TRC’s weekly industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Sky Sports Racing wins Ascot rights
Europe: Sky Sports Racing has signed a rights deal with Ascot Racecourse, replacing rival Racing UK as the pay-television partner for the racecourse.
Ascot had previously been shown on At The Races before joining Racing UK in 2014. The new agreement does not, however, cover the Qipco British Champions Day in October.
Guy Henderson, Ascot chief executive, said: “Ultimately, Ascot, as a statutory racing trust, operates to deliver the best racing we can, the best facilities we can and the best on-course and off-course customer service we can.
“Our strategy is to develop the right mix of collaborations with organisations in the UK and internationally to deliver this.”
The Racing Post also reports that Sky is expected to bid for the mainstream terrestrial television rights that ITV holds until the end of 2020.
Farewell to John Dunlop
Europe: Former British champion trainer John Dunlop has passed away at the age of 78.
Dunlop, who retired in 2012, trained over 3,000 winners in his illustrious 46-year career, which included 74 G1s and ten British classics. The Arundel-based handler saddled two Derby victors in Shirley Heights (1978) and Erhaab (1994), as well as three St Leger winners. The 2,000 Guineas was the only British Classic that eluded him. He also won the Irish Derby three times.
Dunlop, who was champion trainer in 1995, played a pivotal role in the establishment of Middle Eastern influences in British racing, training Hatta, Sheikh Mohammed’s first winner as an owner (at Brighton in 1977), and enjoying a three-decade-long association with Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
He is survived by his wife of 47-years, Susan, and his sons, Ed and Harry, who both followed their father’s career path.
Japanese sale ‘far beyond expectation’
Far East: A Deep Impact colt out of the 2011 champion New Zealand 3-year-old filly King’s Rose topped Monday’s yearling session of the JRHA Select Sale in Hokkaido, Japan. Consigned by Northern Farm, the brother to G3 winner and multiple Group-placed Satono Arthur was purchased by Masahiro Noda’s Danox Ltd for ¥250 million (US$2.25 million).
“He is a very nice individual,” Noda said. “I thought he would be less than $2 million, but today’s market is very strong, and I was determined to go for more.”
King’s Rose, a daughter of Redoute’s Choice, has had three foals to date, with 4-year-old Satono Arthur her oldest, while she has also a 2-year-old by Lord Kanaloa who was the highest-priced yearling not sired by Deep Impact at last year’s sale when sold for ¥180 million ($1.6 million).
In total, 233 yearlings went through the sales ring on Monday, and 211 of them were bought for ¥9,674 million (about $86 million), 12 percent more than 12 months ago. The average price, ¥45,850,711 (about $407,691) is a 14.7 percent increase compared with 2017.
“The gross sale and the clearance rate are both far beyond my expectation,” said Katsumi Yoshida, of Northern Farm, the leading consignor during Monday’s session. “Nice individuals sold very well, and I am very happy to see not only Deep Impact but also other sires are very popular. It is an amazing market.”
Winx set for early trial
Oceania: Winx will trial before the end of the current Australian season as trainer Chris Waller attempts to win an unprecedented fourth G1 Cox Plate with the world’s highest-rated racehorse.
“She will run in a trial either at Warwick Farm on July 20 or Rosehill on the 23rd,” Waller said. “Hugh Bowman came and rode her during the week. He pulled up well. She pulled up better.”
Waller said the first target was the Randwick race upgraded and renamed in her honour on August 18, which she has won for the past two years. Formerly the G2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), it is now the G1 Winx Stakes.
Death of Galileo’s brother
Europe: Black Sam Bellamy, a full brother of world #1 sire Galileo and a successful dual-purpose sire himself, died on Monday aged 19.
The son of Sadler’s Wells was the fourth foal produced by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine and breed-shaping broodmare Urban Sea, one year the junior to Coolmore’s Epsom and Irish Derby winner Galileo.
“The veterinary advice was that the condition could not be cured but that, as long as he could be kept comfortable and enjoy quality of life, he could continue to cover mares when he felt able to. We informed our clients of this and I am grateful for the understanding they showed,” said Peter Hockenhull, owner of Shade Oak Stud, in Shropshire, England, where Black Sam Bellamy had stood for the past decade.
Swedish bid to tempt international challengers
Europe: Entries for the revamped final day of the Festival Of Swedish Racing, which concludes at Bro Park in Stockholm on Sunday September 23, close on Monday August 6.
New for 2018, overseas participants will be eligible for air travel whereby a charter plane subsidised by the Swedish Horse Racing Authority will depart London Stansted on Friday, September 21, and return on the following Monday.
