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2008 TBA Breeders’ Awards Announced

The 2008 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) Awards acknowledge the notable achievements of a diverse selection of British breeders, and are announced today, Monday, December 15, 2008. The awards will be presented at the TBA Annual Awards Lunch in London on January 6, 2009 and will follow the 92nd Annual General Meeting of the TBA, being held at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in Portman Square, commencing at 10.45 a.m. A few places for the awards luncheon are still available and anyone wishing to attend should contact the TBA office immediately on 01638 661321.

Prince Khalid Abdulla’s Juddmonte Farms has, for the fifth time this century, won the Queen’s Silver Cup, awarded to the leading British-based breeder (Flat) who has accrued the most prize money in Great Britain and Ireland from mares normally resident in the UK.

Juddmonte’s success halts the march of Cheveley Park Stud, winner of the award in both 2006 and 2007.

African Rose and Promising Lead were the pick of the Juddmonte homebreds in 2008. The former won the Group One Ladbrokes Sprint Cup at Doncaster in September, while Promising Lead literally led the way with victory in the Group One Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in June. The latter had previously won the Group Three Middleton Stakes at York.

Khalid Abdulla’s operation was rewarded further thanks to the remarkable achievement of Promising Lead’s dam Arrive who follows her full-sister Hasili in winning the H. J. Joel Silver Salver as the British-based Broodmare of the Year.

Arrive, winner of the Listed Bahrain Trophy in July, 2001 when trained by Roger Charlton, is also the dam of Visit. The homebred Oasis Dream three-year-old filly, already a Group Three winner as a juvenile, enhanced her mother’s reputation with a fine victory in the Group Three Oak Tree Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in August and went on to run third at the highest level in both the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes and Hollywood Park’s Matriarch Stakes as well as finish fourth in the Fly Emirates Breeders’s Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park.

Pivotal maintains his position as the top British-based stallion, taking his third successive Barleythorpe Cup for the leading Flat sire in terms of individual winners. The Cheveley Park Stud stallion sired 55 individual winners in 2008, four more than his nearest rival Oasis Dream.

The homebred son of Polar Falcon repeats another success of last year in receiving a second consecutive BBA Silver Cigar Box, given to the leading British-based stallion according to earnings. Pivotal’s progeny in Britain accrued £1,828,187 in prize money. He collects both awards for the third time, having also completed the double in 2004.

Pivotal’s top performer on the track during the year was the Boylesports Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Halfway To Heaven. The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly gained further Group One triumphs in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

Lucky Story receives the Tattersalls Silver Salver as the leading British-based first season Flat sire with six individual winners of 10 races and total prize money of £165,419. His best performer was the Michael Bell-trained Art Connoisseur, successful in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and runner-up in the Group One Phoenix Stakes.

Lucky Story is a stallion at David Redvers’ Tweenhills Farm & Stud, which also stands Ishiguru who went close to winning this award in 2006 after Hellvelyn also won the Coventry Stakes and was second in the Phoenix Stakes. Trade Fair and Sleeping Indian make up the stud’s stallion quartet.

Redvers said: “I’m thrilled because it is a hard job competing with higher profile, more expensive stallions so it is great for a small value horse to come through.

“He has a reasonable bunch of two-year-olds from this year and a couple of yearlings that I have bought for clients, so I would think he should build on what he has done and it is very exciting.

“He was every bit as good a racehorse as his brother Dr Fong - rated exactly the same - and he stands at half the price. In my opinion, he is a better colour and has a great temperament, so there is no reason why he should not end up standing for more than he is at the moment.”

Roisin Close, who works at Tweenhills, is a deserving winner of the TBA Annual Stud Staff Award, sponsored by New England Stud. She has been with the stud for 10 years, during which time it has expanded significantly. Close started out looking after Tweenhills’ stallions and helping with sales preparation but after only a year in the job was appointed stud groom as a reward for her selfless dedication.

