Hidden Gems – Your next star 2 year old may not be at the auction.

It’s currently around 33 degrees outside and the horses are all lazily stood in the shade, swatting flies away with their tails, or grooming one another.  It does not seem possible that many of them are racing thoroughbreds who have, or hopefully will, won numerous races for their owners – they move slowly, if at all, in an attempt to relieve the heat.  All very sedate for them, but not so for the team here at Abacus Bloodstock.

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Yearling Prep now underway 

 

This time of year we can generally leave all the horses out due to the weather; which means its time to catch up on the painting and repairs needed to keep our little part of the world, and the horses who live in it, as well kept as possible.

On top of this is the yearling preparation – all fillies this year and all amongst the best we have bred from a potential race winner viewpoint.  The visit from Goffs to assess the entries this year resulted in two of the fillies being accepted in the Silver Sale with the other two always destined to go straight to racing – one as she is owned by a client, and the other as she will replace her dam Littlemore Lass who we sadly lost last year.

What is sad is that the two sale fillies could, in the opinion of the auctioneer, have been Premier yearlings but for their sires and the likely interest that would generate – or not.  One is by a Group winning son of Dark Angel and the other a Group 1 winner who

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Garswood – Group winners not enough to make him fashionable!

produced 2 Group winners in his first crop, but who, in only his second crop, seems to have been written off already!  One of the fillies is by a 2yo winning mare who has produced the winners of 15 races in the UK and Europe and yet we have decided it is not viable to send them to the sales as, after fees, transport, staff, hotels etc. we would be unlikely to see any profit.

As a result, we are able to sell these fillies at a very reasonable price privately (please click here to visit our sale pages if you are interested) but it is a sad reflection that such high class, proven pedigrees seem to be so out of fashion.  However, that also means that there are some real gems to be found through private sales as many of them will not be offered at auction due to these market pressures on breeders. 

The days of the small breeder, not to mention the diverse pedigree, seems to be rapidly

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Hidden gems to be found through private sales.

disappearing.  This will inevitably lead to poorer racing and less access for new owners.  Sadly it will, and in many cases has already, led to the closure of studs and the loss of jobs and skills from the industry.  Once gone, they will be hard, if not impossible to replace.  Good luck to all us small breeders who strive to keep going – the support of owners and trainers is so important for the future of racing and for the jobs and businesses which rely on it in all areas of the sport.  And if you are looking for a well bred, athletic youngster be aware, the best of them may not be at the auction!

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Sizzling Summer

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Masar – Godolphin’s first Derby winner

Last time I wrote we were reaching for the snorkels and wishing for the good weather – and the wish has come very true!  The flat season has also got off to a sizzling start with no clear leader in the classic generation, but instead a wide open, and therefore very interesting outlook at the higher levels of racing.  It is always good to see healthy competition amongst the training elite, and some great results for the “smaller” names too.  Does this mean it’s not a great generation of horses, or are they all so good that there is no clear leader?

Royal Ascot was superb as usual (with Frankel really showing his prowess as a sire), the Derby threw up a potentially great horse for Godolphin in Masar – their first winner in the famous blue silks.

Abacus Horses & news

Meanwhile back at Lower Linbrook Farm all the horses are going well.  The three foals are growing really fast and showing early signs of some athleticism.  The yearlings meanwhile are blossoming and working well in preparation for the sales and racing.

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Cityscape – a sire on fire!

Of note is the superb record of stallion Cityscape.  The Dubai record holder is proving real value and as a result we are hopeful that our colt yearling by him will do well for prospective owners.  He, like all our yearlings, offer great value for the prices we are asking and can be seen at our website.

Our Abacus Bloodstock bred runners continue to impress on the track, with the youngsters performing well for their connections, and the ever reliable Roll on Rory continuing his winning ways with a runaway success at Newmarket last month.  He is entered in the Bunbury Cup at the July Festival so we hope he makes the cut.

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Rory continues to win EVERY year!

We have acquired yet more land in the last month so our expansion continues.  Work on fencing and securing the new paddocks is a little held up with the dry ground, but at least hay making is going well!

Retirement from Racing

As many of you will know, the highly successful Pancake Day returned to us following a superb career – with 8 wins in the UK and Europe for his

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Fangfoss Girls – retired to stud

connections.  He joins a number of retirees we have, including his mother, Fangfoss Girls, and Imperial Bond who was injured as a 3 year old and therefore never got to fulfil his potential.  As a stud, we can offer our mares a retirement in the breeding program where possible, and if not we have space to accommodate the horses on our farm.  We have also sent Elegant Joan (“Treacle”) to the Northern Racing College, where she is a great favourite and is training the jockeys of the future – as she is still only very young she will have a hopefully long and successful career.

Sadly many horses do not make the grade as racers, and even if they do, they all eventually need to retire.  Whilst we, and therefore our horses, are fortunate, many are not.  The growth in syndication means that there is now a widening number of owners, most of whom have neither the facilities, or the ultimate ownership, to enable them to look after retired horses.  There is a market for thoroughbreds elsewhere in equestrian sport, but supply outnumbers demand.

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Treacle now working for the NRC

There are some excellent initiatives in UK racing to find new homes for retirees.  Indeed owners now pay an increased levy for all race entries, which is dedicated to the retraining of racehorses.  The Retraining of Racehorses and other charities work hard to support owners and trainers in finding new careers for what are very often still comparatively young horses at the end of their racing careers.  Therefore I would urge everyone to support these initiatives and make sure we give these horses the very best reward – a safe and enjoyable retirement.

