Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’sVerrazano (More Than Ready - Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway), winner of last year’s GI Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct and GI William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park, has been retired from racing and will stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud next season.
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The Cape’s most prestigious racing event, The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will, for the first time ever, feature in a premier English equestrian occasion, Glorious Goodwood, on Friday 1 August 2014, when The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Stakes thunders down the track at Sussex Downs Racecourse.
Only four runners turned out to contest yesterday’s Group 1 QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but the race provided a pulsating finish, despite the first five and a half furlongs being run at a very sedate pace. In a tactical affair, last year’s winner Toronado (High Chaparral) was the first to quicken with just over two furlongs to run and soon headed the leader Darwin (Big Brown), but Kingman (Invincible Spirit) came from the back of the quartet to sweep past the pair of them and win by a length.
The long awaited clash between the defending Champion and four-year-old Toronado (High Chaparral) and the youngster, the three-year-old Irish Classic winner Kingman (Invincible Spirit), takes place on the downs of Goodwood, over the mile of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes today.
Slade Power (Dutch Art) confirmed his position as the best sprinter in Europe with a decisive victory in the Group 1 Darley July Cup, the feature race at Newmarket Saturday.
Telescope produced a scintillating performance to land the Gr.2 Hardwicke Stakes by seven lengths at Royal Ascot Saturday. The four-year-old son of Galileo gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Ryan Moore their second winner of the day following Arab Spring’s success in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap and Moore believes both the trip and the ground were the key to Telescope’s victory today.
“Better luck next time, we’ll come back and try again!” That’s really all that stables beaten at the world’s most exclusive race meeting can say when coming away also-rans, but there’s nothing but honour in defeat at Royal Ascot. The privilege of competing there over-rides disappointing results.
Sent off the strongly supported 8-11 favorite to avenge his defeat by Night of Thunder (Ire) (Dubawi) in the Gr.1 2000 Guineas, Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit) delivered a swift and decisive blow to that rival to win the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes with real authority on a day for the class acts at Royal Ascot.
Al Shaqab Racing, who have invested heavily in racing in recent years, landed the first two races of the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting. Its well-backed favourite Toronado (High Chaparral) started the ball rolling in the Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes, swooping past his rivals a furlong from home and holding off Ballydoyle’s US import Verrazano (More Than Ready) by three quarters of a length.
Soft Falling Rain (SAF) (National Assembly) and Shea Shea (SAF) (National Emblem) will represent South Africa on Tuesday, 17 June, the opening day of this year’s Royal Ascot, UK. Mike de Kock will be hoping for a Group 1 double from his stable stars in the Queen Anne Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes.
Twenty-four hours after his younger half-brother Sea The Stars (Ire) was represented by his first Classic winner in Taghrooda (GB), the name Galileo (Ire) was back in the spotlight at Epsom as his son Australia (GB) confirmed the Ballydoyle team’s belief in him with a superlative performance in the Investec Derby.
Australia (Galileo) lived up to his huge reputation when capturing the Gr.1 Investect Derby at Epsom yesterday. The hot favourite was always travelling sweetly under Joseph O’Brien and he showed an impressive turn of foot to collar the runner-up Kingston Hill (Mastercraftsman) a furlong and a half from home.
Australia (GB) (Galileo) will face 15 rivals in today’s G1 Investec Derby at Epsom, with Aidan O’Brien’s much-vaunted colt set to break from stall 12 in his bid to provide Coolmore with a fourth consecutive renewal and his trainer with a fifth overall.
Richard Hannon followed in the footsteps of his father when landing yesterday’s Gr.1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, a race Richard Hannon Snr won in consecutive years with Paco Boy (2010) and Canford Cliffs (2011), when Olympic Glory (Choisir) put up a fine performance to land the mile contest in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing.
The rise of international racing in all corners of the world, with big money, big media and big stars flashing over new horizons, could lead to the reinvention of a “World Series Of Racing” concept, as well as focused cross promotion of championship events.