Redvers continued: “Roisin thoroughly deserves this recognition. She came originally to do the stallions and has continued to progress and take control. She eats, breathes and sleeps the job and is a vital cog in the operation.”

Lawn Stud enjoyed Classic success in 2008 thanks to the brilliant Oaks victory of Look Here. The homebred filly also finished runner-up in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, a race in which her close relation Kayah was successful, and rounded off her season with a good third in the St Leger behind Conduit.

Look Here’s exploits have clinched the TBA Silver Rose Bowl for the stud, owned by her owner/breeders Julian and Sarah Richmond-Watson. The accolade is a discretionary award presented to the Flat breeder of the Year.

Carole’s Crusader is an extremely worthy winner of the Dudgeon Cup as National Hunt Broodmare of the Year. The 17-year-old mare resides at Paul Murphy’s Wychnor Park Stud in Staffordshire and is the dam of three exciting young jumping prospects.

Her four-year-old Sir Harry Lewis filly, Carole’s Legacy, won the Listed mares’ bumper at Aintree in April and opened her account over hurdles at Newbury on November 27. Carole’s Legacy is owned by Murphy in partnership with Carole Skipworth, in whose colours Carole’s Crusader raced to seven victories, most notably in the Charisma Gold Cup at Kempton in 1997.

Murphy, a former healthcare executive who bought Carole’s Crusader from Skipworth upon the mare’s retirement from the track, describes himself as a hobby breeder. He hit the headlines when paying 140,000 guineas for Mariah Rollins at Doncaster in 2006 and now has four jumping mares and one Flat mare at the stud.

Mad Max, Carole’s Crusader’s 2002 Kayf Tara gelding, is unbeaten in three starts. A bumper win at Newbury in January was followed by success in a Grade Two National Hunt Flat race at the same course two weeks later. Mad Max made a wining start to his hurdles career at Ascot on November 21. The mare has also had success this year with the six-year-old Jayne’s Crusader, winner of a Towcester Bumper in April.

Alflora, who stands at Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, wins his fifth consecutive Horse & Hound Cup for the leading active British-based National Hunt stallion based on individual winners. The 19-year-old Niniski stallion had 10 winners of 17 chases, the best being Hobbs Hill, successful in the Grade Two Berkshire Novices’ Chase at Newbury and Ascot’s BGC Noel Novices’ Chase.

Another accolade heading to Shropshire is the Whitbread Silver Salver for the leading active British-based National Hunt stallion based on earnings. This award goes to Overbury who stands at Richard Kent’s Mickley Stud, whose five-strong stallion team also consists of Central Park, Beat All, Multiplex and Needwood Blade. The 17-year-old Caerleon stallion sired 23 winners of 31 races for total earnings of £223,315.

Kent commented: “It is a great honour and it is our first time winning such an award so it is very exciting for the stud. Overbury had a great year with Ballyfitz who has won three times at Cheltenham including the Pertemps Final at The Festival. We sold Ballyfitz for 2,500 guineas so he is a real rags to riches horse.

“Overbury is a very versatile stallion and sired the Irish 1,000 Guineas (2006) runner-up Ardbrae Lady. This year he had a five-furlong two-year-old winner as well as a three-mile chase winner and it is nice to see him getting recognised.

“He was a good flag-bearer for Godolphin when he raced and has always been genuine and consistent in everything he has done. He covers around 100 to 120 mares a year and has also sired the likes of Simon and Missed That.”

The Queen Mother’s Silver Salver National Hunt Achievement Award goes to Robert Chugg of Little Lodge Farm near Droitwich. A former leading amateur jockey, Chugg purchased his foundation mare, Laurello, 30 years ago and is a leading purveyor of store horses.

Ann Jenkins, who passed away in October, receives the TBA Silver Salver of Special Merit. Widely respected in the bloodstock business, Jenkins managed Heatherwold Stud in Berkshire for 45 years. Having been appointed to the position by Elisabeth Longton in 1959, she eventually became the owner of the stud before selling up in 2003.

