The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
The search is on for a new BHA chief executive
Europe: The British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) chief executive, Nick Rust, will step down at the end of the year after nearly six years leading racing's governing body and regulator.
Rust’s wife, Margarita, died in November 2018, and he said he has “spent much of the past year reflecting on my situation”. He clarified that the early announcement was made in order to “allow plenty of time for a successor to be identified and appointed”.
The 52-year old succeeded Paul Bittar in January 2015 after almost 30 years in the betting industry at Ladbrokes, Coral and Sky Bet. He oversaw a somewhat turbulent period in the sport’s history – the levy system, equine flu and the Jim Best affair are just a few of the issues that have arisen during his tenure – but Rust believes that he leaves the BHA with British racing on the up.Search
“The industry is picking up the challenge on diversity and inclusion as we saw so vividly in 2019 through the amazing story of Khadijah Mellah [the first hijab-wearing jockey in a competitive British horse race] and the remarkable achievements of our female jockeys,” said Rust.
BHA's chair Annamarie Phelps said: “We’re all going to miss Nick’s passion and drive. It is typical of his deep commitment to British racing that he's given us plenty of time to find a new leader.”
The BHA will begin the process of selecting a new CEO in the next few weeks.
Landmark win for Linda Rice
North America: Third-generation trainer Linda Rice became only the third female trainer ion the U.S. to secure 2,000 career wins when Alpha Delta Stables-homebred Scilly Cay claimed Sunday's $100,000 Rego Park at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The world #304 joins Kim Hammond (2,280) and Kathleen O'Connell (2,127) in the select club.
“It’s exciting. These milestones are very meaningful,” said the US native. “I remember getting my 1,000th win at Belmont with a horse that my father owned, so to have one here at Aqueduct for Jon Clay of Alpha Delta, who is one of my great clients, is very exciting and rewarding."
Rice took out her trainer's license in 1987 and won her first race that year with Contraboss at the defunct Garden State Park in New Jersey. In 2009, she became the first female trainer to win a training title in New York when leading the Saratoga meet with 20 wins.
Big Magic Millions sale flourishes yet again
Oceania: Australian owners and trainers set a national record spend of AU$188.5 million during the first of three books of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale over the week, with ten horses selling for more than AU$1 million apiece. The clearance rate was over 87 percent.
It is the third year in succession that the sale has become the highest grossing in Southern Hemisphere history.
“Again for 2020, breeders have supported the sale with unparalleled enthusiasm and support,” said Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch. “The depth and quality of this catalogue will present buyers with a line-up of Australasia’s best yearlings like no other sale.”
Football World Cup winner’s stallion on stud duty
Europe: Yves Frémiot, owner of Haras d'Ayguemorte, has confirmed that G3 Prix du Pin winner Tornibush has taken residence at his farm in the south west of France.
The son of Dream Ahead still belongs to French football star Antoine Griezmann and Ecurie Seyssel, who Frémiot says “intend to support his stallion career with their friends”. He was the World Cup winner’s first venture into Thoroughbred ownership, winning six races for trainer Philippe Decouz.
Frémiot waxed lyrical about Tornibush’s sire – “he supplied two G1 winners again last year” – adding that his new resident is a “very good-looking horse who has an excellent temperament” with “good bone and perfect limbs”.
Good Magic’s first foal
North America: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic first foal has arrived, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms has announced. The filly is out of Décor, a daughter of Declaration Of War, was born at the Ontario farm of Josham Farms and Yvonne Schwabe.
John Sikura, Hill ‘n’ Dale president, said the foal had a “great frame with lots of substance, solid bone, with a very pretty head”, adding that it was “fitting” that “Curlin's next important son” sired his first foal at his close personal friends’ farm.
Elsewhere in racing ...
Europe: The first foal from the only crop left by 2018 Cartier Horse of the Year Roaring Lion is a colt and has been born at Jeffrey and Phoebe Hobby’s Brightwalton Stud in Newbury, Southern England. More here
North America: The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has announced that Grammy Award-winning artists Nelly and T-Pain will perform at the trackside club known as the Pegasus LIV Stretch Village after the 2020 Pegasus World Cup. More here
Europe: Leading Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is the new title sponsor of Leopardstown’s Irish Gold Cup, Irish jump racing’s mid-season showpiece and a leading trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. More here
North America: The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series will return in 2020 with an expanded schedule of stakes and offer $3.75 million in purses. More here
Europe: Influential Aga Khan Studs broodmare Asmara, dam of multiple G1 winner and sire Azamour, has died at 27. More here