What’s been happening in the racing industry around the world

WinStar homebred Good Samaritan, pictured winning the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga last year, will stand for a fee of $12,500 for the next breeding season. Photo: Joe Labozzetta, NYRA.com

The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.


Cumani calls time on his training career

Europe: Newmarket handler Luca Cumani has announced he will retire from training at the end of the European season.

The Italian will stand down after 43 years at Bedford House Stables, where he trained seven classic winners, including two Epsom Derby winners in Kahyasi (1988) and High-Rise (1998), as well as a Breeders' Cup Mile winner in Barathea in 1994. He helped guide the careers of many young jockeys, such as current world #3 Frankie Dettori, Jimmy Fortune, Jason Weaver and #87 Jamie Spencer.

Compatriot Dettori joined Cumani as a “14 [year-old] with lots of ambitions” and the in-form rider reflected on the “massive impact” that Cumani had on his illustrious career as well as how he helped “shape me to the man I am now”.

Cumani himself declared that “time waits for nobody” and that now is a “good moment to wind down”.

The 69-year old will put his historic stable on the market in January but doesn’t plan on retiring completely. From next year he will devote his time to running Fittocks Stud, which he bought with his wife Sara in 1984.

Good Samaritan off to stud

North America: One of the last standout sons of WinStar Farm’s Harlan’s Holiday, Good Samaritan, has been retired and will stand the 2019 breeding season at the aforementioned farm in Versailles, Kentucky.

A homebred for WinStar Farm, Good Samaritan is out of the stakes-placed Pulpit mare Pull Dancer. He started 15 times over three years, including 14 straight Graded contests, and Sean Tugel, WinStar Farm’s director of bloodstock services, believes he “offers commercial breeders excellent value as a consistent and sound stallion prospect”.

The versatile millionaire bay - a G2 winner as a 2, 3, and 4-year old - is currently available for inspection and will stand for $12,500.  

Confidence over new stallion Harry Angel

Europe: Harry Angel will become the highest-rated sprinter to retire to stud in Britain for more than 30 years when he stands at Dalham Hall in 2019.

The world champion sprinter at three, and the best son of leading speed sire Dark Angel, won the G1 July Cup and then the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup by the widest margin in recent history in 2017. His 4½-length triumph in the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park was a new track record.

Trained throughout his career by Clive Cox, he returned this year at four in the G2 Duke Of York Stakes but failed to sparkle: his issues with starting stalls and his aggressive temperament becoming more pronounced with age.  

Sam Bullard, director of stallions at Darley, is nevertheless confident that Harry Angel will be a “very easy stallion for breeders to use, thanks to his outcross pedigree” and his “outright speed and class”.

His fellow Godolphin colour-bearer, Jungle Cat – who has won two G1s in 2018, will retire to Kildangan Stud for the new breeding season. Fees will be set for the pair shortly.

Death of multi-Melbourne Cup-winning owner

Oceania: Four-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Dato Tan Chin Nam has passed away aged 92.

In an illustrious career, the Malaysian-born entrepreneur sent most of his horses to trainer Bart Cummings for nearly 40 years. In addition to his impressive Melbourne Cup haul, Dato won the Cox Plate three times, the Caulfield Cup, Doncaster Mile and more. He was the owner of outstanding runners Saintly and So You Think.

He also owned Think Big Stud, located along the Wingecarribee River at Burradoo in New South Wales. The Moonee Valley Racing Club stages the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes every September as a major lead up race for the Cox Plate in his honour.

High hopes for Sharp Azteca

North America: 2017 G1 Cigar Mile winner Sharp Azteca will take up stud duty at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky for a fee of $10,000.

The son of Freud won 14 times in 17 starts, with career earnings of $2,406,740. A five-time Graded stakes winner, he won the 2017 Cigar Mile by a commanding 5¼ lengths, which resulted in a Beyer speed figure of 115.

Three Chimneys Chairman Goncalo Torrealba said: “Sharp Azteca was brilliantly fast, and when you watch his races, you will see speed, toughness and tenacity, all three of which are elements we like in a stallion prospect.

“We believe that Sharp Azteca can be another offshoot branch of the Storm Cat line through Giant Causeway’s full brother Freud, similar to what Harlan, Harlan’s Holiday, and Into Mischief did.”

Darby Dan’s fees for the new season

North America: Darby Dan Farm has set the stud fees for its nine stallions for the upcoming breeding season.

