The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
‘Extraordinary’ Roaring Lion is out of hospital
Oceania: Cartier European Horse of the Year Roaring Lion returned to Cambridge Stud in New Zealand on Thursday (August 8) following two colic surgeries in the last ten days.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was admitted to Cambridge Equine Hospital within minutes of arriving at Cambridge Stud from quarantine on July 27. He had been due to begin shuttle stallion duties there. He underwent immediate surgery, which had to be repeated on August 1 to repair adhesions that had formed in his small intestine.
“Thanks to two world-class surgeons, Dr Alanna Zantingh and Dr Greg Quinn from Waikato Equine and with our own vet Dr Rob Hitchcock assisting, we have managed to save his life and he is on his way to a slow recovery,” Cambridge Stud chief executive Henry Plumptre said.
He added, “While he has a long road to travel, the beginnings of a recovery are complete and having him back at Cambridge signals the start of the next stage.
“We have found this week what [Qatar Racing’s] Sheikh Fahad and David Redvers experienced with Roaring Lion last year on the racecourse - extraordinary courage, a will to win and an amazing constitution. His demeanour remained calm at all times, which was a major part of his immediate recovery. Our aim now is to slowly repair him back to full health, in order that he can return to the UK and continue his career.”
Curlin all the rage at Saratoga sale
North America: Two colts by the world’s #1 dirt sire, Curlin, went for $1.5 million each to top the two-day Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, which ended on Tuesday night on a high note, establishing new sale records in average and median.
Hip 153, the first foal out of Chilean-bred champion Wapi, a daughter of Scat Daddy, was the first to reach the high mark. Aquis Farm AUS, Let's Go Stable, and Crawford Farm purchased the colt from the consignment of Denali Stud, agent. He was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation and Three Chimneys Farm.
An hour later, Hip 174, the first foal out of Graded stakes winner America (A.P. Indy), matched that $1.5m price tag. A power-packed partnership of West Point, Woodford, Siena, Valdes, Singleton, Sandbrook, and Freeman joined together to purchase the co-sale topper from the consignment of Stone Farm, agent. The colt was bred in Kentucky by B. Flay Thoroughbreds.
“It's really pretty simple,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “Quality sells. We had a remarkable group of quality horses on offer tonight and the buyers responded very favorably. We thank the buyers, the owners, and the breeders who provided us the opportunity to sell a great group of horses.”
Curlin was also responsible for the third highest price of the evening and co-third highest price of the sale. Hip 159, a colt out of Yes Liz (Yes It's True), sold for $1 million to Whitehorse and Bridlewood Farm from the consignment of Denali Stud, agent for Stonestreet Bred and Raised.
That price was matched by Monday night's session topper, a colt by three-time leading sire Tapit. West Point Thoroughbreds, L.E.B., agent signed the ticket for Hip 80, a colt out of Graded stakes winner Feathered (Indian Charlie) offered by Lane's End, agent. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Equine.
Too Darn Hot’s racing career is over
Europe: Too Darn Hot, the 2018 European champion 2-year-old and winner of his last two races, both G1, has been retired because of a leg injury thought to have been been sustained during his Sussex Stakes victory over a mile at Goodwood last week.
“The injury is not life-threatening,”said Simon Marsh, racing and bloodstock manager for owners Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, after the colt underwent successful surgery at Newmarket Equine Hospital. He said Too Darn Hot had surgery to his right-hind cannon after X-rays revealed a hairline fracture.
“He should make a full recovery. His future now lies at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, where he will recuperate and stand at stud for the 2020 season.”
The son of Dubawi was unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile, culminating in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. This season, he was second in the Dante Stakes at York and the Irish 2,000 Guineas and third in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before dropping back in trip and winning the seven-furlong Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
Bricks And Mortar to stand in Japan
North America: Japan’s Shadai Farm has bought the breeding rights to Bricks And Mortar, a three-time G1-winning son of the late Giant’s Causeway who is undefeated this year and has amassed more than $4.3 million in earnings.
“Being by Giant's Causeway is a big positive because he is a sire of sires,” bloodstock agent Eugenio Colombo, who brokered the deal, told the Blood-Horse. “Bricks And Mortar is a magnificent individual. With his conformation and his racing ability, he is the full package.”
Bricks and Mortar, winner of the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park in January and the likely favorite for tomorrow’s G1 Arlington Million, will continue to race in the U.S. for trainer Chad Brown through an anticipated start in the Breeders’ Cup for Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. The horse will be shipped to Shadai Farm in Japan afterwards.
Historic reopening of Colonial Downs
North America: Thoroughbred horse racing is back in Virginia. Colonial Downs, which originally opened on September 1, 1997, and then closed on October 14, 2014, is once again open for business with the newly named Secretariat Turf Course. It is claimed that the turf course is the best of its kind in North America.
Racing will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from August 8 through September 7 and will feature about $7.5 million in total purses.
Colonial Downs is under new ownership by the Colonial Downs Group, a division of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment. The return of Colonial Downs is possible through the establishment of Historical Horse Racing (HHR) in Virginia by the General Assembly in 2018. Revenues generated through HHR at Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, now open in New Kent, Vinton and Richmond, and soon to open in Hampton, are generating significant tax revenues for the state and localities but are also helping to fund purses at Colonial Downs and help revitalize Virginia’s horse industry, according to a press release.
“[The] opening is the culmination of years of hard work and tremendous collaboration among Virginia’s political leaders, equine industry and the more than 800 people who are now part of the Colonial Downs and Rosie’s Gaming Emporium teams,” said Aaron Gomes, chief operating officer for Colonial Downs Group. “We are so proud of what we have accomplished, and we are literally just out of the gate in Virginia!”
Elsewhere in global news
Europe: Profits at William Hill have dropped by a third in the first half of 2019 as the leading bookmaker adjusts to the new £2 stake limit on FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals in betting shops), according to the Racing Post. The firm confirmed that about 700 shops could close by the end of the year after announcing that adjusted operating profit dropped by 33 per cent to £76.2 million. Against that, Hills pointed to positive signs in the U.S., with William Hill U.S. handling $1 billion worth of bets and a tie-up with leading U.S. operator Eldorado Resorts. More here
North America: The Stronach Group has announced that respected industry executive Steve Koch has been appointed Senior Vice President of Racing for the company. “We are thrilled to have Steve join our team at this pivotal moment in our sport,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of the group. “Steve has a proven track record as an executive committed to safety and integrity in racing that is fully in line with our company’s priority to put horse and rider safety at the forefront.” More here
North America: Woodbine Entertainment has announced that long time sportscaster and horse racing personality Jason Portuondo has joined the Thoroughbred simulcast show at Woodbine Racetrack as co-host with commentator Jeff Bratt. Portuondo moves to the Thoroughbred broadcast team following the departure of commentator Dawn Lupul, who recently left Woodbine to pursue other interests. More here