Heatherwold famously bred 1990 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Saumarez after Jenkins decided to send his dam Fiesta Fun to Rainbow Quest. Her name was once again associated with a Group One winner this year through Lush Lashes, successful in the Coronation Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Matron Stakes for Jim Bolger.

Group Three winner Take A Bow and Grade One Feltham Novices’ Chase winner Darkness are other top performers to have been bred by Jenkins.

Devon breeder James Clark of Southcombe Farm receives the Langham Cup, awarded to the Small Breeder of the Year. This is thanks to the Group One winning exploits of the Robin Bastiman-trained Borderlescott who triumphed in the Nunthorpe Stakes at Newmarket and was a fine third to champion sprinter Marchand D’Or in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.

A delighted Clark said: “I am very proud to have been awarded the small breeder of the year award. Who would have believed, when I bought Jeewan, that such a fairytale would unwind.

“It is quite a story from the breeding aspect as I bought Jeewan for only 500 guineas. She was barren at the time but had produced four multiple winners. I sent her to Compton Place because she was stoutly bred being by Touching Wood and had won over a mile and a half herself. I wanted to inject some speed into the family. Compton Place is a son of Indian Ridge, who I like a lot, and it was his second season as a stallion. The result was Borderlescott, who sold to Robin Bastiman for 13,000 guineas, which seems a bit of a steal now.”

Bastiman’s shrewd purchase turned out to be a very smart performer. Borderlescott won the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood in 2006 and went on to finish a short-head second in the same race in 2007. The six-year-old gelding was a close third under top-weight in this year’s renewal of the prestigious six-furlong handicap prior to hitting the big-time.

Clark continued: “Jeewan’s next foal was by Josr Algarhoud but it was a disastrous foaling. Jeewan and her foal, Four Penny Road, survived but the mare suffered a hernia and was retired. After Borderlescott won the Stewards’ Cup in 2006, I had the vets revisit Jeewan’s problem and our local vet suggested we send her up to Rossdales in Newmarket for a scan. That proved to be a success and we were able to send her back to Compton Place. Even though she was 22 and had not had a foal for six years she went into foal okay. In April, she had a filly full-sister to Borderlescott, which we are very excited about. Four Penny Road has a colt foal also by Compton Place and both foals will be sold as yearlings in 2009.

“Going back to the day when we paid 500 guineas for the dam, a Group One win seemed a world away but at the start of this year I dared hope that there might be something like that coming along. Borderlescott had been tried at Group One level over six furlongs and I thought his day would come. This season, Robin Bastiman found out that five furlongs was his trip and the rest is now history.

“Being associated with a horse like Borderlescott has been an amazing experience and his Nunthorpe victory took the story to an even higher level. For a small stud with only three working mares to have a Group One runner is excitement enough and I am just so proud of him and excited about the future. I can't believe that at home I can now look out of the window and see a full-sister to a Group One winner.”


TBA Silver Salver (Special Merit) - The late Ann Jenkins
The Langham Cup (Small Breeder of the Year) - James Clark
Queen’s Silver Cup (Leading British-based Breeder - Flat earnings) - Juddmonte Farms
BBA Silver Cigar Box (Leading British-based Stallion - Flat earnings) - Pivotal
Barleythorpe Cup (Leading British-based Stallion - individual winners) - Pivotal
Tattersalls’ Silver Salver (Leading British-based first season sire) - Lucky Story
HJ Joel Silver Salver (Leading British-based Flat Broodmare of the Year) - Arrive
TBA Silver Rose Bowl (Flat Breeder of the Year) - Lawn Stud
Whitbread Silver Salver (Leading Active British-based NH Stallion, earnings - Overbury
Horse & Hound Cup (Leading Active British-based Stallion, individual chase wins) - Alflora
Dudgeon Cup (NH Broodmare of the Year) - Carole’s Crusader
HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Silver Salver (Outstanding contribution to National Hunt racing and breeding) - Robert Chugg
Duke of Devonshire Award - Announced on January 6
Dominion Award - Announced on January 6

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