TRC’s weekly industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Watch for star freshmen sires at the October Sale
Europe: Tattersalls has unveiled a 519-lot catalogue for Book 1 of its October Yearling Sale, which takes place on October 9-11.
The impressive index includes multiple offerings by Europe’s leading sires: world #1 Galileo, #2 Dubawi and Frankel, who recently moved up the classifications to #4. The Juddmonte champion has 25 yearlings listed, while Darley and Coolmore’s flagbearers are responsible for 21 apiece.
Other sires with strong representations are Kodiac, Muhaarar, Sea The Stars and Siyouni. Coolmore’s leading first-season sire No Nay Never has ten catalogued, while Juddmonte’s Kingman boasts 31 lots.
There will be 15 freshmen sires represented by a total of 91 yearlings, led by the champion trio of Investec Derby winner Golden Horn, English and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Gleneagles and four-time G1-winning sprinter Muhaarar, who have 18, 15 and 30 catalogued respectively.
One lot that will surely interest the ring is a Dubawi full brother to So Mi Dar, Lah Ti Dar and Too Darn Hot (who impressed on debut last week at Sandown), out of the Lord Lloyd-Webber’s exceptional Dar Re Mi.
How Japan wagered on the Jacques le Marois
Asia: For the first time in the race’s history, Japanese pari-mutuel players were offered the chance to wager in the Prix Jacques Le Marois, won by Alpha Centauri at Deauville on Sunday.
France Galop was ‘extremely pleased’ with the €5.1 million that the G1 took and its perceived popularity despite the withdrawal of Japanese raider Geniale because of a training setback.
Despite going to gate at 11.20pm in Japan, the revenue was only €1.9 million under the €7 million average for a foreign race with a Japanese runner and above the €4m for a race at the Breeders’ Cup with no domestic interest.
Star stayer Torcedor in switch to Germany
Europe: Leading Irish stayer Torcedor has been sold to German interests by the New Zealand Te Akau operation. He will leave trainer Jessica Harrington to continue his career with Germany’s Andreas Wohler, who is #38 in the world trainers’ standings.
Te Akau principal David Ellis said, “In the last few days we sold Torcedor. We received an enormous offer for a 6-year-old gelding. He has been sold and the deal has been completed.
“We wish the new owners well with him – they are a consortium syndicate based in Germany. I’d say they would look at the Melbourne Cup for sure. He is quite an exciting horse. He goes to the front, he never stops trying and is a very gutsy horse.”
By Fastnet Rock out of a sister to champion stayer Yeats, dual G3 winner Torcedor has been G1-placed in the Goodwood Cup, Ascot Gold Cup and Irish St Leger.
Purchased by Ellis for €70,000 at the 2013 Deauville Yearling Sales, Torcedor was owned by Sir Patrick Hogan, Sir Peter Vela, Mohammed Moussa and Laurie Laxon.
Major injury blow for Blake Shinn
Oceania: Australian jockey Blake Shinn has suffered a serious neck injury in a Randwick barrier trial fall. The rider, #37 in the world rankings, was riding Pacific Legend in a 1045m heat when the horse unbalanced near the home turn and the 30-year old slipped from the saddle.
X-rays revealed that Shinn – who is coming off arguably a career-best season in which he rode 80 Sydney winners to be second (to Brenton Avdulla) in the premiership and won five G1 races - had fractures in his C1 and C3 vertebra.
The Victorian native took to social media to thank fans and medical staff for their support, saying he hoped to be discharged and ‘head home for some R&R’ promptly. A ‘gutted’ Shinn predicted that he was likely to be out of action for three to six months, which will include Victoria’s upcoming Spring Carnival.
Heading back east
Asia: Danon Ballade - the first son of Deep Impact to stand in Britain - will return to Japan following the on-track success by his progeny in his native land.
