Federation Review

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F.B.A. Review of 2018

The Flat season ended on a high at the QIPCO British Champions Day on 20th October. John Gosden’s trio of winners showed the class of his operation. With two winners already set to stand in Great Britain in 2019 in Cracksman and Roaring Lion, the omens for British breeding and racing look as strong as ever. Stradivarius’ win in the Long Distance final underlined the horses’ stamina in more ways than one having secured the first £1 million Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Bonus and notching up five wins in the season.

With Prince Khalid Abdullah’s sensational filly Enable’s second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win, albeit by a smaller margin, the master of Clarehaven Stables richly deserved his Champion Trainer title.

The 2018 Investec Derby was fittingly won by Godolphin’s homebred son of New Approach, Masar, who sadly missed the rest of the season but is set to return to the track as a four year old.
The 2017/2018 National Hunt season saw the big Irish battalions go head to head and register numerically significant winners both in Britain and Ireland. At the 2018 Cheltenham Festival the Irish trained winners far outnumbered the home side, a trend which looks set to continue. Fortunately Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson kept the flag flying in the shape of Native River and Altior winners of the Timico Gold Cup and Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase respectively.

Tattersalls Ireland and Goffs UK boutique NH sales after racing continued to register strong trade, as the appetite for proven young NH horses and the FBA federation of
bloodstock agents quicker return on investment that they promise continues apace.

For NH Breeders and producers, the Industry has stepped up its investment in support for NH mares and the significant prize money bonuses on offer should boost their appeal to both owners and trainers as the British MOPS Scheme extends its reach to older horses next season.

Tattersalls Yearling Sales posted another record year on top of the successes of 2017. The highlight of Book One was the 3.5 million guinea sale of the Dubawi Colt out of Dar Re Mi, consigned by Watership Down Stud, and full-brother to the subsequent Dubai Dewhurst winner Too Darn Hot. He was far from alone in passing the million guinea figure with 14 yearlings topping a million guineas and a staggering 59 yearlings breaking the 500,000 guineas barrier.

The aggregate for the cumulative October Sales recorded 162,731,400 Million guineas up 3% on 2017, and a record sum for a seventh consecutive year. 2018 had also seen Tattersalls make considerable investment in the facilities at Park Paddocks and this was welcomed by vendors and purchasers alike.

There was a similar record breaking story at Goffs UK in 2018. Their Premier Yearling Sales saw a new top price of £380,000 for Newsells Park Stud’s Gleneages colt, whilst the sales hosted an international clientele and posted an impressive clearance rate of 89% with thirty-seven yearlings sold for in excess of six figure sums.

Tattersalls Breeding stock sales, the traditional end of season sale, saw strong trade continue. Without the stand out dispersal sales of 2017, the appetite to invest at the highest level continued unabated. The aggregate for the four day mares sale totalled 60,712,100 guineas, with 728 lots sold at an average of 83,396 guineas and a median of 20,500.

Tattersalls reported that the results had been boosted by the huge number of overseas buyers with the top 20 lots selling to buyers from Britain, Ireland, China, Dubai, France, Japan, Kuwait and the USA. The strong Australian and New Zealand contingent also made its presence felt.

F.B.A. Review of 2016

2016 saw the much-anticipated racing debut of FRANKEL’S first crop and they did not disappoint, with 30 races won by 18 individuals and six of them being Group winners including Japanese performer SOUL STIRRING, winner of the Gr. 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies. Other first crop stallions that made a mark were SIR PRANCEALOT who put together an impressive tally of winners (52 races) through the second half of the season and HELMET who had plenty of winners including a Group 1 success.

HARZAND was the outstanding mile and a half three year old colt providing the first Epsom Derby winner for his trainer Dermot Weld, and he retires to stand at the Aga Khan Studs, alongside his own sire SEA THE STARS.

