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Great British Bonus scheme hits magic million milestone

The new Great British Bonus (GBB) incentive scheme has smashed through the £1 million bonus prize money barrier.

Since its launch just five months ago, the scheme has already had a major impact on every level of the racing and breeding industry.

Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and stable staff have all benefited from the GBB, which has so far recorded 63 successes, including six multiple winners.

Winners have come from all parts of the industry, including breeders with just one mare and owners who simply have a share in a pub syndicate racehorse.

“We are thrilled to have broken the magic million pound barrier of distributed bonuses and are delighted the scheme has achieved all its ambitions in reaching every corner of the racing and breeding industry,” said scheme manager, Grant Pritchard-Gordon.

“GBB is a valuable financial incentive, and has never been more needed than at this time. It is helping to reward and retain owners in the sport, as well as providing additional income and incentive for breeders, trainers, jockeys and stable staff. Many yards have won multiple bonuses, including several who have won four or more, reinforcing the value and importance of this scheme for British racing.”

As well as paying out more than £1 million in prize money, the scheme has proved its value in the sales ring.

At the yearling sales up to 2nd October 2020, 95 GBB fillies were offered with total gross sales of over £2 million, averaging £25,700 per filly and providing an 82% clearance rate.

At the Goffs UK August Yearling Sale, GBB-registered fillies sold for 40 per cent more than non-registered GBB-eligible fillies.

National Hunt sales have also been influenced, with Goffs UK’s NH Store sale offering 23 GBB-eligible mares, with an average price of £24,500. They also provided the two top lots at £130,000 and £70,000, with an overall clearance rate of 77%.

Nick Bradley, who has bought the highest number of GBB-eligible yearling fillies during the recent sales, said: “We targeted the GBB scheme because it raises prize money levels above the likes of Ireland and France.

“I can only speak for myself and my owners, but the GBB scheme gives me bigger budgets to spend on the GB-bred fillies when selecting my yearlings. The GB Bonus scheme is a big factor in my thoughts at the sales ring and within day-to-day race planning.”

With 2019 registration now closed, the final deadline to register eligible 2020 filly foals is Saturday 31st October 2020. Register your 2020 filly here.

Still have questions about the Great British Bonus? Find the answers here.

Subjectivist does Mascalls Stud proud as second Group 1 winner in three years

SUBJECTIVIST (GB) became the latest Group 1 winning flag-bearer for breeder Susan Hearn’s Mascalls Stud in Essex, which she owns with husband Barry, when winning the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The colt, who has won the Listed Glasgow Stakes and Group 3 March Stakes already this season, gamely made all to deliver by two lengths on just his second start in Group 1 company. In behind him on this occasion were top-flight winners HOLDTHASIGREEN and PRINCESS ZOE.

The result represented trainer Mark Johnston’s second Group 1 victory on French soil in as many days, after GEAR UP’s victory in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud on Saturday.

Owned by Dr Jim Walker, Subjectivist is the latest success story for Hearn’s increasingly valuable broodmare RECKONING, who was acquired by the breeder for 160,000 guineas in foal to DAWN APPROACH at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in 2014.

While the resulting filly, DAWN OF RECKONING (GB), was ultimately unsuccessful on the track, it did not take long for the progeny of Reckoning to exhibit her potential as a broodmare.

Her second offspring, SIR RON PRIESTLEY (GB), progressed rapidly through the grades last year for Johnston and owner Paul Dean, winning five races including – like his half-brother after him – the March Stakes. The colt rounded off his season with a second-place finish in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes.

Since then, Reckoning has continued to deliver for Mascalls Stud, producing promising two-year-old ALBA ROSE (GB), a yearling filly by ULYSSES who was bought back by Hearn for 140,000 guineas at Tattersalls Book 2 earlier this month, and a ROARING LION colt foal who will be sent to the yearling sales in 2021. She is currently carrying to TOO DARN HOT (GB).

Hearn, who has been breeding racehorses from just a handful of mares since the early 1980s, told GBRI on Sunday afternoon:

“Two Group 1 winners in three years from a small stud like me, I’m very proud of that. I’ve had Listed winners and Group placed over the years, but this would be my best achievement. Group 1 is the ultimate that we all strive for, so I’m very proud today. It’s a nice way to end the season.”

Nevertheless, Hearn has her sights on greater accolades in the future. She comments:

“Instead of selling all these Group winners, I’d like to actually have a Group winner as an owner-breeder. It’s a bit frustrating really. To own and breed is the ultimate fun, so that is my ambition for next year. 

“I would have sold her [the Ulysses yearling] for a bit more money but I decided to buy her back, and I’ve actually sent her to Mark Johnston who was the underbidder anyway, so he was pleased. He’s done so well with the family, I thought it was the obvious choice really. It would just be my luck if she weren’t any good, but that’s three good horses in a row she’s produced now.”

