F.B.A. Review of 2005

Another year where bloodstock markets showed remarkable strength, and it’s probably fair to say that most FBA members enjoyed good trading conditions.

We are delighted to welcome two new members. Angie Sykes has started her own agency and former leading trainer David Loder has joined the FBA as a member of Richard Frisby Bloodstock.

During the year we received the resignations of Allan Perry, Jessica Foster, Natalie Davis and Sue Cameron and we wish them well. James Beazley also resigned, having given considerable service over many years as a Council Member and he worked hard for five years representing the FBA on the BHB Industry Committee, our thanks go to him for all his efforts. Will Edmeades retired from the Council and two new Council members Tom Goff and David Allan were elected.

Two hugely respected former FBA members died during the year and the obituaries for Keith Freeman and Tote Cherry-Downes are included in this handbook.

The racing world was also saddened by the death of Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum, a truly sporting owner of considerable dignity, and our thoughts go to his family


News From the Members


The success of McKeever St.Lawrence purchases continued in 2005 with 5 individual Gr.1 winners (following 6 Gr.1 winners in 2004) with Bullish Luck, Castledale, Darsalam, Donna Blini and Grey Swallow—plus dual Gr.2 winner Flashy Wings.  Donna Blini became the third successive MSL-purchased winner of the Gr.1 Cheveley Park Stakes—a record.  Johnny The Fish (26,000 Gns. Yearling) also won the £300,000 DBS Sales Race.  MSL were as busy as ever both buying racehorses and breeding stock privately and at public auction. Horses were exported across the world including to USA, Hong Kong, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Hungary and Pakistan — as well as the major European racing countries. 


Once again the Highflyer Bloodstock team of  Anthony Bromley and David Minton had a highly successful year “over the sticks” in 2004/2005 buying 4 Cheltenham Festival winners, as well as 5 winner at the Aintree Festival—the most notable being the Grand National winner Hedgehunter for leading owner Trevor Hemmings.  They were also responsible for the same owner’s Hennessy winner Trabolgan and other Grade 1 winners Kauto Star, My Way De Solzen and Blue Shark.  The 2004-2005 season saw them responsible for 26 individual Black-type winners over jumps and numerous flat winners including the Stakes winner Genre (19,000 Gns) and the Group placed Rising Cross (20,000 Euros).


The highlight of 2005 for James Delahooke was undoubtedly topping the Deauville August Sale with Oak Hill Stud’s Montjeu filly which was purchased in utero at Goffs November ‘03.  The price of 580,000 euros was a good return on the mare’s purchase price of 140,000 euros.  Autumn Wealth’s consistent form in fillies’ Listed races was a just reward for her owner’s decision to keep her in training and credit to the BHB for making more of these opportunities available.


Blandford Bloodstock have once again enjoyed international success this season with 9 individual black type winners of 12 races including dual Gr.1 winner Overarching (Horse Chestnut S.), Gr.1 winner Punctilious (Yorkshire Oaks) and Gr.2 winner Striking Ambition (Goldene Peitsche), Gr.3 winners included Arch Mistress (Yellowwood H’cap), Hunter Street (Cornwallis S.), Southern Africa (Lone Star Derby) and Abigail Pett (Round Tower S.), Binary File (Swedish Open Mile) and Tournedos (Chester City Wall S.) scored at Listed level.  Blandford Bloodstock also managed the very successful  Byculla Thoroughbreds (3) syndicate which enjoyed considerable success in 2005 with Gr.3 winner Hunter Street and Gr.2 placed River Thames.  They also enjoyed a busy 2005 at auction in Europe and USA where they have represented clients from UK, Ireland, USA, South Africa, Turkey, Denmark, Greece and Australia purchasing a wide variety of bloodstock.


Success for David McGreavy Bloodstock in 2005 included Dixie Belle who won 2 races including the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket and Frank Sonata who excelled in finishing second to Day Flight in the Gr.3 John Porter at Newbury.  Both were 10,000 Gns yearling purchases at Tattersalls.


