F.B.A. Review of 2004

Most agents entered 2004 in an optimistic frame of mind, the bloodstock market having been buoyant for several years.  The Doncaster St Leger Yearling sale did little to dispel that feeling with a tremendously strong sale that once again broke all records.  The Goffs Orby sale perhaps not surprisingly fell a little flat but most agents were surprised how tricky the new Tattersalls October Part 1 and 2 sale proved to be, at least from a vendor’s point of view. 

There is no doubt overproduction is finally with us and it’s difficult to see how this will be resolved unless a significant number of broodmares are taken out of production.  Following this wakeup call at the yearling sales, one would have expected the foal and breeding stock auctions to be equally difficult.  But again the markets confounded us with a solid foal trade and a very strong mare and filly sale.  The final Thursday of the December sales is generally poor fare but most observers were staggered by the strength of the last day of the Tattersalls sale.

So overall, a year of confusing messages from the market place but warning signs are undoubtedly now visible.  Prize money looks set to be cut in 2005 following a European court ruling and it remains to be seen how long owners will continue to pay high training fees with little prospect of a sensible return.

During the early part of the year the FBA Council devoted many hours in assisting the formulation and introduction of a BHB/Jockey Club sponsored Code of Practice which is to apply to the whole of the British racing industry.  Our thanks go to all the Council members who devoted a very considerable time to this issue and which resulted in the FBA playing a leading role in the formulating of the new code.

On a membership note, we say goodbye to David and Patricia Smyly who have now gone to live in France and welcome Grant Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock, formally well known for many years as racing manager to Prince Khaled Abdullah.  Troy Steve has also joined the team at Mead Goodbody Ltd. and will be specialising in breeding stock within Europe.


News From the Members

McKeever St Lawrence has had another record breaking year for their clients.  Amongst their most high profile runners were the Gr.1 winners Vinnie Roe, Grey Swallow, Castledale, Bullish Luck, Meteor Storm and Magical Romance.  Other Group winners include Monsieur Bond (who was also sold for stud duties), Millennium Dragon and Leitrim House.  At the sales they had another busy year being top buyers at the St Leger Sales and Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale and were amongst the leaders at almost all the major domestic sales.  McKeever St Lawrence feels it is proper to invest in the industry that gives us our living and were proud sponsors of three individual races at Newmarket,  Epsom and Doncaster.


Blandford Bloodstock enjoyed international success this season with 8 individual black type performers including Classic winner Bachelor Duke, winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas and Group winners Tante Rose (Haydock Sprint Cup, Gr.1), Overarching (South African Fillies Sprint, Gr.1), Punctilious (Ribblesdale Stakes, Gr.2), Captain Hurricane (July Stakes, Gr.2), etc.


Will Edmeades Bloodstock Ltd had another successful year in 2004, highlighted by Salamanca, a 28,000 gns purchase for first time owners, winning The Watership Down Stud Sales Race and over £150,000 prize money together with the maximum bonus payable under the BHB Owners’ Premium Scheme.  The company, as management consultants to W & R Barnett Ltd, also enjoyed seeing Time Ahead sold for 650,000 gns at Tattersalls December Sales.


David Metcalfe Bloodstock International had winners for prominent members of a major Dubai family at the 2004 Dubai Carnival.  He also bought and sold to other parts of the world and consolidated business relationships in South America and South Africa.

Probably the most notable achievement by Martin Percival of the BBA (UK) Ltd in 2004 retrospectively, was advising on the mating that resulted in the Group 1 Darley July Cup winner Frizzante.  As usual, nominations were purchased on behalf of clients to around 70 stallions based in England, Ireland, France, Germany and the USA.


A satisfactory year on the racecourse and in the sale ring for James Delahooke, the highlight being the purchase for a new American client of Ipi Tombe, the champion racemare and sale-topper at Tattersalls December Sales at 850,000 gns.  Stud design and management continue to be an important activity, with two new studs currently in construction in the UK and Ireland.  Car Colston Hall Stud, designed and built by James Delahooke, had the distinction of breeding two Group 1 winners in 2004.


Anthony Bromley and David Minton of Highflyer Bloodstock had another excellent year with their purchases “over the sticks”, with 30 individual Graded/Listed winners in the 2003-2004 season.  Their most notable winners include the Champion 2 Mile Chaser Azertyuiop, Monkerhostin, Sporazene, Geos, Crystal d’Ainay, Tiutchev and Garde Champetre.  The latter horse was also managed by them under the Million In Mind partnership banner and sold for a world-record auction price for a male horse in training of 530,000 Guineas in May 2004.