Far from relying on the one family, Hearn is also looking forward to racing and breeding from the hard-earned half-sister to 2018 Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes winner URBAN FOX (GB), who she also bred. She says:

“That mare had never had another filly since, and I was desperate to get a filly out of her and for about three years running I didn’t get one. And then this year, I got one. I went to OASIS DREAM (GB) to get a nice broodmare sire and I’ve got a very nice filly out of her to breed from. Obviously, I’ll race her and hopefully she’ll win something, and I can then breed from her.”

Glen Shiel spearheads Champion Day for Cheveley Park Stud’s Pivotal

GLEN SHIEL (GB), a six-year-old son of Cheveley Park Stud’s brilliant sire PIVOTAL (GB), created racing history in the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Ascot, providing jockey Hollie Doyle and trainer Archie Watson with their first Group 1 winner.

In a thrilling finish, Glen Shiel got his head down on the line to claim a narrow triumph over the Car Colston Hall Stud-bred BRANDO (GB) in a photo finish. It was a fantastic result for the 27-year-old Pivotal who is also the sire of Brando and the broodmare sire of ONE MASTER (GB) who finished third making it a 1-2-3 for British-bred runners in the first Group 1 on the card.

The victory was the start of a brilliant afternoon for Pivotal whose son ADDEYBB, trained in Newmarket by William Haggas for Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, won his third Group 1 in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Pivotal also made his presence felt in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO, as winner THE REVENANT (GB), who was also born in Britain, is out of a mare by Pivotal’s Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes winning son EXCELLENT ART (GB) and ROSEMAN, who was runner-up to The Revenant, has Pivotal as his broodmare sire.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, reflecting on the afternoon and Pivotal’s wonderful career, said:

“It’s quite something. It has exceeded all expectations, not only for ourselves, but for the industry as a whole. When you think of the fact that we were lucky enough to have five or six colts from the first crop and fortunately we decided to keep Pivotal and race him and the rest were all offered as part of the policy to offer the colts. It was a great relief that we did keep him.

 “He gave the Thompsons their very first Group 1 winner in the red, white and blue colours at York and he won the King’s Stand Stakes very impressively at Royal Ascot but I don’t think anybody really expected to him to do what he has done. He started off at £6,000 and even dropped down to £3,000 in his third year and then the horses started running.”

The prevailing ground conditions at Ascot and the age profile of Pivotal’s two Group 1 winners highlighted two important traits that he passes on to his offspring, Richardson remarked.

“Many of his stock prefer some ease in the ground, as highlighted again today, and there are many of his stock that are still running although they may be slightly of an age.

 “He produces fantastically sound, reliable, beautifully well-bred and balanced horses. It has been so exciting to be part of it and, for the moment, it’s not over yet. He covered 30 mares this year and got 15 in foal, he covered 54 mares last year but whether he will cover anything next year we haven’t decided yet. He will tell us in February if it is something he is going to be capable of doing, we don’t know, but at the age of 28 it would probably be highly unusual.”

 Success in the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint was a breakthrough win at the highest level for Glen Shiel, who is owned by Hambleton Racing XXXVI & Partner. He was second in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on his most recent run and prior to that he had travelled to Ireland and won the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh.

Trained in the Valley of the Horse, at Saxon Gate in Upper Lambourn, Glen Shiel is the first Group 1 winner for his young trainer Archie Watson, a rising star of the British training ranks.

The victory was also a first at Group 1 level for jockey Hollie Doyle who earlier in the afternoon became the first woman to ride a Group winner on QIPCO British Champions Day when partnering TRUESHAN to success in the Group 2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup for Alan King.

Glen Shiel was bred by Darley out of the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner GONFILIA and is closely related to Pivotal’s son FARHH (GB) who won the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes on British Champions Day in 2013 and now stands at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud outside Newmarket.

He is one of 32 individual Group 1 winners sired by Pivotal who is now the sire of 87 Group winners and 66 Listed winners and was European champion broodmare sire last season. He was also crowned champion broodmare sire of Great Britain and Ireland for the third successive season, an achievement only matched by two stallions since the turn of the 20th century.

Although his daughters claim much of the credit for Pivotal’s recent success, his yearling sons are still highly sought after, as results at the recent Tattersalls October Yearling Sale demonstrated, Richardson said.

“Pivotal has been champion broodmare sire in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and just continues to produce fantastic racehorses that provide a huge amount of pleasure at the top level and broodmares who have foaled the likes of Magical, Advertise and Veracious, so it’s a dream come true and something that Mr and Mrs Thompson are so thrilled and excited about.

 “He is in great form. He is showing his age a bit now, as you would expect. He resents the hot weather, so the summer was quite tricky for him, but he is in good heart. His stallion career is waning and the prospect of a wonderful retirement here is probably beckoning but his yearlings are still in demand. We sold two that we were connected with and made over 100,000gns this last fortnight so the old boy is still producing good-looking individuals even at this age.

 “We are very fortunate to have some fantastic stallions standing in the UK. We have terrific neighbours in Darley, Juddmonte, Lanwades and others. A horse like Pivotal has gone from being a hope to a fantastic result for the industry. It is important that Cheveley Park Stud continues to stand stallions of his quality and we hope that Twilight Son and Ulysses, who has had a fantastic last fortnight can pick up the mantle and provide breeders opportunities.”

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