Dubawi sired his second winner of the Group 1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas in thrilling fashion when Night Of Thunder, racing in the red and white colours of Saeed Manana, flew home to provide trainer Richard Hannon with his first Classic winner since taking over from his father this season.
The first blockbuster classic weekend of 2014 kicks off Friday with Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable (Tapit), who won her two races at Fair Grounds this winter (GIII Rachel Alexandra Stakes and GII Fair Grounds Oaks) by a combined 17 lengths, likely to go off at nearly even-money in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Saturday morning U.S. time sees the G1 English 2000 Guineas at one mile at Newmarket.
“Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan,
Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice”
London - The Breeders Cup in the US is a wonderful race meeting, but while the Americans persist with dirt rather than a synthetic surface they will never attract a truly international galaxy of equine stars, and Dubai showed the Yanks just how it can be done last weekend.
Two winners each for Japan and Hong Kong, a home-bred one-two for South Africa, plus victories for Britain, Ireland and Godolphin in the World Cup itself made Meydan a night to remember - and if that was not enough we had Jennifer Lopez topping the bill after racing. It just doesn’t come any better than that.
Ironically, success in the richest race on the globe for Godolphin’s African Story, who has shown himself to be a tapeta specialist and led a clean sweep for the home nation, was met with muted applause - turf stars Military Attack and Ruler of the World clearly failed to fire on the surface - and was hardly the result that Sheikh Mohammed would have liked.
However, we were not short of international fireworks earlier, with Variety Club, South Africa’s Horse of the Year for the last two seasons, enjoying a soft lead out in front in the Godolphin Mile, holding off fellow Springbok Soft Falling Rain to give Joey Ramsden his biggest training triumph.
Mike de Kock will take Soft Falling Rain to Europe, with the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot being the prime target, and, despite having been beaten into third place behind Hong Kong flying machine Amber Sky in the Al Quoz Sprint, stablemate Shea Shea will also be on the plane to Britain, the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting again being the aim.
Christophe Soumillon asked a huge question of Shea Shea, who did not jump as smartly from the gate as De Kock would have liked, but Amber Sky’s electric early pace had everything on the stretch from a long way out, and it was no surprise to hear that he had shaved Shea Shea’s track record.
The turf sprinters look stronger than their dirt counterparts, though Hong Kong again had plenty to celebrate in the Golden Shaheen, in which the stronger stamina of Sterling City kicked in during the last 150 metres, enabling him to wear down his countryman Rich Tapestry, who is arguably better at 1000m and did well to go so close from his outside draw.
Sterling City, a second winner on the night for Hong Kong-based Brazilian superstar Joao Moreira, who also rode Amber Sky, is a possible for the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but he will probably take in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore beforehand.
Dual Japan Cup heroine Gentildonna overcame traffic problems to win the Sheema Classic for the “Land of the Rising Sun”. She is an exceptional mare, and she had to be to come from such an uncompromising position 400 metres from home, having been held in by Christophe Soumillon on the 2012 winner Cirrus Des Aigles.
Ryan Moore, who rode Gentildonna, was lucky to find an escape route in time, and the filly duly got him out of jail, but, while we would love to see her at Royal Ascot, the prize money in Japan is so big that both she and Just A Way, undoubtedly the most impressive winner of the night in the Dubai Duty Free, are likely to stay at home.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Trev was rated the best horse in the world last year, but she is in danger of being toppled from her pedestal by Just A Way, who remember had hammered Gentildonna by four lengths in the Tenno Shen earlier in the year.
Mike de Kock’s Vercingetorix produced a career-best performance to finish second, but he had no answer to the gear change of Just A Way, who took a phenomenal 2.41sec off the course record. The Ascot executive have been courting Just A Way for several months and still hope to tempt him to Britain, with a mouth-watering clash with Trev in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes being the bait, but the Yasuda Kinen, which is run around the same time, carries an even more valuable purse and is on his doorstep. So unless Just A Way’s connections opt for prestige over the yen it ain’t going to happen.