In just over two racing seasons David McGreavy Bloodstock has purchased the winners of over 50 races.  The success continued in 2004 with the victories of Frank Sonata (3 races including the Listed H2O Stakes) and Moscow Music (2nd Sandown National Stakes, L.)


Success for the Kern Lillingston Association in 2004 included Stay Young (formerly Romancero) winning the Sha Tin Trophy, Gr.3 and placed 3rd in the Champions Mile, Gr.1, in Hong Kong, Paraca winning the Honda Stakes, Gr.3 in Australia, Antediluvian winning the Pacemaker Distaff, L., at Sandown Park, and Hoh Buzzard winning the Brown Bess H’cap, L., at Golden Gates, Florida.  On the breeding front, Kern Lillingston was involved in the sale of Classic Cliché to stud in Ireland and the shuttling of Captain Rio from Ireland to New Zealand.  Broodmare successes included Arvada (out of Lalindi) winning La Prevoyante H’cap, Gr.2 at Calder and Glen Falls H’cap, Gr.3 at Saratoga and Danestorm (ex Shalbourne, bought for export to Australia) winning the Brisbane Cup, Gr.1.


2004 was a spectacular year for David Redvers Bloodstock with no less than 5 stakes winners bought from a relatively small group of yearlings.  Whilst Stay Young (17,000gns) was the top rated 3yo in Hong Kong and Ruby Rocket (40,000gns) was one of the top 3yo sprinting fillies, Penkenna Princess (60,000gns), Diktatorial (45,000gns) and Don Pele (16,000gns) proved top class stakes winners at 2.  Penkenna Princess and Diktatorial are live Guineas candidates as is Johnny Jumpup (11,000gns) who finished an excellent 2nd in the Gr.3 Horris Hill at Newbury.  Perhaps however, Safari Sunset (25,000gns) was the most satisfying as he gave Peter Winkworth his first ever flat winner before being placed at both Royal Ascot and Goodwood.


Mead Goodbody Ltd had a productive year in 2004 with increased activity, partly due to Troy Steve becoming a new member of the team, specialising in the breeding stock and European markets. Andrew Mead was again busy with increased amounts of expert witness work.


Nine horses purchased by Linda Sadler won 14 races in 2004.  The star purchase, Silence Is Golden, was beaten a short head into 2nd in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.  Also Group placed at Newmarket, she ran 33 times and won a total of £159,127, having cost just 7,500 gns as a yearling.





PETER WRAGG, an eminent bloodstock agent who was the brother of trainer Geoff and son of champion jockey and leading trainer Harry, died last year at the age of 76. He had been in ill health for some time.

A bloodstock agent since 1949, Wragg purchased the foundation yearlings and mares for Geneva resident Gerry Oldham's owner-breeder operation.

With Harry Wragg as Oldham's trainer, the venture enjoyed great success, and among the horses Peter Wragg purchased was 1956 champion three-year-old colt Talgo, a 1,350gns yearling who won the Irish Derby by six lengths and was runner-up to Ribot in the same season's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Other Wragg acquisitions included 1961 champion two-year-old colt Miralgo, 1959 Irish Derby winner Fidalgo, 1967 Arc runner-up Salvo, and Plaza, who went on to produce 1969 St Leger hero Intermezzo.  He also bought Cynara, a leading juvenile filly of 1960 and later the dam of Stintino, who won the Prix Lupin and was third in Nijinsky's Derby when under the care of Francois Boutin. The rest were trained by Harry Wragg, and all raced in Oldham's distinctive colours - chocolate and white hoops.Wragg was also a major player for the late Lord Weinstock's Ballymacoll Stud in Ireland. Among his most notable buys for Lord Weinstock was the filly Gaily, who won the 1974 Irish Guineas and was third in the Irish Oaks.  As a broodmare, Gaily produced black-type scorers Gay Hellene and Nash Terrace, as well as Gay Milly, the grand-dam of globe-trotting champion Pilsudski.

Ela-Mana-Mou, the sire of Gay Hellene, was also purchased for Lord Weinstock by Wragg, who negotiated the sale when the horse was a three-year-old campaigned by Max Muinos. Ela-Mana-Mou subsequently won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Wragg also bought Auction Ring and Karelia for Lord Weinstock. The former won the 1974 July Stakes and 1975 King George Stakes; the latter, when mated to Ela-Mana-Mou, produced high-class stayer Snow Princess.

Peter Reynolds, Ballymacoll Stud's longtime manager, said: "He was the most honest man I ever came across in the bloodstock world.  He just got on with the job."

Racing Post Obituary 2004


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