For trainer Aidan O’Brien, CHURCHILL rounded off his season with an impressive win in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. As Europe’s Champion 2 year old of 2016, he became yet another in the long line of O’Brien champions as was MINDING, named Horse of the Year at the Cartier Racing Awards. MINDING demonstrated her consistency and class with a total of five Group 1 wins through the season including the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and a win against the colts in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

We often think of Juddmonte as being largely UK based and mainly an owner/breeder operation rarely dipping into the yearling sale market, but ARROGATE a $560,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September Sale for Prince Khalid Abdullah is certainly worth a mention. Racing in the States and proving his worth in an impressive victory over CALAFORNIA CHROME when taking the Breeders Cup Classic, ARROGATE stays in training and has already captured the immensely valuable Pegasus World Cup in January 2017.

Over jumps, ANNIE POWER’s win in the Champion Hurdle was the highlight of the opening day at Cheltenham. She was the first mare to win the race since 1994, being one of only four mares in history to claim the title. SPRINTER SACRE made a remarkable comeback in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, ahead of favourite, UN DE SCEAUX. DON COSSACK claimed the Gold Cup for trainer Gordon Elliot, leaving DJAKADAM again runner up.

Tattersalls 250th anniversary was another record breaking year, with turnover exceeding 265 million Guineas. HAZARIYA, the dam of dual Derby winner HARZAND, was the top seller of the December Mare sale at 2 million Guineas. The new format of the Tattersalls October Sale was well received by vendors and purchasers alike.

Goff’s year was boosted by the Wildenstein dispersal. The DUBAWI ex BEAUTY PARLOUR yearling colt topped the Orby Sale at €1.4 million whilst the November foal sale was topped by a SIYOUNI filly purchased by Shadwell for €775,000. And to round things off BEAUTY PARLOUR herself, in foal to KINGMAN, was the top seller of the mare section, selling for €1.6M to US based White Birch Farm. A large draft from Godolphin also boosted overall figures for the sale.

A note of caution should again be sounded as overproduction appears to be with us once again, particularly at the lower end of the market. Selling lesser foals, with little pedigree to recommend them, proved to be very difficult at all venues in 2016.

F.B.A. Review of 2015

The Anthony Oppenheimer owned and John Gosden trained Golden Horn was the standout horse of 2015 and became the icing on the cake for an amazing resurgence by former champion jockey Frankie Dettori. Rated the best in the world on turf last year, Golden Horn thrilled the crowds winning the Epsom Derby and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

Gleneagles was the top 3yo miler, winning both the 2000 Guineas in Newmarket and the Irish 2000 Guineas along with the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and this time it was world number one jockey Ryan Moore who was associated with these triumphs.

The European Champion first season sire of 2015 went to Zoffany, a Coolmore based son of Dansili. Zoffany’s best progeny so far include Foundation, Illuminate and Waterloo Bridge. Kingman, the Cartier Horse of the Year and 3yo colt of the previous year covered a high class first book of mares of which 80% were black type earners / producers. Frankel’s first yearlings got plenty of attention with his top price being 1.7 million Euros for the produce of Champion Alexander Goldrun.

Over jumps Coneygree impressed all in the Cheltenham Gold Cup making it a very special day for small trainer Mark Bradstock. It was very pleasing to see Sprinter Sacre back to his winning ways after having a long period of time off with a heart defect; he took the Grade 2 Schloer Chase by 14 lengths from his old rival Somersby in November. Twenty times champion jockey Tony McCoy announced his retirement live on Channel 4 racing minutes after winning on Mr Mole at Newbury. A full house at Sandown in April saw an emotional day where McCoy rode his final race on a JP McManus owned horse trained by Jonjo O’Neill.

Tattersalls had another satisfactory year, selling the highest priced yearling and top priced broodmare in the world. The star yearling was a Dubawi filly out of Loveisallyouneed sold for 2.1 million Guineas to MV Magnier, and the mare Hanky Panky in foal to Dubawi sold for 2.7 million Guineas purchased by John Ferguson Bloodstock. Tattersalls purchased the bloodstock auctioneering business of Brightwells Ltd. (known for their Ascot Sales) during the year.

Doncaster Bloodstock Sales had a good year with a rise in high priced yearlings at the Premier Sale, 31 individuals making over £100,000, up on 21 in 2014. The clearance rate at this sale was best of any major 2015 UK yearling sales at 87% and it has since been announced that the sale is being re-branded as Goffs UK.

