foal sale average: 24,029gns Top price: 135,000gns

TASLEET

HAVANA GREY

Showcasing - Bird Key (Cadeaux Genereux) Stands: Nunnery Stud 2019 fee: £6,000

Havana Grey is billed as the fastest representative of the Galileo line, and deservedly so given his resume consists of a win in the Molecomb Stakes over 5f at two and victory at the highest level in the Flying Five Stakes over 5f at three. This hardy six-time winner was also second in the Prix Morny. The only son of Havana Gold, who is enjoying a fine season with his twoyear-olds, at stud, Havana Grey has benefitted from the strong support of Whitsbury Manor Stud and his first foals drew plenty of favourable comment at

Tough and fast, Tasleet won stakes races at two, three and four years for William Haggas, notably the Rose Bowl Stakes at two, Greenham Stakes at three and Duke of York Stakes at four. A Group 1 victory eluded him but there’s no doubt that he was a sprinter out of the top drawer, as placings in the 32Red Sprint Cup, Diamond Jubilee and Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes suggest. A relation to Battaash, Tasleet will benefit from the support of Shadwell but has also been popular with outside breeders. His first foals also gained positive pinhooker reviews at auction. 2020 foal sale average: 19,959gns Top price: 60,000gns

Havana Gold - Blanc De Chine (Dark Angel) Stands: Whitsbury Manor Stud 2019 fee: £8,000

THE SCAT DADDY FACTOR Fuelled by its propensity for juvenile speed, the Scat Daddy sire line is currently akin to commercial catnip. Already responsible for the likes of No Nay Never and Caravaggio, the sire line faces its next test in the form of Sioux Nation and Smooth Daddy. By coincidence, both descend from Native Loraine, a 1974-foaled daughter of Raise A Native.

Group 1-winning juvenile SIOUX NATION (Coolmore, 2019 fee: €12,500) is a good-looking representative who swept the Phoenix - Norfolk Stakes double, so it stood to reason that he would be popular with commercial breeders; he covered no fewer than 241 mares in his first season and, of the 41 foals to go through the ring last winter, 28 sold for an average

of 28,143gns and high of 140,000gns. Compas Stallions, meanwhile, manages SMOOTH DADDY (Starfield Stud, 2019 fee: €5,000), a high-class turf runner in his native US who defeated Time Test when successful in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park. In all, he won or was placed in 22 of 31 starts, including five Graded stakes.

THE OWNER BREEDER 35

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First-crop yearlings 2021 ›› WASHINGTON DC

TOP TWO-YEAR-OLDS

Zoffany - How’s She Cuttin (Shinko Forest) Stands: Bearstone Stud 2019 fee: £6,000

UNFORTUNATELY

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

In a throwback to another era, Washington DC ran 32 times over four seasons for Aidan O’Brien. He came to hand early, winning his maiden in April of his juvenile year before following up in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. From then on, he added wins in the Phoenix Sprint, Committed and Patton Stakes, as well as Group 1-placings in the Prix de l’Abbaye, Commonwealth Cup and Phoenix Stakes. He is the only son of Zoffany at stud in either Britain or Ireland and appeals as a fine candidate to make the most of the support afforded of him at Bearstone Stud. 2020 foal sale average: 20,257gns Top price: 58,000gns

Having won the Prix Robert Papin for Karl Burke, Unfortunately returned to France to land a deserved Group 1 success in the Prix Morny, in which he ran the race’s fastest time for a decade. A fast, tough two-year-old, Unfortunately also signed off his career at three with a win in the Renaissance Stakes at Naas. Unfortunately is the only son of the much-missed Society Rock at stud and was well-supported in his first season by Cheveley Park Stud, where he stood his first season prior to a switch to Oak Lodge Stud in Ireland. 2020 foal sale average: 12,563gns Top price: 25,000gns

KESSAAR

Kodiac - Querulous (Raven’s Pass) Stands: Tally-Ho Stud 2019 fee: €8,000 With Kodiac carrying all before him as a sire of sires - each of his five sons to stud have already sired stakes winners, among them Ardad and Kodi Bear - it could pay to follow Kessaar, the first son to stand alongside his sire at Tally-Ho Stud. Although he raced solely at two, we saw plenty of Kessaar in a campaign that began with a narrow runner-up effort at York in May and came to include victories in the Mill Reef and Sirenia Stakes. Working in Kessaar’s favour is that he has the backing of some powerful connections in Tally-Ho Stud, the operation behind Kodiac, Mehmas and Cotai Glory, and his former owners Khalid Al-Mudhaf and Mohammed Al-Qatami, whose support of the stallion included sending the half-sisters to Santa Barbara and Kinross. 2020 foal sale average: 17,520gns Top price: 55,000gns

MOMENT OF TRUTH FOR POPULAR YOUNG FRENCH SIRES

GEORGE SELWYN

As befits a champion son of Sea The Stars (Haras du Logis: 2019 fee €7,500), CLOTH OF STARS was well received when his first foals headed to auction last winter, hitting a sales high of €75,000. An admirable performer for Godolphin, Cloth Of Stars was a seven-time winner whose Group 1 breakthrough arrived in the Prix Ganay. However, he was also a Group 1-placed two-year-old who also ran placed in a pair of Arcs, and, as such, has been well supported with sixfigure books throughout his stud career to date. Championship credentials are also a major selling point behind

Recoletos: seven wins included the Prix d’Ispahan and Prix du Moulin

36 THE OWNER BREEDER

RECOLETOS (Haras du Quesnay: €8,000), an excellent performer over a mile to ten furlongs. His seven victories included the Prix d’Ispahan and Prix du Moulin, the latter at the expense of Expert Eye. Similarly, a win in the Prix d’Ispahan was the highlight of a fine racing career enjoyed by Haras de Bouquetot’s MEKHTAAL (€5,000). A well-bred son of Sea The Stars, Mekhtaal was also Group 1-placed in Canada and is poised to benefit from the backing of his owner, Al Shaqab Racing. Sea The Stars is also represented within this generation by Group 3 winner CHEMICAL CHARGE (Haras de Grandcamp: €4,000). German owner Horst Pudwill and Haras de Saint Arnoult, meanwhile, have thrown their weight behind DSCHINGIS SECRET (€4,000). A popular German performer, Dschingis Secret boasts the distinction of being the highest-rated son of Germany’s champion sire Soldier Hollow by virtue of his six Pattern race wins, among them the Grosser Preis von Berlin. In what could be an exciting spell for Haras de Saint Arnoult, the Normandy-based farm is also home to the talented Scat Daddy horse SEABHAC (€5,000). The Grade 3

winner was popular in his first season and boasts 11 entries in the Osarus yearling sale. Another popular son of Scat Daddy, Champagne Stakes winner SEAHENGE (Haras de la Haie Neuve; €5,000), is also well represented at Osarus as the sire of 18 entries. TAAREEF (€6,000), who won consecutive renewals of the Prix Daniel Wildenstein before retiring to stand under the Shadwell banner at Haras du Mezeray, represents the ever-popular Kitten’s Joy sire line, while Group 2-winning two-yearold HERALD THE DAWN (Haras de Tierce: €4,000) is a brother to Dawn Approach, himself in the news this year as the sire of Poetic Flare. Among the first-crop sires in Germany, IQUITOS (Gestut Ammerland: €6,000) offers a welcome route into the increasingly successful Adlerflug sire line. A topclass horse himself, he won three Group 1 races and defeated 22 Group 1 winners during his career. Now based at Gestut Graditz, he is represented in the BBAG September Sale, as is Prix du Muguet winner JIMMY TWO TIMES (Gestut Hofgut Heymann: €5,000), who shares his sire, Kendargent, with last year’s leading French first-crop sire Goken.


Choisir - Bunditten (Soviet Star) Stands: The National Stud 2019 fee: £5,000 By the same sire as Starspangledbanner, Rajasinghe was all speed, defeating Group 1 winners such as Romanised and U S Navy Flag when winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in a quick time. His first foals looked the part at last year’s sales and duly averaged 29,500gns with a top price of 50,000gns - a fine return on his fee. 2020 foal sale average: 29,500gns Top price: 50,000gns

NOT FORGETTING… Neither Hawkbill nor Jungle Cat stood for beyond a single season in Europe but both are well-related Group 1 performers with the potential to make some kind of impact. Globetrotter HAWKBILL stood his sole season at Dalham Hall Stud for £7,500 before switching to Darley Japan, where he proved more popular as the recipient of 95 mares. He was an excellent performer on his day, as illustrated by victories in the Eclipse Stakes and Dubai Sheema Classic, and as a Kitten’s Joy member of a fine Helen Alexander family, it would be no surprise to see him throw a smart runner or two. High-class sprinter JUNGLE CAT, who stood at Kildangan Stud for €8,000 prior to a permanent switch to New Zealand, hit Group 1 heights for Godolphin when taking the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Australia. He shares his sire, Iffraaj, with Wootton Bassett.

Few young North American sires of recent years have elicited as much anticipation as the unbeaten Triple Crown hero JUSTIFY (Ashford Stud; $150,000). The best son of the muchmissed Scat Daddy, he covered a book of 252 mares in his first season, fired in a weanling average of $421,738 at last year’s winter breeding stock sales and has already been represented by yearlings that have sold for $1.8 million, $825,000 and $625,000 so far this sales season. He has 89 representatives catalogued to the Keeneland September Sale yet has also struck a chord with European-based breeders as well, as illustrated by the fact that he possesses five entries in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale. Justify isn’t the only young son of Scat Daddy to capture the imagination at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. MENDELSSOHN ($35,000) was a $3 million yearling who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and is a half-brother to champion sire Into Mischief. It’s a highly appealing package that attracted 252 mares in his debut book; no fewer than 92 of his first yearlings are catalogued to the Keeneland September Sale. Ashford is also home to Grade 1 winner MO TOWN ($12,500), a Graded stakes winner on dirt and turf who represents the thriving Uncle Mo sire line. Lane’s End Farm is another operation to hold a strong hand in this division as the base for City Of Light, West Coast and Accelerate. The first foals by four-time Grade 1 winner and $5.6m earner CITY OF LIGHT ($40,000) proved a hit with buyers last winter, as an average of $216,000 and high of $600,000 attests. The son of Quality Road has maintained

BILL SELWYN

FIRST YEARLINGS BY TRIPLE CROWN HERO JUSTIFY

Mendelssohn: former Aidan O’Brien trainee has 92 entries at Keeneland

that pace into this year’s yearling season thanks to youngsters who have already sold for up to $725,000. The first foals by $5.8m earner WEST COAST ($35,000), a dual Grade 1-winning son of Flatter, sold for up to $200,000, while $6.7m earner ACCELERATE ($25,000) won no fewer than five Grade 1 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Dual Grade 1-winning two-yearold BOLT D’ORO (Spendthrift Farm: $25,000) was in the news at the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale as the sire of a colt – a half-brother to champion Rachel Alexandra – who sold for $1.4m. He won’t be short of representation going forward given he covered 214 mares in his first season. Also in possession of Grade 1 credentials is GOOD MAGIC (Hill ’n’ Dale Farm; $35,000), winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Haskell Invitational. A million-dollar yearling, the son of Curlin had yearlings sell for up to $675,000 at

Saratoga. Hill ’n’ Dale is also home to the undefeated Grade 1 winner ARMY MULE ($10,000), already sire of a pair of $400,000 colts in 2021. Additional Classic spice is added by ALWAYS DREAMING (WinStar Farm: $25,000), successful in the Kentucky Derby, and TAPWRIT (Gainesway Farm: $12,500), winner of the Belmont Stakes and a $1.2m yearling himself. OSCAR PERFORMANCE (Mill Ridge Farm: $20,000) boasts international appeal as a Grade 1-winning son of Kitten’s Joy. The eight-time winner was a Grade 1 scorer at two to four, set a world record mark of 1:31.23 for a mile, raced without Lasix and possesses the backing of a powerful syndicate, all of which deserves to make him interesting on a global scale. It will also be interesting to see if any European buyers target the progeny of Grade 1 winner COLLECTED (Airdrie Stud: $17,500) as a son of the versatile City Zip.

THE OWNER BREEDER 37

MEGAN ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY

RAJASINGHE


Shannon Arvin

First Lady of KEENELAND The turbulent backdrop of Covid has done little to dampen the ambition and hopes of Shannon Arvin in her role as President of Keeneland Words: Nancy Sexton

T

he idea of assuming a Presidency while the world is in the grips of a pandemic-induced state of chaos is not for the faint-hearted. When Shannon Arvin stepped in to serve as incoming President-elect of Keeneland on September 1, 2020, Covid was still wreaking havoc across the globe. News of her appointment came just days before Keeneland staged its September Sale, an event that would set the tone for the autumn sales season to come, and weeks prior to its Breeders’ Cup meeting and November breeding stock auction. As Covid continued to disrupt sales schedules and detract from prestigious race meetings worldwide, industry eyes rested upon Keeneland as a barometer of what could be expected for the rest of the year. As it was, each of Keeneland’s sales were held as scheduled. Not only that, markets held steady and benefitted from foreign investment, with the company successful in its bid to get international buyers into the US and on to its sales grounds via a visa waiver system. The Breeders’ Cup, staged in front of a restricted audience, was also successful and an event where a semblance of normality made a welcome return. Arvin officially succeeded Bill Thomason as Keeneland’s President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1 this year. The eighth President in the organisation’s history and the first woman to hold the post, Arvin’s term to date has been defined by an innovative outlook that is mindful of the company’s long-held traditions. New personnel have been added, changes

38 THE OWNER BREEDER

have been made to the September Sale and the use of the digital sale ring accelerated. It is fair to assume that Arvin would not be in this position today without a deep passion for the sport and Keeneland itself. It is the continuation of a family tradition that goes back to her grandfather W.T. ‘Bish’ Bishop, the track’s first general manager from 1937 to 1971. Her father, William T. ‘Buddy’ Bishop III, grew up at Keeneland, living in an apartment next to the track’s clubhouse and while he went on to practise law, he maintained close ties to Keeneland, his service to the organisation including positions as director, secretary, trustee and counsel. Arvin followed her father into law, working alongside him at the Lexington firm Stoll Keenon Ogden from 2002 until his death in 2008. It was at Stoll Keenon Ogden, at which she became a partner, that Arvin forged relationships with a number of industry professionals, in particular Keeneland, to whom she served as corporate counsel and as a secretary and advisory member of Keeneland’s Board of Directors. She also serves on the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the American Jockey Club. “Keeneland is very special to our community,” she says. “Dad grew up here – he lived in an apartment on the third floor of what is now our administration offices. And I worked here while I was still in high school, answering phones and things like that. “It’s a beautiful spot and the great thing about Keeneland is that it is embraced by both the horsemen and

“I don’t think there is anywhere like Keeneland - it is special”


fans. Obviously I grew up here but I have lived in other places as well and I don’t think there is anywhere really like it – it’s a very special place. “I think my dad would be very pleased that I am here and carrying on its legacy.” Arriving at the helm during such a difficult moment in Keeneland’s 85-year history was understandably not without its challenges. Indeed, Keeneland hasn’t emerged from Covid unscathed, with the pandemic contributing to a 28% drop in annual turnover to $449,289,000 from 2019 to 2020. However, Arvin is keen to accentuate the positives and deservedly so, given that the world’s troubles prompted the industry to become more flexible in its outlook, the accelerated use of online bidding being a prime example.

“It’s been a really challenging year around the world – unprecedented,” she says. “Everyone has had to become more flexible and if there are any silver linings, it’s been the way that everyone has pulled together. “Our sales went ahead on time and the markets held up. The horse industry are blue sky thinkers. I think we see that day everyday in what they do, and I think that optimism and resilience really showed through. “It also meant that some things that we had been thinking about for a while were brought forward, including online bidding. There had been concerns that it would take away the electricity and the hustle and bustle of an auction, but then with everything going on, it became a case of us having to expedite those plans to introduce it.”

She adds: “Last year we traded $32 million online. From what we saw, several principals [of ownerships] became more engaged. Some were doing their own bidding using the online platform and that was good to see, those people becoming more involved in the bidding process.” The digital sale ring, a platform for selling horses exclusively online, was launched in May 2020 and over the course of seven sales since has hit a high of $327,000 paid by St Elias Stables for the Juddmonte-sold Trapezium at the inaugural auction. “The digital sale ring is ever evolving and an important innovation finding its place in the market,” says Arvin. “One of the good things about it is that you don’t need a critical mass of horses to hold it. And as an owner, you don’t

››

KEENELAND

Shannon Arvin: the eighth President in Keeneland’s history, she is also the first woman to hold the post

THE OWNER BREEDER 39


Shannon Arvin

KEENELAND

››

Keeneland expects to host a full capacity crowd at its October meeting, which is set to offer a record $6 million in purses

›› need to wait to sell at public auction,

which are held at only certain times of the year. The horse doesn’t even have to be based in Kentucky. So I can see it becoming an important means of trading for horses in training going forward.” She adds: “We have to be innovative. Keeneland has its traditions and I’m a traditionalist but I think we have to recognise that not all traditions have to be kept – those that aren’t can be honoured as memories. For me, it’s about taking the best traditions and moving forward, and by doing that I feel we can help grow the sport.” Since the turn of the year new personnel have been added to the management team, with Gatewood Bell appointed to the position of Vice President of Racing, Irishman Tony Lacy as Vice President of Sales and fellow Irishman Cormac Breathnach as Director of Sales Operations. Bell is a noted agent under his Cromwell Bloodstock banner while Lacy joins following lengthy stints as a partner in Kentucky consignment agency Four Star Sales and as North American representative for Arqana. Breathnach was formerly Director of Stallion Nominations at Airdrie Farm in Kentucky and succeeds Geoffrey Russell, who has retired after 25 years of service.

