The 2007 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) annual awards acknowledge the notable achievements of a diverse selection of British breeders and 13 of the 15 are announced today, Sunday, December 9, 2007.
David and Patricia Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud has, for the second successive year, won the Queen’s Silver Cup, awarded to the leading British-based Breeder (Flat) who has accrued the most prize money in Great Britain and Ireland from mares normally resident in the UK.
Cheveley Park Stud ended the domination of the Maktoum and Khalid Abdullah studs when taking this prize for the first time in 2006.
Prime among the contributors to Cheveley Park Stud’s success this year are the four-year-old mare Echelon, who carried the stud’s silks to victory in the Group One Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Group One St James’s Palace Stakes hero Excellent Art.
A fantastic year for Cheveley Park Stud also saw its prolific stallion Pivotal consolidate his position as the top British-based stallion. The son of Polar Falcon takes his second successive Barleythorpe Cup for the leading British-based sire (Flat) in terms of individual winners. Pivotal sired 66 individual winners of 99 races in 2007, ahead of his nearest rival Royal Applause who had 58 winners.
The Cheveley Park Stud stallion, whose leading performer was the three-year-old colt Excellent Art, was also awarded the BBA Silver Cigar Box, given to the leading British-based stallion based on earnings.
The home-bred stallion also won both prestigious awards in 2004 and thus completes the double for a second time.
Deb’s Ball was a hardy and classy customer on the northern jump circuit, landing her biggest win in the 1993 Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle for trainer Dudley Moffatt, and the late mare is awarded the Dudgeon Cup for the National Hunt Broodmare of the Year.
Deb’s Ball’s eight-year-old Weld gelding Holt Weld, trained by Ferdy Murphy, became the first horse to pull off the Scottish Grand National/Betfred Gold Cup double in the spring, while her Prince Daniel daughter Only Millie scored over hurdles. Dudley Moffatt, and two associates bred both horses under the Cartmel Bloodstock banner.
Moffat purchased the ultra-tough mare as a three-year-old and was on hand at the birth of all bar one of her foals.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the award - Deb’s Ball was a lovely mare. She died earlier this year in Northumberland where we had sent her for a bit of a change. She was with Ann Hamilton who is a permit holder and a friend of mine.
“I think she ran once for Tommy Stack and then we bought her privately. Jimmy, my son, who was over there learning the business with Tommy, rang me and said that there was a really nice three-year-old filly there who was coming on the market. We went over, liked her and bought her.
“She was a wonderful mare and I rode her all the time myself. She wasn’t intensively trained - I used to hack her through the woods and up on the fells. She’d have the occasional bit of strong work, and it was an unusual programme for training a horse but it seemed to suit her.
“She was very exciting to watch and would just dawdle along at the back, then all of a sudden she would pick up with a wet sail at the end of the race. She had legs like iron bars and never had any injuries.
“It was a super day when she beat Sweet Duke to win the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby but I think after that she thought, well I’ve done enough for you, I’m not going to bother much more.
“I was worried she might hurt herself as she never took enough care with her jumping and I thought she would make a super broodmare, so we decided to breed from her.
“She got Ball Games who only won sellers but he won three times and was placed several times, and Deb’s Son won a couple, and of course there’s Hot Weld.
“Hot Weld has a peculiar story behind him. Deb’s Ball was sent to be covered by Seymour Hicks but he wasn’t doing his job properly. It was getting a bit late, so I asked Roy Edwards what else he had there and he said that he had Weld, who was an out and out stayer, so I went down to see him and he was a lovely big horse. Rather than ship the mare somewhere else and make all the arrangements again, I told him to cover her with Weld and Hot Weld was the outcome.
“We foaled him here at Cartmel and he was a nice big foal. He made 10,000 guineas at Doncaster as a yearling. Tom Tate bought Hot Weld and trained him to finish second in a bumper at Carlisle. Hot Weld went back to the sales and made 45,000 guineas.
“He was always a nice big horse and he’s done very well. I often chat to Ferdy about the horse and he tells me Hot Weld can’t go a yard on soft ground.
“Deb’s Ball has a filly called Itstooearly trained by Nigel Hawke - she’s a lovely young filly. She also has a nice filly by Karinga Bay up in Northumberland with Ann Hamilton. We semi-retired the mare and said to Ann that if she wanted to a take a foal from her then do, and she got this Karinga Bay filly.
“Only Millie won at Kelso in May, then had an injury and she’s now in foal, but I don’t have anything to do with that one now. Aileen Milligan, who was involved in Cartmel Bloodstock, has a half-share in her with Jimmy, so they’re continuing the line.