2005 was a very good year for Linda Sadler  with 17 wins by 10 horses: Briannsta won 4 races with 2 in a week, including at the Chester May meeting, Prairie Sun won 5 races, as well as being Listed placed,  Kindelight Debut, won 3 races in the summer and scored a hat trick in January 2006; Silence Is Golden, now at stud, the winner of 5 races and Gr.3 and Listed placed was purchased by Linda for 7,500Gns and sold at Tattersalls December sales for 200,000 Gns. 


The year 2005 opened with Paolo Benedetti engaged in a case at Cambridge Court whose outcome will mark in future years the role, action, duties and rights of a bloodstock agent towards his customer, when representing him in a thoroughbred auction.  The case was referring to a mare purchased by Paolo Benedetti’s Derby Bloodstock Agency at Newmarket in December 2003 for 725,000 Gns and the winning result was very good for anyone acting in this profession around the globe but mainly for all recognised UK-based bloodstock agents.


A total of 5 individual Group winners in 2005 were purchased by John Warren, the most notable of which was Motivator, the memorable winner of the Gr.1 Derby and Gr.2 Dante Stakes, along with Gr.2 Goodwood Cup victor Distinction, Brunel, winner of the Gr.2 Topkapi Trophy, and two Gr.3 winners, Saturn and Far Lane, who won the Queen Mother Memorial Stakes at Sha Tin and the Carlton Draft Stakes at Morphettville, Australia.


2005 was a dream start for Angie Sykes, as it would have been for anyone starting their own bloodstock business. Sir Percy was an exceptional two year old, and ended the season as the unbeaten Dewhurst winner.  One can only pray to find horses like him and his 16,000 Gns purchase price makes  him a rarity.  Angie hopes to have some more nice two year olds with Marcus and Paul Cole this year, and a few more prayers answered!


David Redvers Bloodstock had a memorable 2005 with Flashy Wings, the BHB Champion 2yo filly, the highlight.  David bought her in utero at Tattersalls December Sales for only 16,000gns.  Memorable purchases to shine on the racetrack and sales ring were Penkenna Princess (60,000gns) who won the Fred Darling Gr.3, before being sold privately to Japan, Ruby Rocket (€40,000) winner of 2 Listed races and sold for 340,000gns at December sales, Johnny Jumpup (11,000gns) finished 2nd in German 2000Gns, Jeu de Mot (44,000gns) was sold privately to Princess Haya of Jordan before winning his Newbury maiden impressively and Clare Hills (€34,000gns) who won the Listed Hilary Needler Stakes.  Under NH rules the highlight was Senorita Rumbalita (1600gns) winner of the Listed mares bumper at Aintree.


Highlights for Will Edmeades Bloodstock Ltd were the foal purchases Sir Percy (20,000 gns), unbeaten winner of the Dewhurst S., Gr.1 and Hunter Street (11,000 gns) winner of the Cornwallis S., Gr.3.  Salamanca (28,000 gns yearling) is now a Listed winner of nearly £200,000.  The company, as management consultants for W & R Barnett Ltd, oversaw the sale of 8 homebred yearlings for 1.785 million gns at Tattersalls.


Success on the track for Lillingston Bloodstock  include: Group wins for Eccentric (AW Horse of the Year), Stakes wins in North America for Genre, Silver Highlight and Wrzeszcz, stakes placings from Flip Flop, Middle Earth and Hallowed Dream.  There have been 16 winners in Hong Kong including Sunny Sing winning the Gr.1 Classic Mile.  Horses bought for stud duty included Gr.1 winner Var who stands in South Africa, Gr.1 winner Magistretti standing in India and Gr.1 winner Epalo standing in France.  They were also involved in the sale of  Vettori to France and the lease of Mark of Esteem to Brazil and Indian Lodge to Sweden. Nine broodmares bought by Kern Lillingston produced black type winners in 2005. 


Mead Goodbody Ltd. purchased Tidal Fury as a yearling for current connections. He proved hard to beat in French hurdle races winning a Grade One and being voted French jumping Horse of the Year.   The Group winner Lucky was purchased for in excess of a million dollars at the Keeneland Nov. Sales and she subsequently produced an excellent Elusive Quality colt foal.   Scintillation won his second Group One event in Hong Kong, being out of Subterfuge, a Machiavellian mare sold to Australia, whilst Kirov Premier, purchased in Ireland and subsequently a Group winner in USA produced Cesario, the Champion 3-y-o filly in Japan.  Perugino was purchased to return from Australia for N.H. stallion duties in Ireland where he is proving very popular.






