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Allmankind all sorts of brilliant in Sandown Novice showpiece

Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs homebred ALLMANKIND (GB) put up another relentless display of jumping to land the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and deliver jockey Harry Skelton the first leg of a top-flight double at Sandown Park Racecourse on Saturday afternoon.

Father-and-son combination Bill and Tim Gredley’s gelding, who is still only a four-year-old after winning the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow Racecourse as a three-year-old last December, is now a two-time winner over the bigger obstacles for trainer Dan Skelton after a spring heeled performance on his chasing debut at Warwick in early November.

Speaking to Great British Racing International after the race, Tim Gredley commented on his two-time Grade 1 winner’s so far faultless switch to novice chasing:

“It was great. Dan and Harry were quite disappointed at Cheltenham in the Triumph. They thought he just didn’t run his race for whatever reason, maybe it was a long year because he came straight off his three-year-old flat career straight into it, and he just didn’t sparkle at all.

 “I’ve always been keen to go chasing and so has Dan. Harry was the one to convince. Giving those weight allowances away from being a Grade 1 winner over hurdles is hard. We had a chat and Harry came on board. It was their decision and they’ve made the right choice.”

Allmankind is by the highly-regarded Lanwades Stud resident SEA THE MOON, who has earned a service fee of £22,500 for the 2021 covering season, out of the SADLER’S WELLS mare WEMYSS BAY (GB), who the Gredleys picked up for 40,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in 2014.

When asked about the family, Gredley issued the following update:

“The full-sister is a yearling now. She’s not gone into training yet, she’s kind of taken after her brother, she’s going to take a bit of time. We realise now with the pedigree that she’s not going to win too early in her career, so there’s no rush. We might have a bit of a campaign on the flat and see where we get to, but she’s a lovely filly I must say.

 “Unfortunately the foal aborted, but the mare is in foal to Ulysses and I think we’ll go back to Sea The Moon again next year as well.”

Jockey Harry Skelton followed up the success on Allmankind with a dominant display aboard POLITOLOGUE in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase, and Gredley was quick to praise the Skelton team:

 “Fair play to Harry, he’s a fantastic jockey, and Dan as a trainer. They deserve everything they get.

 “Through the show jumping I’ve been good friends with Nick for a long time. We’ve always had the idea to have horses with them and it’s a bit of luck that the first one to come along has won a Grade 1.

 “I’ve also sent them a horse called Craylands, a filly that was with Michael Bell and then Richard Fahey. A bit of a similar profile to Allmankind, she’s a bit headstrong. She’s by Golden Horn, so she’s gone there and she’s probably going to have her first run for them in a couple of weeks’ time.”

For the first time, the winning owners of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase will also take home a free nomination to Chapel Stud’s new National Hunt stallion PLANTEUR, who stands for a fee of £3,000.

The race was sponsored by Chapel Stud and the initiative, led by Planteur’s owner Simon Davies, intends to incentivise British breeders to follow the Gredleys’ example and use the domestic offering of stallions so as to take full advantage of the lucrative Great British Bonus scheme, which has now paid out over £250,000 in National Hunt bonuses.

Gredley, whose Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs would be classed as a Flat breeding operation but clearly has potential in the National Hunt sphere, commented:

“It’s very kind that we’ve been given the nomination, we’ll have to figure out how we manoeuvre it into the broodmare band.”