“Cartmel Bloodstock itself consisted of Aileen Milligan, Margaret Faragher and myself, as well as Brian Clarke, who was involved in the early days but dropped out of the consortium.”
Many knowledgeable judges tipped Oasis Dream to be the dominant freshman sire in 2007 and they have been proved right, with the Juddmonte home-bred taking the Tattersalls’ Silver Salver for the leading first season British-based sire.
Oasis Dream joins his predecessors Warning and Zafonic in gaining the award for Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte, with earnings of £347,455.
The 2003 champion sprinter was responsible, among others, for Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes heroine Visit and Group Three Cornwallis Stakes victor Captain Gerrard.
The 1991 French 1,000 Guineas and Prix De La Foret winner Danseuse Du Soir takes the British-based Broodmare of the Year Award - the HJ Joel Silver Salver - thanks to the late season triumphs of her Fantastic Light juvenile Scintillo, who captured the Group One Gran Criterium at San Siro, Italy, in October, and her Barathea four-year-old Jumbajukiba, who scored in the Group Three Solonaway Stakes at the Curragh the previous month.
The 19-year-old mare, who raced for the late Daniel Wildenstein, is resident at Woodcote Stud in Epsom which is managed by Barry Reilly.
The TBA Silver Rose Bowl is a discretionary award for the Flat Breeder of the Year and goes to Southcourt Stud in Bedfordshire, owned by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and his sister Renee Robeson.
The award is in large part down to the exploits of the home-bred Notnowcato, who runs in the colours of Sir Evelyn’s sons Anthony and David de Rothschild. The admirable five-year-old won two Group Ones this year, the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland and the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. The first victory saw him defeat Dylan Thomas and Youmzain, who subsequently finished first and second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and, brilliantly ridden by Ryan Moore in the latter race, Notnowcato came over the stands’ rails by himself and ran on strongly to beat Derby winner Authorized and George Washington.
Octogenarian owner/breeder Bridget Swire is the worthy recipient of the TBA Silver Salver special merit award, following her biggest success with her home-bred sprinter Sakhee’s Secret, who blitzed to a brilliant triumph in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
The Hughie Morrison-trained Sakhee’s Secret is one of seven individual winners out of the Swire-owned mare Palace Street who has also produced the home-bred multiple Listed winner Palace Affair. Palace Street was bought at the end of her two-year-old career in 1989 for 145,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Sales and went on to win two Listed races before being retired.
Miss Swire, a long-time patron of retired trainer Toby Balding and his successor Jonathan Geake, boards her mares at Malcolm and Jackie Humby’s Redenham Park Stud near Andover in Dorset.
The Small Breeder of the Year Award - Langham Cup - this year is won by Peter Onslow whose Sanfield Stud at Leyland, Lancashire, produced two individual Group winners.
The Bryan Smart-trained Moorhouse Lad won the Group Three King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, while the James Given-trained Trick Or Treat gained a deserved victory in the Group Three Princess Royal Stakes at Ascot in October, having finished third to Peeping Fawn in the Group One Yorkshire Oaks earlier in the campaign.
Moorhouse Lad is out of the Clantime mare Record Time, who has also produced the James Given-trained three-year-old filly Off The Record, a four-time winner on the all-weather in the winter of 2006/2007.
Trick Or Treat’s dam, Trick Of Ace by Clever Trick, was a four-time winner in the US.
“I’m delighted to get the award,“ said Onslow. “It came as a surprise when I received the notification in the post. I’ve been involved in racing this time around for 13 or 14 years and have had the stud for just over 10 years, so this comes as an honour.
“I had been involved in racehorses in my early 20s but decided I would have to be a very rich man to have racehorses, so I moved into greyhounds for quite some time and won a lot of things. I had about 100 greyhounds and eight stud dogs. I got a bit fed up with that and thought, well I can afford one horse instead of 100 greyhounds and that’s how it all started. I already had the farm and just swapped it over from greyhounds to horses.
“We had some very good dogs and won the Breeders’ Forum and the Guineas. They all carried the Portman prefix and Portman Rats was a very fast dog.
“We have six mares at the stud as a rule but I’ve splashed out - I’ve just been over to Keeneland and bought another four in partnership, so we will have nine or 10 on the stud for next year.
“We keep the fillies and I have six in training with James Given. We’ve been with him since he started and had the Group Three winner Jessica’s Dream, who did well for us. This year we had Folga whom we bred. She was second to Enticing in a listed race.
“We also have Off The Record with James who is another out of Record Time, by Desert Style - he’s rated 97 and we’re hoping he can make Group class as he’s an entire, unlike his half-brother Moorhouse Lad.
