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SHEIKHA REIKA graduates to Grade 1 victory in Canada

Thu 18 Oct 2018

SHEIKHA REIKA winning at Great Yarmouth earlier this Autumn

SHEIKHA REIKA winning at Great Yarmouth earlier this Autumn

SHEIKHA REIKA, the three-year-old filly by Shamardal, belonging to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum won the Grade 1 EP Taylor for trainer Roger Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni recently.

The filly has run in two heavily supported EBF races as part of her recent preparation for the $500,000, Grade 1 contest: in early September, SHEIKHA REIKA ran to a place in one of the British EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series Handicaps at Ascot before notching up an impressive 4 and a half length victory over stable mate RASMINA (Iffraaj) in the 1m2f Sir John Musker Fillies’ Listed race at Great Yarmouth’s Eastern Festival.

The John Musker has seen some smart performers in its long history and this season, consolidated its position as the feature race at Yarmouth’s feature meeting with a prize money boost of £10,000, brought in to being jointly by the British EBF and the course’s management.  She joins the likes of SPEEDY BOARDING (Shamardal), NEZWAAH (Dubawi) and ARABIAN QUEEN (Dubawi) who have all graduated via the Sir John Musker to Gr.1 successes later in their careers.

Rachael Gowland of the British EBF commented:

“This is exactly why we work closely with courses to identify good developmental races to invest our prize money fund in to. Part of the remit of the EBF is to encourage courses to run these types of races for higher prize funds and support that initiative so the right kind of races develop and produce the stars of the future.  We are delighted that our increased investment in the race has been rewarded so quickly and that SHEIKHA REIKA has provided such a flagship win for Great Yarmouth’s feature race of the year.  We are delighted to confirm that our increased investment in the race will remain in place for the 2019 season.”


€120,000 Foran EBF Final Hard to Resist

Tue 16 Oct 2018

27 top lots stand their ground ahead of Auction Series Final at Naas on Sunday

Cedars of Lebanon, trained by Patrick Prendergast, winning the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series race at Naas on 30th September.

Cedars of Lebanon, trained by Patrick Prendergast, winning the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series race at Naas on 30th September.


Twenty seven horses remain after today’s final forfeit stage for the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Final, including seven series race winners. Trainer Ger Lyons has four runners with Kestrel Prince being the horse with the highest official rating (89) but his Army Recruit was runner up to the smart Circus Maximus at Gowran Park last time and that form was well boosted by the subsequent third placing of Circus Maximus in a Group 3 event at Newmarket.

Michael O’Callaghan has two remaining with the once raced Dark Pursuit likely to be the pick of the duo having defeated Army Recruit in good style at Down Royal on his only start. Trainer Joseph Murphy has really hit form in the last month, his Gustavus Weston was an impressive winner of his latest start at Fairyhouse last month.

Top National Hunt trainer Gordon Elliott also has two to choose from with his Galway Festival winner Highway To Success likely to go well but his other representative Aristocratic Man chased home the subsequent Beresford Stakes winner Japan on his most recent start at Listowel. Last year’s winning stable, Dermot Weld, is likely to be represented by Munees Gemini, runner up to the well-regarded Goddess on her first start at Leopardstown in July.

Shane Lyons, Assistant Trainer to Ger Lyons said; “We are delighted to support the series and final, it’s a great initiative by the Irish EBF and Foran Equine. We have Kestrel Prince in the final, who has been a great horse this year, he won well in Roscommon twice and he is in great form. The last couple of year’s this series has been a massive plus, €120,000 final and the qualifiers are nice pots, we love supporting it.”

Commenting during the week, Jessica Harrington said; “Dragon Roll is our main contender, she won a Foran EBF Maiden at Gowran Park, she just got up on the line, there was a little bit of an ease in the ground that day, I would be hoping that we could have an ease in the ground on Sunday. It’s a great series, I am really for it, I think its brilliant, it does give people with a smaller budget the chance to win a race and go for the big pot in the final.

Noel Meade, trainer of Dadoozdart said; “We’ve been very happy with Dadoozdart since his last run at the Curragh, that was over 6f, I think 7f will suit him a lot better. He’s seems in good form since, I wouldn’t mind a little bit of rain between now and then, but if we get that I think he has a big chance. The final has been on our mind for quite some time, he grew a bit during the summer and I didn’t want to over race him but I had to bring him to Roscommon to run him to qualify for the final, I think he’s quite a nice horse.”

Gareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director, Foran Equine: “The Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series continues to be an enormous success. It is designed to create opportunity within the industry and to hear the positive feedback from the owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders who are benefiting from the sponsorship is significant. This feedback confirms to us, that this is the right investment back into the industry that supports our business. With the level of prize-money on offer on Sunday, it’s no surprize to see the final so well supported and we’re looking forward to an intriguing contest at Naas. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the series and the Irish European Breeders Fund for working so closely with our team to continuously develop this partnership.”

Nessa Joyce, Manager Irish EBF: “Sunday’s €120,000 final marks the fourth year of the auction series, and the second year of a successful partnership with Foran Equine. The series is firmly established in the juvenile racing programme and we are already looking forward to it growing even further in the future. The average price of runners in the series to date is €20,000 and two of this year’s winners were bought for less than €5,000, Dragon Roll (€5,000) and Lady Marengo (€3,000) who are both contenders for the final on Sunday. The series continually tells the story that you can get involved and win races with a modest investment.”


Dual Gr.1 winner POET’S WORD joins Shadwell stallion ranks

Sat 13 Oct 2018

POET'S WORD arrives at the Nunnery Stud

POET’S WORD arrives at the Nunnery Stud

Dual Group 1 winner POET’S WORD will join the Shadwell stallion roster at Nunnery Stud next year.