F.B.A. Review of 2014

The 2014 flat season provided some thrilling racing with a classy collection of three year olds including Kingman, Australia, Taghrooda, The Grey Gatsby, Charm Spirit and Night Of Thunder.

Sea The Stars is looking to be as good at stud as he was on the racetrack with three Group 1 winners amongst his first crop of three year olds amongst a total of ten Stakes winners in 2014. Taghrooda was his first Classic winner romping home in the Oaks before comprehensively beating her elders and colts in the King George VI and Oueen Elizabeth Stakes. The German Derby saw a hugely impressive victory for another offspring of Sea the Stars when the colt Sea the Moon strolled home by many lengths. He is now retired to stand at Kirsten Rausings’s Lanwades Stud, a farm that had plenty of success with its stallions Archipenko, Sir Percy and Aussie Rules.

Plaudits go to the Stanley Estates for producing Derby winner Australia (out of Oaks winner Ouija Board) and to Juddmonte Farm, principally for the mighty Kingman (out of French Guineas winner Zenda), both horses being a successful result for the policy of sending the best to the best. Australia by Galileo and Kingman by Invincible Spirit both look to be exciting stallions for the future.

It was a remarkable season for first crop sires. No fewer than 11 stallions kicked off with a Group winner amongst their first runners including Showcasing, Zebedee, Starspangledbanner, Paco Boy, Lope De Vega, Siyouni, Rip Van Winkle, Equiano, Fast Company, Arcano and Evasive. By the end of the season it was Ballylinch’s first season sire Lope De Vega who had most people talking after his son Belardo, was crowned as Europe’s top two year old having shown a powerful burst of speed to win the Dewhurst Stakes in style.

It has been a breakthrough year for Kodiac as a stallion with many talented performers. He had 43 individual two year old winners in the year, breaking the European record. Kodiac seems to be creating high class talent in his stock, proven by Cartier two year old of the year, Tiggy Wiggy. This young filly showed the crowds what speed is all about with outstanding performances in the Super Sprint, Lowther Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes.

Most sales companies had a good year and in particular Tattersalls who had a record annual turnover for the second consecutive year, and the highest price for a thoroughbred at public auction anywhere in the world when Just The Judge made 4.5million guineas at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale to dissolve a partnership. Another record was broken at Tattersalls when the first ever seven figure breeze-up horse in Europe sold, the smart War Front colt sold by Mocklershill to McCalmont Bloodstock making 1,150,000 guineas. The final day of October Book 1 yearlings included the highest price for a yearling in the world in 2014, when a Galileo colt half brother to Champion Harbinger sold for 2.6 million Guineas. However, it should be noted that there was something of a reality check at the Tattersalls December Sales when trading in mares and fillies suddenly became far more patchy than had been seen for a number of years.

The DBS Premier Sale was healthy and saw a rise in all areas, highest price at £230,000, number of six figure horses (21 compared to 16), 14% rise in average, 8% rise in median and a clearance rate of 88%.

F.B.A. Review of 2013

The 2012 flat racing season was always going to be a tough act to follow after the excitements of Frankel but as ever, new stars appeared on the track and new owners hit the headlines.

Sheikh Joaan Al Thani of Qatar became one of racing’s new superpower owners, with four Group 1 winners. The stand out was star filly Treve (by Motivator) who stormed home to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe having been acquired privately after winning the Prix de Diane for the Head family. Others under the same ownership included Olympic Glory and Toronado.

Sky Lantern lit up the season for Richard Hannon in what was to be his final year training before handing over the reins to his son Richard Jnr. Her Group 1 wins in the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes being a further reminder of just what a master of his craft Hannon Snr has been over so many years.

Although retired from the track, Frankel proved just as professional at stud covering a stunning first book of mares. At the time of writing in the Spring of 2014, his first foals are already hitting the ground with some really good individuals being reported.