40 THE OWNER BREEDER

“Keeneland was established in 1936 by horsemen for horsemen and it is my belief that we should have horsemen in these roles,” said Arvin. “I have known Gatewood and Tony a really long time, and they are quality, respected horsemen. As is Cormac – he and Geoffrey are quite similar in that they’re hugely knowledgable about pedigrees, passionate about the sport

“It’s about taking the best traditions and moving forward” and charismatic people to go with it. To place over 4,000 yearlings into a sale is a challenging puzzle and not something that everyone wants to do.” Thus Keeneland heads into its most crucial period of the year full of steam. A record $6 million in purses spread over 17 days will be on offer during the track’s October meeting, which remains a highlight of the American racing scene by virtue of its 22 stakes

races, among them ten Breeders’ Cup ‘win and you’re in’ events. Barring any Covid-related problems, the track has confirmed the welcome news that it expects to be able to host the meeting at full capacity. On the auction side, the company is gearing up to host its marathon September Sale on September 13-24, for which a total of 4,036 yearlings have been catalogued. Keeneland is understandably proud of its global appeal. As far as Europe is concerned, its graduates regularly fly the flag on the elite stage – look no further than 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko and this year’s Classic-placed miler Colosseo. On the other side of the coin, its own European presence as a company consists of the sponsorship of the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, with the prospect of further additions to the portfolio to come. Overall, the participation of international players is crucial to the health of the September and November Sales, whether it be the high-spending Maktoum family or the collection of European breeze-up buyers that make the annual trip to participate within the middle to lower markets. As such, ensuring their presence on the sale grounds last September


NEW LOOK TO SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE

KEENELAND

was imperative. It required extensive dialogue with the United States Department of Homeland Security, but their efforts were successful with the result that approximately 120 yearlings went on to be imported out of the sale into Europe. At the time of writing, further work was going on behind the scenes with the United States Department Of State to facilitate international travel for this year’s renewal and Arvin was “hopeful” that their efforts would again bear fruit. “We are hopeful of welcoming international visitors to our sale again this year,” she says. “It’s another one of the challenges presented by Covid but we are working with [Kentucky senator] Mitch McConnell on it and he has a great understanding of the importance of international investment at our sales. Buyers from 52 different countries buy at Keeneland and we are very appreciative of their importance.” Closer to home, Arvin is heartened by the strides made in recent years with regards to the future of the sport in North America. Keeneland sits at the forefront of the safety movement as a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition alongside the Breeders’ Cup, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, New York Racing Association and The Stronach Group. The coalition is pushing for a new and centralised set of standards within American racing with an array of reforms relating to the safety of horse and jockey as its primary focus. Currently, American racing is beholden to a fragmented system of regulations with little consistency on rulings across 38 jurisdictions. However, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), which was signed into American law by President Trump on December 28, is set to change all that as the driving force behind a central governing body; the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has been created as an independent governing structure charged with proposing and enforcing health-and-safety standards, and will be overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. HISA is set to be implemented by July 1, 2022, and remains a hot topic, being advertised as ushering in a “new, safer era” for the sport in one corner while attracting vehement opposition from another. For Arvin, however, change can not come soon enough. “HISA – it is time,” she says. “It’s the

Book 1 of the Keeneland September Sale has been condensed to cover two days

This year’s Keeneland September Sale opens on September 13 with a new, fresh look. Book 1 has been condensed into two sessions starting at 1pm each day and for the first time ever will include a slot at the end of day two for those yearlings who failed to sell during the opening session. Historically, a dark day has sat between Books 1 and 2, but this year it separates Books 2 and 3. “Anytime you change something, some people will have concerns but the overall reaction has been positive,” says Shannon Arvin. “We listened to feedback from consignors and buyers, and took onboard input from the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association – they were a big help. There were a lot of opinions but it was universally agreed that we should have more consistency with the sale’s schedule going forward so everyone knows where they stand and what to expect.” The shift of the dark day now means that approximately 1,100

biggest change that I’ve seen in the sport. “Currently we have a patchwork of regulations but HISA will allow us to move forward and instil confidence in the sport and its integrity. It has been a patchwork for so long and now is the time to move forward and find the right answer.” Throughout its history, Keeneland has remained a leader within the horse

yearlings are catalogued to go under the hammer before the break in trading, something that allows consignors and buyers to regroup before heading into the later books. It’s a move that should allow the momentum of the sale to keep flowing, says Arvin. The session for the RNA (reserve not attained) yearlings is an entirely new concept. It isn’t uncommon to see sales take time to gain momentum, particularly at the higher end of the market, and the introduction of an RNA session has the potential to support those who feel they may have been compromised by holding an early catalogue position. “I think there’s always an anxiety from people of going first and this gives the consignors the opportunity to re-offer that horse if they want,” says Arvin. “We’re feeling our way with it. It could be that we end up with only two horses in the RNA section, but we’re absolutely fine with that.” The sale concludes with a three-day Book 5 that ends on September 24.

business, right from the time of its construction under the visionary eye of its founder Hal Price Headley during the 1930s. Arvin’s appointment over 80 years later ushered in a new chapter for the organisation, one where ambition and a sense of tradition dovetail neatly with each other. It’s a fresh outlook but one that should ensure Keeneland’s place as an international industry leader for years to come.

THE OWNER BREEDER

41


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42 THE OWNER BREEDER

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Isfahan

Punching above HIS WEIGHT

Germany has a rising stallion star in Isfahan, the 2016 Deutsches Derby hero who is a Group 1 sire with his first crop – yet it hasn’t all been plain sailing Words: Martin Stevens

G

ermany’s stallion ranks have been in dire need of a shot in the arm for some time now, but the problem suddenly became more acute in April when the country’s newly crowned champion sire Adlerflug collapsed and died shortly after covering a mare. Leading sires Areion and Soldier Hollow were still in service this season, but they are rather long in the tooth at 26 and 21 respectively. Younger names have struggled to establish themselves, and the only chance left for

the mighty and much-missed Monsun to forge a sire-line at home is through Protectionist. German breeders needed a saviour and, if the evidence from this year’s Deutsches Derby and Preis der Diana is anything to go by, it might just have arrived in the big, burly and bright chestnut form of Isfahan. The first crop of three-year-olds by the former Deutsches Derby hero contains the clear-cut winner of this year’s renewal of the Hamburg Classic, Sisfahan, as well as the gallant runner-

up in the Preis der Diana, Isfahani. Father, son and daughter are all owned by Darius Racing. The increasingly influential operation is owned by Dr Stefan Oschmann, the recently retired CEO of science and technological giant Merck, and managed by the astute young bloodstock agent Holger Faust, whose parents Bruno and Michaela own Gestüt Karlshof – renowned breeders of Classic-winning siblings Salve Regina, Samum and Schiaparelli. “Dr Oschmann and I met at Gestüt

GESTUT OHLERWEIHERHOF

Isfahan: with the backing of owner Darius Racing, the Deutsches Derby hero is already a Classic sire

THE OWNER BREEDER 43

››


PA FRANK KOLTING

Sisfahan: by taking the Deutsches Derby (above), Sisfahan provided a notable double for Dr Stefan Oschmann (third from left) and Holger Faust (right)

›› Karlshof back in 2013, and we decided

to work together,” explains Faust. “Darius Racing started in 2014 and success came pretty fast, with Isfahan winning the German Derby in 2016. It was champion owner in Germany that year and in 2019, and it might very well be so again this year. “Darius Racing now has roughly between 20 and 25 horses in training, and most are with Henk Grewe, although we also use Andreas Wöhler, Andreas Suborics and Waldemar Hickst.” Only seven years after the operation was represented by its first runners,

44 THE OWNER BREEDER

it has campaigned not only the Deutsches Derby victors Isfahan and Sisfahan, but also two other top-level winners in Donjah and Khan, a German horse of the year in Rubaiyat and a host of stakes scorers headed by Alounak, Parvaneh and Wasir. It also seems to have the magic touch with mares, as its small-scale breeding offshoot Anahita Stables managed to produce last year’s Grosser Preis von Bayern winner Sunny Queen from its first crop. The four-strong Anahita Stables broodmare band were bought to support home stallion Isfahan, who was

retired to Gestüt Ohlerweiherhof at the end of his racing career. Recalling how he bought the son of Lord Of England for just €35,000 as a yearling in Baden-Baden, Faust says: “I really liked the sire and that was back in the days when he had only one Classic winner with Feodora in the Diana; he now has four thanks to Isfahan himself, this year’s Preis der Diana winner Palmas and the St Leger winner Near England. “His stock were always very consistent and honest, and I’d compare him a little with Kendargent, who also had lots of really good horses but had to wait a long time for a truly outstanding one like Skalleti to come along. “Lord Of England’s yearlings were less expensive to buy than Kendargent’s, of course, and Isfahan was just a nice, strong individual; you could tell he would grow to become a big horse, which he did – he measures 169cm tall [a little under 16.3hh].” Isfahan made good use of his strapping physique. Trained by Wöhler and carrying Darius Racing’s green silks


Isfahan

with pink sleeves, he stormed home to win Germany’s most prestigious two-year-old prize, the Preis der Winterfavoriten, to be named the country’s juvenile champion. He landed a Group 3 at Munich in good style on his three-year-old debut and then headed to Rome for the Italian Derby, in which he was sent off a shortpriced favourite. However, the ground was too firm for him that day and he could finish only fifth. To add injury to insult, he sustained minor damage to a hoof in the process. Isfahan was given a two-month break after his fruitless trip to Italy, and came back with an admirable staying performance to win the Deutsches Derby. Having taken up the running soon after the home turn, he galloped on relentlessly in bottomless ground to see off the challenges of the high-class pair Savoir Vivre and Dschingis Secret. Soon after his Hamburg heroics he suffered a recurrence of his foot injury, which forced his early retirement to stud. “In my opinion, he made for the complete sire,” says Faust. “He was a champion two-year-old and had shown a good turn of foot to win our most important juvenile race, and then at three he became a Classic winner by showing amazing fighting spirit. “The sire line had improved and his half-brother Incantator had won a Group 3 race, and he was an imposing physical – tall and strong, not like other German stallions like Soldier Hollow and Adlerflug, who have of course been very successful but are, or were, much smaller models.” So far, so good. But not everything went to plan in the early stages of Isfahan’s stallion career. “We wanted to support Isfahan but didn’t want to become the biggest breeder in Germany, so we tried something new,” says Faust. “We bought 30 or 40 mares with nice pages but without good race records in order to get value for money, and covered

GIVING LIFE TO THE SHIRLEY HEIGHTS LINE Isfahan promises to give a new lease of life to the Shirley Heights sire-line, which had looked in danger of being extinguished in European breeding. His sire Lord Of England is by Jeff Smith’s dual Group 1-winning twoyear-old Dashing Blade, who stood one season at Smith’s Littleton Stud before his export to Gestüt Etzean in Germany, where he became a prolific source of Group winners. Dashing Blade was in turn by Shirley Heights’ short-lived son Elegant Air, a winner of the Horris

Hill Stakes and Tattersalls Gold Cup who took up residence at Aston Upthorpe Stud. Sir Percy at Lanwades Stud and Reliable Man at Gestüt Röttgen, grandsons of Darshaan via Mark Of Esteem and Dalakhani, are among the very few other active public stallions in Europe who trace back to Shirley Heights in the male line. Olden Times, one of the last surviving stallion sons of Darshaan, stands on a more-or-less private basis for his owner, Prince A A Faisal.

GEORGE SELWYN

“In the first four years he was given no chance by breeders”

Dashing Blade (nearside): the Ian Balding-trained Dewhurst Stakes winner has forged a legacy in Germany thanks to his successful son Lord Of England

them with Isfahan before bringing them back to the sales at BBAG and Arqana. “The idea was to give smaller breeders in Germany and France the opportunity to save money by getting a mare with a nice page, and we tried that for two seasons, but then we stopped for the reason that it simply did not work at all, full stop. “Nearly all of the mares ended up in countries without established racing programmes. Turkey was perhaps the most advanced but the others went to Libya, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and so on. That was 100 per cent not what we wanted.” So Isfahan was in the strange position of having appeared to have covered large books in his first two seasons, but producing only small crops in the countries that mattered for making his name as a stallion. “The result was that he sired only between 25 and 30 foals in Germany

and France in each of his first crops,” says Faust. “With that in mind I’m even more proud of the fact he has managed to sire Isfahani and Sisfahan.” To an outsider looking in, it seems odd that Isfahan wasn’t granted more mares by other German breeders, but Faust explains that it is understandable in the context of the country’s breeding scene. “In his first four years he was given no chance by German breeders, but I don’t blame them at all because that’s the way the business here works,” he says. “Owner-breeders want to go to the proven stallions like Adlerflug, Soldier Hollow or Areion because they know they’ll get a good racehorse – that’s absolutely fine, we do the same – and commercial breeders want to go to France, Britain or Ireland to get mares covered, because if you look at results from the BBAG Yearling Sale, around

THE OWNER BREEDER 45

››


Isfahan outside the country. “There are only around 1,000 mares in Germany that get covered every year, and there are a lot of stallions for that small number, so it’s tough work to get a new stallion going.” Faust reports that Isfahan was in more demand this year after being crowned Germany’s leading first-season sire of 2020 against unusually tough competition that included Protectionist, Ito, Lucky Lion and Guiliani. Patrons included one of the country’s foremost breeders, Gestüt Wittekindshof. The Fausts themselves also sent 12 out of their 34 mares from Gestüt Karlshof, “as we could sort of see what was going to happen this year,” says the agent. One rare international breeder who did believe in Isfahan in his early days at stud was Guy Pariente, the visionary who single-handedly transformed Kendargent from an obscure Group 3 place-getter into one of France’s leading sires from his base at Haras de Colleville. He sent the stallion his Kendargent mare Kendalee, a winning hurdler and chaser, and was rewarded by breeding Sisfahan. Explaining how the arrangement came about, Faust says: “I’m a big fan of Kendargent, and also of the breeding of Mr Pariente, and one day we met in person and decided to do more business together. He said if I ever had an interesting project, I should count him in. “So when I came to syndicate a nice Dalakhani colt bred by Gestüt Karlshof called Jimmu, I asked him if he wanted to be part of it, and he did. The horse did a good job, winning a race and running seventh in the German Derby, and we got him sold to Hong Kong for a fair price. “Around that time, Mr Pariente called to ask me which mares I was planning to send to Kendargent in the coming breeding season. I said this and that, and asked him what he would be sending to Isfahan in his first year? He said he liked the horse when he saw him winning the Derby, so why not? He’d send a mare.” The result of the mating between Isfahan and Kendalee was sent as a yearling to the Arqana Autumn Sale, better known for its National Hunt offerings. Faust had filled his orders for Darius Racing that year, but he did a deal for the colt outside of the ring with €16,000 the price agreed for friend

46 THE OWNER BREEDER

FRANK NOLTING

›› 55 to 65 per cent of the horses are sold

Holger Faust: ‘proud of the fact that Isfahan has sired Isfahani and Sisfahan’

Christoph Holschbach to own half with Pariente. Sisfahan entered training with Grewe, who saddled him to finish second and to win in two starts in the French provinces at two. His Classic campaign was delayed by an infection he had contracted over the winter, and by the early part of this summer Holschbach and Pariente had each decided they were happy to part with the horse, allowing Darius Racing to step in and buy him.

“It’s tough work to get a new stallion going in Germany” “We made a really good offer, especially considering he was a horse who had run only twice at two and not yet run at three by late May,” says Faust. “He was meant to go to France for his comeback but we asked the trainer to scratch him and send him to Dusseldorf instead. He was a little headstrong on his first start after a long break but he was much sharper in the Derby and won well against a strong field.” Plans call for Sisfahan to take on his elders in the Grosser Preis von Baden in early September, although he might be redirected to the Grand Prix de Deauville on the weekend beforehand. So highly thought of is his stablemate Isfahani, bred by Gestüt Karlshof and bought by Faust for Darius Racing at €36,000 in Baden-Baden, that she has the same choice of races on her agenda.

“Isfahani was lucky last year to create history by becoming the first German-trained horse to win a Group race on debut, as she finished second in the Premio Guido Berardelli but was awarded the race in the stewards’ room,” says Faust. “But this year she has turned out to be quite unlucky. She went for the Italian Derby first time out, just because she’d shown so much class at home, but she lost a shoe directly after the start and a horse struck into her, and she picked up an injury after the race. “On her next run in Hamburg we chose the wrong tactics with her, as she likes to gallop on but she was ridden for a turn of foot, and she ended up in the middle of nowhere with no other horses and no rails to help her. Everyone was looking at us asking what we saw in her at home. It was a little bit embarrassing, but we knew what we had and didn’t worry. “As for the Preis der Diana, the track at Dusseldorf didn’t suit her at all. She’s very tall, like her father, and masculinelooking with a big action, so she couldn’t handle the tight bends and she lost position. By the time the jockey got her going, Palmas had flown. She will be better over 12 furlongs next time.” It’s worth noting that fifth behind Palmas and Isfahani that day was yet another Darius Racing-owned Isfahan three-year-old in Anoush, and she, like Sisfahan, boasts Kendargent as broodmare sire. Food for thought for owners of Kendargent mares on the continent, perhaps. The rise of Darius Racing has not only showcased Isfahan’s potential as a sire of great importance, but it has also shone the spotlight on Faust’s talent for finding stars for bargain sums. “When I go to the sales, I don’t even bother looking at the Galileos and Dubawis as they’ll be out of my budget,” he says. “The most expensive yearling I’ve ever bought was a Sea The Stars filly who cost €220,000, and before that I’d never spent in excess of €200,000. “There’s a lot of sire-power responsible for so many big-race winners every year that’s simply out of reach to me. “So I have to look at the progeny of lower to middle-market sires, and yet I’ve still bought many good horses, so I’m pretty proud of that. “I just hope one day someone comes up to me and says, ‘I like your work, I’d like you to buy more expensive horses for me!’”



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October Mixed Sales

15th and 16th October

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Breeders’ Digest

Nancy Sexton Bloodstock Editor

Vast array of riches available to potential yearling buyers

come away with good honest horses but top-level ones as well.” He adds: “The same can be said for some of the Irish trainers. Ger Lyons, for example, would be in the Book 2 camp but he embraced this scheme, went for it from the word go and has been successful with horses in that 20,000gns - 100,000gns range. “The beauty of it is the fact that it doesn’t matter if you get beaten in your maiden, you can go again and then again. So it suits every type of horse.” Tattersalls also take pride in the £150,000 Tattersalls Autumn Race, one of the company’s longer-standing events. Traditionally run for graduates of Books 3 and 4, it will incorporate those from the Somerville Yearling Sale for the first time this year. This year’s Somerville yearlings also have their own race, a six-furlong event scheduled for next August at Newmarket. As George notes, the idea of competing in such lucrative events is an easy sell for trainers.

REFRESHING THE BRAND

Similarly, the introduction of the Goffs Million has “caught the imagination”, according to Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby. The new seven-furlong race will be run at the Curragh on the eve of the 2022 Goffs Orby Sale and boasts the

distinction of being Europe’s richest twoyear-old race. Prize-money will also be paid down to tenth place. In addition, if the winner of the 2022 Goffs Million subsequently wins a Group or Grade 1 race as a three-yearold in Britain, Ireland, France, the US or Australia, the winning owner receives a €100,000 bonus. The move marks a return to familiar territory for Goffs, which previously staged a million race from 2006 to 2010. So why relaunch the incentive now? “It refreshes the brand,” says Beeby. “Obviously we had a disappointing Orby Sale last year [when staged in Doncaster]. Afterwards, we chatted to a number of buyers and vendors and several things emerged, one of which was how important it is to stage the sale in Kildare Paddocks – and we’re very glad to be able to do that this year. “But we also needed something to drive people. We looked at a couple of options, and a race series and a bonus scheme came under consideration. But we decided that it would be better to have one focus and that’s how we landed on the Million. And the great thing about the Group 1 bonus is that it also caters for our international clients.” He adds: “I think the catalogue reads well and we’re pulling together as a team to do everything we can to get buyers to the sale.”