Staff Dedication

Finally, a word for the staff we have here at Abacus Bloodstock.  We are a family run business and therefore our staff are mainly family members.  Sadly, due to this we cannot nominate them for the excellent Stud & Stable Staff Awards due to the rules.  Therefore I wanted to write, as we near the end of the stable staff awareness week, to thank everyone who works for and with us here.  We know we could not do it without your efforts – much of which is done in your own time and through a real professionalism and love of the horses.  Thank You!

Spring? What Spring?

For anyone who follows my Twitter account (@stumat) you will know that my patience with this wet weather is wearing thin!  Not only do we have no turf racing due to the

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Our new 5 bay walker – at least the roof keeps the horses dry

downpours, but the stud farm is, like many others, gradually getting muddier.  Last year we had the horses out on the summer paddocks around now, but as I write we are still stabling all the horses at night and allowing them to get used to “heavy going” during the day on the winter grazing.  At least the haylage man is making a packet!

Looking ahead, we still await our last two foals.  Fangfoss Girls is due to foal a Garswood in the next few days, and Littlemoor Lass has another Albaasil on the way in a week or so.  That will add to the beautiful Heeraat filly foal we had in February.

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Our new Heeraat filly (born in February) – with mum Princess of Rock

We have invested in a lovely little mare by Ifraaj called Vale of Clara.  She ran in Ireland to a mark of 86 and won over sprint distances.  A really pretty mare, she will visit Pearl Secret in a week or so all being well.

Other mating plans are that Princess of Rock has already visited Swiss Spirit and looks to be in foal – and Makindi is preparing to visit new sire Mattmu at Bearstone Stud.  Once again the weather is making the mares’ reproductive cycles very slow to react but good rugs and quality food will help them on their way.

We will rest both Fangfoss Girls and Littlemoor Lass this year to allow them to be covered earlier next year.  Both girls have produced superb foals in the last 4 years and deserve a year off from the kids we think!

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Pancake Day as a foal – He returns to the team that bred him after a successful racing career

At the other end of the career of a racehorse, we are pleased to say that multiple winner and globetrotter Pancake Day has retired to the stud after amassing wins and places for his owners in every year he ran.  He will be retrained for RoR events and is settling in well – telling the yearlings how to win races we hope!  His half sister, Elegant Joan was less adept on the racecourse and has been retired to work with the Northern Racing College, training budding jockeys and enjoying herself immensely.  She was one of the fastest horses over 800 metres, and then seemed to get bored!

We have a bumper crop of horses we have bred about to enter battle for various owners this season.  We wish them and their connections the very best of luck and a safe season.  We will be following them avidly and may see you at the races soon.

Lastly, if you are interested in buying one of our 5 superb yearlings then pop along to our website and see their details on the Horses for Sale page.

Now, where’s the sun-cream?  Helps to be optimistic!

2018 – Our Biggest Year

NY2018Happy New Year!  And Happy Birthday to all the thoroughbreds out there.  Our foals of 2017 are now yearlings and join an ever increasing band of horses bred by Abacus Bloodstock, who are at various stages of their careers.

Quite apart from the five yearlings however, this year will see the most horses bred by Abacus Bloodstock racing in the UK.  These range from 2 year olds through to our eldest horses aged 5 this year.  Our first homebred racer, the famous Pancake Day is 6 this year but more of him later.

We sold all of the horses who will race as 2 year olds this year, and they include the following:

  • The only colt by Albaasil from his first crop – now owned by Richie Fiddes

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    Colt by Mazameer – 2yo for 2018

  • A colt by Mazameer and last foal of Los Organos- now in training with Nikki Evans in Wales
  • A colt by Mawatheeq from a mare related to Golden Horn and in pre-training in the North (trainer yet to be decided)

All colts and all early looking types so we wish them and their new owners all the luck in the world.

Of the 3 year olds, two have raced as 2 yo’s – Elegant Joan (owned by Abacus Bloodstock Racing Club & trained by David Griffiths)

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Tin Fandango – ready to run with Mark Usher and team

and Little Aub (trained by Mark Usher), and will now pursue exciting handicap careers.  Both showed great potential but with a handicap mark they will undoubtedly do well amongst horses of similar capabilities.  Tin Fandango (trained by Mark Usher) has grown into a beautiful looking 3 year old and we should see him on the turf around May.  We have no news of the other 2015 crop yet but we will update the website once we do.

Of the older horses, Roll on Rory (trained by Jason Ward) continues to lead the way from a ratings viewpoint.  He won a smart mile race at Newmarket at the end of the 2017 turf season, and has to be a good prospect off a good mark in 2018.  That is unless he is sold overseas as he nearly was last year – to Hong Kong.

Finally Pancake Day – at six he is the oldest of our bred horses still racing.  Following a successful pre-Christmas campaign in Europe, he ran at Neuss over the New Year period and has shown signs of a growing weakness in his knee.  He has raced over 60 times in a short career and never gives anything but 100%.  He is perfectly sound normally but at the level of professional racing it is likely the weakness will play a vital role.  Owned now by the Berg family in Germany, they have asked us to have him back for his retirement.  We will assess him when he gets back to us, and then, if possible, he will compete in RoR and other non-racing classes as a much loved pet.  We will of course share his exploits in the future.

So with the decorations taken down for another year, we wish all the horses a safe and successful racing year, and to all the owners and trainers we give our thanks for having the faith in owning and  racing our horses.  Good luck to all!