Leading sire New Approach had a successful year for Darley, supplying two Classic winners in the 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach and the Oaks winner Talent, whilst Galileo claimed the European sires’ championship for a fourth consecutive year. It was a comeback season for Darley stallion Iffraaj, having Moyglare Stakes winner Rizzena, a Fillies Mile and a Breeders Cup win by Chriselliam and also New Zealand’s filly of the year, Fix.

Whilst new owners and breeders kept the bloodstock markets buoyant, one major player’s exit also caused some ripples in the auction ring. The effervescent Paul Makin decided to disperse his racing and breeding stock and chose Goffs as the venue. In his star studded draft, which included three Group 1 winners, the 2013 Irish Oaks winner Chicquita became the most expensive horse ever sold in Ireland when the hammer fell at €6 million.

Tattersalls also saw records smashed when Sheikh Joaan bought the Galileo sister to Oaks winner, Was, for 5,000,000gns on the second day of the October Yearling Sale Book 1, setting the world record price at auction for a yearling filly.

The Tattersalls December Mare Sale was a memorable occasion with total turnover rising from 44 million guineas in 2012 to a staggering 63 million guineas in 2013. Oaks winner Dancing Rain (in foal to Frankel) made 4,000,000gns to Sheikh Mohammed whilst dual Group 1 winner Immortal Verse sold for 4,700,000gns.

The racing and bloodstock world was greatly saddened by the death of legendary figure, Sir Henry Cecil. Crowned champion trainer on ten occasions and responsible for 25 British Classic winners, he battled cancer for several years before passing away aged 70.

F.B.A. Review of 2012

The previous annual FBA Annual Review started with a tribute to the amazing Frankel and it’s hard not to start this years Review in exactly the same vein. Retired as unbeaten in fourteen starts, Frankel won five more Group 1 races in 2012 generally in the most imperious fashion as he proved to be a supreme champion who learnt to settle and stay further than some would have anticipated. His first race of the year was the Lockinge Stakes where he cruised clear of the field and he then thrilled the Royal Ascot crowds with an eleven length victory in the Queen Anne Stakes. Following this win he was given a rating of 147, the highest mark ever given to a racehorse.

Three more spectacular displays came in the Sussex Stakes, the Juddmonte International and the Champion Stakes before, to no great suprise, it was announced that Frankel would begin his stud career in 2013 at Banstead manor Stud at a fee of £125,000.

Hopes were raised that we might have two superstars performing in the same year and a Triple Crown winner looked a strong possibility with the top class Camelot attempting to be the first since Nijinsky in 1970.

Ably piloted by 19 year old Joseph O’Brien, Camelot won the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Irish Derby but threw in a lacklustre performance when going for the final leg of the Triple Crown in the St Leger when well beaten by the outsider Encke.

Coolmore Stud suffered a loss in March when Camelot’s sire (and sire of three other Derby winners) Montjeu died at the relatively early age of sixteen. Another sad loss amongst the stallions was three time Champion sire Selkirk, the sire of 15 individual Group 1 winners.

Jim Bolger yet again provided Europe’s top rated two year old, sending out Dawn Approach to be unbeaten in six starts, including the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien Stakes and the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes. Not Surprisingly, he is now the market leader for this years 2000 Guineas.

Reckless Abandon was another tremendous unbeaten two year old, giving trainer Clive Cox and connections the buzz of winning two Group One events, the Middle Park Stakes and the Prix Morny.

Australian superstar Black Caviar made her European appearance at Royal Ascot in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes, winning her twenty second consecutive race when narrowly holding on from Moonlight Cloud with her rider appearing to have relaxed close to the winning post. Winning jockey Luke Nolen was ashen faced in post-raced interviews as he realised how close he had come to causing Australia’s heoine to be beaten on the biggest of world stages.

Over the jumps Sprinter Sacre, known as the ’Black Aeroplane’ holds the crown for Nicky Henderson having six wins from six starts over fences, one of the most impressive was a 15 length win in the Tingle Creek Chase beating the great Sanctuaire. Synchronised was the winner of the Gold Cup and then sadly had a fatal injury in the Grand National. Record breaking Kauto Star, who won the King George VI Chase five times retired from racing to head into a dressage career.