TATTERSALLS

I

n an era where the issue of prize-money remains under pressure, the Tattersalls October Book 1 bonus has quickly settled into its role as an incentive for owners. The bonus, which pays out £20,000 to winning Tattersalls October Book 1 graduates of eligible races, is one of an array of riches available to potential yearling purchasers this autumn. Goffs, for example, has also attached a new €1 million race for two-year-olds to its Orby Sale alongside a lucrative bonus for any graduate that goes on to win a Group 1. As for Tattersalls, the Book 1 bonus isn’t the only incentive on offer since valuable races are also attached to its Somerville and October Books 3 and 4 Sales. Tattersalls Ireland also hosts the €300,000 Super Auction Sales Stakes for graduates of its September Yearling Sale. While Book 1 naturally caters for the higher sector of the market, such is the nature of any auction place that it also boasts a number of successful lower-end graduates – think Alenquer, Berkshire Shadow and Velocidad, whose yearling values ranged from 80,000gns to 25,000gns. In the case of Joseph O’Brien’s Velocidad, she paid for herself in one swoop when successful on debut. “We introduced the bonus in 2016 and it has paid out the thick end of £6 million since then,” says Jimmy George, Marketing Director of Tattersalls. “It’s a huge sum, and it has changed buyer behaviour. People who would have traditionally sat back and waited for Book 2 have begun to look at Book 1. “Owners and trainers who have consistently embraced it have been rewarded. The owners of Berkshire Shadow [Berkshire Parts & Panels Ltd] are a case in point. Berkshire Shadow cost only 40,000gns [when bought by trainer Andrew Balding] and he earned a sizeable chunk of that back when winning first time out and then, of course, he won the Coventry. “Another owner of Andrew Balding’s, the Mariscotti family, have also done well buying value out of Book 1. They’ve bought some very good horses, sold some on and come back armed and dangerous to buy the following year. “So some of these owners haven’t just

Berkshire Shadow: Coventry Stakes winner was a 40,000gns Tattersalls Book 1 yearling

THE OWNER BREEDER 49


Sales Circuit • By Carl Evans

Solid start to yearling season as €2.4 million filly stars

50 THE OWNER BREEDER

Charlie Gordon-Watson went to €2.4 million for this daughter of Dubawi

crème catalogue like this one, and just such a winning family member will have done no harm to the value of the €1.5 million top-priced colt. A son of Siyouni, his Dark Angel half-brother Angel Bleu had won the recent Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, although he barely

needed that assistance given that his dam was a full-sister to Highland Reel, Cape Of Good Hope, Idaho and Nobel Prize. Consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux, he was knocked down to Oliver St Lawrence, who bought the top lot at this sale last year – another Dubawi

ARQANA

Back in its traditional August slot after decamping to September during Covid 2020, this three-day auction once again launched the European yearling sales season. Trade was good, albeit no records were set, and while visitors had to pre-register, show proof of either vaccination or a negative test and wear masks in the sales auditorium, the popular Deauville-in-August attractions were in place, including some top-class racing. Turnover in excess of €40 million was down seven per cent on the figure achieved two years ago when the sale was last held in August, the average price dropped 13% to €162,638 while the median was clipped 20% to a round €100,000, but those figures compared favourably to the previous five years as did the 76% clearance rate. The list of stallions whose progeny headed the leading prices contained no surprises. Dubawi’s stock proved particularly highly valued, his six lots selling for €5,160,000 at an average of €860,000, and they included the headline act, a filly who was sold for €2.4 million to agent Charlie Gordon-Watson. Siyouni was represented by 15 sold lots which meant he had little hope of matching the average price achieved by Dubawi’s stock, but it did give him ammunition and one of his colts and one of his fillies reached the top-ten board, while other members of Europe’s stallion elite who made the tasty ten included Galileo, Kingman and Sea The Stars. Frankel did not feature among the elite quintet, but his five sold lots averaged €275,000 which should have kept their breeders happy. Gordon-Watson’s purchase – which he described as “the nicest daughter of Dubawi I have seen” – will be joining Andre Fabre to race for an undisclosed client. A February foal out of the Galileo mare Typique, whose dam and granddam were both winners at the top level, the yearling’s page had been upgraded by the Group 2 Prix de Malleret success of her three-year-old half-sister Babylone. Updates to catalogue pages are always handy, even in a crème de la

ZUZANNA LUPA

Arqana Select August Yearling Sale (Parts I & II)

This Siyouni half-brother to recent Group 2 winner Angel Bleu sold for €1.5 million


filly out of a Galileo mare and now in training with Roger Varian – for Bahraini clients. The colt was also bound for Bahraini ownership under the KHK Racing banner. St Lawrence added another five lots to his haul, becoming leading buyer with a spend of €3,430,000, slightly more than that of Godolphin which also bought six yearlings. Among other giants of the racing and breeding industries, Coolmore’s MV Magnier bought three horses for €1,370,000 while agent David Redvers left with four

worth a total of €1.2 million. Shadwell, which is now headed by the late Sheikh Hamdan’s daughter Sheikha Hissa, did not roll the dice on this occasion. Amanda Skiffiington was also among the agents who invested a seven-figure sum, her three purchases including a €500,000 colt by Wootton Bassett and a €450,000 filly by that sire’s son, Almanzor. Normandy-based Ecurie des Monceaux regularly tops the list of leading consignors and did so again, its

33 sold lots turning over €9,062,000, while of vendors from outside France mention should be made of Ballylinch Stud which sold seven lots for an average of €207,857. Ballylinch could also claim some bragging rights in connection with the filly who headed the single-session Part II of the sale, for she was by that stud’s resident sire New Bay. Consigned by Germany’s Gestut Ammerland, this chesnut filly was sold for €320,000 to an online bid from John and Thady Gosden.

Arqana Select August Yearling Sale Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

Price (€)

Buyer

F Dubawi – Typique

Haras d’Etreham

2,400,000

Charlie Gordon-Watson

C Siyouni - Cercle De La Vie

Ecurie des Monceaux

1,500,000

Oliver St Lawrence

F Kingman – Needleleaf

Haras d’Haspel

950,000

Godolphin

F Dubawi – Wiwilia

Haras de l’Hotellerie

900,000

Juddmonte

C Kingman - Via Pisa

Haras de Saint Pair

850,000

Godolphin

C Dubawi - Golden Valentine

Ecurie des Monceaux

750,000

Oliver St Lawrence

F Siyouni – Correze

Ecurie des Monceaux

650,000

MV Magnier

C Dubawi – Davantage

Ecurie des Monceaux

650,000

Godolphin

F Galileo – Militante

Ecurie des Monceaux

600,000

David Redvers

F Sea The Stars – Childa

Baroda Stud

575,000

Oliver St Lawrence

Figures Year

Sold

Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)

2021

250

40,269,000

162,638

100,000

2,400,000

2020*

310

38,515,500

121,605

125,000

2,500,000

2019

238

43,727,000

187,671

125,000

1,625,000

2018

246

38,071,000

159,939

107,500

1,400,000

2017

235

38,505,000

65,587

110,000

1,550,000

*Held in September

Arqana August Sale V2

Returning to the scene after being sidelined by Covid last year, this single session of yearlings experienced a “timid return”. That was the description of trade in a headline on an Arqana press release, although the company’s President Eric Hoyeau and his Chief Executive Freddy Powell said it was “a cautious return” after a gap year. They referred to a “general lack of buyers in this category of horses, particularly the pinhookers who are usually present on this day”. Why those pinhookers were absent is hard to assess, although Covid

restrictions (real and imaginary) may have been a factor and there are plenty more opportunities to buy yearlings across Europe before the season finishes. Nick Bradley was among crossChannel visitors who availed himself of recruits, spending €85,000 on three horses, headed by a €40,000 Shalaa filly, although it was another Haras de Bouquetot stallion, Toronado, who shared top-lot honours. His daughter of the unraced mare Ivory Style was sold for €140,000 to Nicolas de Watrigant of Mandore International on behalf of racehorse

owner Pierre Pilarski, and later in the session the same agent produced a matching sum to gain a colt by Mehmas. Haras du Cadran consigned the filly who goes into training with Didier Guillemin, while the colt came from Haras de Castillon and is set for Stephane Wattel’s yard. Of the 129 horses who entered the ring, 96 left it with a sold sign, a clearance rate of 74%, which was slightly down on recent years. Ten fewer horses walked the ring, but turnover compared to the 2019 figure was down 30%, the average saw a drop of 18% while the median fell 21%.

THE OWNER BREEDER

51

››


Sales Circuit ››

Arqana August Sale V2 Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

Price (€)

Buyer

F Toronado - Ivory Style

Haras du Cadran

140,000

Mandore/Thomas Bernereau

C Mehmas - Al Shahaniya

Haras de Castillon

140,000

Mandore/Stephane Wattel

C Mehmas – Jarada

Haras de Montaigu

77,000

Paul Nataf

F Holy Roman Emperor - Little Sister

Coulonces Consignment

75,000

Marco Bozzi Bloodstock

C Anodin – Iffraja

Haras d’Ellon

73,000

Paul Nataf

Figures Year

Sold

Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)

2021

96

2,917,000

30,339

24,500

140,000

116

4,159,000

37,091

31,000

135,000

2020 No sale

Goffs UK August Sale

Cancelled due to Covid mayhem in 2020, this sale was reinstated and extended from a single session to one of two days. The additional session was required to accommodate a batch of yearlings who in a normal year would have been offered as ‘foals’ or ‘short yearlings’ at Goffs UK’s January Sale, which became another victim of a Covid lockdown. Eight months on and events inside Goffs UK’s Doncaster complex were more or less back to normal, albeit the sales company’s staff and some visitors kept face masks on. As for the vendors of the yearlings who suddenly had no auction to go to in January, there was relief at finally getting their stock to market. They had endured additional costs, which in some cases included castrating colts, but on the plus side they had slightly more mature stock to offer and at the height of summer when coats were at their best. Buyers, however, were not falling over themselves to grab this opportunity and of the 79 yearlings offered 52 found buyers at a clearance rate of 66%. Trade in this section was headed by a Trickledown Stud-consigned £44,000 grandson of top-class jumping mare Lady Rebecca. David Redvers bred the youngster out of his mare Mary Eleanor having put her to Blue Bresil, and it was that stallion’s master, Paul Cashman of Rathbarry and Glenview Studs, who brought the hammer down. Paul and Sara Thorman’s Trickledown draft also included the second day’s leading store, a threeyear-old filly by in-vogue sire

52 THE OWNER BREEDER

Authorized and sold for £42,000 to Highflyer Bloodstock’s Tessa Greatrex. Highflyer grabbed a couple of Authorizeds at the Goffs UK Spring Sale, but since that stallion now stands far from winter jumping tracks following his sale to Turkey, the Bromley/Minton/Greatrex team have secured rarity value. The opening day’s horses-in-training session lacked the kind of headlinegrabbing dispersal which has given it a boost on a number of occasions, and nor did it have a classy Flat horse or two from the Aga Khan – the 2019 sale had been headed by just such a horse in the shape of Hasanabad who made £230,000. That did not prevent a very healthy

clearance rate of 88% through 120 sales of the 137 offered lots, of which Irish point-to-pointers made their usual and useful contribution. Secret Scripture, a five-year-old son of Mount Nelson who had won a point at Grennan in the spring, proved the most valuable when selling for £50,000 to agent Tom Malone, although there was no profit for vendor Donnchadh Doyle who had bought his horse for €50,000 at the 2019 Land Rover Sale. For pinhooker Doyle that was just routine business, and he has sold plenty of pointers for sizeable mark-ups in recent years. Over two days the sale turned over £2,495,150 and 260 of the 336 lots found a buyer at a clearance rate of 77%.

GOFFS UK

2019

A Blue Bresil grandson of Lady Rebecca headed the yearling trade at £44,000


››

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

Vendor

Price (£)

Buyer

Secret Scripture g Mount Nelson - Kauto Shiny

Monbeg Stables (Donnchadh Doyle)

50,000

Tom Malone

C (Y) Blue Bresil - Mary Eleanor

Trickledown Stud

44,000

RBS Ltd

Canford Light g Canford Cliffs - Way Of Light

Doninga Stables (Thomas Mullins)

42,000

Evan Williams

F (3) Authorized - Lupa Montana

Ashbrittle/Trickledown

42,000

Highflyer Bloodstock

C (Y) Blue Bresil - Shalltoo

Mill House Stud

42,000

Pine Tree

Figures Year

Sold

Agg (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)

Top price (£)

2021

260

2,495,150

9,597

6,000

50,000

216

2,897,100

13,413,

7,500

230,000

2020 No sale 2019

A store-horse festival was held in the first two weeks of August at Tattersalls Ireland’s Fairyhouse venue with three consecutive sales over as many days. Such a trifecta was not in the sales company’s plans at the start of the year, but restrictions on travel in the spring meant this sale was postponed from May until July and then put back another month. Vendors and buyers waited patiently and when the catalogue was finally unfurled there was healthy trade and a 78% clearance rate. That was a welcome fillip for an event instigated in 2018 and which got away to a promising start, only to be humbled by the Covid upheavals of 2020 which meant last year’s auction involved a smaller catalogue from which just 58%

TATTERSALLS IRELAND

Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale

›› This Blue Bresil gelding established a record top price for the event at €115,000 Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale

Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

G Blue Bresil - As Was

Rathbarry Stud

Price (€) 115,000

Aiden Murphy/Olly Murphy

Buyer

G Adlerflug - It Gorl

Boleyn Bloodstock/Elms Bloodstock

72,000

Tom Malone

F Soldier Of Fortune – Ballycorrigan

Seamus McKeogh/Peter Nolan Bloodstock

50,000

Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock

G Malinas - Diamond Gesture

Rathbarry Stud

49,000

Harley Dunne

G Kayf Tara - Silent Waters

Liss House

48,000

Aiden Murphy/Olly Murphy

Figures

Year

Sold

Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

2021 2020 2019

Top price (€)

164

2,851,200

17,385

15,000

115,000

99

1,200,900

12,130

9,000

40,000

145

2,563,200

17,677

15,000

58,000

THE OWNER BREEDER 53


Sales Circuit price of €40,000. Compare that to the €115,000 top lot – a three-year-old gelding – which the latest sale produced. That sum, a record for the event, gladdened the sales company, his vendors at Rathbarry Stud and also the Futter family of Yorton Stud. They sold the youngster for £26,000 as a yearling at the inaugural and innovative Yorton Sale in 2019, and while several winners have emerged from that auction this notable pinhook profit is the cream to date. The horse at the centre of this activity was a son of Blue Bresil and the unraced Epalo mare As Was, making him a half-brother to consistent chaser The Two Amigos, who was second in the

TATTERSALLS IRELAND

›› of lots found buyers and there was a top

Aiden Murphy: the agent signed for €203,000 worth of stock with son Olly

latest staging of Cheptow’s Welsh National. Bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy bought the store, who will be trained by his son Olly for owners Grahame and Diana Whateley. Tom Malone was out of luck in his attempt to buy the top lot, but he and trainer Paul Nicholls teamed up to gain a son of the recently-deceased Adlerflug for €72,000, while the day’s leading filly proved to be a daughter of Soldier Of Fortune who made €50,000. Harold Kirk signed the buyer’s sheet, but he was acting for Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock. Not surprisingly turnover soared ahead of last year’s figure, while the average and median figures returned to the pre-Covid days of 2019.

Tattersalls Ireland announced it was staging this new sale of stores in November last year when stating its intention to offer horses in Parts I and II. The slings and arrows of Covid intervened and the sale eventually made its debut as a single catalogue and a month later than planned, but 209 horses went under the hammer and 143, or 68%, found a buyer. Fillies headed the day by filling four of the top five places, headed by a €50,000 daughter of champion sire Flemensfirth from Michael Hickey’s Sunnyhill Stud. Her buyers, owner/ breeders Niall and Claire Flynn, enjoyed memorable success earlier this year with the Flemensfirth mare Colreevy, who won at the Cheltenham Festival before lining up in Punchestown’s apparent ‘showdown’ between top-rated novice chasers Envoi Allen and Monkfish. Carrying a Walk In The Park foal, Colreevy beat them both and was

TATTERSALLS IRELAND

Tattersalls Ireland July Store Sale

A well-related Flemensfirth filly headed proceedings at €50,000

retired to the paddocks. Matt Coleman of Stroud Coleman lifted the day’s second-highest priced horse, a €45,000 filly by Saint Des Saints who he said was for a “north of

England” client, while the day’s toppriced gelding, a son of Buveur D’Air’s sire Crillon, made €43,000 to a bid from Ireland’s multiple champion point-topoint handler Colin Bowe.

Tattersalls Ireland July Store Sale Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

F Flemensfirth - Princess Gaia

Sunnyhill Stud

Price (€) 50,000

Buyer Niall Flynn

F Saint Des Saints – Milantee

Springhill Stud

45,000

Stroud Coleman Bloodstock

G Crillon - Passion Du Berlais

Boardsmill Stud

43,000

Milestone Bloodstock

F Mount Nelson – Tatispout

Sean Murphy/The Paddocks

32,000

Jeremiah McGrath

F Mount Nelson - Apple Trix

Rathturtin Stud

31,000

Ballyboy Stables

Figures Year

Sold

Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)

2021

143

1,491,900

10,433

8,000

50,000

54 THE OWNER BREEDER


Completing the annual round of storehorse sales was this one-day event which followed on from Tattersalls Ireland’s May and July Store Sales. With the exception of last year’s Covid-affected sale, this was a much smaller catalogue than in the past decade, with 254 lots going under the hammer. That compares to a minimum of 500 and often 600-plus catalogued lots since 2011 requiring three days of selling. Of the horses under the hammer at this sale 170 found a buyer, a clearance rate of 67%, while the average and median prices were the lowest since 2012 – perhaps three different storehorse catalogues in as many days was more than the market cared for, although credit must go to Tattersalls Ireland for pulling the sales together in an extremely difficult year. Their upheavals have included finding out that buyers based in Britain were locked out of the showcase Derby Sale of stores on the eve of the event. At least that misfortune was avoided this time, and meant jump jockey Jeremiah McGrath, who is based with Nicky Henderson in Lambourn but is creating a role as a bloodstock agent, was able to bid in person for the sale’s top lot, a €50,000 filly by Champs Elysees. She was offered by the wife-and-husband team of Nina Carberry and Ted Walsh from their Broad Meadow Stables having been bred by them out of the mare

Jeunopse, by Hawk Wing. Jeunopse’s best foal to date, Game On For Glory, has been placed in three bumpers for Lucy Wadham, who McGrath said will also take charge of the younger half-sister. Heading the sale’s selection of geldings was a son of Davidoff – the sire of this year’s Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle winner Abacadabras – who was sold to Bobby O’Ryan for €40,000. This was a solid result for Ian Hanamy’s Haras des Loges, who travelled the three-year-old from France for the sale, although whether he retains his current name of Jeepydoff Meel for racing will be a decision for his new owners, who are patrons of trainer Gordon Elliott.

TATTERSALLS IRELAND

Tattersalls Ireland August Sale

Jeremiah McGrath landed this daughter of Champs Elysees on a bid of €50,000

TALKING POINT

• A quick look at store-horse sales results suggest it has been a good year for the sector. Taking figures from Tattersalls Ireland’s May, Derby, July and August Sales, Goffs UK’s Spring Store Sale and Goffs Land Rover Sale Parts I & II, a total of 1,853 stores have gone under the hammer in 2021, 399 more than in the Covid-affected year of 2020, but 134 fewer than in 2019. A total of 1,473 horses were sold, a fraction under 80%, turning over €48,337,844 at an average price of €32,816 – this after converting sterling trade at the Spring Sale into euros at a rate of 1.18 to the pound. Turnover was therefore up more than €20 million on 2020, and, pleasingly up €4.5 million on 2019 the year before the pandemic struck. The increases will have been welcome news for vendors of jumping foals who will be going through the ring later this year. Goffs UK’s August Sale at Doncaster contained another 119 offered stores, although they entered the ring at a session which included yearlings. The figures were combined and therefore not included in the above information.