Last year, the 10-year old relocated from Italy to Alan and Tim Varey’s Batsford Stud in Gloucestershire, where he stood at £4,000. However, owners Serdar Kemal Ozcolak, Tarik Tekce and Simone Esposito agreed the sale of the stallion to Shigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm in Hokkaido. The British stud will still offer mares in foal to Danon Ballade at this year's Tattersalls December Mares Sale.
$30m Monmouth Park debt claim
North America: The non-profit New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA), which controls Monmouth Park, owes $30 million to Darby Development, a company it hired to manage operations at the Oceanport track, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Public documents show that the debt to the management firm has been growing significantly every year since 2015. The other money owed to Darby Development, about $22 million, is a result of an incentive fee that gives Darby 80 percent of the net operating profits from off-track wagering facilities in Woodbridge and Hillsborough, and the NJTHA’s share of account wagering in the state.
The unique agreement among American racetracks - most are owned and self-operated by large gaming companies – came about in 2010, when an agreement with casinos that provided $30 million a year to the tracks expired. Moreover, part of that agreement was that the tracks wouldn't seek approval of slot machines.
The report does, however, point out that the earliest money could be taken by Darby is 2024, while NJTHA board member Robert Matthies sees “better days ahead’’ financially for Monmouth Park because of the recent introduction of sports betting in the U.S.
Lighting up jump racing
Europe: The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has permitted the use of LED advertising displays on the landing side of fences at all British racecourses during jump meetings.
The LED displays – which will be battery-powered to avoid electrocution risk - must remain static when runners are in the vicinity of the fences but otherwise the displays will allow for more creative visual advertising and the opportunity to switch between advertisers and sponsors for different races on a card.
Thanks for the support
North America: Winstar Farms owners Lisa and Kenny Troutt have been honoured by the New York Race Track Chaplaincy (RTCANY) for their support of backstretch workers on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) community.
A special brunch was held at the Saratoga National Golf Club for the co-owners of the recently retired 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify commemorating their recognition by RTCANY.
Breeders’ Cup cheer
North America: The Breeders’ Cup has renewed its commercial partnership with premium bourbon Maker’s Mark for a further three years.
The Kentucky brand will continue to be the exclusive bourbon of the Breeders’ Cup and a first-time title sponsor of the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf for the 2018 event. It will also release a second collection of limited-edition bottles featuring some of Breeders’ Cup’s legendary champions. The 2018 bottle will feature D. Wayne Lukas, the all-time leading trainer in Breeders’ Cup history, and have in the past featured equine stars Zenyatta and Cigar.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind bottles, the two parties will collaborate on their Champions for Charity program, which began in 2015 with the goal of raising money for local and Thoroughbred-industry charities.
Racing administrators discuss Brexit possibilities
Europe: After the International Award of Merit was presented to Aidan O’Brien and the Magnier family in Dublin on Tuesday, Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh called an unscheduled meeting with administrators from Britain, Ireland and France to discuss how Britain’s possible withdrawal from the EU could affect the Thoroughbred industry in Europe.
It is believed that the officials – including the BHA’s Will Lambe, Dr Paul-Marie Gadot of France Galop and Louis Romanet, president of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities – spoke about possible solutions for every potential outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
With British Prime Minister Theresa May still uncommitted on how strong Brexit will be, discussions inevitably included preparations for the “worst case scenario” of a no-deal conclusion, but Romanet stressed that the three nations were all “pulling in the same direction”. However, he did caution that the Tripartite Agreement is “finished” and that the “real problem is not with racehorses but for breeding stock”.
“How long can horses be allowed to stay [in a country]?” he asked. “Remember that 80 percent of horses that travel from France to Ireland go through Britain.”
Delight at Kentucky Downs
North America: Kentucky Downs has announced a full book of sponsors for its five-card Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Day on September 1.
Glen Hill Farm will sponsor the $250,000 One Dreamer Stakes, while Breeders’ Cup, Equibase, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Starlight Partners are sponsoring four overnight races.
A “pleased” Corey Johnsen, president of Kentucky Downs, said the track was “glad to support an organisation that enables such important work” and “helps not just Thoroughbreds, but horses of all breeds”.