TOTE CHERRY-DOWNES, who managed Greenbay Stables for Charles Wacker III during the heyday of Sleepytime, Ali-Royal and Taipan died in April 2005 following a long illness.  He was 62.

A long time resident of the Newmarket area, Cherry-Downes began his career as a teenager working at Woodlands Stud, where he established a lifelong friendship with Henry Cecil. 

In time he became a highly regarded bloodstock agent, working as half of a formidable team with his partner of nearly 40 nears, Penny Butler.  Although he represented some high-profile principals, Cherry-Downes conducted his business in a low-key manner, and even his friends were not aware of some of his accomplishments. He was closely linked to Henry Cecil during the trainer’s champion reign, and indeed throughout his adult life,  “We met when we were students working at the stud together,” said Cecil.  “He was a very close friend all through my life,  “I’ll miss him a lot—he was probably my best friend.”

With Cecil training and Cherry-Downes the breeding adviser and racing manager, Wacker enjoyed a Group 1 winning spree in 1997 with Sleepytime and Ali-Royal, full siblings by Royal Academy out of his mare Alidiva.  Sleepytime won the 1,000 Guineas 3 months before her year older brother Ali-Royal took the Sussex Stakes, and a year later, their older half-brother Taipan,won Group 1 events in Germany and Italy.

Among the top-class horses Cherry-Downes bought were Coronation Cup winner Be My Native, Mattaboy and Cajun, who won back-to-back runnings of the Middle Park Stakes, in 1980/81.

He also bought 1993 Jersey Stakes, winner Gneiss for Julie Cecil, former wife of Henry and another lifelong friend, and he purchased Regal Beauty in America for Jim Joel. The modestly bred mare went on to produce High Estate, who won the Coventry, Royal Lodge, Vintage and Solario Stakes and King’s Theatre who won the Racing Post Trophy and the King George.

Cherry-Downes was a natural bargain hunter. Once he was sent out with a big order, about $200,000 and the client was very upset when he spent only $20,000!

Racing Post Obituary 2005




Keith Freeman, one of the shrewdest and most successful bloodstock agents of the post-war era, has died at the age of 88.

Tony Morris said, “In my 40-odd year’s experience, there has been no agent more accomplished in the field of pedigree research.  When he went to a sale, he had already spent so much time on the study of the pedigrees of the horses on offer that he had reduced a catalogue of 700 to 20 possible purchases.  Not for him the endless slog of inspections around the paddocks.

Was that an eccentric way of going about things?  Perhaps.  But who bought Blushing Groom as a foal for 16,000gns?  And Grundy as a yearling for 11,000gns?

It was some time later when we realised the genius of a judge who was, unless I am much mistaken, the only agent ever used by the Aga Khan.

Freeman made Carlo Vittadini’s name as familiar in the 1970s as John Magnier’s name is now.  He didn’t just buy him Grundy, a dual Classic winner and conqueror of Bustino in the oft-styled ‘race of the century’ in 1975.  He had already provided Vittadini with 2 year old champion Habat, and had arranged the matings which gave his Italian client Patch and Orange Bay.

In 1975, Grundy won the Epsom and Curragh Derbys, Orange Bay landed the Derby Italiano, and Patch was beaten a short head in the Prix du Jockey-Club. What Freeman did for Vittadini enabled his client to buy the Beech House Stud—now owned by Sheikh Hamdan—in Newmarket.

Freeman formed his agency in April 1946, when it was pretty much a one-man band.  At that time the BBA dominated domestic trading and had just about every overseas market in its control, but Freeman soon provided keen competition, particularly in the export field.

Aside from his remarkable successes in the bloodstock business, Freeman will be remembered by many as a bon viveur who enjoyed fine wine and delighted in the company of beautiful women, and for his wry sense of humour.

He was generous in imparting his wisdom, and none can be more grateful for that than his protégés James Wigan and Grand Pritchard-Gordon, who have both prospered following the grounding they acquired.

Tony Morris Racing Post , 4th October 2005


Next Page

Send mail to the webmaster with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2007