Tattersalls Ireland August Sale Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

Price (€)

F Champs Elysees – Jeunopse

Broad Meadow Stables

50,000

Jeremiah McGrath

G Davidoff - Jeepee’s Dream

Haras des Loges

40,000

Bobby O’Ryan

F Yeats - Moll Bawn

William Kelly/Grange Stables

34,000

Tommy Redmond

G Flemensfirth – Dazza

Shanaville Stables

G Triple Threat – Sologne

Liss House

31,000 28,000

Buyer

Nicky Richards H Kirk/W P Mullins

Figures

Year

Sold

Agg (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)

Top price (€)

2021

170

1,062,650

6,251

4,500

50,000

2020

123

1,051,600

8,550

6,000

54,000

2019

456

3,777,750

8,285

5,500

80,000

THE OWNER BREEDER 55


SCULPTOR

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56 THE OWNER BREEDER


Sales Circuit A spirited two sessions of trade at FasigTipton’s Saratoga Sale in New York, in which four million-dollar yearlings took centre stage, drew comparisons with a pre-Covid world to provide a fitting outcome for the auction’s 100th anniversary year, writes Nancy Sexton. Led by a son of champion North American sire Into Mischief, who was sold for $2.6 million to MV Magnier, the sale turned over $55.155 million for 135 lots sold, figures on a par against the last occasion that the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion hosted the sale in 2019. The average of $408,556 also hovered around the level set in 2019, falling by only 0.7%, while the median of $350,000 remained static. The clearance rate was 75%. The top 15 lots were purchased by 12 individual buyers while a number of pinhookers also enjoyed a productive two days, with 19 of 32 pinhooks (those officially sold as foals) listed as returning some kind of profit. In all, it was a sale that went some way to restoring a sense of normalcy. “Fantastic, vibrant, energetic, dramatic - I think all adjectives were applicable tonight,” said Boyd Browning, President of Fasig-Tipton. “All in all, it was a near-record sale in every statistical evaluation. To accomplish that coming off of disruption in 2020, I think is remarkable. That’s what’s so important to the industry. We’ve restored some sense of order. It gets everyone back on their pattern, and it gives people the ability to plan and strategise, and feel confident moving forward.” The $2.6 million sale-topper unsurprisingly boasted top-class connections as an Into Mischief son of Grade 1 winner Paola Queen. MV Magnier came out on top against Fabricio Buffolo of Besilu Stables for the Gainesway-consigned colt, who shares his sire with Coolmore America’s promising young sire Practical Joke. Magnier indicated that the new purchase would remain in the US. Practical Joke shares Coolmore’s Ashford Stud stallion barn with leading sire Uncle Mo, himself in the spotlight during the first evening of selling as the sire of a $1.6 million colt. Offered by Stone Farm on behalf of celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the colt is out of Grade 1 winner Dame Dorothy and a half-brother to current Grade 3 winner Spice Is Nice. With the promise of better to come from that filly, it was no surprise to see her owners Robert and Lawana

FASIG-TIPTON

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale

This $2.6 million son of Into Mischief topped a buoyant Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale

Low stretch to secure her younger halfbrother through agent Jacob West. Young sire Bolt d’Oro, meanwhile, gained a major vote of confidence with the sale of a first-crop son for $1.4 million to Larry Best of OXO Equine LLC. Spendthrift Farm’s Bolt d’Oro was a dual Grade 1-winning two-year-old whose first crop have been quick to gain market appreciation. However, also working in this colt’s favour is the fact that he is a half-brother to the legendary American racemare Rachel Alexandra.

His sale helped propel Bolt d’Oro’s average to $407,000 for ten sold, a figure that placed him behind only Justify on $567,500 and City Of Light on $427,857 among his contemporaries. Few young stallions will come under as much scrutiny as Justify, the American Triple Crown hero of 2018. Of his ten yearlings through the ring, four were sold led by a colt out of Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Bar Of Gold who was knocked down to agent Travis Durr for $825,000.

FASIG-TIPTON

››

MV Magnier (left) and Gainesway’s Brian Graves following the sale of the $2.6 million colt

TALKING POINT

• Fasig-Tipton broke new ground as the first sales company to accept cryptocurrency as payment, partnering with crypto.com and Swapp Protocol to launch the service. In a release confirming the move ahead of the Saratoga Sale, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning indicated that he envisaged cryptocurrency assuming its place as a popular way of future trading. He said: “Fasig-Tipton aims to be a forward-thinking member of the thoroughbred industry. Through these partnerships we will introduce individuals and parties that participate in the crypto space to the exhilarating world of horseracing for the very first time, and growing our sport is a priority of the utmost importance at FasigTipton.” Spendthrift Farm went on to earn its slice of history as the first buyer to purchase in the currency, paying $100,000 for a daughter of Violence.

THE OWNER BREEDER 57

››


Sales Circuit Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale Top lots Sex/breeding

Vendor

Price ($)

C Into Mischief - Paola Queen

Gainesway, agent

2,600,000

MV Magnier

C Uncle Mo - Dame Dorothy

Stone Farm, agent

1,600,000

West Bloodstock, agent

C Bolt d’Oro - Lotta Kim

Hill ’n’ Dale Sales

1,400,000

OXO Equine LLC

F Quality Road - Above Perfection

Indian Creek, agent

1,000,000

Kindred Stables

F Tapit - Checkupfromzneckup

Denali Stud, agent

990,000

Buyer

West Point Thoroughbreds

Figures Year

Sold

Agg ($)

Average ($)

Median ($)

Top price ($)

2021

135

55,155,000

408,556

350,000

2,600,000

2019

135

55,547,000

411,459

350,000

1,500,000

2018

170

62,794,000

369,376

300,000

1,350,000

2020 No Sale

Tattersalls Online August Sale

The second staging of this sale proved disappointing. A top price of 26,000gns, sales of just 12 of the 28 lots on offer (43%) and turnover of £120,500 tells its own tale. That turnover, gained from a low cost base, might be classed as money for nothing, but given that the same sale last year turned over £590,000 and four horses sold for a six-figure sum questions will be asked. On the plus side Tattersalls put together a bigger catalogue and 28 lots were on offer, which compares to

15 last year (five sold). No doubt the vendors of the 12 lots who sold on this occasion remain in favour, and Tattersalls retains the faith. The Chairman’s statement said: “The Tattersalls Online platform continues to prove its worth as a convenient alternative to conventional sales,” although its assertion that the sale had “again shown consistent demand from buyers at all levels of the market” was questionable. Not for the first time at an online sale the horses who might have made a difference were friendless or their

TALKING POINT

• Taking its online platform to a new area of the market, Tattersalls announced at the conclusion of its August Online Sale that it would be holding a similar event for select point-to-pointers and NH horses in training on December 16 and 17. That will be during the week following its traditional December Sale at Cheltenham (held on a Friday), and it seems the aim is to gather up and offer horses who run on the Saturday and Sunday after that event. Ireland expects to stage three point-to-points that weekend and there are two set to take place in Britain, but the sale could also draw in pointers who ran before the Cheltenham Sale but could not make

reserves deemed too high. Smart two-year-old Eldrickjones was unsold at 280,000gns while the year-older Apollo One, with a BHA rating of 102, was bought in at 250,000gns. A further four horses valued by their vendors at prices between 30,000gns and 75,000gns were likewise unsold. That left the Andrew Baldingtrained The Kodi Kid and Rotten Row from Joseph O’Brien’s stable to head trade with valuations of 26,000gns. Both gelded, they were bought by Paul Wildes and Timmy O’Byrne respectively.

the line-up. It will be interesting to see how such a sale works, for while the horses will have shown one or two pieces of form much of their appeal lies in physique and scope. Conformation videos have some use in this regard, but given their future role in the hurly-burly of jump racing there is nothing like seeing a strapping young horse in the flesh. Meanwhile Goffs UK, which staged two hastily-arranged and successful sales of pointers and NH horses at Yorton Stud in November and December (when Cheltenham was closed) shows no sign of going for a repeat, either before or after Christmas.

Figures Year

Sold

Agg (gns)

Average (gns)

Median (gns)

Top price (gns)

2021

12

120,500

10,042

5,650

26,000

2020

5

590,000

118,000

135,000

175,000

58 THE OWNER BREEDER


RACEHORSE AND BLOODSTOCK MANAGEMENT • Owner representation on racedays. • Checking and approving invoices. • Liaising with trainers and reporting on horses in training. • Liaising with stud managers and reporting on breeding stock. • Advising on racing targets. • Organising raceday hospitality. • Liaising with BHA, Weatherbys and Insurance firms. • Advising on horses in training and breeding stock sales. • Mating plans and nomination booking. • Purchase of racing and breeding stock.

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THE OWNER BREEDER 59


Caulfield Files

hile I can understand the rationale behind potential stallions being retired at the end of their two-year-old season, I can never get past the feeling that everyone has been short-changed by the premature retirement of seemingly sound individuals. With the lack of Group 1 opportunities for three-year-old sprinters often being blamed for this course of action before the introduction of the Commonwealth Cup in 2015, we saw the likes of Dark Angel, Zebedee, Approve and Sir Prancealot take early retirement (Holy Roman Emperor was also rushed off to stud, but his retirement was prompted largely by the unexpected infertility of his paternal half-brother George Washington). I couldn’t help wondering what Dark Angel might have achieved had he remained in training in 2008, when the three-year-old Equiano landed the King’s Stand Stakes, three-year-old Kingsgate Native took the Golden Jubilee Stakes and three-year-old African Rose triumphed in the Ladbrokes Sprint Cup. After all, the son of Acclamation had been progressive during a busy juvenile campaign, taking the Mill Reef Stakes on his seventh start and the Middle Park Stakes on his eighth. And there is nothing in his stallion career to suggest that he would not have trained on. His Grade 1 successes in 2021 have come in the US, thanks to the four-year-old filly Althiqa, who landed the Just A Game Stakes over a mile and the Diana Stakes over an extra furlong, and the six-year-old Raging Bull, winner of the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland. These two durable performers rank among a total of eight Group or Grade 1 winners by Dark Angel, none of which enjoyed top-flight success as a two-yearold. Indeed only one of them – Harry Angel, who emulated his sire’s victory in the Mill Reef Stakes – became a Group winner at two and some of them didn’t even win as juveniles. Harry Angel also joined the extremely speedy Battaash and Raging Bull by becoming a Group 1 winner as a three-year-old. However, Althiqa, Lethal Force, Mecca’s Angel and Persuasive were four-years-old before they scored at the highest level, and Hunt, a Grade 1-winning American miler, was five. We have also

60 THE OWNER BREEDER

YEOMANSTOWN STUD

Fine summer sees versatile Acclamation sire line thrive W

Dark Angel: enjoying a purple patch thanks to Althiqa, Angel Bleu and Berkshire Shadow

seen Dark Angel sire such durable performers as Sovereign Debt, whose 63-race career included two Group successes as an eight-year-old, and Gabrial, a veteran of 93 races who gained the last of his ten wins as a nine-year-old. Although not in the same league, B Fifty Two is another son to have demonstrated remarkable toughness, gaining the last of his 11 victories from 120 starts at the age of 11, and George Bowen may yet match him, as he is still winning as a nine-yearold.

“Dark Angel’s 11th crop of twoyear-olds have already been in fine form” Of course that’s not to say that Dark Angel isn’t also a fine sire of two-yearolds. In the past he has supplied juveniles of the calibre of Estidhkaar (Champagne Stakes), Juliet Capulet (Rockfel Stakes), Birchwood (Superlative Stakes), Gutaifan (Flying Childers Stakes) and Alhebayeb (July Stakes). Dark Angel’s 11th crop of two-year-olds has already been in fine form, producing two more Group 2 winners in Angel Bleu and Berkshire Shadow, who finished first

and second in the Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood. That was the first defeat for Berkshire Shadow, successful earlier in the Coventry Stakes. Dark Angel’s very large 2019 crop also includes Dr Zempf, a close second in the Phoenix Stakes, Diabolic, an unbeaten graduate from Yeomanstown Stud who has become a Listed winner in Canada, and the Group-placed Juncture. There was every reason to have high expectations of this crop, as it was sired at a career-high fee of €85,000, after the combined efforts of Battaash, Harry Angel and Persuasive had helped Dark Angel earn a highly creditable second place among the leading sires of 2017.

Evolving legacy

Now 16, Dark Angel has already had several sons attempting to follow in his footsteps as a stallion. So far the results have been nothing special, but it must be remembered that most of them were comparatively inexpensive. Lethal Force’s innings at Cheveley Park saw him sire the Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde, sired at a fee of £10,000. Both Lethal Force and Golden Horde are now based in France, as is Gutaifan, best known as the sire of the 1,000 Guineas third Fev Rover. Heeraat, who has never stood for more than £5,000, has been very ably represented by Motakhayyel, twice a winner of the Bunbury Cup. Harry Angel must have a much better chance of making the grade than his predecessors. For a start, he is the highest-ranked entire son of Dark Angel,


Mehmas: bred along similar lines to Dark Angel and now making a mark at stud

rated at least 4lb superior to any of his sire’s previous stallion sons. Timeform rated him as high as 132 as a three-yearold and 131 as a four-year-old. This earned him the right to start his stallion career at Dalham Hall Stud at a fee of £20,000, which fell to £12,500 in his third season, after he had covered books of over 120 mares in each of his first two seasons. He will have plenty of representatives at the leading yearling sales.

Record-breaking Mehmas

There’s also encouragement to be gained from the exploits of Mehmas, whose career has been mirroring that of the similarly-bred Dark Angel. As I have explained before, these two stallions have much more in common than simply having been sired by Acclamation from daughters of Machiavellian. Both were retired after a fairly thorough testing at two years, when Mehmas’ total of eight starts fell just one short of Dark Angel’s nine. One difference, though, was that Mehmas retired at the end of 2016, after the Commonwealth Cup had already been contested twice, so he didn’t have the excuse of a lack of an early-season Group 1 target at three. More likely there were worries that this neat, compact colt possibly lacked the physical scope to improve on the form he had achieved while contesting several races which had also been part of Dark Angel’s CV. He had looked very much the David to Blue Point’s Goliath when he wore down his wandering rival to land the Richmond Stakes by a neck. The same could have been said when he was second to the strapping Churchill in the National Stakes on his only appearance over seven furlongs. Mehmas had matured quickly enough to win the July Stakes, a race in which Dark Angel had finished only fourth. And whereas the progressive Dark Angel won the Middle Park Stakes, Mehmas finished

Global, winner of a nursery at Dundalk on her last appearance in Ireland, has established herself among the best turf fillies in California, taking the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on August 22. We have also seen Keeper Of Time and Fayathaan win Group 3 events, over seven furlongs and a mile respectively, and there have been Listed victories for Magnanimous (over a mile), Mehmento (seven furlongs) and Line Of Departure (six furlongs).

third. Each of them had gained the first of their four victories in a Chester maiden race in early May prior to contesting the Coventry Stakes, with Mehmas doing much the better in finishing second to Caravaggio (future winner of the Commonwealth Cup). Although Mehmas failed to emulate Dark Angel’s Group 1 success, he achieved a Timeform rating of 115, compared to Dark Angel’s 113. Whereas Dark Angel was retired to Gay O’Callaghan’s stud, operating firstly as Morristown Lattin and then as Yeomanstown Stud, Mehmas has spent his career at Tony O’Callaghan’s Tally-Ho Stud near Mullingar. And, like Dark Angel, Mehmas has wasted no time in establishing his worth as a stallion, siring a record-breaking total of 56 two-yearold winners in his first crop, with the Middle Park Stakes winner Supremacy and Gimcrack Stakes winner Minzaal among them. Mehmas’ progress was perfectly illustrated by a table of 2021’s leading second-crop sires standing in Europe and North America, published in the TDN of August 14. This showed Mehmas as the leading European-based stallion, but this didn’t show the full extent of his achievements. Although only fourth behind three North American stallions by prize-money, the son of Acclamation ranked first in order of black-type winners (9), black-type horses (20), Group/ Graded winners (5) and Group/Graded stakes horses (13). It is also possible to run a cumulative table for these second-crop stallions, combining their 2020 and 2021 results. Mehmas again dominated most categories, ranking first by black-type winners (14), black-type horses (25), Group/Graded winners (7), Group/ Graded stakes horses (18), runners (178), winners (99) and total of wins (181). Still only seven-years-old, Mehmas is proving that his progeny can shine after the age of two. His daughter Going

Second crop burning bright

BILL SELWYN

TALLY-HO STUD

Bloodstock world views

Angel Bleu: led home a one-two for Dark Angel in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood

It is worth remembering that Mehmas, like Dark Angel, found it difficult to maintain his initial popularity and price. The number of foals in Dark Angel’s first three crops fell from 93 to 62 and then to 39 before reviving to 118 in his fourth year. His fee went from €10,000 to €7,000 in the same period. Mehmas started at €12,500 but his connections took the precaution of reducing his price to €10,000 in his second and third seasons, even though he was so popular that he has 147 foals from the 176 mares covered in his first season. His second year was pretty good, too, with at least 123 foals from 166 mares. That second crop has also been busily keeping Mehmas in the spotlight. Lusail improved his record to four wins from five starts with his success in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, while Beauty Inspire is unbeaten in two starts, including the Anglesey Stakes. Unfortunately, like Dark Angel, Mehmas found things much more difficult in his third year in 2019; from 74 mares he sired roughly 55 foals. Consequently his fee was reduced to only €7,500 in his fourth season, which helped fuel a resurgence to a reported 116 mares. Happily, his sensational results in 2020 were enough to send his 2021 fee soaring to €25,000. If he can maintain his flow of important winners (which may take a bit of time because of his small third crop) he is well equipped to eventually follow once again in the footsteps of Dark Angel, whose fee rose to €60,000 when he reached the age of 11 in 2016. And, before leaving the topic of the Acclamation male line, which also produced the more-than-useful Equiano, spare a thought for Expert Eye, the next son of Acclamation to have runners. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner has four first-crop youngsters in Book 1, plus 13 in Goffs UK’s Premier Sale and five in the Goffs Orby Sale. They look sure to be popular with buyers who remember the scintillating style of Expert Eye’s victories in the Vintage Stakes, which earned him an official rating of 118, and Jersey Stakes.

THE OWNER BREEDER 61


Dr Statz

John Boyce cracks the code

Dancer still the benchmark for quality generations on

F

or all Galileo’s many achievements, there is one metric that will prove to be the toughest for any sire to crack. When we assemble his best ten racehorses by Timeform rating, no other European sire has ever produced a better bunch. As things stand, the average rating of Galileo’s best ten performers is a remarkable 132.6. And, yes, he could yet still improve on that figure as his remaining progeny play out the last chapters of his truly amazing career. His score is ahead of his own great sire, Sadler’s Wells, whose 131.4 is the secondbest of any European sire. Remarkably though they are both eclipsed by Northern Dancer himself. Ever since the day that the great trainer Vincent O’Brien discovered Nijinsky on a yearling inspection trip in 1968, the course of elite breeding in Europe was changed forever. It was Nijinsky that drew O’Brien’s attention to exceptional merits of Northern Dancer, a stallion that still sets the standard today when it comes to producing elite racehorses. Northern Dancer can still claim to have a better best ten group of runners than his illustrious descendants. Galileo may have Frankel, rated ten pounds clear of the best by his sire and grandsire, but the quality and breadth of Northern Dancer’s best ten is, quite simply, outstanding. His average rating of 133.3 is made all the more impressive by the fact that he sired only a fraction of the foals of his son and SIRES RANKED BY THE AVG TF RATING OF THEIR BEST TEN RUNNERS Sire

T10Avg

Index

Galileo

132.6

9.2

Montjeu

129.3

5.9

Dubawi

128.8

5.4

Sea The Stars

128.0

4.6

Monsun

127.7

4.3

Dansili

127.4

4.0

Pivotal

126.9

3.5

Shamardal

126.5

3.1

Cape Cross

126.2

2.8

Invincible Spirit

126.0

2.6

Frankel

125.6

4.6

Dark Angel

125.5

2.1

62 THE OWNER BREEDER

NORTHERN DANCER

SADLER’S WELLS

GALILEO

TFR

Name

TFR

Name

TFR

Name

137

Nijinsky

137

Montjeu

147

Frankel

136

El Gran Senor

134

Galileo

134

Rip Van Winkle

135

Shareef Dancer

132

Doyen

132

Australia

135

The Minstrel

132

High Chaparral

132

New Approach

134

Storm Bird

131

Opera House

132

Waldgeist

132

Lyphard

130

Kayf Tara

131

Soldier Of Fortune

132

Sadler’s Wells

130

Old Vic/Salsabil

130

Cape Blanco/Ulysses

Avg: 133.3

Total number of foals: 646

131.4

Total number of foals: 2,259

132.6

Total number of foals: 1,961 foals

grandson and that many of his offspring raced in America at a time when Timeform ratings were given only to European racehorses. No less remarkable is the fact that 11 of the horses who feature on the accompanying lists for Northern Dancer, Sadler’s Wells and Galileo were trained at Ballydoyle. Two others no longer with us are Danehill (130.3) and Montjeu (129.3), also Coolmore stallions. Montjeu had the potential to challenge the big three were it not for his death at the comparatively young age of 16. But are there any among the current stallions on course to get close to any of the big three? Darley’s Dubawi is an obvious candidate. His current score is 128.8, but the most important feature of Dubawi’s top ten runners is that it is still changing. Only a season ago his best-ever runner Ghaiyyath, rated 133 by Timeform, replaced the 130-rated pair Postponed and Makfi at the top of his list, while Lord North (128) and Too Darn Hot (127) are also new names among his best ten. Next in line is Galileo’s half-brother Sea The Stars, whose best ten runners have an average rating of 128.0. Four years younger than Dubawi, Sea The Stars clearly has the potential to go further and whilst we cannot expect Stradivarius to go any higher than his current career best mark of 130, it is progressive horses like Al Aasy (126) and Baaeed (125p) – the two newest members of his top-ten club – that could push the Gilltown Stud stallion closer to the elusive 130 mark. Amongst active European sires, Pivotal has gained just reward for his longevity, siring a top ten with an average of 126.9 in the course of 22 years with runners.

