The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Maven a first for Pharoah
North America: A frontrunning victory by Wesley Ward’s Maven in the G3 Connolly's Redmills Prix du Bois at Chantilly means that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has become the first in his freshman class to sire a Group or Graded stakes winner.
Maven is the first foal out of the multiple stakes-winning Any Given Saturday mare Richie’s Party Girl. Coolmore America’s Triple Crown-winning sire stands at Ashford Stud in Kentucky for a private fee. He has produced three winners from his debut juvenile crop so far. He will once again be shuttled to Australia this spring at a fee of $66,000.
One more season only for Moore
Asia: The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has confirmed that world #11 trainer John Moore will finish his training career in the jurisdiction at the end of next season, reaffirming its rules that no trainer can train over the age of 70.
Moore was granted a special extension at the usual retirement age of 65 four years ago. He currently trains the two hottest horses in Hong Kong in Beauty Generation and Aethero.
Despite the 69-year old’s intentions to continue training, HKJC executive director of racing, Andrew Harding, said, “It is a clear policy and the club has to adhere to it.”
Moore, Hong Kong's winningmost trainer on 1,675, began his relationship with the HKJC in 1971. He will depart as the record holder for all-time career prize money, having amassed almost HK$2 billion for connections in his career.
He moved within striking distance of long-time rival John Size, current world #12, after closing the gap to just two wins in the fight for the current trainers’ championship with a rare victory at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Mixed views at the Curragh
Europe: Despite believing that there were “more positives than negatives” across the revamped three days at the Curragh’s Irish Derby meeting, Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh admitted that attendance on Thursday and Friday were “lower than you’d want for a meeting of that quality”, which could see the format revert to two days but keep the Derby on the Saturday evening.
Kavanagh, who is on the board of Curragh Ltd, also expressed concerns with the race-day experience citing the “long queues for bars, food and toilets”, suggesting that more temporary facilities might have to be erected to draw people to other parts of the track.
However, he added that the racing was excellent and there was a good atmosphere at the racecourse.
The Curragh’s chief executive, Derek McGrath, on the other hand, expressed delight at how the day went overall. “It was a very important moment in that the venue worked,” he said. ‘We’re nowhere near where we want to be, but it was a good start.”
Fairplex to stage California Yearling Sale
North America: Fasig-Tipton has announced that its California Yearling Sale will now be held on Thursday, September 26, at Fairplex in Pomona, California, rather than at Santa Anita.
"We appreciate Fairplex working with us to utilize the existing permanent facilities there to host our California yearling sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.
"Our inaugural 2-year-old sale at Santa Anita last month generated positive momentum in the California marketplace, and we look forward to building on that momentum with a strong yearling sale in September at Fairplex. We will be returning to Santa Anita next year for another outstanding 2-year-old sale.”
Phoenix setting up a UK base
Europe: Phoenix Thoroughbreds have acquired a permanent base in the UK after taking residence in Richmond House on Newmarket high street.
Amer Abdulaziz, chief executive of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, which has purchased more than $25 million in bloodstock since its inception in 2017, said that it was “important for the fund to have a permanent presence” in the UK as it “expands its operations globally”. The organisation currently has broodmares and stallion interests at the National Stud.
“It’s fantastic that we now have somewhere we can go to ensure the efficient running of Phoenix. We look forward to welcoming our investors to Newmarket in the near future as we continue to grow our team in the UK,” added the Dubai-based businessman.
Phoenix claimed a 1-2 in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month, with Advertise beating Forever In Dreams, who ran in the owners’ female syndicate’s silks.
Elsewhere in global news …
North America: After 84 years, Suffolk Downs has bid farewell to live racing. The Massachusetts track was sold for real estate development in 2014 after it was passed over for the lone Boston-area casino license. Demolition begins this month. More here
Europe: Coronet, who made her G1 breakthrough in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Sunday after being placed seven times at elite level, will join the broodmare band at her owner-breeder Faisal Salman’s Denford Stud in Southern England at the end of the season.
North America: A homecoming by Chad Brown to speak at the graduation ceremony of Mechanicville High School in New York was marred when “a small handful” of students and parents left the auditorium during Brown’s speech in protest to the world #2 trainer’s $1.6 million in back wages and fines related to labour violations. More here
Oceania: Ballarat Turf Club’s Lachlan McKenzie has announced that, after eight years at the helm of the club, he will end his tenure as CEO later this year. More here
Oceania: Racing NSW have charged Kembla Grange trainer Michael Tubman with possession of an illegal substance after EPO was seized from the veteran horseman’s home earlier this month. More here
North America: Dawn Lupul, on-air host on Woodbine Entertainment’s simulcast broadcast for 11 years, has hung up her microphone after over 24 years of broadcasting in racing to pursue a career in health and fitness. More here
North America: The owners of Arizona Downs have secured an investor, described by partner Tom Auther as “incredible business partners”, who will deliver additional financing to the track in order to resume its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse season on July 20. Arizona Downs had suspended live racing on June 21. More here
Europe: Prize money at the seven-day Galway Festival has received a €250,000 increase. The total fund for Ireland’s largest racing event, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, will be a record-breaking €2.3 million. More here
North America: Fasig-Tipton has catalogued ten new entries to its July 8 Selected Horses of Racing Age session, increasing the size of the catalogue to 200 entries. More here