Most sales companies had another good year and in particular Tattersalls who bought in a record turnover for a European Yearling Sale with a turnover of 68,102,500 Guineas at the October Part 1 Sale, with the top lot, a three parts brother to Derby winner Authorized, being sold for 2,500,000 million Guineas to Sheik Fahad Al Thani, one of the Qatar royal family who are now making such a huge impact on European racing and tempoarrily at least, taking some of the spotlight off the Maktoum family from Dubai.

F.B.A. Review of 2011

2011 will remain in most people’s memory as the year that Frankel came to dominate British racing in a way that we have not seen since the days of Brigadier Gerard, and to crown an amazing resurgence in the fortunes of Sir Henry Cecil. Five victories came at Group 1 level including a facile win in the 2000 Guineas for the unbeaten son of Galileo.

Frankel’s impact on racing is perhaps even more remarkable for being only two years after we saw what we thought was a once in a generation performer in Sea The Stars, a truly great racehorse who won six Group 1 races in 2009 including an unprecedented Guineas-Derby-Arc treble. Sea The Stars did however, also leave his mark on 2011 with his first crop of foals being sold at auction and bringing record prices.

Some of the other big race winners were left slightly in Frankel’s shadow, not least the Derby winner Pour Moi whose Epsom victory may be best remembered for his young French jockey’s out of the saddle celebrations before the horse had even crossed the finishing line. Pour Moi was sadly not seen out after Epsom and did not have the opportunity to embellish his reputation.

And word has it that there may be yet another superstar waiting in the wings, namely Camelot trained by Aidan O’Brien who was an easy winner of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at the end of the year.

2011 saw Hayley Turner ride her first Group 1 winner on the David Simcock trained sprinter Dream Ahead in the July Cup. This made her the first-ever woman to ride a Group 1 winner outright in Britain and she quickly followed this up with a second in the Nunthorpe Stakes on the Michael Bell trained Margot Did.

Over the jumps there was a new Gold Cup winner crowned, the six year old Long Run beat former champions Kauto Star and Denman. Kauto Star was however back to his brilliant best at the start of the 2011/12 season with an emphatic victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock before going on to win his record breaking fifth King George at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, days before his twelfth birthday. With Denman now enjoying retirement it will be a match to savour between Long Run and Kauto Star come Cheltenham in March. Big Buck’s will also be vying for his fourth consecutive World Hurdle.

Racing sadly said goodbye to two legends of the sport in the space of 24 hours in 2011, both Michael Jarvis and Ginger McCain lost their battles with long term illness. Quite different personalities but nonetheless both major contributors to the sport and will be sorely missed.

Yet again bloodstock sales confounded logic. Despite already poor prize money falling even further, the yearling sales were remarkably strong, and in particular Tattersalls October Yearlings Book 1 and 2.

F.B.A. Review of 2010

After Sea The Stars in 2009, it was always going to be a tough act to follow but some big results were achieved on the racecourse in 2010 nonetheless. Newmarket had a great year with the Oaks, Derby, St Leger and King George plus the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe all being won by Newmarket based trainers. We will probably look back on 2010 as the year when Frankel emerged as a potential all time great. It’s wonderful to see Henry Cecil back at the top, despite losing the 1,000 gns on disqualification he had a sensational year thereafter with Group 1 winners Frankel, Midday and Twice Over.

Sir Michael Stoute accounted for the Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Workforce and Harbinger won a record breaking King George smashing the course record and winning by 11 lengths. Sadly that proved to be his last race due to injury but Workforce stays in training and is one to look forward to. His sire King’s Best had a Derby double with Eishin Flash also winning the Japan Derby.

In the fillies ranks Snow Fairy was the standout. By Intikhab and bought back for €1,800 as a yearling she has now amassed a total prize-money of just over £2 million. She won the English and Irish Oaks before winning two further Group 1’s in Japan and Hong Kong and now heads to Dubai.