Champion Stakes winners Farhh (131) and Addeybb (129) sit at the top of his roster. The first speed-orientated sire on our table is Invincible Spirit on 126.0. Not since 2019, when Classic winner Magna Grecia earned a 124 rating, has Invincible Spirit’s top-ten average rating advanced. The same claim cannot be laid at Frankel’s door. His current mark of 125.6 is behind where Galileo (128.7), Montjeu (128.6), Sea The Stars (126.7) and Dubawi (126.3) were after their first six years with runners, but Frankel still has the allimportant late summer and early autumn to improve his standing. Derby and King George winner Adayar (131) and Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris hero Hurricane Lane (123p) are the most recent recruits to his list of best ten performers and there are others among his current three-year-olds that could follow suit. Dark Angel has always scored well with his top ten rated horses, primarily thanks to a brilliant quartet of sprinters in Battaash (136), Harry Angel (132), Mecca’s Angel (129) and Lethal Force (128). And horses like dual Grade 1 winner Althiqa, Real World and Art Power are now also knocking on the door. Kingman, the youngest stallion if our table was extended, has a best ten score of 123.7, which is excellent for a fourth-year sire. Only Montjeu, Frankel, Dubawi and Galileo were higher at the same stage. The younger sires with the highest index scores on the accompanying table to the left are those with the best chance of getting closer to Galileo’s exalted standard. This index compares a sire’s current score against the average of the best stallions at the same point in their career over the past 30 years.


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OWNER/BREEDER 17/2/20.indd 1

17/02/2020 12:40


ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

Stud farm workers — freelance or staff? When are the self-employed not self-employed – when they’re an employee! We take a brief look at stud staff and their remuneration packages. Employee or self-employed? Over the last decade, many employment arrangements have been scrutinised to determine whether a worker claiming to be self-employed is actually that, or whether they are, in reality, an employee. High profile cases such as Pimlico Plumbers and Uber bought this self-employment vs employment issue to the fore.

• Their ‘employer’ agrees a fixed price for their work and it doesn’t depend on how long the job takes to finish; • They use their own money to buy business assets, cover running costs, and provide tools and equipment for their work; and • They can work for more than one client.

Taking a step back, what do you need to consider when establishing whether or not you have a selfemployed worker? Studs are labour intensive businesses and some prefer to use contract labour and self-employed workers. In these cases, the business pays a set amount for the services with no further costs to consider e.g. national insurance for employees. In many cases, however, HMRC start on the premise that staff are all employees.

As an example, a temporary worker who comes to walk yearlings for sales preparation will probably be an employee. This is because they have to come in at a set time each day, walk the yearlings as instructed, and will be paid a fixed amount to do so. On the other hand, a veterinary surgeon or farrier can decide when to come, can substitute someone else, work for more than one client and charge according to what they have to do.

Employees are usually considered to have a ‘contract of service’ (such as an employment contract), whereas a self-employed person is instead likely to have a ‘contract for services’. Some indications that a worker is genuinely selfemployed are: • They are in business for themselves, are responsible for the success or failure of their business and can make a loss or a profit; • They can decide what work they do and when, where or how to do it; • They can hire someone else to do the work; • They are responsible for fixing any unsatisfactory work in their own time;

Accommodation — always a benefit? Some stud employees will be offered accommodation on site as part of their employment package. The provision of accommodation for an employee is a taxable benefit-in-kind, unless it can be demonstrated that it is job-related accommodation, which would be an exempt benefit. There are two sides to job-related accommodation: ‘necessary’ or ‘better performance/customary’. Accommodation that is necessary for the proper performance of the employee’s duties will only apply where the employee can demonstrate that occupation of that particular property (as opposed to any other) is essential

to the proper performance of their duty. Some examples of employees that HMRC considers will fall within this definition are: caretakers living on the premises, stewards/green keepers, and agricultural workers who live on farms. Often, employees will have the address of the specific property they must occupy written into their employment contracts. For stud farm staff, the employee instead has to show that by occupying the property they can perform their duties better than if they lived elsewhere. In the case of foaling staff, for example, living on site enables quick visits in the middle of the night when the mare looks as though she is about to start to foal down. Being on call outside normal working hours often indicates the need to live in that property for better performance. Where mares and foals are concerned, it may be necessary to have more than one person living on site to deal with any emergencies that might arise – day or night. In this case, employees would look to ‘customary expectation’, i.e. is it customary for an employer to offer accommodation to a worker employed to do that particular role when looking at the industry as a whole? HMRC highlights ‘stable staff of racehorse trainers who live on the premises and certain key workers who live close to the stables’ as examples of employees who fall within this exemption. While the first part exclusively applies to racehorse trainers, as opposed to bloodstock breeders, it is generally accepted that this ‘customary’ test would extend to key stud staff who are experts in their field.


ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

Each employee and employer will need to consider their own individual circumstances as the outcome will depend on the facts of the matter.

National Minimum Wage (NMW) From 1 April 2021 the UK saw the NMW increase to £8.91 per hour for workers aged 23 and over (down from 25 previously).

The rules for NMW are slightly different from those for employment taxes, but it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking they are the same. The equine industry presents a somewhat rare opportunity for employers to offer a salary package that might include accommodation, livery for a mare or utility bills paid for. Employers, however, must be

aware of the impact this has on the calculation of NMW.

Some employers may wish to make a deduction for the benefits provided as part of the salary package; however, the only deduction that can be made from NMW is a set amount for the provision of accommodation, known as the ‘Accommodation Offset Rate’, of £8.36/day or £58.52/week. Consider an example package consisting of a 5 day/40 hour week, with accommodation, utility bills paid for, livery for one mare and wages of £450/week. If the employer wants to deduct £200 per week from the wages for the livery, utilities and accommodation, this would leave £250 to be paid. Regardless of the quality of the accommodation, the maximum set off is £58.52 per week (the Accommodation Offset) and there is no allowable deduction for the livery or the utilities. The £250 would, therefore, be treated as net of £58.52 and result in a wages of £7.71/hour, which is

below the NMW. If, alternatively, the employer paid £450 per week and invoiced the employee for accommodation and livery then, assuming the net amount before deductions is paid into the employee’s bank account and the employee reimburses the employer, the NMW conditions will be fulfilled.

Penelope Lang Partner, Smith & Williamson LLP t: 01722 431 064 e: penelope.lang@smithandwilliamson.com

Sources: HMRC Employment Income Manual 10/08/21 The Grooms List 10/08/21

smithandwilliamson.com 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. Tax legislation is that prevailing at the time, is subject to change without notice and depends on individual circumstances. Clients should always seek appropriate tax advice from their financial adviser before making financial decisions. Smith & Williamson LLP Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International, a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms. Please see https://nexia.com/member-firm-disclaimer/ for further details. NTAJ14082182. 102521eb © Tilney Smith & Williamson Limited 2021.


ROA Forum

The special section for ROA members

Free admission scheme expanded

Step-by-step guide to prebook tickets

1. Open your internet browser and go to www.rcapass.com 2. Enter your unique log-in details. As a reminder:

BILL SLEWYN

W

e were pleased to activate a newly expanded ROA Racecourse Badge Scheme for Owners (RBSO) in July, allowing owners priority access to the racecourse on days without a runner. The scheme, run in partnership with the RCA and all 59 British racecourses, started on July 24. It allows ROA members who are BHA-registered owners to access participating fixtures. The new scheme has removed the share of ownership requirement to provide better access to all ROA members. Details are being communicated to members in the daily Inside Track bulletin and participating fixtures and further information can be found in the members area on the ROA website. You can also pre-book your tickets through the RCA Pass website at rcapass.com Please note pre-booking must be completed by 4pm the day before the participating fixture. If you do not wish to pre-book, you can gain access directly at the course on the day by arriving with your membership number and passcard or photo ID (if you do not hold an RCA PASScard). Members who are registered owners have automatically been activated for this badge scheme with the RCA and racecourses and will remain in place providing your ROA membership remains active. Please note the RBSO cannot be used on days when you have a runner

Members are allowed priority access to the racecourse on days without a runner

• Your username is your email address • Your PASS membership number is the number printed on the FRONT of your card • Should you need to reset your password, simply click ‘forgotten’ and a reset email will be sent to your registered email address from Weatherbys. 1. Once logged in, you will find a list of fixtures where the scheme applies (click on ‘all fixtures’). 2. Press ‘more’ next to relevant fixture. 3. Tick the ‘attendance’ box to

4.

5.

confirm you plan to attend the fixture. You must complete this before adding your guest’s information (if available). This will be available until 4pm the day before the relevant fixture, after which time it will close. The information requested will depend on the information that racecourses are required to collect in line with any government or local protocols. Mandatory fields are marked with *. All data will be collected and stored in line with PASS privacy policy. If an additional badge is available

Sky Bet Sunday Series rescheduled for September 12 ITV Racing is delighted to confirm that the Sky Bet Sunday Series meeting lost from Haydock has been re-scheduled for Sunday, September 12 and will be broadcast on ITV4 from 4-7.15pm with all seven races broadcast live. The Haydock fixture, lost to the weather on August 8, will now form the last leg of the three-leg series following the second leg at Sandown on August 22. All the races originally planned remain the same and will be run for the

66 THE OWNER BREEDER

same prize-money. The £600,000 series bonuses remain the same with an additional £100,000 bonus to the owners of the horse which wins a race at each of the three fixtures, £100,000 for any jockey who rides a total of seven winners across the three fixtures, and £10,000 awarded to the staff of the stable which sends out most winners during the aeries. Sky Bet also offer increased

best-turned-out prizes of £250 per race (£125 to the winner, £75 for second and £25 for third). There will also be £50,000 on offer for the ITV7 competition. The Sky Bet Sunday Series is an industry-wide collaboration between ITV, Sky Bet, Racecourse Media Group, Musselburgh, Haydock Park and Sandown Park to showcase the sport in a twilight slot on terrestrial television this summer.


6.

7.

8.

www.roa.co.uk • 01183 385680 • info@roa.co.uk @racehorseowners

for a guest, you will be able to add this once you have confirmed that you plan to attend the fixture. To make the system as effective as possible, it is encouraged that you include the e-mail address and/ or mobile number for your guest. You should then ensure you send your guest an email containing a print at home ticket, and a link to additional data collection - simply press ‘send’ once the guest has been added. Your guest will receive an e-mail with a print at home ticket, and a link to additional data collection. The information requested will depend on the information that racecourses are required to collect in line with any government or local protocols. As before, all mandatory fields are marked with * and all data will be collected and stored in line with PASS privacy policy If guests do not complete this process it will slow down their entrance as data will need to be collected at the gate.

Not a registered owner?

Members who aren’t registered owners – such as syndicate members and members of racing clubs – can also enjoy free admission through interim admission schemes with ARC, Jockey Club Racecourses, Newbury and other ad hoc offers using discount codes in the members area at roa.co.uk. In many cases, members can also take a guest racing for free. Details of all admission offers are being shared in the daily Inside Track ebulletin and latest updates can be found in the members area at roa.co.uk. We hope this will enable members to experience plenty of enjoyable days at the races moving forward.

RacehorseOwnersUK

Racehorseownersassociation

National Racehorse Week: open day offers National Racehorse Week is a celebration of the racehorse, following an idea in 2019 by trainer Richard Phillips. His vision was to create a single event to celebrate the animals who power racing and provide entertainment for millions, whilst also providing the public and policymakers with insight into the dedicated care that they receive. Between September 12-19, over 100 trainers will be opening their yards, giving the opportunity to see firsthand the love, care and attention that goes into looking after racehorses. The week will begin with the training centres of Epsom and Malton both hosting regional open days on Sunday, September 12 and will conclude with the Newmarket Open Weekend. There are a host of individual open days being held up and down the country throughout the week, with the chance to see horses exercising on the gallops, treadmills and swimming pools, and welfare demonstrations such as horse physio and farrier demonstrations To find out which yards are open in your area there is a postcode search on the website that will direct you to the activity closest to your home. Please visit www.nationalracehorseweek.uk to book a free place.

Epsom and Malton open days

Racing Welfare are offering ROA members a discount on admission to both events. To take up this offer of a £5 saving on admission (£12.50 down to £7.50) please see the discount code in the members area at roa.co.uk.

CARL EVANS

New contact details:

Tom Symonds: trainer opens his doors

Further details at maltonopenday.co.uk and epsomopenday.co.uk.

Newmarket Open Weekend

The Henry Cecil Open Weekend will take place on September 18 and 19 and will offer the rare opportunity to delve behind the scenes at some of Britain’s best known horseracing yards. Tickets are on sale and start at £15 per person when purchased online. All children under 16 years of age go free. For the list of yards opening see thehenrycecilopenweekend.co.uk. There will also be tours available of the National Stud, British Racing School and National Horse Racing Museum. On Saturday the Al Shaqab RoR Hacks Class will be held at the National Horse Racing Museum before an afternoon of live racing at Newmarket racecourse. On Sunday, The Severals will be the location for the afternoon entertainment, including the return of the hugely popular Clipper Logistics Show Jumping Competition, Pony Club games, and fun local dog show. The weekend is raising money in support of Racing Welfare, Newmarket Pony Academy and a soon to be announced community project.

Raceday Curtailment Scheme pays out again The evening’s racing at Sandown Park on July 28 was halted when torrential rain forced the meeting to be abandoned after the third race due to waterlogging. This activated the ROA’s Raceday Curtailment Scheme for the third time this year and the owners of 19 qualifying horses received a payment of £100 each. This is the 40th activation of the ROA’s Raceday Curtailment Scheme, which is run in conjunction

with Weatherbys Hamilton, since its inception in 2013. This pushed the sum paid out to members through the scheme to over £100,000, including £9,000 for the three incidents this year. The scheme aims to reduce the financial blow to an owner who is left disappointed that their horse is unable to race but still has incurred transport costs, both for the horse and, often, the owner/s.

To qualify for the Raceday Curtailment Scheme, horses must be owned 51% or more by ROA members. Members do not need to apply for this scheme. As long as the affected owner’s ROA membership is up to date the payment will be made automatically to their racing account. Further details on the Raceday Curtailment Scheme and full terms can be found at roa.co.uk.

THE OWNER BREEDER 67


ROA Forum

MAGICAL MOMENTS Ian Heseltine is enjoying a sizzling summer

PA IMAGES

Soto Sizzler: winner of three races to date for owner Ian Heseltine

O

wner and ROA member Ian Heseltine is enjoying his best ever year, with Selsey Sizzler and Foxtrot Sizzler supplying him with five victories between them at the time of writing, and his only other horse, Soto Sizzler, finishing runner-up at Epsom on Derby day. Heseltine, whose first runners under his own name and in solo ownership were in 2000, has also seen his now familiar blue and white silks carried more frequently on the course this year than any other. With Covid-19 still disrupting daily life and sport, 2021 does not generally feel like an exceptionally good year, however it does feel like a marked improvement on 2020 and in ownership terms it’s a sentiment Heseltine has more cause than most to agree with. “Covid, and not being able to visit

68 THE OWNER BREEDER

any tracks, was a major factor last year in it being a quiet one; 2021 has been a very good year so far and I’m optimistic that will continue,” he says.

“I’ve owned 12 horses in total and fortunately they have all won” Heseltine has been exposed to racing for pretty much his whole life. Explaining the backdrop, he says: “My mother worked on the northern courses

in owners’ and trainers’. When she was unable to get a babysitter, I was dragged along from the age of four.” He continues: “Having started my own business in 1993, and it becoming more successful, I bought my first horse through Gary Moore. He was called Prime Powered. This horse won six races for me in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was hooked from there on.” As with many, the hook of that first horse has led to many more, and the fire continues to burn bright for Heseltine. “I’ve owned 12 horses in total now and have been fortunate that they have all won,” he says. The current trio are certainly doing their bit to maintain their owner’s interest and enthusiasm. All three horses are with the astute David Menuisier, the West Sussex-based trainer who was the cover star of this


magazine’s May issue. Soto Sizzler is the highest-rated of the three and while he has run well this year having been off for 18 months with injury, he has yet to add to his three career wins. Having finished runner-up twice at Epsom, including in the race which immediately followed the Derby, the Northern Dancer Handicap, the sixyear-old’s turn is hopefully near at hand however. His owner says: “Soto Sizzler was off for a long time with a tendon injury and we’ve taken it very gently with him. David brought him back with kid gloves.” Three-year-old Foxtrot Sizzler has come on in leaps and bounds, recently completing a hat-trick with a tough front-running success in a Racing League fixture at Doncaster, which followed two victories at Newbury, both by a neck, again illustrating his battling qualities. He has had just the six starts at the time of writing and didn’t run as a juvenile. Heseltine reveals: “Foxtrot Sizzler has got the message now; he was a complete nutter before! David and his staff found the secret to him as they worked him in a hood at home, on his own, and it’s settled him down. “I wanted to call him Sussex Sizzler, but he’s German-bred and there’s a rule there that says a horse’s first name has to follow the dam’s first name – and he’s out of a mare called Firedance. I applied for Foxtrot Oscar with Weatherbys – but they rejected that!” Four-year-old Selsey Sizzler has largely been on song this year, winning his first two starts at Newcastle and Chepstow, then finishing runner-up at Catterick and fourth at Pontefract. He’s at the opposite end of the distance spectrum to Foxtrot Sizzler, having run over two miles or further on his past four outings as we went to press. His owner recalls: “Selsey Sizzler was bred by Peter Winkworth, and my wife and I went to his estate with William Knight, who trained for us before his move to Newmarket. I can hold my own but Peter is a phenomenal drinker, can drink champagne like it’s going out of fashion, and we had four bottles – then went for a pub lunch and had another

Ian and Amanda Heseltine enjoy Soto Sizzler’s victory at Epsom in April 2019

five, between three of us. “Peter wanted £50,000 for the horse, who is by Nathaniel, but I was thinking more £30,000. Three is my lucky number so I said I’d give him £33,333, and Peter agreed as long as it was ‘plus a fiver’. That’s what can happen after nine bottles of champagne…!” Sozzled is one thing, but what about Sizzler? “The name Sizzler goes back to when we used to live in Sandbanks and opposite us was a house called Seaside Sizzle,” explains Heseltine. “I always thought that would be a good name for a horse, and the first Sizzler was Seaside Sizzler. There have been a few others since, with Sandbanks Sizzler being another.” Heseltine, who was in the oil business with a company in the UK, Nigeria and Angola, has used a few different trainers during his years as an owner and says: “I have always preferred a trainer local to where I live as my wife and I like to go on the gallops once or twice a month. “It’s more than just racing; it’s all about seeing the horses progress from yearling right the way through to finding them a home after their racing career is over. “David [Menuisier] is a very open

guy, welcoming to the press, and for a Frenchman he has a great sense of humour!” He adds: “I’m from Manchester, so bilingual... but we live in Chichester now, about 15 minutes from Goodwood, and we were there all week for the Glorious meeting and were lucky with our hosting of a couple of picnics as the weather relented. We’re happy to travel all over, though, with our runners, Pontefract, Beverley, Chepstow, wherever.” Seeing a winner in your colours, of course, is hard to beat in terms of magical moments as an owner, and, asked for his, Heseltine answers: “My first ever winner at Epsom racecourse with Ryan Moore riding when he was an apprentice would certainly be one, as would Soto Sizzler winning the Matchbook Handicap at Glorious Goodwood as a three-year-old.” He adds: “The best thing about being an owner is winning, and the worst is losing a horse – I can confirm that, having lost one at Ayr racecourse and one on the gallops.” This year is happily a far more positive one on the track and behind the scenes for Heseltine and wife Amanda, with the promise of more sizzling performances ahead.

