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.”