Not to be outshone by Moreira, former British champion jockey Jamie Spencer also helped himself to two winners on the card, a shock 33-1 celebration on Irish-trained Certerach in the Dubai Gold Cup, in which Godolphin’s Cavalryman was a desperately unlucky runner-up, being stopped more times than a taxi driver on Sheikh Zayed Road, and following up on Jamie Osborne’sToast of the York in the UAE Derby.
Osborne does not have another horse in his Lambourn yard rated above 80, but for weeks he has been telling anybody who would listen that Toast of New York is “the real deal”, and, having blown the opposition away by the time they had reached the home straight, the trainer feels that it is well worth owner Michael Buckley stumping up the £8,000 next week to supplement the colt for the Epsom Derby.
However, having seen Godolphin avoid a whitewash with a seven-year-old gelding and Coolmore, who mounted their strongest raid yet on Dubai, not managing to get a horse in the first three, one left Dubai on Monday morning feeling that racing’s shift of power was edging towards the Far East.
Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice - and long may it continue.
Extract from Tab News
“For the past three years we’ve been ringing the South African alarm bells about the numbers of mares going out of production, reminding our readers that in the three or four major economic downturns we’ve known in our thirty-five years in business here, we’ve been ‘investors’ rather than ‘reducers’.”
Summerhill CEOA headline like this in this part of the world generally harks back to the Anglo-Zulu Wars; this is not about that, nor is it about the rather ignominious defeat the English cricketers succumbed to in their battle with the Netherlands in Bangladesh yesterday, though the measure of that has parallels in what happened in these parts at Isandlwana on the 22nd January, 1879. No, not at all: this is about the haemorrhage in British breeding.
The British Horse Racing Authority has just become aware of something we’ve been banging on about for years now. Their racehorse supply base is “in a critical state because of alarming reductions in the numbers of foals being produced”. The knock-on effect is the impact it will have on the United Kingdom’s racing fixtures, which in turn affects betting turnovers.
The British breeding industry is estimated to be worth £281million per annum (R5.5bilion), which contributes to the support of 86,000 jobs within in racing, most of which are located in rural communities, and is “in desperate need of fresh investment if it is to meet the needs of the existing programme,” according to a recent economic impact study conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP.
There is nothing new in any of this for us, as followers of these columns will attest. For the past three years we’ve been ringing the South African alarm bells about the numbers of mares going out of production, reminding our readers that in the three or four major economic downturns we’ve known in our thirty-five years in business here, we’ve been “investors” rather than “reducers”. In each of these instances, we and our clients have been the substantial beneficiaries of having trading stock on hand when the cycle has turned. It’s a fact of economic life that markets tend to be undersupplied in good times, and oversupplied in tough times, more so the world of racing where a large proportion of the productive livestock (mares) are owned by “cheque-book” or “armchair” breeders who generally rely upon discretionary funds to acquire and maintain their breeding interests: when times are good, they get in, and when they’re tough, they bail. It’s little different in the stock markets, where instead of investing in down markets and either holding or selling in “bull” times, “trendy” investors follow the herds.
Breeding is a longer term investment, with relatively long leads and lags, and it invariably favours those who invest against the trend, not unlike our local farming colleagues who’ve prospered by planting soya beans when others are going wholesale into maize, for example, and have capitalized from the resulting shortages in those commodities when they materialize. There is a telescopic impact in horse breeding, because it takes years to turn around, and therefore the benefits endure for much longer.
There are more than a few similarities between ourselves and British breeding, which is becoming increasingly dependent on exports from Ireland and France to fulfil its day-to-day requirements, not that those countries haven’t also witnessed similar reductions in numbers: the whole world has. What sets horse breeding apart from most industries, and even that of conventional crop farming, is the “lead” time. There’s a space of between 36 and 48 months between its conception and a racehorse getting to the races, which means that the discovery of an over-or-under supply situation only becomes apparent to the casual bystander much later. That means that addressing either of these maladies, takes much longer, and therein resides the opportunity.
According to Prof. Martin Schulman, and the fellows from the Equine Research Centre, (responsible for the micro-chipping, identification and DNA’ing of foals) the current yearling crop numbers just over 2000. Even allowing for a few late-comers, measured against historic, foal crops of 5000-odd and more recently, of the order of 3500, South African racing faces a substantial shortfall in the numbers of animals necessary for the sustainability of viable betting fields.
