British success celebrated at the TBA’s fifth annual NH Breeders’ Dinner


Owner-breeders Keith and Jayne Sivills collect the Mickley Stud Trophy for leading hurdler mare and the Overbury Stud Trophy for leading chase mare for their homebred LADY BUTTONS (GB).

Breeders Keith and Jayne Sivills, Overbury Stud and Distillery Stud collected the most silverware on a night that celebrated British bred success at the TBA’s fifth annual National Hunt Breeders’ Celebration Dinner – sponsored by Goffs UK.

Host Nick Luck presided over the presentation of 14 awards at the Mount Pleasant Hotel near Doncaster, which included four usually presented at the TBA’s Annual Awards that takes place in July.

Robert Robinson of Distillery Stud collected a hat-trick of prizes for the success of his mare WHISKY ROSE, who not only produced the winner of the Peel Bloodstock Trophy for leading NH mare MISTY WHISKY (GB) but also ONE FOR ROSIE (GB), who landed the Shade Oak Trophy for leading novice hurdler. Her progeny’s recent successes also earning her the Dudgeon Cup for NH broodmare of the year.

The popular LADY BUTTONS (GB) secured both the Mickley Stud Trophy for leading hurdler mare and the Overbury Stud Trophy for leading chase mare. The winner of the Grade 2 Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle in January, the nine-year-old daughter of BENEFICIAL (GB) also scored three other back to back race wins in the 2018-2019 season for her owner-breeders Keith and Jayne Sivills.

KAYF TARA (GB)’s dominance of the domestic stallion ranks continued with a fifth victory in the Horse & Hound Cup (Leading active NH British-Based stallion, 2018-2019 individual chase winners), and an eighth consecutive win of the British EBF sponsored Whitbread Silver Salver (Leading NH British-Based Stallion, 2018-2019 earnings). The Overbury Stud resident was also responsible for the winner of the leading NH flat horse award (Distillery Stud Trophy), THYME HILL (GB).

The Yorton Stud Trophy for leading novice hurdler mare went to Dr G W Guy, the breeder of the unbeaten HONEYSUCKLE (GB) whose tally of victories this season included the G1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse.

Rory Bannerman collected the Midnight Legend trophy (Leading Hurdler), on behalf of the Potassium Partnership who bred the Grade 2 William Hill Rendlesham Hurdle winner SHADES OF MIDNIGHT (GB).

SANTINI (GB) won the Beech Tree Stud Trophy (Leading Novice Chaser), for owner-breeders Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes, whilst THISTLECRACK (GB) was awarded the Highflyer Trophy as leading chaser, for breeders Robin and Scarlett Knipe.

Two special recognition awards were also presented at the event. MIDNIGHT LEGEND (GB) was posthumously awarded the Eric Gillie Ltd Trophy in recognition of his enduring legacy. The late sire has continued to dominate the NH stallion rankings through such progeny as SIZING JOHN (GB), SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT (GB), MIDNIGHT SHADOW (GB) and SHADES OF MIDNIGHT (GB).

The final award, the Queen Mother’s Silver Salver, was presented to Dr Bryan Mayoh in acknowledgement of his significant contribution to the British NH industry. A successful national hunt breeder and stallion owner, Mayoh has also dedicated many hours to the development of TBA initiatives and policy for the long term health and improvement of British NH breeding.

TBA Chief Executive Claire Sheppard said: “Now in its fifth year, the National Hunt Breeders’ Celebration Dinner has firmly established itself as a key event within the jump breeding community. Held on the eve of the Goffs UK Spring Store Sale the awards present a great opportunity for breeders to gather and celebrate their successes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the TBA’s NH Committee, Nick Luck, Goffs UK, Racing TV and all of our sponsors for their vital ongoing support.”

Mustashry makes waves in Lockinge Stakes

Shadwell Stud toasted yet another Group 1 triumph when MUSTASHRY (GB) cut loose in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Sir Michael Stoute’s six-year-old gelding had never won a race at the highest level.

But all that changed within a handful of strides as Jim Crowley’s companion, also owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, surged into an unassailable lead in the historic race at the Berkshire circuit.

Mustashry, who was sent on his way at odds of 9-1, was much too good for runner-up LAURENS – with two and a half lengths the difference between the main protagonists.

British-bred Royal Ascot hero, ACCIDENTAL AGENT (GB), turned in an eyecatching effort in third place, another half a length in arrears of the impressive winner.

Home-bred Mustashry is a fourth foal of the former top-class miler TAMAYUZ (GB), who enjoyed a fine 2018 with other Group-winning horses likes MAKING LIGHT and HUNAINA.

The Lockinge hero’s dam, SAFWA, is a half-sister to seven-time Group winner MARAAHEL, who also finished runner-up in the 2006 Juddmonte Stakes at York.

Mustashry is closely related to mile-and-a-quarter all-weather scorer RADHAADH and is a half-brother of three-time winner MUNAASER.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, winning the Lockinge for an eighth time, said:

 “We knew he was in very good shape. Jade (Ransley) has made this horse. She rides him and looks after him like no other could – she is particularly dedicated.

 “He’s had his niggles over his career, but I don’t think we’ve had him in better shape than he is this spring.

 “I would think the Queen Anne (at Royal Ascot on 18 June) would be what Sheikh Hamdan would want and I think it would be the right move, but he’s a versatile horse – he’s won over a mile and a quarter as well.”

Harry stays strong to take top spot at Punchestown

UNOWHATIMEANHARRY’s (GB) breeder Graham Smith expressed deep pride after the popular 11-year-old on Thursday claimed the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown for a second time.

Harry Fry’s inmate, a son of SIR HARRY LEWIS, had not returned to the winner’s enclosure since November 2018.

But he made a mockery of odds of 16-1 to take top spot in the three-mile Grade 1 with a three-length defeat of Bacardys in the hands of Mark Walsh.

Fry’s redoubtable stayer won this big race two years ago and this was his fourth victory at the highest level.

Unowhatimeanharry, owned by JP McManus, was bred in Leicestershire by former trainer Smith, who also responsible for the development of his dam, RED NOSE LADY (GB), a four-time winner over hurdles.

When told of the news, an overjoyed Graham Smith said:

“That has made my day to hear he’s won. It’s absolutely flippin’ brilliant news.

“I thought he was done after his last run at Aintree, but the fire is clearly still there.

“What an amazing result. What a little star that horse has been. We broke him in and had him until he was four when we put him in at the Doncaster Sales.

“They told me he was too small and would only be a polo pony, so we stuck an advert in the Horse & Hound.

“We put him up for sale and a lady reckoned she wanted to buy him for a 50th birthday present.

“I guess the rest is history. He’s a lovely, lovely little horse and I’m very proud to have been part of his story.”


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