The five-year-old son of POET’S VOICE retires having established himself as one of Europe’s elite middle-distance performers following a pair of top-flight victories at Ascot in this year’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The grandson of DUBAWI began this year with a fine second to Hawkbill in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan before readily accounting for classy performers LARAAIB, DESERT ENCOUNTER and FABRICATE in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.

POET’S WORD was then saddled by Sir Michael Stoute to land his first Group 1 in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Having travelled smoothly, he was unleased by James Doyle a furlong out and displayed a fine turn of foot to deny triple Group 1 scorer CRACKSMAN by two and a quarter lengths.

He returned to the Berkshire venue five weeks later and, under another confident Doyle ride, wore down stablemate CRYSTAL OCEAN to land the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes by a neck.

POET’S WORD capped a hugely lucrative season at York when finishing a game second to top-class three-year-old Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International Stakes, a race in which he finished ahead of Classic winners SAXON WARRIOR and LATROBE as well as St James’s Palace Stakes hero WITHOUT PAROLE.

Bought as a yearling by Charlie Gordon-Watson for 300,000gns at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sales, POET’S WORD carried the colours of his owner Saeed Suhail to win seven of his 17 starts – four of which came at Group level – amassing career earnings of £2,951,329.

Bred by Woodcote Stud, POET’S WORD is the highest rated runner by the late POET’S VOICE, who is responsible for 22 other stakes performers, including this year’s smart two-year-old and Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes winner ARCTIC SOUND. POET’S VOICE was a high-class juvenile for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor, winning the Group 2 Champagne Stakes before developing into an even better miler, emphasised by his gutsy win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The biggest indicator POET’S VOICE is a great loss to the breeding industry was the impressive tally of juvenile winners he registered in 2017, with his total of 29 two-year-old scorers bettered only by his own sire, DUBAWI, among the British stallion ranks.

POET’S WORD is one of five winners out of the NASHWAN mare WHIRLY BIRD – a multiple winner and Listed-placed – making him a half-brother to four winners, headed by Group 3-winning juvenile MALABAR (RAVEN’S PASS), who was also a Group 3 scorer at three, and dual scorer WHIRLY DANCER, dam of high-class two-year-old BECKFORD.
His KINGMAN half-sister was snapped up by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for 200,000gns at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale last year.

Shadwell Stud Director Richard Lancaster said: “POET’S WORD was a tremendous racehorse and is a great credit to Sir Michael, who gave him the time to develop into one of Europe’s elite middle-distance performers.
“He put up a huge performance when beating CRACKSMAN in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and then backed that up when he displayed all his tenacity and fighting spirit to beat CRYSTAL OCEAN in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“Not only are there several precocious performers found in POET’S WORD’S pedigree, he is also a beautiful looking horse, a point emphasised by his 300,000gns yearling price. He uses himself particularly well and if he can pass that trait on to his offspring, it will stand him in good stead.” POET’S WORD was partnered to his Group 1 victories by James Doyle, who said: “He had a great temperament – he was solid mentally – nothing fazed him. “The one thing that blew me away was his cruising speed, making him an incredibly easy ride. He would quite happily go forward or you could take him back and he would relax. “He could also accelerate off that high cruising speed, emphasised when winning his two Group 1 races at Ascot. “I’ve ridden some exceptional horses and he’d easily be one of the best ten furlong horses I have ridden. A mile and a quarter was definitely his optimum trip. “Finally, he was also a great mover – he flowed across the ground – and although he won on slower ground, a quicker surface brought out the best in him.”

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute added: “POET’S WORD was a very athletic colt with a grand temperament. He was also a great competitor who just continued to progress.”

POET’S WORD will be available to view at Beech House Stud in Newmarket during the Tattersalls December Sales.

A fee for him and other Nunnery Stud stallions will be announced at a later date.


Record Breaking RAJASINGHE retires to stud for 2019

Fri 12 Oct 2018

Rajasinghe 2017 Coventry Stakes Success

Record-breaking Gr.2 Coventry Stakes hero Rajasinghe has been retired to stand at The National Stud in Newmarket.
Rajasinghe showed an exceptional turn of foot when breaking the track record and running the fastest ever recorded time for a two-year-old over six furlongs at Royal Ascot, beating subsequent Classic winner Romanised and Gr.1 winner US Navy Flag.
He followed up that run with another top performance when finishing third in the Gr.2 July Stakes at Newmarket.
Trainer Richard Spencer said:
“His win at Royal Ascot last year helped put us on the map. It was a very special day and a fantastic performance to beat the track record.
To have a two year-old that posted a quicker time than the likes of Canford Cliffs and Dawn Approach in the race is very special and I look forward to seeing his progeny in years to come.”
Rajasinghe is a son of Choisir, who has produced 11 Gr.1 winners to date including Starspangledbanner who has made an immediate impact at stud, most notably when siring Gr.1 winner The Wow Signal.
Tim Lane, Stud Director at The National Stud said:
“We’re hugely excited to stand Rajasinghe at the National Stud in Newmarket. His record speaks for itself, he’s a Gr.2-winning son of Choisir who broke the track record at Royal Ascot when winning the Coventry Stakes.
Rasjasinghe is a good looking horse with an excellent walk and he will be commercially attractive for breeders, which is proven by the recent the success of the sire line at the yearling sales. With the support of Phil Cunningham and Rebel Racing, we believe Rajasinghe will be very successful.”
Rajasinghe will be managed by the Avenue Bloodstock team of John Ferguson, Mark McStay and Amy Lanigan. He will stand at a fee of £5,000 Oct 1, SLF. Lifetime breeding rights will also be sold.

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