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Another string to Gredleys’ bow as Allmankind lands Grade 1 honours

Father and son duo Bill and Tim Gredley enjoyed a rare top-level National Hunt victory on Friday as homebred ALLMANKIND (GB) led exuberantly from pillar to post to land the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow Racecourse in scintillating style.

The family’s Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs in Newmarket, whose band of around 30 broodmares includes homebred 2018 Group 1 Prix Morny winner PRETTY POLLYANNA (GB), is a traditional Flat breeding operation. Accordingly, Allmankind began his career under the tutelage of Michael Bell, trainer of the Gredleys’ Group 1 winning stayer BIG ORANGE (GB).

Yet despite showing plenty of ability at home, Allmankind was unable to deliver on the track, due to his seeming inability to settle, and it was after his appearance in a Class 2 handicap over 1m2f at Newmarket Racecourses’ July Festival that the idea occurred to Tim to send the son of Lanwades Stud stallion SEA THE MOON to long-time friend Dan Skelton.

Tim explained to Great British Racing International after the race on Friday:

‘It was as much of an experiment as anything else. We knew he had an engine, but I was just hoping that the hurdles might give him something to concentrate on and break up the race a little bit, because when he was on the Flat he was just getting keener and keener. We ran him at Newmarket in a handicap and I was expecting him to run well and he resorted to his usual tactics of running blind, blew himself up early and got tailed off.

‘So instantly I spoke to my father and said “look, are you happy to me to cut him and send him to the Skeltons?” because we weren’t really getting anywhere, and really just hoped that the hurdles would be that ingredient to focus him during the race.’

The gelding certainly retains plenty of his enthusiasm, exemplified by his pulling into the home straight several lengths clear of his nearest rival, eventual runner-up Cerberus, but it appears that obstacles have indeed been a revelation for the three-year-old.

What’s more, this recent success has given the owner-breeders fresh food for thought when it comes to their middle-distance horses.

‘The jumping has come as a bit of an afterthought, but it’s given us a shake to realise that there’s another string to our bow if things don’t quite work out for those middle-distance pedigrees,’ explained Tim.

‘It’s a nice option to have, instead of putting them through the Horses-In-Training Sale as a three-year-old because they’re not quite working out, we can maybe hang on to them and send them to Dan to go jumping.

‘I’m not saying it’s going to happen with all of them, it might just happen for one or two a year. They’ve got to fit the profile, but for sure it’s something we’ll definitely look at now. It’s a nice new avenue open to us.’

Naturally, as owner-breeders, the Gredleys are relishing the prospect of more success with the offspring of the dam of Allmankind, WEMYSS BAY (GB), who Bill picked up for 40,000 guineas at the 2014 Tattersalls December Mares Sale.

“It’s amazing to have Group 1 or Grade 1 winners, but to have the family is great. We’ve got a full-sister foal, which is quite exciting, and she’ll go back to Sea The Moon because it obviously works.

“Funnily enough my father went really nap on Sea The Moon a few years ago before he’d become the popular stallion he is today, so we’ve got quite a lot of good yearling stock at ours, which is exciting.”

Keen to acknowledge the team responsible for rearing their stock, Tim added on behalf of him and his father:

“I just want to thank all the team at Stetchworth Park, because they do a great job foaling and raising all these horses and Allmankind is just one of them.”