TRC’s new weekly industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
£1 million series launched in bid to boost staying division
Europe: Weatherbys Hamilton, the insurance arm of Britain’s racing bank, launched Stayers’ Million series at Newmarket’s Jockey Club Rooms on Monday.
The WH Stayers’ Million is a prize of £1 million that will be awarded to the connections of a horse that, having won one of four recognised prep races in May – Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot), Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester), Yorkshire Cup (York) or the Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – then goes on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August.
The launch was conducted by TRC contributor Nick Luck and was attended by a number of trainers, including Michael Bell, John Gosden and Sir Mark Prescott.
A-list mares in foal to Arrogate
North America: Juddmonte Farms have released a list of some of the exceptional mares that have been pronounced in foal to two-time Longines World’s Best Racehorse Arrogate.
Most notable is Eclipse champion and nine-time G1 winner Songbird. The list is completed by Paulassiverlining, Perfectorthepart, Sortilege, Lucas Street, Plum Pretty, Centre Court, She Be Wild and Lady Of Fifty.
Alysha Collett set for six-month stint in Singapore
Oceania: New Zealand jockey Alysha Collett, one of the highest-ranked female riders in the world on the TRC Global Rankings, has breathed a sigh of relief after being granted a licence by the Singapore Turf Club.
“I’m really stoked, I applied about two months ago, so it’s been quite nerve-wracking,” Collett said. “I’ll be going for six months after I originally thought it might have been three.”
Collett, 23, has been enjoying a productive domestic season with 75 winners to sit second on the National Jockeys’ Premiership, 20 behind her cousin, Samantha Collett.
“For the first three months of the season I wanted to chase the premiership, but I was always going to apply for Singapore and it was about was what more important and that was Singapore. I’ll learn a lot more going over there.”
Herbert leaving Al Shaqab
Europe: Harry Herbert has confirmed that he will stand down from his position at Al Shaqab at the end of next month. The Briton had been the racing adviser to Sheikh Joaan since 2013, a period which included notable G1 wins such as the 2000 Guineas with Galileo Gold and Treve’s two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes.
The European winter has, however, seen the Qatari operation hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Al Shaqab reportedly owed its UK trainers large sums in unpaid invoices, although Herbert was quick to emphasise that his “attention needs to be focused on the future growth plans” that he has for his own business, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
“Four years of doing both was hard work,” said Herbert. “Al Shaqab have less horses in Britain than they do in France at the moment and the office has moved over there as well.
Churchill to shuttle to Australia ...
Oceania: Coolmore have announced that Churchill will shuttle to their Australian breeding operation during in the second half of 2018.
Colm Santry, sales and nominations manager at Coolmore Australia, travelled to County Tipperary last week to “inspect a number of stallions” and was “blown away” by the dual 2000 Guineas winner.
“He has an unbelievable combination of size, power, quality and athleticism,” said Santry. “He is bred in a similar mould to Frankel, Galileo over a speed mare, and the result is an outstanding animal.”
… and Ribchester’s going too
Europe: Godolphin’s record-breaking dual European champion miler Ribchester will shuttle to Kelvinside in New South Wales for the 2018 season.
Ribchester is the best son of Iffraaj, who is currently # 13 in the TRC Global Sires’ Rankings. Iffraaj has enjoyed huge success in the Southern Hemisphere, headlined by classic winners Jon Snow, Gingernuts and Turn Me Loose. His first stallion son, Wootton Bassett, sired European Horse of the Year Almanzor in his first crop.
Darley’s Head of Sales in Australia, Alastair Pulford, said, “Ribchester represents a great outcross for the many Danehill-line mares in this country – mares by Exceed And Excel, Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt and many others are really going to suit this magnificent individual.”
Ribchester’s fee will be confirmed at a later date. He stands at Kildangan Stud in Ireland in the Northern Hemisphere season at a fee of €30,000.
Romans is backing Dutrow
North America: Dale Romans has started a petition to reinstate Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Rick Dutrow Jr, who is currently serving a ten-year suspension handed to him by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYGC) in 2011.
Dutrow, who was fined $50,000 alongside his ban, committed a number of rules violations, the most recent a positive drug test on one of his horses for butorphanol and the discovery of loaded syringes in a desk drawer in his barn office at Aqueduct.
At the time of his suspension, NYGC officials called the 58-year-old trainer’s behaviour “obnoxious” and “unbecoming”.
ARC expands its international gaming reach
Europe: UK racecourse owner and operator Arena Racing Company (ARC) has acquired a majority stake in Greek firm Vermantia, a leading provider of multi-channel content solutions for lotteries, gaming and betting operators.
The deal ensures ARC expands its international distribution through Vermantia’s global partnership reach of 31 countries and agreements with more than 20 major gaming operators.
Vermantia’s Connect service now includes over 60,000 live horse and greyhound racing events from the U.S., Australia, South Africa and the UK.