Snow Fairy gave Ryan Moore his first Classic winner, which was quickly followed by his second the following day when Workforce won the Derby. The Flat Jockey’s Championship went right to the wire with a ding dong battle between Paul Hanagan and Richard Hughes. Finally decided on the final day of the season, Hanagan came out on top with 191 winners which included his first Group 1 winner. Richard Hannon had a phenomenal year sending out 214 winners and winning prize money of £3.25 million, he was crowned Champion Trainer for the second time in 2010.

Goldikova won her third consecutive Breeders Cup Mile, the only horse ever to do so. Her Group 1 race tally has now reached 12 which puts her above Miesque as the only European trained horse to have won more than ten Group 1 races. Now a six year old she stays in training in 2011.

Over the jumps Tony McCoy completed his now perfect CV by winning his first Grand National on Don’t Push It for JP McManus and Jonjo O’Neill. His amazing achievements were recognised when he was awarded Sports Personality of the Year in December. There was a new Gold Cup winner crowned in Imperial Commander and Champion Hurdler in Binocular.

F.B.A. Review of 2009

The majority of European sales held up well throughout 2009 given the current world economy, certainly better than those in the USA where steep declines in bloodstock values demonstrated a closer linkage to general economic recession.

Particular mention should go to French sale company Arqana and the re-vamped management with sales continuing to go from strength to strength. The substantial improvements planned for the Deauville sales complex bodes well for the future of the company with its town centre location.

2009 saw the death of racing legend Vincent O’Brien who at the age of 92 passed away poignantly during Derby week. O’Brien was arguably the greatest racehorse trainer in the history of the sport with an unequalled record under both National Hunt and then the Flat, winning 4 Cheltenham Gold Cups, 3 Champion Hurdles and 3 consecutive Grand Nationals, followed by 27 Irish Classics, 3 ‘Arcs’ and 16 English Classics including 6 Epsom Derbies.

There was also the sad loss of outstanding racehorse and broodmare Urban Sea who died from complications whilst foaling. An ‘Arc’ winner herself she had produced the Classic winner and leading sire Galileo as well as two other Group 1 winners but the best was still to come after her death with her extraordinary son Sea The Stars. A truly remarkable racehorse he was beautifully handled by John Oxx to win six Group 1 races in as many months including an unprecedented Guineas-Derby-Arc treble. Sea The Stars is now resident at The Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud where he will start his new career. His jockey Mick Kinane chose the moment following those victories to call time on his own 34 year career in the saddle at the end of the season.

Other memorable performances included the Michael Bell trained filly Sariska completing the Oaks double by winning at Epsom and The Curragh. Yeats won a record-breaking fourth Ascot Gold Cup confirming himself as arguably the greatest stayer of all time. Superstar filly Zenyatta produced an extraordinary performance to ‘beat the boys’ and remain unbeaten in the Breeders Cup Classic, but was still beaten to the Eclipse award by that other superstar filly Rachel Alexander. St Nicholas Abbey was the standout 2yo of the season winning all three of his starts culminating in an extremely impressive display in the Racing Post Trophy confirming his place at the head of the market for the 2010 Derby.

The ongoing battle between the Paul Nicholls trained pair Kauto Star and Denman continued as the highlight of the National Hunt world. Kauto Star broke Desert Orchid’s record by winning his fourth consecutive King George and Denman won the Hennessy Gold Cup for the second time with a hugely impressive weight carrying performance confirming that he is right back to his best.

F.B.A. Review of 2008

Our warnings of overproduction and lack of buyers for low-grade horses contained in the Review of 2007 came true in no uncertain terms in the past twelve months. But we cannot claim that we knew that the world was about to be engulfed the greatest economic crisis of our generation, which would inevitably impact on world bloodstock markets

Yet even as late as August at the Arqana sale in Deauville, the yearling market was still holding up, but that sale may have owed more to the energy of the new Arqana management team which produced new buyers and some solid results.

Thereafter through the year it was pretty much downhill all the way. The lower end of the horse market was as to be expected, badly hit with some horrendous figures being returned at a number of sales. Ireland after a number of boom years and with a relatively small economy was particularly badly hit by the economic downturn and horse sales there were some of the worst affected.

