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

Kate Grimwade, the new assistant trainer to James Cummings at Godolphin’s Carbine Lodge stables in Australia. Photo: Godolphin

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


Johnston is Britain’s winningmost trainer ever

Europe: Mark Johnston broke the all-time record number of British winners for a trainer when the Frankie Dettori-ridden 20/1 shot Poet's Society won the Clipper Logistics Handicap on the second day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York on Thursday.

The victory was the 4,194th of 58-year-old Johnston’s career, taking him past the total set by Richard Hannon Sr, who retired in 2013. Scotsman Johnston, who is based in Middleham, Yorkshire, trained his first winner in 1987.

Johnston, a qualified veterinarian, is assisted at his yard by wife Deirdre and son Charlie.

He has won £53m in prize money and his victories include 43 at Royal Ascot and two British classics, the 1000 Guineas winner Attraction in 2004, and Mister Baileys in the 2000 Guineas in 1994.

Breeders’ Cup future wagering begins

North America: The Breeders’ Cup, in conjunction with Churchill Downs, is introducing future wagering on this year’s World Championships. They will be conducted in three pools beginning with Classic and Longines Distaff, opening at midday ET today (Friday). The Classic pool will conclude at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday and the Distaff pool will finish half an hour later.

Accelerate, a 12½-length winner of last Saturday’s Pacific Classic, has been installed as the 4/1 Classic favorite in the first Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Wager, and Monomoy Girl, the Kentucky Oaks winner, is the 7/2 morning-line favorite in the Distaff pool.

The second Breeders’ Cup Future Wager pool will include the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Juvenile Sire Future Wager, and will open on August 31 and close on September 2.

The third and final pools, scheduled to open on October 5 and close on October 7, will consist of the Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Wager #2 and the Longines Turf.

The wager is a $2 minimum bet, win only.

Betting on all Breeders’ Cup Future Wagers will be offered at Churchill Downs tracks, via Twinspires.com and other advanced deposit wagering sites, racetracks, casinos, simulcast centers, and off-track betting sites.  

Complete Breeders’ Cup Future Wager information is available here.

Grimwade is new assistant trainer to James Cummings

Oceania: Godolphin’s European pre-training manager, Kate Grimwade, has taken over as assistant trainer to James Cummings at the organisation’s Carbine Lodge stables at Flemington in Melbourne.

Grimwade brings a rare combination of international experience, proven ability as a horsewoman and exposure within the Australian racing industry.

She comes to the local operation from her role as pre-training manager based at Newmarket, but she has a broad history in the organisation beginning with the Godolphin Flying Start program and in her role as yearling manager for Godolphin in Australia. Grimwade also had a term as assistant stud manager in Newmarket.

She has a first-hand knowledge of Australian racing and the management of a large stable, having worked as racing manager for Gai Waterhouse in Sydney.

Cummings said: “Kate is joining a great group in Melbourne. She brings with her an understanding of Australian racing, which is invaluable. To have someone of her experience and skill at our stable in Melbourne is enormous for our team.”

Grimwade said, “To have been given such a responsibility by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the Australian team is a huge privilege. Godolphin’s vision and values are ideals I’ve long been familiar with and which we all look forward to promoting.”

“I know the Melbourne team are an enthusiastic and dedicated group and it will be an honour to work with them.”

Reg Fleming will return to his position as Senior Foreman at Carbine Lodge.

Dubawi tops Arqana sale again with €1.4m colt

Europe: An auction-topping €1.4 million was paid by Ballylinch Stud at the Arqana Yearling Sale in Deauville for a son of Dubawi out of the Irish 1000 Guineas and EP Taylor Stakes winner Just The Judge offered by La Motteraye Consignment. It was the second year running that the world’s #2 sire has been responsible for the top lot (last year’s went for €1.55 million).

“We'll take him home to our own pre-training centre and break him in and then make a decision about who'll train him over the next few months,” said Ballylinch’s John O’Connor. “But, believe me, he'll go to a good trainer.”

The three-day sale was particularly notable for Irish operation, whose star stallion Lope de Vega (currently world-ranked 34) was responsible for the second-highest lot, a half-brother to Dark Vision, who was knocked down to Coolmore’s MV Magnier for €900,000. Another Lope de Vega, a full-brother to Belardo bred by Ballylinch, went to China Horse Club for €600,000.

Two daughters of American Pharoah also fetched high prices. A half-sister to Yorkshire Oaks winner Shareta went to Coolmore for €750,000 and will go to Aidan O’Brien, and the second, the first foal out of Marbre Rose, a G3-winning daughter of Smart Strike, was bought by U.S. agent Deuce Greathouse for €850,000 and will be syndicated in North America.

Turnover for the three days was €36.891 million, down 3½ percent, although private sales reduced the drop to under one per cent. The median was €110,000 for the third straight year, and the average of €159,700 was down 3½  points from last year.

Three new directors for TCA

North America: Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) has announced the appointment of Davant Latham, Sheila Rosenblum and Lesley Campion to its board of directors.  

Latham, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, owns and operates Davant Latham Bloodstock and Insurance, a full-service bloodstock and insurance agency in Midway, Kentucky. He also manages racing, breeding and pinhooking partnerships. Prior to starting his own company, Latham worked at Darby Dan Farm and as general manager of Vinery. He is a past president and director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, a past president and director of the High Hope Steeplechase, and a past director of the American Heart Association of Central Kentucky.

Rosenblum began her journey into horse racing in 2009 and currently owns and manages nearly 45 Thoroughbreds through her Lady Sheila Stable, its sister syndicates, and other partnerships. Rosenblum’s stable has seen success with runners including La Verdad, Hot City Girl, Matt King Coal, and Holiday Disguise. Rosenblum serves on the board of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the March of Dimes.

Campion, a native of Ireland, and moved to Lexington after completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Limerick. She worked for Coolmore’s Creekview Farm and as a veterinary technician at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute before joining Paramount Sales ten years ago. She and her husband Ted own and operate Dundrum Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.

New Jockey Club Racecourses appointment

Europe: Dickon White will be the new regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses’ (JCR) North West Region, which consists of Haydock Park, Aintree and Carlisle racecourses, it was announced today.

After taking up the role from September 1, White will be responsible for the performance of all three of JCR’s North West racecourses, based at Haydock Park. The busy venues stage 65 racing fixtures between them, including G1 races, along with hundreds of other events each year.

He will continue to report to JCR’s chief executive, Paul Fisher, and as a member of the JCR board.

He has worked for JCR since 1998 and previously ran Haydock Park for six years as its managing director. When JCR introduced its regional management structure in August 2012, White was appointed group betting director and joined the JCR board.

Messara report out next week

Oceania: Australian racing expert John Messara’s report reviewing the New Zealand racing industry will be released at a public meeting next week.

The Arrowfield Stud chairman and former Racing Australia and Racing New South Wales chairman was given the task of reviewing the industry by New Zealand Racing Minister Winston Peters earlier this year.

Peters has invited all interested members of the New Zealand racing industry to the public meeting, at 6pm on Thursday, August 30, to hear Messara’s findings.

Peters will deliver a speech followed by a question and answer session from the floor.

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