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ROA Forum

OWNERSHIP MATTERS T

his month we begin a new series giving owners the opportunity to air their views, both on racing’s topical issues and their own personal experience of ownership. We start this series focusing on our ROA board members. Horses have been part of Celia Djivanovic’s life since she was a child. Her competitive riding career peaked early when she was shortlisted to represent Great Britain in dressage at the under-16s Pony European Championships. After a spell away from horses, qualifying and working as a solicitor in the City, Celia returned to competing in eventing and dressage, and bought her first thoroughbred, a horse who failed to make his reserve at the yearling sales. He turned out to be a talented eventer and quickly upgraded to affiliated intermediate level. After years of competing and then supporting her daughter’s eventing career (she represented GB at under-21 level), it was a natural progression into jumps ownership. A friend took Celia to Colin Tizzard’s owners’ day about 11 years ago. When the trainer heard that Celia might be interested in buying a horse, he introduced her to Ken and Sara Biggins, who wanted to sell a share in Cannington Brook, her first – and most successful – racehorse to date. What do you enjoy most about racing and owning racehorses? Racing for me begins and ends with the horses. I love getting to know my horses and used to pre-train those which were quiet enough for me to hack. I still have them at home for holidays and rehab. What are the key matters that impact on your ownership experience? Although I enjoy winning, it’s more important to me that ownership and racing are fun. My other obsession is historic car rallying, so I can indulge my competitive instincts in the car, which is a machine and within my control, unlike the horses. On my budget, I need a bit of luck to get a Saturday horse; I am realistic about the chances of finding value horses when everyone else is looking for them too. The raceday must be a jolly

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with Celia Djivanovic

Celia Djivanovic with hurdler Bold Reason

outing, even if my horse doesn’t end up in the winner’s enclosure. Communication by the trainer is everything, ideally visits and chat, and planning future races. If I can’t go and watch them, being sent videos regularly of the horses moving and looking well, and schooling over fences, is very important to me. When a horse isn’t winning, ownership still needs to be fun. What does the racing industry do well for owners and which areas could be improved? Integrity – we all take it for granted that our horses are competing on a level playing field. The poor prize-money, particularly at the lower levels, coupled with price inflation for NH horses makes ownership of a horse with less ability very expensive, probably more expensive in real terms than at any other period in the modern era. Some racecourses appear to see owners as a necessary evil and forget that we supply the product which enables their business. It is infuriating when racecourses begrudge entry tickets for syndicates, yet hospitality boxes are standing empty and the racecourse is almost deserted. Nobody expects racecourses to give the full hospitality package to all the members of a syndicate, but the Kempton initiative [providing a facility for syndicate members] was a step in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on welfare in relation to your horses in training and in terms of aftercare? If I didn’t trust my trainer 100% to look after my horses when they are in training, then I’m using the wrong trainer. After the trainer, the most important person is the staff member who looks after a horse day to day. The affection and attention to detail shown by that person can make the difference between a happy, confident horse and a discontented one. The ability to pick up small changes in behaviour or physique and prevent future problems makes the difference in terms of success and prolonging a horse’s racing career – the first person to notice those changes is likely to be the person who spends most time with the horse. It is easy to forget that Britain is the trailblazer on aftercare; the Retraining of Racehorses initiatives on education and support can be vital in ensuring a re-homing is successful. There is no denying that thoroughbreds cost more to keep than cold-bloods and that is a concern when they are given to those who don’t understand that. I can see a time in the future when the export of bloodstock to countries which do not share our view on the importance of aftercare becomes controversial. Which courses look after owners particularly well? In common with every other NH owner, Cheltenham is a favourite course; sadly, I rarely have a horse that is qualified to run there. I would welcome a fifth day at the Festival; I think all owners long to have a runner there and would leap at the opportunity. I haven’t been to Haydock for years but that is another favourite, along with Ascot and Bangor. I admire the efforts made by small independents like Newton Abbot and Fakenham to attract runners with higher prize-money, and make a big effort on hospitality, and always enjoy going to both. Owner care by racecourses has improved dramatically in the last 11 years. My remaining gripe at a few racecourses (not during Covid) would be overcrowding in the owners’ facility; it’s counter-productive as owners don’t feel inclined to linger and spend money.


News in brief AGM update

At the time of going to press final arrangements are being made for the ROA AGM, held on September 1. We will continue to keep our members up to date on the latest news via our daily Inside Track ebulletin and www.roa. co.uk. Members were sent a link to the Annual Report and accounts during August. The document can be downloaded at roa.co.uk

and this move should hopefully give it a boost. It always feels extra special at our fixtures when the famous Grand National fences are in use and it is exciting that the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase will now have its own billing.”

addition, members are entitled to 10% off fine dining and private hospitality (excluding QIPCO British Champions Day, Fireworks Saturday and Christmas Saturday). For more information on packages, please visit https://www. ascot.co.uk/hospitality-fine-diningpackages ROA members can also attend Ascot racecourse on non-racing days for meetings. The bespoke day delegate rate is £60 + VAT per person and includes meeting room hire between 9am and 5pm (for a minimum of ten people) plus food and refreshments throughout the day. For further details or additional discounts please contact Amelie. Cartigny@ascot.co.uk or see the members area at roa.co.uk to collect your discount code.

Laytown: meeting now set for November

PASS cards

Grand Sefton moved to November

The Grand Sefton Handicap Chase, one of five races staged over the Grand National fences at Aintree during the course of the jumps season, is moving its position in the calendar and will now take place at the November meeting, this year on Saturday, November 6. Staged over two miles and five furlongs, the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase was revived in 2003 and alongside the Becher Handicap Chase was one of two contests run over the Grand National fences at Aintree’s December meeting. Explaining the decision Sulekha Varma, Clerk of the Course at Aintree, said: “By moving the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase forward a month to the November meeting there are now three fixtures a year where the Grand National fences are utilised, with the Becher Handicap Chase following at the December meeting and then the three contests at the Randox Grand National Festival in April. “We felt that the November meeting at Aintree lacked a highlight

Laytown rescheduled

Horse Racing Ireland announced in August that Laytown races, which was due to be held on Thursday, September 2, will now be rescheduled to Monday, November 1. This is due to concerns over how officials could implement the government Covid guidelines at the beach course. More information can be found online at www.hri.ie.

Ascot offers

ROA members can enjoy a 50% discount on bookings for the Queen Anne Enclosure on all race days (excluding QIPCO British Champions Day and Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Royal Ascot). In

PASS cards are produced by the RCA (Racecourse Association). The production of PASS cards ceased in March 2020 and the RCA have indicated they are not currently resuming the production of PASS Cards. All registered owners will be updated automatically on the PASS system at rcapass.com, and any correspondence they receive (e.g. emails at entries and declarations) will include their PASS membership number, so that they can log in to book their badges in advance. Any registered owner who does not have a PASS card should attend racing with photo ID, and the racecourse will be able to allocate their badges accordingly.

WHIP CONSULTATION CLOSING SOON Members are reminded that the consultation on the use of the whip closes on September 6. The consultation is part of the recommendations made in the Horse Welfare Strategy, ‘A Life Well Lived’. We encourage as many members as possible to have their say. The consultation is open to anyone with an interest or opinion on the use of the whip in British racing. No recommendations or decisions have been pre-determined. The consultation consists of an online questionnaire, which can be accessed via the consultation hub of the BHA website

and at https://www.roa.co.uk/resources/whip-consultation. html. Following the conclusion of the consultation process the data, views and suggestions will be considered by the Whip Consultation Steering Group, which contains representation and expertise from across the racing industry – including Celia Djivanovic from the ROA – and wider sectors including politics, horse welfare and the media. The recommendations are expected to be submitted to the BHA board for approval in early 2022.

THE OWNER BREEDER

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ROA Forum

Choice of owners’ racing accounts Every registered racehorse owner is required to have a racing account under the Rules of Racing. This racing account enables the BHA to pay prize-money securely and allows for the automatic payment of entry fees, jockey fees and registration fees. There are two types of accounting facility that racehorse owners can choose from: BHA Account: Owners with a BHA

account can operate their racing accounting facilities without incurring any charges. It is effectively an invoice account which is settled by direct debit on the 15th day of the month. The table below refers to withdrawals and signposts to the specific timetable used for the settlement of prize-money. Weatherbys Bank Account: A Weatherbys Bank account has the flexibility of a normal bank account,

BHA ACCOUNT FEATURES This is a simple monthly invoice arrangement. It allows your racing transactions and refunds from HMRC to be debited and credited (entry fees, jockey fees, prize-money, gallop fees and ROA membership).

including online banking. There are monthly account management fees and racing transaction fees apply. The charges below apply to new accounts from June 28, 2021. Existing accounts will be transferred to the corresponding tariff in 2022 and all partnerships and syndicates will need to switch to the Multi Owner Account. The following table sets out a comparison of the two accounts.

WEATHERBYS BANK ACCOUNT A Weatherbys Bank account combines racing transactions (entry fees, jockey fees, prize-money, ROA membership etc) with the features of a normal bank account. There are three types of bank account: Racing Account – simple bank account owners can use to keep their racing finances separate from their day-to-day banking. Multi Owner Account – for all syndicates, racing clubs and partnerships. Allows partners and managers the ability to run all the owners’ shared racing-related transactions through one bank account.

It cannot extend to your payment of training fees Racing Gold Account – for sole or joint owners, bloodstock professionals and companies and also owners who reside outside of the UK. More personalised service with dedicated relationship manager and wider range of services and benefits. Debit card, one or more accounts under same name. PAYMENTS You will receive an invoice at the beginning of each month. The balance will be requested by Direct Debit on the 15th day of that month. If sufficient funds are not available at the time of the monthly Direct Debit an overdue account fee will be charged. If the account is not settled on a subsequent Direct Debit request, further charges may be incurred and impact your ownership activities related to the account. WITHDRAWALS

You will receive a bank statement at the beginning of each month or you can access your statements online at any time. If your account is overdrawn this can be settled via cheque, bank transfer or card payment. You can also view your accounts via the Weatherbys Mobile Banking App. If you have received prize-money you will be able to access it as soon as it has cleared on your account 15 days after the race date. You can use funds on your account to settle third party invoices.

The British Horseracing Authority arrangement does You can access your funds in a variety of ways including auto payments, online banking and not currently allow requested withdrawal of funds telephone banking (please refer to account type for operating arrangements). nor the retention of credit funds at month end. Instead, if you are in credit at the end of the month, the full credit balance will be sent to your nominated account by Direct Credit at the beginning of the following month. A prize settlement timetable for BHA accounts can be found at roa.co.uk

INTEREST TRANSACTION CHARGES

No interest is payable on funds.

Weatherbys Bank may pay interest on credit balances at the prevailing rates.

None

Racing Account monthly fee: £5. First five racing transaction charges per month at no fee, thereafter 65p per transaction.

Overdue account charges may be incurred: £19.80 and £50.16.

Multi Owner Account monthly fee: £15. First five racing transaction charges per month at no fee, thereafter 65p per transaction. Racing Gold Account monthly fee: £30. First 10 racing transaction charges at no fee, then 45p per transaction. Debit card: no fees for overseas transactions. Weatherbys Racing Payment Service: £10 per month for non-Racing Gold Account holders. Overseas racing transactions are charged at a commission rate of 0.5% (minimum fee £10). Online banking transactions are free

OTHER SERVICES

72 THE OWNER BREEDER

More on the range of banking services offered by Weatherbys Racing Bank and relevant fee information can be found at www.weatherbys.bank/racing-bank/our-services/racing-account, by emailing bank@weatherbysbank or calling 01933 543543.


Product Focus

Supporting joints from birth Effective joint support often is a matter of making remodelling and repair happen faster than microdamage can accumulate. Beyond judicious breeding, joint support starts early on with feeding to build joints that can go the distance and potentially win races. Foals build a robust musculoskeletal system not from the intake of the nutritional values listed on the feed label but from an uptake of any such nutrients. As you know, H2-Receptor Blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors negatively affect the solubilisation, digestion and absorption of key nutrients. By inference it makes perfect sense to feed for and promote digestive health and function. Many thoroughbred foals now build muscle mass faster than they build their skeletal framework. This can cause serious and potentially costly issues. As a Thoroughbred

Owner & Breeder you know that 69% of foals have at least one veterinary problem during their early years: 50% are musculoskeletal injuries or disease, 21% are fractures, 17% involve the respiratory system. When nutrient uptake from feed and grazing does not keep apace with your foal’s nutritional demand for growth, inadvertently it becomes vulnerable. What starts as microdamage can become swelling, heat and pain, leading to loss of function. Young and adult horses on the track may meet musculoskeletal adversity. Beyond plain misadventure, loads within their limbs increase with increasing speed. Even in plain misadventure, it often is innate strength that determines the severity of the injury. There is the fatigued bone matrix and the fatigue injury that develops when microdamage accumulates faster than remodelling can repair. Musculoskeletal injuries are a common cause of lost training days and wastage in racehorses. Would you enhance remodelling and repair if you could? If so, would you be interested in an organic nutrient spectrum focused on this and properly dosed for this? If you dial +44 (0)1858 464550 then it will be our pleasure to help you to Aloeride sample sachets, further information and our best price. Aloeride consistently tests NOPS negative (LGC).

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THOROUGHBRED OWNER BREEDER 73


TBA Forum

The special section for TBA members

British National Hunt breeders crowned at awards ceremony

NIGEL KIRBY

Nick Luck hosted the evening that celebrated Britain's National Hunt breeders

on the evening and they backed the Leading Chaser award, which was presented to Camilla Scott, breeder of Ascot Chase winner Dashel Drasher, appropriately by Batsford Stud resident Passing Glance. The Leading Novice Hurdler award (Shade Oak Stud Trophy) was won by the Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughesbred My Drogo, winner of the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April. Robert Waley-Cohen accepted the award on behalf of the Kelvin-Hughes’s. The eighth award of the evening that was destined to a south-west breeder was the Eric Gillie Ltd Trophy. The special award was presented by Philippa Gillie to Devon-based Fiona

T

he TBA’s National Hunt Breeders’ Awards Evening made a welcome return to the social calendars of National Hunt breeders in early August. As ever, host Nick Luck proved to be the perfect conduit for an evening that witnessed 14 awards presented, preceded by a champagne reception which was sponsored by James & Jean Potter Ltd, and a three-course dinner. Kindly sponsored once again by Goffs UK, the event moved to the Hilton Garden Inn for the first time, bringing together breeders, owners, trainers and industry personnel for a lively evening. The most prestigious award of the evening was the Queen Mother’s Silver Salver, which was presented to Somerset breeder Henry Cole. A stalwart of the West Country racing and point-to-point scene, and breeder for over 50 years, Cole’s successes include the half-siblings Just So and Dubacilla, second and fourth respectively in the 1994 and 1995 runnings of the Grand National, while the latter was also runner-up in that year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. More recent success has come courtesy of high-class chasers Desert Queen and Mister Malarky. The evening proved to be a benefit to breeders in the south west. Scooping a pair of prizes was Doug Procter of The Glanvilles Stud, on account of success registered by Honeysuckle. The sparkling mare, who was bred by Dr

74 THE OWNER BREEDER

The Foxtrot Racing team, owners of top novice hurdling mare Anythingforlove

Geoffrey Guy, took top honours in the Mickley Stud Trophy (Leading Hurdling Mare) and became the first mare to land the Leading Hurdler award, the Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy. Also at the double was Simon Sweeting’s Overbury Stud. The Gloucestershire-based stud is home to Schiaparelli, winner of the Horse & Hound Cup, which is awarded to the Leading Active British-based stallion (2020-21 individual chase winners in Britain and Ireland). Their second prize of the evening came when Rosita Bay was crowned NH Broodmare of the Year and Sweeting was awarded the Dudgeon Cup. Batsford Stud were new sponsors

Evans, breeder of Seeyouatmidnight. The son of Midnight Legend came back from retirement to land the Veterans' Handicap Chase Final at Sandown Park in early January. Will Kinsey’s Peel Bloodstock sponsored the Leading Chase Mare category and Richard Aston of Goldford Stud collected the award on account of the victory by Chilli Filli – she was a two-time Listed winner in the past season. A Listed winner in November at Cheltenham, who then ran third in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival and was second in Grade 2 company at Aintree, the Rita Vaughanbred Elle Est Belle was the recipient


of the Yorton Stud Trophy for Leading NHF Mare. Another prize for mares was the Overbury Stud-sponsored Leading Novice Hurdler Mare award, which was picked up by Bryan Mayoh, breeder of Anythingforlove, who gave a sparkling rendition of the Meatloaf hit. The half-sister to Sizing John had won in Grade 2 company at Sandown Park in February. The Leading Novice Chaser award was sponsored in memory of Midnight Legend and it was his son, the Grand Annual Handicap Chase winner Sky Pirate, who came out on top. The eightyear-old was bred by Cedric Brookes. Another new name attached to the evening was Beswick Brothers Bloodstock, kind sponsor of the Whitbread Silver Salver. The award, which is given to the Leading Britishbased stallion for NH earnings in the 2020-21 season, was won by Nathaniel, and Julian Dollar of Newsells Park Stud was on hand to collect the prize. TBA NH Committee Chairman Bryan Mayoh said: “This past National Hunt racing season witnessed some brilliant performances from British-bred horses and it has been great to be able to host a dinner this year to celebrate them. Last year we were able to deliver an online event to recognise the successes of British breeders and this received great feedback, but we are pleased that government guidelines allowed for events to return. “Thanks to TBA initiatives such as NHMOPS, the Great British Bonus and the Elite Mares’ Scheme, National Hunt breeding in this country is in a much healthier state. We have worked collaboratively with the British Horseracing Authority on improving and promoting the race programme for mares, and are incredibly thankful to the Levy Board for its support. “I would like to thank the TBA’s NH Committee, Nick Luck, Goffs UK, James and Jean Potter Ltd, Racing TV, Ascot racecourse, and all of our trophy sponsors for their vital ongoing support.”