The roster is led by third-crop sires Dialed In and Shackleford, who will stand for $25,000 and $20,000 respectively, while Poseidon’s Warrior joins the ranks for the first time for an available price of $6,500.

Darby Dan will once again be offering various incentive programs in 2019 to provide value to breeders, including Profit Protection, Share the Upside, Black-Type Bonanza, Goldmine 20/20 Match Program, and Breed Secure.

Cheltenham’s breakthrough in war on ticket touts

Europe: Cheltenham Racecourse has been granted a High Court injunction banning ticket touts from the iconic venue, as well as having major effects on the sporting landscape across the country.

The racecourse, which hosts jump racing’s flagship Cheltenham Festival, is hoping consistent offenders could be handed prison sentences, which would be viewed as vital progress in the fight against illegal ticket touts.

At the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, the local council issued public space protection orders to touts in an attempt to deter illegal sellers. However, the £80 limit on fines meant that the preventive measure could not have the desired effect.

Ian Renton, regional director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said: “Across the Jockey Club, we think it is costing us over £1 million a year in lost revenues. At Cheltenham alone the figure runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

New Jersey support for TAA

North America: New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has pledged $5,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in support of accredited Thoroughbred aftercare.

“We are thrilled to support the TAA. I strongly believe in their mission and accredited Thoroughbred aftercare,” New Jersey THA executive director Mike Musto said.

“As the director of Second Call, Monmouth Park’s aftercare program, I’m excited and thrilled that the NJTHA has joined as a supporter of the TAA,” Second Call executive director Laurie Condurso-Lane said. Second Call serves as Monmouth Park’s triage program to move horses off the track and into aftercare organizations or new homes.

New Jersey THA joins TAA’s long list of horsemen’s groups that support accredited Thoroughbred aftercare. That list includes the National HBPA, along with Arkansas HBPA, Finger Lakes HBPA, Illinois HBPA, Indiana HBPA, Kentucky HBPA, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Maryland THA, New York THA, and Tampa Bay HBPA. The full list of TAA’s industry supporters can be found here.  

“The TAA is grateful for the contribution from the New Jersey THA, and we are proud to add them to our growing list of horsemen’s groups supporting accredited aftercare,” TAA president John Phillips said. “These funds will help the TAA provide grants to our 64 accredited organizations that retrain, rehome, and retire thousands of Thoroughbreds.”

The TAA’s funding provides annual grants awarded to accredited aftercare organizations and supports the inspection process of aftercare organizations. Currently, 64 organizations with about 170 facilities in North America hold TAA accreditation. A full list can be found here.

Fasig-Tipton boost for aftercare Pledge

North America: Fasig-Tipton announced today that they will be matching all funds raised through this year’s New Vocations Breeders’ Cup Pledge in honor of Bill Graves, the long-time Fasig-Tipton senior vice president, who died earlier this year.

The Pledge offers owners and trainers of Breeders’ Cup contenders a chance to give back by committing a percentage of their championship earnings to support New Vocations’ aftercare efforts. To date, the fundraiser has raised nearly $500,000 over the past nine years. The program is hoping Fasig-Tipton’s generosity will encourage more people to join the Pledge.

Longines award for the Queen

Europe: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was presented with the 2018 Longines Ladies Award at a private ceremony last weekend.

The award, which honours women who have made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry, was given to the Queen in the company of Longines vice-president Juan-Carlos Capelli, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities chairman Louis Romanet, and International Federation for Equestrian Sports president Ingmar De Vos.

“In the light of a long list of remarkable achievements, it’s a great honour for Longines to present the 2018 Longines Ladies Award to Her Majesty the Queen, as a celebration of Her Majesty’s passion for horses and exceptional commitment to the equine cause,” said Capelli.

Green Group steps in at October Sale

North America: Financial service provider the Green Group has been sponsoring the Kentucky Room, a hospitality suite adjacent to the outdoor walking ring, at this week’s Fasig-Tipton October Sale.

The New Jersey-based firm founded by Leonard Green - a major owner and breeder for over 30 years – had been unable to find a sponsorship opportunity with other sale companies. The Kentucky Room is a popular gathering spot with a bar, couches, stand-up tables, and several television banks showing the sale, races, and other programming.

“This sponsorship was a natural fit with such an overlap of clients,” said Anna Seitz Ciannello. “Len Green, being a horse owner, understands the complexity of equine accounts.”

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