As an industry, we face a massive challenge in rebuilding our inventories, as breeding stocks take years to turn around, and short of supplementing the ranks with large numbers of imports (financially unlikely given the Rands weakness), it’s a matter of finding ways of encouraging, and (possibly incentivising) breeders to considerably supplement their herds.
In all of this, we see opportunity rather than foreboding, and we’ve been encouraged by the fresh investors who’ve come forward recently and taken advantage of the soft market in broodmares. How long it will last is anybody’s guess, but we’d think the time-frame will be shorter than you’d expect. The market has been down for several years now, and as soon as we see the benefits of undersupply for producers in sharply rising prices, you can bet on it, the buyers will be back; even then, it’ll be five or six years before we even reach an equilibrium.
South Africa has its own unique problem however, and that rests in the fact that on a growing basis we’re seeing smaller breeders marginalised by the build-up in the scale and stock of establishments belonging to the mega-rich. While most of these latter farms will one day hope to make a profit, that is not necessarily the imperative. The South African breeding landscape is increasingly populated by the “who’s who” of the business world, many of whom make the Sunday Times “rich list” most years, and these farms are more in the nature of trophies than business enterprises. It was thus all the way back to the days of Sir Henry Nourse, Sir Abe Bailey, Sir Richard Southey, Sir Alfred Beit and Cecil John Rhodes who first began breeding in earnest in the Karoo in the mid 1800s, and thereafter the Oppenheimers, the Ellises, the Hurwitzes, Labistours, Tathams and Barnetts. The difference was they bred to race, not to sell, whereas every large breeder in South Africa today (with the notable exception of Sabine Plattner) produces horses for the sales ring. Wealth means that the new generation of big money breeders are able to patronise the “sexiest” and most expensive stallions, and hence they’ve taken up the commercial space traditionally occupied by “farmer” breeders, who often enough, simply can’t afford to compete.
Apart from those armchair breeders who can afford to keep their mares under the umbrellas of high profile commercial farms, and are able to dispose of their stock that way, there is scant protection for the little guys. Whichever way you look at it, the parable tells us this: if you like racehorses, get in now. Otherwise, acquire the means of making them.
Simon Crisford / ESPN (p)
“Having dealt with the events of last year and seen the Lord Stevens inquiry
through to its conclusion, I thought that this was a good moment to bring my time
at Godolphin to a close.” - Simon Crisford
Simon Crisford resigned this week as racing manager of Godolphin, a role he has held since the stable’s inception in 1989, and has accepted the position as Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing advisor, according to a release highlighting changes the operation has made in the wake of an extensive review led by Lord Stevens.
The review, which concluded the operation’s former trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni acted alone, was still critical of how Godolphin handled a doping scandal last summer.
According to the release, “The roles of Saeed Bin Suroor of Al Quoz Stables and Stanley House, and Charlie Appleby of Moulton Paddocks and Al Asifa Stables will be re-emphasized as the people ultimately responsible for their particular stables; they hold the delegated authority of the owner as defined by the condition of their license. They will also serve as the chief spokesmen for their respective stables and Godolphin. As a result of these changes, the position of Racing Manager for Godolphin no longer exists.”
In addition, a new board of directors will be announced and will include HH Sheikh Juma bin Dalmook Al Maktoum and Altaf Noorani. Hugh Anderson will become managing director of the Godolphin Racing Office and Godolphin trainers in the U.S., France and Ireland will report to John Ferguson.
“Having dealt with the events of last year and seen the Lord Stevens inquiry through to its conclusion, I thought that this was a good moment to bring my time at Godolphin to a close,” Crisford told Racing Post. “I had felt for a while that I would like a fresh challenge. I think the time is right for a new start for the stable and for me. Sheikh Mohammed has asked me to take on a new role as his global racing adviser. I am delighted to have accepted that position and I am very much looking forward to what will be an exciting new chapter for me.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News