Henry Cole (centre) and Louise Farrance with Bryan Mayoh

David and Kathleen Holmes with Cherry Jones, representing Cedric Brookes

Jeremy and Camilla Scott receive their award for Dashel Drasher from Alan Varey

Kate Sigsworth presents the Horse & Hound Cup to Simon Sweeting

Lester Futter with Kate Dee, representing Elle Est Belle's breeder Rita Vaughan

Robert Waley-Cohen (right) collects My Drogo's award from Peter Hockenhull

Fiona Evans collects Seeyouatmidnight's trophy from Philippa Gillie (right)

Richard Aston (left) is presented with Chilli Filli's award by Will Kinsey

Richard Kent presents Doug Procter (right) with his accolade for Honeysuckle

Robert Robinson with Alice and John Dawson, breeders of I Like To Move It

Simon Sweeting (right) collects Rosita Bay's trophy from Robert Waley-Cohen

Tessa Greatrex with Peter Molony and Doug Procter for top hurdler Honeysuckle

Warwick Beswick presents Julian Dollar with Nathaniel's Whitbread Silver Salver

THE OWNER BREEDER 75


TBA Forum

ASCOT RACECOURSE

Member benefits – legal and business support

The successful breeders from this year's royal meeting

Ascot racecourse celebrates successful Royal Ascot breeders The Ascot executive welcomed winning breeders from this year’s Royal Ascot at a specially arranged lunch on the Friday of the QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend, with Chairman Sir Francis Brooke welcoming them to the Ascot Authority Room. All Royal Ascot-winning breeders received an individual commemorative Garrard strawberry dish with their winning horse’s name engraved on the dish.

Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot racecourse, said: “We were so pleased to be able to welcome many of the breeders from this year’s Royal meeting back to Ascot for a celebration of their success. “It goes without saying that breeders are the foundation of the industry and often their stories go untold or unrecognised, so it was a real pleasure for us to be able to celebrate their achievements.”

Paddock management course added to TB-Ed The latest course to be made available on the TBA’s education platform TB-Ed is a Level 2 course in paddock management. Written by former Royal Studs Manager Joe Grimwade, the course is delivered by Karen Borthwick. The cost of the course is £50 but for TBA members the course is half price. The course will cover a broad range of areas relating to the subject title. These include the identification of paddock roles and requirements, how paddocks can be adapted for specific needs and the routine management of grassland. There is an in-depth focus on specific solutions to common stud farm problems relating to turnout, and the identification of key markers for equine wellbeing and health, with

76 THE OWNER BREEDER

explanation as to how wellbeing can be maintained during turnout. Latter modules within the course cover the methodology and importance of routine paddock maintenance, including explanations as to how different surface conditions may be resolved. Alongside this, the course will look at the identification of toxic plants, the potential harmful effects they may cause if ingested, and how best to avoid them.

Over the years the TBA has sourced a comprehensive register of professional advisors who are on hand to help members should they require guidance regarding a particular challenge. Many of our specialists offer free advice in the first instance. LEGAL ADVICE HOTLINE – included in the TBA membership is a free telephone consultation with our industry specialist on breeding and bloodstock matters. THIRD PARTY INSURANCE – having worked in close partnership with Lycetts Insurance Brokers, all TBA members have free third party public liability cover included in their annual subscription, including when your horse is away from its usual home. DEBT RECOVERY SERVICE – using the ‘no collection, no fee’ service, TBA members are offered a reduced rate of 13 per cent on all debts recovered, plus a two per cent discount. BUYING GROUP – TBA members can save time and money on many business and daily essentials (including fuel, fencing, vehicles etc) by contacting Anglia Farmers Ltd. There are different levels of buying group membership, for which Affinity is free of charge to TBA members. We also work closely with a variety of professional advisors and the team at Stanstead House are able to signpost members to various experts to assist with stud ratings, taxation and VAT, pasture management, health and safety, and veterinary matters. Have you logged on to the TBA website? By accessing the exclusive ‘Members Only’ area of our website you can download an extensive variety of useful templates, fact sheets and guidance notes. Our sample policy and procedure documents assist employers with key issues and help in setting good standards of practice within the industry.


Delay to implementation of new Export Health Certificates Last month DEFRA was informed of the EU’s decision to delay the implementation of the new EU Animal Health Regulation Export Health Certificates (EHCs) from August 21, 2021 to January 15, 2022. This includes EHCs for all products of animal origin, live animals, germinal products and composite products, and also applies to traders moving goods to Northern Ireland. Both the existing and the new AHR EHCs are available on EHC online and traders can decide which EHCs they wish to use. However, the use of the

newer EHCs is encouraged as it means businesses would be ready for the full switchover from January 15, 2022. The EU’s proposal will mean that current EHCs signed before January 15, 2022 can be used until March 15, 2022 for goods on route to the EU. The decision to delay was made by the EU. It is understood that the request came from EU member states and other third countries. The UK did not make a formal request to delay the implementation of the new regulations.

TBA seeking a new co-opted Trustee The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) is currently seeking a Trustee to be co-opted to its board of 12 to help shape the development of the future strategy of the TBA and growth of the British breeding industry. The TBA is looking for potential Trustees with an understanding and passion for the breeding industry, and the drive to assist the board and executive in delivering the TBA’s charitable objects across its wide remit. In particular, the TBA is seeking individuals who can demonstrate financial and corporate experience at board level.

TBA Trustees serve a four-year term of office, and must be able to commit the time to attend eight board meetings per annum and key TBA events, along with subcommittee representation and support for TBA-led projects. Trustees are unremunerated however expenses are reimbursed and applications are encouraged from people of diverse backgrounds. To find out more about this influential and rewarding voluntary opportunity, please email info@ thetba.co.uk to register your interest.

British Racing School launches industry-wide Kickstart programme The British Racing School (BRS), supported by the Racing Foundation and the Resume Foundation, has launched a coordinated approach to the government-funded Kickstart scheme. Kickstart facilitates businesses and charities in employing young people for free for six months, provided they are aged 16 to 24 and claiming universal credit. The funding covers 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of six months plus £1,500 per employee to support set up costs This scheme applies to all types of employment including on stud farms. The BRS has developed a programme of support for employers interested in offering employment to a Kickstart candidate. This will help employers to access the scheme and recruit young people into the racing and breeding industry. The Kickstarters will receive training that will focus on introducing them to the racing industry and support their future employment. A guide to the scheme can be found at https://brs. org.uk/kickstart/. Employers are encouraged to register their interest by October 1, 2021. Roles must commence by December 31, 2021 to be eligible for support.

Sandown Park to host Breeders’ Day The TBA and Sandown Park racecourse have joined forces to showcase thoroughbred breeding at the track’s afternoon fixture on Wednesday, September 15. The Breeders’ Day event, which falls during National Racehorse Week, will feature an array of activities for racegoers, including competitions, interactive displays, interviews with breeders, give-aways and trade stands. There will also be opportunities to learn about shared ownership options and how to get involved in thoroughbred breeding, while

students and those seeking a career change can find out about roles in the industry. All races will be sponsored by bloodstock industry organisations, and there will be a prize for the breeder of each race. TBA members are eligible for complimentary general admission on presentation of a valid membership card, or they can upgrade to a subsidised ticket for talks and a breeders’ luncheon prior to racing. Tickets for the luncheon, which can be secured through the TBA’s Events page, are priced at £60pp (inc VAT)

and this includes reception drinks, a three-course meal and afternoon tea. TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “The event will provide many opportunities for race fans to learn more about the early years of a racehorse, including interactive displays, competitions, and our trade stand where members of the TBA team will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information on further learning opportunities and how to get involved. We are thankful to Sandown Park for approaching us with the idea and for all their support for this day.”

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TBA Forum

Lantern lights the way to success in July Newmarket’s July Cup meeting proved bountiful for British-breds, with both of the top-level races, the Falmouth Stakes and July Cup, being won by small owner-breeders. The Falmouth, the first opportunity for the female Classic generation to take on their elders over a mile, was won by dashing grey Snow Lantern. The daughter of Frankel, whose progeny could not stop winning during the month, was bred by the Keswick family’s Rockcliffe Stud. Meanwhile, the feature event of the three-day festival, the July Cup, was won by Starman, who had to defy traffic problems to land his maiden Group 1 win. The son of Dutch Art was bred by David Ward. In what was a notable 24-hour double, it must be noted that Ed Sackville sourced the dams of Snow Lantern (Sky Lantern) and Starman (Northern Star) within hours of each other back in 2011. On the opening day of the festival, the Mascalls Stud-bred Sir Ron Priestley, a half-brother to Subjectivist, landed an all-the-way success in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes. Another Group 2 winner was the Oasis Dream juvenile Native Trail, winner of the Superlative Stakes. Sandrine handled contrasting conditions to her Royal Ascot win when an authoritative winner of the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes. The daughter of Bobby’s Kitten was bred by Kirsten Rausing, for whom there were three stakes winners in the month, continuing a fine year. On the first weekend of the month, Alpinista (Frankel) took the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks, while Aleas, a son of former Lanwades resident Archipenko, scored in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton.

There have been few more promising three-year-old colts than Baaeed this season and the Shadwell homebred picked up a pair of black-type races in July. He started out with a win in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes before jumping up to Pattern level in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes. Shadwell was also on the mark with the Frankel filly Mehnah, who took the Listed Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney. Winner of the Just A Game Stakes at Belmont Park in June, the Godolphinbred Althiqa doubled her North American Grade 1 tally with a cosy win in the Diana Stakes in upstate New York at Saratoga. Closer to home, the boys in blue supplied a pair of Group 3 winners – the freshly gelded Yibir (Dubawi) won the Bahrain Trophy, while Victor Ludorum returned to winning ways in the Prix Messidor. Lady Bowthorpe has taken her form to another level this term and gained a deserved first top-level victory in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood for her enthusiastic owner Emma Banks. The mare was bred by Scuderia Archi Romani, foaled at the Cumanis’ Fittocks Stud and became the fourth Group 1 winner for her Newsells Park Stud-based sire Nathaniel. Meanwhile, the Newsells Park Stud-bred Japan was back in the winners' enclosure after taking the Group 3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown. On the mark with Alpinista and Snow Lantern, Frankel’s fillies flourished in July. The Queen’s homebred Light Refrain scooped the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York, while his highly promising juvenile Inspiral blitzed the field in the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown Park. His son Monarchs Glen, bred by Juddmonte, took the Jonathan

Snow Lantern: Falmouth Stakes heroine

B Schuster Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand. The month ended with the Qatar Goodwood Festival and witnessed a first Group 2 triumph for the Lawn Stud-bred Kinross, a son of Kingman, in the Lennox Stakes. While also that week, Clipper Logistics' Last Empire, a daughter of Pivotal bred by Geraldine Rees and Douglas McMahon, was victorious in the Group 3 Oak Tree Stakes. Fiona and Mick Denniff were on the mark with a pair of homebred Listed winners. Auria, a daughter of Muhaarar, took the Distaff Stakes on Eclipse Stakes day, while Brunch (Harbour Watch) won the Pomfret Stakes at Pontefract later in the month. Other Listed heroes and heroines in the month included William Johnstone’s star Euchen Glen in the Gala Stakes, Golden Horn’s Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd-bred daughter Golden Pass in the Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes, the Dukes Stud and Overbury Stud-bred Ladies Church in the Marwell Stakes at Naas, the London Thoroughbred Services-bred Lights On in the Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract, the Havana Gold juvenile Fearby in the Dragon Stakes, and the Gredley family’s homebred Save A Forest in the Chalice Stakes. Stateside, the Lindsay SuensonTaylor-bred Baltimore Bucko was an impressive winner of the Grade 1 A P Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase at Saratoga, while Call Me Love claimed the River Memories Stakes at Belmont Park.

Last spaces available for visit to Overbury Stud and Kim Bailey There are only a few spaces remaining for the TBA’s regional day at Overbury Stud and Kim Bailey’s Thorndale Farm on Tuesday, September 21. Numbers are capped at 30 for this event and will be offered to members before being made available to guests.

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First up, members will visit Thorndale Farm, the base of Bailey, one of only a handful of trainers to have achieved the feat of training winners of the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle. Following this will be a visit to Overbury Stallions, home to Ardad, Cityscape, Frontiersman, Jack Hobbs

and Schiaparelli. The Gloucestershirebased stud is also home to the pensioned Kayf Tara, champion NH stallion for much of the past decade. Tickets cost £43 per member and can be paid for via the events page of our website. If you would like any further information please contact alix.jones@ thetba.co.uk.


£3 million and counting... Can you afford not to buy GBB fillies at this year’s sales?

GBB winners – July 2021 GOLDILOCKS...........................................................................................Fernham Farm

MOON ISLAND.................................................................Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd

MISE EN SCENE..............................................................The Gadfly Partnership

SILVER KITTEN........................................................................................Miss K Rausing

SOPHIE’S STAR............................................................ Nick Bradley Bloodstock

SILKEN PETALS...........................................Kirtlington Stud & Mrs M Taylor

QIPAO........................................................................................................Chasemore Farm

HELVETIQUE..............................................................................................Miss K Rausing

ROMANTIC TIME....................................................................................Wretham Stud

OUTSIDE WORLD.............................................................................................Godolphin

FRANKELLA................................................................................................... Littleton Stud

DUBAI JEWEL...................................................Plantation Stud and Mildmay

FAITHFUL SPIRIT................................................................................... Highclere Stud

JUMBLY.............................................................................Ms E M Freeman-Attwood

LADY LADE................................... S Von Schilcher & Catridge Farm Stud

DARK TULIP.................................................................................................... Denford Stud

MAY BLOSSOM..................................................... J A Knox and Mrs M A Knox

TORVI.....................................................................Stuart McPhee Bloodstock Ltd

ALL CLENCHED UP................................................................................ Bryan Mayoh

FUENTE OVEJUNA..........................................................Stoneroses Bloodstock

STAR FROM AFARHH.............................................. Mildmay Bloodstock Ltd

Buy, breed and race GBB-registered fillies and mares GBB Jumps winners:

GBB Jumps bonus payments:

75

GBB Flat winners:

GBB Flat bonus payments:

Total bonus payments:

£3,156,500

143 £910,500

£2,256,000

We are delighted to have won two bonuses with Silken Petals; she was very cheaply bought from Tattersalls Book Four at £8,500, and having won more than £30,000 in bonuses for the owners and breeders is brilliant. We will be shopping for GBB fillies at this year’s sales for certain. GBB is such a great scheme and just what the industry needs. Charlie McBride, trainer

It’s hotting up... GBB’s hottest winning Flat trainers

6

7

8

9

10

12

John Gosden Roger Varian

Andrew Balding William Haggas

Ralph Beckett

Karl Burke

Charlie Appleby

Mark Johnston

For more information on eligibility, visit greatbritishbonus.co.uk TBA GBB TOB Mailers A4_September.indd 1

Information correct at time of going to press

16/08/2021 15:47


Breeder of the Month Words Howard Wright

Sponsored by

Manufacturers of

BREEDER OF THE MONTH (July 2021)

Seven British-bred winners of eight races, and another foaled in Japan who won twice, resulted in Her Majesty the Queen being named TBA Breeder of the Month for July. Handicap wins for Wink Of An Eye at Sandown and Goodwood bookended the month, and in between there were two victories within a fortnight for Deep Impact’s daughter Portfolio and singles for Light Refrain in the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York, fellow threeyear-olds Chalk Stream, Encourage, Tynwald and debutante Stimulate, and the two-year-old Reach For The Moon. John Warren, who became the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser following the death of his father-in-law Lord Carnarvon in September 2001, reacts with understandable delight. “I can’t think that Her Majesty has ever had such a successful month as a breeder with horses who have raced in her own colours, at least numerically, and certainly not in the time I’ve been associated with the Royal Studs,” he says. “She gets such pleasure and enjoyment out of any winner, big or small. People ask me why the Queen is so fascinated over having, say, a winner midweek on a small track, and I say it’s a bit like having a child who’s managed to overcome challenges, been reared correctly, and actually achieved something. So, instead of getting a D grade at school, it’s got a C. “Tynwald, who was unbeaten in his first two novice races at Bath, is an example. He had some challenges and was a gelded three-year-old before he raced, but the Queen is so wonderfully patient and never puts any pressure on

PA

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

Light Refrain: struck at Group 3 level

the trainers. He’s gone through the hoops and managed to get a C grade. Now the question is whether he can improve to get a B. He’ll probably never manage an A on the Flat, although one day he might get an A over hurdles.” The July crop of winners could not have come at a more opportune time, given that the Queen will shortly sit down with Warren to discuss next season’s mating plans for the Royal Studs’ broodmare band. He explains: “Every late-August or early-September, whilst the Queen is in Scotland and has a bit more breathing space for herself, I go up with a proposal. We’ll already have done some preparatory work, because we have various benchmark meetings, such as one at Sandringham in July, when we look at all the young stock. We know the three-year-olds, who are relatively exposed, and the two-year-olds, who are beginning to come through, and it gives us a good handle on the mares’ yearlings and foals at foot. “The Queen has a tremendous memory for her horses and knows the families from way back, so she can flag up their traits, but she also reads the

Racing Post every day and is astutely aware of what stallions are becoming capable of. “It would be very easy to say, ‘Let’s send all the mares to Dubawi, or whoever the current star is,’ but because the Queen has a broad interest, it fascinates her when a new potential stallion comes along. “In principle we have tried, where we can, to mate to proven stallions, but with around 20-25 foals being born every year it’s fun to have a broad spread of stallions, and that’s what the Queen appreciates.” Familiarity is a trait of the Queen’s breeding programme. For example, four of the July winners – Chalk Stream, Reach For The Moon, Tynwald and Wink Of An Eye – are from the immediate family of Phantom Gold, her winner of the 1995 Ribblesdale Stakes and 1996 Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Her great-grandam was the Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Amicable, dam of seven winners including the Park Hill Stakes heroine Example. The Amicable line is one of two female families surviving from the nine the Queen inherited in 1952, the other being that of Highlight/Highclere, which goes back to Hypericum, who won the 1,000 Guineas for King George VI in 1946 and runs through to the July winners via Encourage. “That’s the fun of it, being able to follow the pedigrees,” Warren says. “The most incredible thing is that the Queen has kept her foot on the accelerator, so that the breeding operation has kept going forward. Whereas other stud farms might have waned in development, the Queen’s have done the complete opposite, and her full encouragement pushes me to keep the pot boiling.”