The final day of the festival is headlined by the Stockholm Cup International, a 3-year-olds and older G3 over 2400m (1m 4f) on turf with a total prize fund of 1,400,000 Swedish krone (about £122,000).
Prize money for the three main supporting listed races totals more than £180,000, and there are two handicaps worth around £26,000 apiece. These two races close on September 10.
Entries should be made by contacting Max Pimlott at the International Racing Bureau on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 1638 668881.
Equestricon to stage Breeders’ Cup draw
North America: This year’s Breeders’ Cup post-position draw will be held at Equestricon on October 29. The draw is open to all Equestricon attendees and will be hosted inside the main hall of Louisville’s new Kentucky International Convention Center.
Breeders’ Cup connections and special guests will enjoy enhanced hospitality during the draw in the newly-designed VIP Breeders’ Cup Lounge.
“Breeders’ Cup and its board are so pleased to share the excitement of the live drawing of post positions for the 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races with the many fans and industry participants attending Equestricon,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Senior Vice President of Racing and Nominations.
Honour for Migliore
North America: The ThoroFan Board of Directors has selected Richard Migliore as the recipient of the 2018 ThoroFan Award.
“The combination of his riding career and his media presence makes Rich a true ambassador for all racing fans,” said Michael Amo, chairman of ThoroFan, a U.S. national non-profit Thoroughbred racing fan association.
Migliore’s career is dotted with outstanding accomplishments and awards. At the age of 17 he won an Eclipse Award for the leading apprentice. He went on to win 4,450 races in his 30-year-career.
Previous recipients of the award, created to recognize individuals who have contributed much to the expansion of the fan base, were Louis and Patrice Wolfson (2013), Cot Campbell (2014), Michael Blowen (2015), Tom Durkin (2016) and Bob Giordano (2017).
The award will be presented to Migliore at the Saratoga Chamber’s ‘Call to the Post’ signature event at the Embassy Suites (by Hilton) Diamond Club on Thursday, July 19.
Three Chimneys signing
North America: Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky has named Tom Hamm as its new director of stallion nominations. The veteran horseman will handle season sales and bloodstock activity at the farm.
The American joins the stud from Woodford Thoroughbreds, where he was general manager of breeding operations. Previously he worked as farm manager at Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm in Florida.
Gonçalo Torrealba, chairman of Three Chimneys, said: “Every person we asked about Tom couldn’t say enough positive things about his horsemanship, his great attitude, his work ethic, and his integrity, so I am confident that we will go from strength to strength with Tom in his new role at Three Chimneys.”
Sports betting services deal
North America: AmTote International and Sportradar have announced an agreement that enables AmTote to provide comprehensive sports betting services, including trading and risk management, across the U.S.
The Stronach Group-owned company is the North American racing industry’s wagering technology and services leader. Sportradar is a world leader in B2B Managed Trading Services and sports data delivery solutions.
Keith Johnson, AmTote’s president, said: “We have long looked forward to the day that we could fully leverage our Spectrum wagering platform for our traditional customer market in the U.S., combining its extensive fixed-odds sports betting capabilities with our pari-mutuel products.
“The addition of Sportradar to our solution provides a truly best-in-class turnkey product that will allow AmTote’s U.S. customers to implement sports betting in a manner that integrates seamlessly into their existing infrastructure and operations.”
Breeders’ Cup election results
North America: The Breeders’ Cup has announced that Elliott Walden (WinStar Farm), Gavin Murphy (SF Bloodstock), Barbara Banke (Stonestreet Stables) and Walker Hancock (Claiborne Farm) have been elected to serve a four-year term on its board of directors. Banke and Walden have been re-elected as directors.
William S. Farish, Jr. (Lane’s End Farm) and Alex Solis II (Solis/Litt Bloodstock) were each elected to serve a three-year term. Farish was re-elected as a director. Dan Pride (Godolphin) was re-elected and will fill a one-year term. The terms were filled in descending order based upon the number of votes cast for each candidate by the 44 Breeders’ Cup members.
Following the election, the board of 14 Directors is as follows: Barbara Banke (Stonestreet Stables), Antony Beck (Gainesway Farm), William S. Farish, Jr. (Lane’s End Farm), Craig Fravel (President & CEO of the Breeders’ Cup), Walker Hancock (Claiborne Farm), Fred Hertrich (Chairman) (Watercress Farm), Bret Jones (Airdrie Stud), Anthony Manganaro (Siena Farm), Clem Murphy (Coolmore Stud), Gavin Murphy (SF Bloodstock), Dan Pride (Godolphin), Mike Rogers (Stronach Group), Alex Solis II (Solis/Litt Bloodstock) and Elliott Walden (WinStar Farm).