The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
King George hero Poet’s Word is off to stud
Europe: Poet’s Word has been retired and has joined the stallion roster at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud near Newmarket.
A fine example of trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s famed patient approach, Poet’s Word is the joint-second highest rated runner in the world this year, according to the most recent Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. He won the the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, both at Ascot, this summer, which has led to him being awarded an interim mark of 129.
Stoute paid tribute to the Saeed Suhail-owned 5-year-old’s “grand temperament” and competitive nature that “continued to progress”.
A son of the late Godolphin stallion Poet’s Voice (currently 22nd in the TRC Global Sires’ Rankings), Poet’s Word was bred by Woodcote Stud. He was a 300,000-guinea yearling purchase by Charlie Gordon-Watson.
An injury he suffered when finishing second to Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International at York in August finished his season, and ultimately his racing career.
‘Staggering numbers’ continue at Tattersalls
Europe: After an enormously successful Book 1 last week, it was more of the same at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale this week. Turnover was a record while the average and median were both on a par with last year’s wide-margin record-breaking sale, according to Tattersalls.
The clearance rate came in at an impressive 85 percent and a record breaking 45 lots sold for 200,000 guineas or more.
The sale came to a conclusion with colts by leading first-season sires No Nay Never and Kingman and the well established Dark Angel leading the way.
Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said, “In 2011, the combined turnover of Books 1 and 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale was a little under 77 million guineas. Seven years later, the combined turnover has risen to a new record well in excess of 150 million guineas. These are pretty staggering numbers, especially following on from the extraordinarily strong 2017 October Yearling Sales, which we felt would be so hard to match.
“The key to the huge advances in recent years is the quality of the stock. The leading British and Irish breeders, as well as a number of their French and German counterparts, consistently place enormous faith in the October Yearling Sale and top-quality yearlings combined with racecourse success bring the buyers to the sale.”
Top football manager snaps up Sea Of Class half-brother
Europe: High-profile football manager Carlo Ancelotti has purchased the yearling half-brother of Arc runner-up Sea Of Class at Tattersalls in Newmarket.
According to top Italian trainer Alessandro Botti, acting on behalf of the Napoli coach, Ancelotti paid €240,000 for the son of Oasis Dream. The colt is already named Honor And Pleasure.
Ancelotti joins a long list of European football personalities to have shown interest in horse racing. Sir Alex Ferguson was the part-owner of seven-time G1 winner Rock Of Gibraltar, England striker Michael Owen owns a breeding operation that produced Irish St Leger winner Brown Panther, while Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is the owner of Tornibush, who was eighth in the Prix de la Foret on Arc day this month.
Extra lots for Keeneland
North America: Keeneland have announced four supplements to their 2018 November Breeding Stock Sale, to be catalogued in Book 1 on November 5.
The additional lots are a weanling filly by Tapit out of champion La Verdad; Almudena, dam of Peruvian champion filly Cascanueces; Somalia, dam of 2018 G3 Durham Cup winner Lookin for Eight and G3 Selene winner Miss Mo Mentum; and multiple Argentinian G1 winner La Extrana Dama.
“These are exciting additions to the November Sale catalog and ones that will appeal to an international clientele,” said Keeneland vice president of racing and sales Bob Elliston.
Confusion over Down Royal’s future
Europe: The future of horse racing at Down Royal appears in some doubt amid conflicting statements about the historic venue, which has hosted racing for over 300 years.
Officials initially announced that the Northern Ireland racecourse would close at the end of this year after they were unable to agree a new lease. Landowner Merrion Group responded by saying that it intended to continue racing at the venue.
It is reported that Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders has invested more than £5m into the venue’s facilities. However, Merrion Group’s statement said it intends to “assume the day-to-day operation management of Down Royal, with horse racing at its centre”.
Landmark role for Tracey O’Meara
Europe: Tracey O’Meara, clerk of the course at Fontwell and Brighton in Southern England, will join the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s team of officials from December.
The 34-year old will assume the role of clerk of the course at Down Royal, Downpatrick, Kilbeggan and Sligo. She becomes the first female clerk of the course in Ireland.
O’Meara said: “I am delighted to take up the role of clerk of the course with the IHRB and I am looking forward to moving back to Ireland to work in one of Ireland’s most iconic industries”.