“He’s a nice horse and the reason I kept him is that he broke a splint bone a week before he was due to go to the St Leger sale. He managed to win as a two-year-old even though he was never quite right and he still wasn’t right this season but he has settled down and is moving better than ever. He’s a bull of a horse and if he can pinch a Group Three he could be a nice stallion prospect.
“I still own Trick Or Treat and I was over the moon with her win in the Princess Royal Stakes at Ascot. It was the first time in the year that she got the soft ground she needed. She had already run third in the Yorkshire Oaks and has been a revelation for us.
“She’s a good mare and is booked to Manduro next year so we are looking forward to having her at home and hopefully producing some goodies early in 2009.
“I sold her dam Trick Of Ace in foal to Noverre. Unfortunately, that one has been pretty useless, but I bought Trick Or Treat’s yearling half-sister by Mark Of Esteem at Doncaster and she’s a lovely big filly, so I’m looking forward to that.
“Moorhouse Lad is a fast horse and his dam Record Time was extremely fast. She beat Bahamian Bounty - but she was always lame. I took her to Leahurst when she retired and she had 13 chips in her knees. The vet who operated said six of those had reattached, so how on earth she ever won a race I’ve no idea.
“Jack Berry always said that Bella Travaille, her grand-dam, was the fastest horse he had in his stable. It’s a very fast mare line so it’s just a case of upgrading a little bit. Some northern breeders tend to go to the nearest, cheapest fast horse instead of trying to be a bit experimental and putting their mares to something with a bit more quality.
“I still have Record Time, who is in foal to Royal Applause, and she has a Makbul foal filly on the ground who is absolutely gorgeous.”
A serious fall ended Terry Albone’s career as a jump jockey and, after a life spent in and around Newmarket in racing stables and stud farms, he becomes the deserving inaugural winner of the TBA Annual Stud Staff Award.
Terry is stud groom to Mr and Mrs Denis Haynes of Wretham Stud near Thetford, where he cares for the well-being of eight mares, including those belonging to Mrs Haynes’ sister, Bridget Clark, who trades as Girsonfield Ltd.
The new award recognises the hard work of someone who works on a British stud and Terry Albone will receive a cheque for £1,000 from New England Stud which sponsors the award.
The Whitbread Silver Salver for the leading British-based National Hunt stallion (earnings) this year goes to Sir Harry Lewis who has sired 15 winners of 22 races for £376,579, including top hurdler Mighty Man and Burntoakboy, who captured the Grade Three Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 23-year-old Alleged stallion stands at Wood Farm Stud under the watch of Bill Bromley, whose father Cecil collected the initial award 25 years ago with the Cambridgeshire stud’s Space King.
The leading active British-based stallion in terms of individual chase wins receives the Horse & Hound Cup and this award goes to Shade Oak Stud for the eighth successive year, with Alflora taking the prize for the fourth year in a row.
The 18-year-old stallion shared the accolade in 2004/2005 with stud companion Rakaposhi King, but this season he again stood supreme with 15 individual winners of 23 chases and £186,034.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Silver Salver for outstanding contribution to National Hunt Racing and breeding is awarded to Mercy Rimell.
Mrs Rimell was a key component in the Kinnersley Stable success story as assistant to her late husband Fred, before taking over the licence at the famous training establishment upon his death in 1981.
She enjoyed great success as a trainer through the 1980s, saddling a host of big-race winners including Gaye Brief to win the 1983 Champion Hurdle, until her retirement in 1989. Her home-bred Simon, trained at Kinnersley by John Spearing, is out of an own sister to Gaye Brief and this year carried her colours to success in the Sky Bet Chase at Southwell and the Racing Post Chase at Kempton.
Mrs Rimell is the mother of Scarlett Knipe of Cobhall Stud as well as the grandmother of Mark Rimell, the trainer of smart chasers Oneway and Crossbow Creek, and Katie Rimell, who won the 1989 Christie’s Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham on Three Counties.
The Awards will be presented at the TBA Awards Dinner at the Churchill Hotel in London on the evening of Tuesday, January 8, 2008, when the winners of two special awards for contributions to the British Breeding Industry - the Andrew Devonshire and Dominion Awards - are announced.
2007 THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS’ ASSOCIATION AWARDS
TBA Silver Salver (Special Merit) - Bridget Swire
The Langham Cup (Small Breeder of the Year) - Peter Onslow
Queen’s Silver Cup (Leading British-based Breeder - Flat earnings) - Cheveley Park Stud