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80 THE OWNER BREEDER

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GastroGard_racing_a4_TRAINER version.indd 1

26/10/2020 20:35


Joint health

Nutrition MATTERS

Good care begins at conception, with nutrition subsequently the rock on which a foal develops and turns into a sound and successful racehorse, powered by grazing on grass that is good for them Words: Lissa Oliver

L

ike any athlete, the racehorse depends upon comfortable movement and ease of action, but with athleticism comes inevitable stress, discomfort, aches and even injury. To deal with any joint-related issues, it’s important to understand the anatomy and physiology of the horse and how growth and exercise can impact on health. As with all equine health, good care begins at conception, with good feeding of the mare and adequate intake of essential nutrients. This extends to the foal, and its first year is one of the most important in terms of bone health and joint care. We are all aware of OCDs. Osteochondritis dissecans (OCDs) can occur in many different joints, but is most commonly seen in fetlocks, hocks and stifles. Because of the varying closure times of growth plates in the young horse, the fetlocks are the first joints to be affected, followed by hocks, where OCDs can develop between two to six months of age. There is no proven common cause of OCDs, but genetics, trauma and nutrition have been cited and certainly the change in feed and exercise when a yearling is being prepped for the sales is a common time for problems to arise. A growth plate is a line of cartilage at each end of the long bones, responsible for bone growth and development. Growth plate fusion is when the bone stops growing and the cartilage growth

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plate fuses into the bone. Until fusion has taken place it is possible to change and manage the growth of the bone, largely through good farriery practices and corrective farriery where necessary. Joints in the legs fuse first, so farrier visits need to begin from the first month, if not from day one. The vertebrae are among the last plates to fuse and many racehorses have problems with their back in later life, such as kissing spine, due to carrying weight up to five years before the spine has stopped growing. In contrast, exercise and training can aid the growth and strength of the limbs and help prevent serious injury during a horse’s racing career. It is therefore essential to understand the narrow windows of opportunity in the natural growing process, to know when to step back from exercise, decrease particular feeds or perhaps introduce supplements, and when corrective or preventive measures can best be taken. • Humerus proximal plate 3-3.5yrs • Humerus distal plate 15-18mths • Radius proximal plate 15-18mths • Radius distal plate 3.5yrs • Metacarpus proximal plate before birth • Metacarpus distal plate 15-18mths • Pelvis hip socket 1.5-2yrs • Pelvis complete ossification 4.5-5yrs • Fibular tarsal tuber calcis 3yrs • Metatarsal proximal plate before birth • Metatarsal distal plate 16-20mths • Vertebrae 3-5yrs

Good nutrition has always been a solid foundation for a successful racehorse

Good nutrition has always been the solid base of the successful horse, from conception through to racing career. Research on the nutritional relationship with OCDs has linked mineral intake and in the USA it has been seen that the time of year can affect OCD rates, coinciding with the energy content of pasture varying from spring to autumn. Studies showed that horses fed diets with low copper, excess zinc, excess phosphorus and high digestable energy all had increased rates of OCD. We can never underestimate the value of pasture and access to grazing. Stephen Jackson, President of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition, at an ITBA seminar reminded breeders: “Go back to basics. The horse evolved as a wandering herbivore, designed to eat throughout the day, trying to utilise forage and


fibrous feed to meet its natural requirements.” There can be a tendency to routinely add fertiliser to pasture and to supplement a horse’s feed, without first evaluating whether it is necessary to do so. Exceeding nutrient requirements can become toxic. “Establish the nutrient value of your pasture,” Jackson recommends. Grazing alone provides a broodmare with 200% over her requirement of protein intake, 500% of potassium and 400% of Vitamin A. These are safe excesses, occurring naturally. He continues: “Design a diet to meet the deficiencies in the forage. I always walk away from the hundreds of farms for which I have done evaluations thinking, have we fed them too much? I have taken away supplements from farms and within 30 days the horses have bloomed. They

were dangerously close to toxic.” Similarly, agronomist David O’Connell, from OACE Agri Consultants, points out: “The objective is to produce sound racehorses. Grass analysis is the best test you can ever do on a farm. Nitrogen is an important element for growth, like putting petrol in a car. Clover in a sward promotes nitrogen production naturally. Phosphorous is the workhorse, responsible for cell division and root development; 6.6-6.8pH is as good a balance as you’ll get. “A good soil structure and aerated environment encourages earthworm activity and increases balanced nutrient availability. Grass is the fundamental diet for your stock, so you need to know what’s in it. Look at the Ps and Ks, but also at the trace elements, which can help with your supplementation

programme and prevent the use of unnecessary supplements.” Horses typically eat 2.5-3% of their body weight per day and Lorraine Fradl, equine nutritionist with Connolly’s RED MILLS Feed, explains that the daily calorie requirements of a yearling are 80mj, increasing to 105mj when they are prepped for the sales. The typical megajoule value of hay is 9mj, stud cubes 11.5mj and conditioning feed 14mj. So ideally Fradl recommends a yearling receive 5.5kg hay and 3kg stud cubes when not in prep work. This is significant for the future racehorse in training, as sales prep is often a horse’s first exposure to bone remodelling. Research from radiographs taken at sales has shown that radiographed yearlings with hindlimb OCDs are twice as likely to not run as

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››


Joint health

Heavy exercise can lead to problems, with a joint supplement a potential solution to stiffness or discomfort

›› two-year-olds, while those with forelimb

OCDs are 1.78 times less likely to start as two-year-olds. While OCDs did not affect performance overall, it did result in minor issues keeping almost half of them off the track at two. For the racehorse in training, any issues are compounded by the limitations of authorised medication. Corticosteroid is a prohinited substance, but has effective anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties and is often used to treat joint inflammation, sometimes in combination with other medications. It is usually administered intra-articularly directly into a joint. There is no published detection time because the doses and sites which may be treated with it are variable, but a minimum stand-down time of 14 days must be given after any intra-articular administration of a corticosteroid. In his paper ‘Managing Joint Disease in the Racehorse’, Dr C Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, ACVSMR, cites extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment, as a viable alternative to medication. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy has also been used to treat horses with OA. Horses were treated at days 14 and 28, and the degree of lameness in horses treated with ESWT improved significantly. The increase of serum biomarkers was indicative of bone remodeling, but there were no negative effects revealed. “It could be

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concluded that ESWT is a viable nonpharmaceutical treatment for acute inflammation in equine joints,” McIlwraith notes. Sensory receptors within tissues respond to changes in joint position and motion and are also important in regulating neuromuscular control. Pain, inflammation and joint effusion alter the normal sensory input, which may cause motor neuron excitability and reduced muscle activation. Joint instability alters the distribution of weight-bearing forces and leads to an increase in the workload of adjacent muscles to aid joint stability. The resulting imbalance contributes to increased joint instability and altered limb biomechanics, which leads to further progression of OA and chronic maladaptive compensatory mechanisms. Joint injuries may recur or be exacerbated as a result of muscle weakness, reduced joint range of motion, and poor proprioception, also referred to as kinaesthesia, the sense of selfmovement and body position. The entire musculoskeletal system must therefore be rehabilitated to return the horse to optimal performance. Aquatic therapy has become increasingly popular in its use for rehabilitation and McIlwraith also examined the benefit of underwater treadmilling. “Decrease in osteoarthritis as well as improved proprioception were demonstrated,” he notes. “This is a clear demonstration that underwater treadmilling can be used as an adjunctive

device for the treatment of traumatic joint inflammation, and there is no indication that it could not be used with a racehorse in full training.” Slow, steady training is important in keeping horses sound. There is less chance of joint injury if the horse has the fitness level to perform without developing undue fatigue. Limit work on hard surfaces, as extreme concussion can damage joint cartilage, so try to avoid exercising on hard, dry ground. Keeping horses at their optimum weight is also vital. Obesity increases the stress on joint structures, eventually leading to unsoundness. Look out for early signs of joint problems such as heat, swelling or lameness. The earlier joint issues are diagnosed and treated the better, avoiding further damage. A regular farriery routine is essential. Trimming and resetting of shoes will keep the horse balanced, avoiding unnecessary strain. Heavy exercise, as well as advancing age, can lead to a breakdown in the natural regeneration process, resulting in joint discomfort, stiffness and other joint problems. Feeding a joint supplement may help to rebalance this process. Veterinarian Dr Kevin Corley BVMS PhD DACVIM DACVECC, founder of EquiTrace, explains: “I would always start with a good balanced diet, with as much turn-out and good quality grazing as possible. How we feed horses not only impacts on gastrointestinal health but the respiratory system too. Horses


graze naturally and this form of feeding suits them best. It is also important for wellbeing. If a supplement is necessary, for example they can be good to promote joint health, it is important to use a good quality reputable brand. Always be aware of exactly what you are giving and why. “Over the counter supplements can contain substances that are banned in competition, or herbs that could interact adversely with medication. It’s best not to use these products without consulting your veterinarian, to check that they really are appropriate for your horse’s circumstances.” As Corley points out, there are many products on the market to promote joint health, but it is important to understand each product and which of the ingredients are necessary. Of the oral products available only Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid are research-proven ingredients justified for use in the maintenance of healthy joints, but levels of these can vary in different products. Glucosamine is the most studied ingredient when it comes to joint care and studies suggest results are improved

when combined with Chondroitin. Glucosamine is an amino sugar used as a building block to form tendons, ligaments, cartilage and synovial fluid, for joint lubrication. It provides cartilage with its strength, structure and shock absorbing qualities. Chondroitin is a natural source

“Horses graze naturally and this form of feeding suits them best” of essential amino acids needed for cartilage synthesis and inhibiting enzymes that destroy cartilage molecules. This helps to revive elasticity. By restoring fluid to the cartilage, Chondroitin supports the repairing action of Glucosamine. MSM (Methylsulphonylmethane) is

essential for the health and elasticity of tendons, ligaments and muscles. The sulphur found within MSM is needed for the proper repair and maintenance of collagen, found within the connective tissue of healthy joints. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) attaches to collagen and elastin to form cartilage. HA not only helps keep the cartilage strong and flexible, but also helps increase supplies of joint-lubricating synovial fluid. Each of these compounds is a synergist, which means that when administered together they complement each other’s effects, providing a more effective joint supplement. Bettalife® PharmaQuin suggest that in order for a joint supplement to be effective, it should provide adequately high levels of the active compounds per kg of body weight. A 600Kg horse should be receiving a daily level of 10,000mg Glucosamine, 10,000mg MSM, 4,000mg Chondroitin and 100mg Hyaluronic Acid. Levels that are substantially lower may provide less benefit, and minimal levels are likely to be completely ineffective, especially in racehorses in training.

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Vet Forum: The Expert View

What does it mean if my racehorse fails the wind test?

T

he wind test is an integral component of both the pre- and post-purchase examination of potential racehorses. It is designed to try and best identify those horses with an upper airway abnormality that may compromise performance. Whilst the circumstances in which the test is undertaken will depend upon the age of the horse and the conditions of the sale in which it is being offered, all wind tests aim to determine whether or not an abnormal inspiratory noise is heard when the horse is actively exercised. In almost all circumstances the wind test involves actively cantering on the lunge post-sale. In the case of two-year-old breeze-up horses, there is an initial opportunity to listen to the horse when they breeze before they are offered for sale, whilst for horses in training the horse can be exercised under saddle at home post-sale, as per sales company conditions. Failing the wind test does not necessarily mean that an individual will not be a racehorse, but that it is affected by a condition that has been identified as a likely significant contributor to poor performance in the equine athlete. In this article we will look at some of those conditions that may cause a horse to fail the wind test and how these may be addressed.

LARYNGEAL HEMIPLEGIA

Laryngeal hemiplegia is the most common reason for a horse failing the wind test. This disease most frequently affects the left arytenoid cartilage where the motility of the affected cartilage is markedly reduced or absent due to damage to the nerve supply to this side of the throat. When exercised, the horse is heard to make a characteristic abnormal inspiratory noise, most often a whistle. Upon hearing this abnormal inspiratory noise, the examining veterinary surgeon will perform resting endoscopy and laryngeal function will be graded using one of two validated grading systems, on a scale between 1 and 5. Grades 1 and 2 are a pass, whilst grades 3, 4 and 5 are a fail. In order to further investigate the

86 THE OWNER BREEDER

Failing the wind test does not necessarily mean that an individual will not be a racehorse

larynx, especially in those horses with grade 3 function where the larynx may be sufficiently active at exercise, then dynamic endoscopy must be performed. This examination does not currently fall under sales conditions and so must be performed at home. Further measures, such as surgical intervention via a hobday or a tieback surgery, will then be considered.

may project into the airway and significantly impede airflow. Whilst some of these cases can be treated successfully with an extended course of oral broad-spectrum antibiotics in

ARYTENOID CHONDRITIS

Arytenoid chondritis is an inflammatory condition of the arytenoid cartilages of the larynx that is thought to develop following ulceration of the mucosal surface of the arytenoid cartilage. This breach of the mucosal surface allows bacterial seeding into this structure. If infection becomes established, then inflammation and distortion of the shape of the cartilage may occur. This abnormal cartilage can then lie across the airway and cause an inspiratory noise when the horse is exercised. Protracted infection can produce excessive granulation tissue that

Figure 1 An advanced case of arytenoid chondritis of the left arytenoid cartilage. Infection of this cartilage has resulted in swelling of this structure. The now misshapen left arytenoid cartilage lies across and is causing occlusion of the airway. The black arrow points to the chondroma in this case


By Stuart Williamson BVSc MRCVS addition to rest, it is clear that horses suffering from this condition cannot pass the wind test whilst affected.

BRANCHIAL ARCH ANOMALY

This is a congenital defect where some of the structures of the larynx have failed to develop. The condition is identified as more frequently affecting the right arytenoid cartilage and results in weakness on this side. Affected horses carry a poor prognosis for an athletic career.

CLEFT PALATE

This rare condition which may affect the soft and/or hard palate is most commonly identified in the first few days of the foal’s life when nasal discharge of milk is seen immediately after nursing. However, mild forms of the condition, where the cleft is small, may present with an abnormal respiratory noise that may not be identified until the animal is exercised, or upon endoscopic examination.

EPIGLOTTIC ENTRAPMENT

This occurs when the epiglottis becomes entrapped, permanently or intermittently, within the soft tissues underlying it. Affected horses may show no symptoms or may demonstrate a harsh expiratory and/ or inspiratory noise. Surgery on the standing patient, or under general anaesthesia, is required to release the entrapment. In Figure 2, no portion of the epiglottis is visible as it is completely enclosed within the entrapping soft tissues (black arrows). Most cases that are addressed surgically will go on to train and race successfully. A small proportion of horses will suffer from recurrence

PERFORMANCE

Figure 2 Epiglottic entrapment

Figure 3 Subepiglottic cyst (black arrow)

of the entrapment and some can be left with a deformed epiglottis if the condition has remained undiagnosed for a long period.

may make an adventitial noise due to inflammation of the lower or upper respiratory tract and the presence of excess mucus in the airways. This can lead the examining veterinary surgeon to question their wind. Post wind-test endoscopic examination will aid in these cases. Should there be any doubt regarding a respiratory noise or endoscopic findings during the postsale wind examination, the purchaser has the option to refer the horse for secondary examination to a panel of veterinary surgeons appointed by the sales company. They will repeat the wind test and endoscopic examination. The panel’s decision is final. Failing the wind test will often stop the sale of that horse. For this reason it is important to listen carefully for any respiratory noises when the horse is being exercised. In addition, endoscopic examination during the preparation phase will allow visualisation and grading of laryngeal function. It will also help to identify any issues that could be addressed and cleared up before the horse is offered for sale.

SUBEPIGLOTTIC CYST

A subepiglottic cyst (Figure 3) will be identified as a round mass sitting beneath the epiglottis and is thought to be an embryological remnant. Surgery is required to remove the cyst. This is usually curative and most horses suffering from this condition in isolation will go on to train and race without further issue.

ADDITIONAL FACTORS

Whilst the above covers those conditions listed by many of the major sales companies, there are a number of other factors that should be taken into consideration when performing a wind test. The administration of a tranquiliser can have a profound temporary effect on laryngeal function and can result in an inspiratory noise during the exercise test in addition to laryngeal weakness on endoscopy. This can result in a horse failing the wind test. Horses with a respiratory infection

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THE OWNER BREEDER 87


The Finish Line with Neil Callan Neil Callan has relocated to Newmarket after a ten-year stint in Hong Kong, the last seven as a resident. The rider’s highly successful time in the former British colony threatened to end under a cloud when he was banned until the end of the season after what was reportedly a lively stewards’ inquiry at Happy Valley in February, but a successful appeal saw it reduced considerably and he was able to return for the final 13 fixtures and to finish with a flourish. His final winner on the last day of the season, Helene Wisdom Star, earned a whopping £118,000 in a 0-85 handicap. His success took Callan’s score in Hong Kong to 283 winners for earnings of £37.2m, but family comes first and he is glad to be back in Britain. HKJC

Interview: Graham Dench

Jack wants to be a jockey and he’s just starting the pony racing course at the British Racing School. They came home about two months before me and their happiness back here rubber stamped my decision to return. It’s good to be back but I’ve got a permanent resident’s card for Hong Kong, so I can go in and out whenever I like. I left the door open to return at some stage if the timing is right for a winter stint. We always kept the house in Newmarket and in the first few years I would ride a bit here when we were back for the summer. I suppose I wanted to keep my contacts, just in case our time in Hong Kong turned out to be four or five years instead of the ten it ended up as, but the season out there is ten months long and it’s quite intense, even though there are only two meetings a week. Once I got myself established, I used coming home in the summer more as an opportunity to refresh, and I hadn’t ridden here for four years when I had my first ride back at Wolverhampton, which was for my good friend – and Jack’s godfather – Kevin Ryan.

88 THE OWNER BREEDER

HKJC

M

y kids are getting a bit older now and that played a big part in the decision to return. We all first went to Hong Kong about ten years ago and it’s an unbelievable place to live – very cosmopolitan and great people. It was a great experience for the whole family – the lifestyle there was so good, and the money is the best in the world. With just two meetings a week I had time to watch them grow up and do sport and so on, but Jack is 14, Henry is 12 and Ted is nine, and the older two are looking forward to the next stage of their lives now.

Neil Callan enjoys one of his 283 winners in Hong Kong, where he rode for ten years

Getting on Blazing Speed was a turning point for me in Hong Kong. Once I got on him we just clicked. He did a lot for my reputation there, taking me to the next level, so he was very important for my career. He was quite headstrong, but he seemed to relax for me for some reason. We won a Listed race the second time I rode him, and not long after that we won a Group 2. At the end of that season we won the QEII, which is one of the biggest races in the world and the following year we won a second Group 1. Blazing Speed had won his last two races as a three-year-old for James Fanshawe before being shipped out, including a handicap at Newmarket off 95, but whether he’d have reached the same heights if he had stayed in Newmarket we’ll never know, but he was certainly a good horse in Hong Kong. I think I rode seven winners in my last three weeks, including Helene Wisdom Star on the last night of the season. I felt as if I finished very strong there, and it was a great way to go out. I was very happy with that. People wonder why I’ve come back to a place that is struggling for prize-

money, but I’m not even thinking about that. I just want to try to get back on some good horses and ride for some good trainers. I’m 43 now, but I feel as good as I did maybe 20 years ago. Riding in Hong Kong has definitely improved me. I feel that my fitness and my professionalism towards the sport have improved a lot, my diet is very good, and I exercise well. I can’t expect to pick up where I left off, and it will take a while to re-establish myself, but I know what to expect. In Hong Kong I was my own agent for ten years as there are no agents there. I know how it works, but I’ve got Shelley Dwyer booking my rides here and we’ll try to get some momentum going. Although there are only two tracks in Hong Kong it was never boring, but I like it that racing over here is a bit more chilled and relaxed, with a good atmosphere among the lads. There are a lot of new faces in the weighing room, but it’s very friendly. The mornings are very different too, as here you work to teach the horse, whereas when you ride track work in Hong Kong you are trying to slow them down, because it’s all done against the clock. I’ve always liked teaching young horses how to balance and to gallop out properly, so that’s another good thing about being back. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m not far off 2,000 winners now, so that’s a milestone I’d like to reach. If I hadn’t gone to Hong Kong I’d have passed it a long time ago, but it’s something to aim for now that it’s been pointed out to me that I’m closing in on it. Now Jack is 14 he could be riding in two years’ time, so it would also be very nice to be able to ride with him if he’s good enough to be a jockey. I think he rides well – better than I did when I was his age!


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His best yet was the 2020 Horse of the Year. By August, he’d had more Stakes winners in 2021 than any other stallion. And, once again, he’s leading the way with his sales yearlings — he’s top by price, average and median at Arqana.

Dubawi! Who else?

Darley