But with the European (and even world bloodstock markets) all being interconnected to some degree, and with the economic downturn going global, no bloodstock market was likely to escape. However, some of the falls in gross sales and average prices could be attributed to the lack of quality offered at auction, particularly with breeding stock sales as owners elected to hold on to quality mares rather than face an uncertain market. This seemed to be particularly true of the Keeneland November 2008 and January 2009 sales.

Aside from all the economic gloom there were a number of memorable performances on the racecourse to make 2008 stick in our memories for the right reasons. The battles between Henrythenavigator and Raven’s Pass lasted right through the season whilst trainers Aiden O’Brien and Jim Bolger both enjoyed remarkable years, the latter in particular when he produced the not entirely easy New Approach to win the Derby. The Breeders Cup at Santa Anita was a tremendous event for the Europeans and the racing on the new artificial surface seemed to our eyes to be more exciting than the regular slog on the old American “dirt” surface. Raven’s Pass coming from behind to take the Breeders Cup Classic was particularly memorable.

Zarkava was one of the best fillies seen in many years culminating in her Arc victory, whilst Curlin in the USA and Dubai continued to show what a champion he was. Interestingly, both these great horses were bred from unraced mares, to confirm there are no hard and fast rules about breeding racehorses. Having said that, the economic downturn will surely bring harsh reality to the breeding world and reduce the number of low class mares being sent to cheap stallions.

F.B.A. Review of 2007

At times through the year, world bloodstock markets looked to be finally running out of steam, but the top end would keep producing some stunning sales, which would take the headlines and paper over some of the cracks.

The Swettenham dispersal in both Europe and America produced a number of staggering prices to remind us that there is nothing quite like a dispersal of famous families at public auction to bring out the big hitters.

A polarised market is fast developing with the top end still attracting the wealthy rich whilst overproduction is emphasising the lack of buyers for poor to medium quality stock. With pitiful prize money in England and the threat to ban poor quality horses entirely from racetracks, is it surprising that the lower end of the bloodstock market is in trouble.

Overproduction has been widely predicted for some years and excess numbers of thoroughbreds are now a reality, rather than just an impending threat.

It’s seems to be hard to get breeders to take their mares “out of production”, often a euphemism for putting down a poor quality animal. If that particular pill is too difficult to swallow, breeders should not introduce moderate young fillies to the broodmare ranks just for the sake of it, and they could stop covering ordinary mares late in the breeding season. What good does it achieve to have a moderate mare with a 5th June service date to a cheap stallion?

The year will be remembered by many as the year of the Kieran Fallon trial, which ended in complete disarray for the prosecution. Within hours of his acquittal, the racing world was stunned to discover that Fallon was already facing the prospect of a second lengthy ban for drugs offences and it was soon confirmed that the jockey who had only recently won the ‘Arc’ on Dylan Thomas was to lose his license for eighteen months.

Peter Chapple-Hyam confirmed he was firmly back at the top of the training tree following an excellent 2006, when saddling Authorized to win the Derby (Frankie Dettori’s first win) and a stunning win in the Juddmonte at York.

The FBA welcomed new member Richard Venn. Former FBA member John Corbett, a well respected judge of a horse, died during the year.

F.B.A. Review of 2006

Bloodstock markets worldwide continued their remarkable advances culminating in some extraordinary individual prices at Tattersalls December sales. Very few people can remember the last time that the world record price for a broodmare was set at Tattersalls rather than in the USA at Keeneland.

During the course of the year we welcomed two new members, namely Tom Pritchard-Gordon, who is now working alongside his father Grant, and Henrietta Michael who is well known throughout racing having worked for Charlie Gordon–Watson and Darley. Johnny McKeever resigned from the Council and from the position of Vice-Chairman. Richard Frisby was elected to the post of Vice-Chairman and Oliver St Lawrence joined the Council.

2006 will be remembered as the year when the new Ascot grandstand opened on time for the Royal meeting and provides racing with a stunning new visual statement.

There were a number of memorable performances by the likes of Ouija Board, George Washington, Sir Percy, Alexandrova and Rail Link. It was also good to see Henry Cecil return to Group 1-winning form with Passage of Time.

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

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.