Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP
Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP

Shadwell — a company with horses all over the world including SA — has issued a statement in London saying they intend “slimming down” their operations in the UK, Ireland and the US.

Chris Kennard, UK director of Shadwell, said: “The decision has been made to contract the size of the global business. This will involve the imminent sale of a substantial number of horses including yearlings, horses in training and breeding stock and, in due course, a re-organisation of each of the worldwide operations.”

However — and this looks good news for SA — Kennard said “the focus would be on quality at the highest level of the sport with horses of the calibre of Baaeed and Malathaat.”

So the big question for SA racing fans is how this development will affect top-class performer Malmoos, winner of last season’s Triple Crown in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, who died in March.

Contacted by Business Day, Malmoos’s trainer, Mike de Kock, said: “We’ve trimmed the [Shadwell] string big time already in SA. The group horses remain in training and the good news is stallion operations continue.”

Regarding Malmoos, De Kock said: “We’re hoping to go for the Victory Moon followed by the Summer Cup at the end of November.” The former champion trainer will have to find a new jockey with Luke Ferraris now in Hong Kong.

Al-Maktoum established his racing operation in 1980 and his star performers include Nashwan, Dayjur, Salsabil and Battaash. Recent French winner Baaeed is their latest horse to shine in Europe.

In the Shadwell statement, Kennard said “a number of horses in training and homebred yearlings will be sold this autumn, while its broodmare band will be further reduced through dispersals at key auctions over the coming months”.

Regarding stallions, Kennard said there are “no plans to sell Mohaather, Muhuarer, Tasleet and Eqtidaar who stand at the Nunnery Stud in Norfolk”.

Meanwhile, in Australia the state of Victoria has acted on the increase in Covid-19 cases by making it mandatory for trainers, jockeys, stable staff and racecourse officials to have received at least one dose of vaccine to be allowed to the racetrack.

They must have at least one dose by October 16 to be allowed access and a second one by November 27. A survey in Victoria showed 67% of people in the state had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“The only way out of the current pandemic is to increase vaccination rates within the community to allow greater freedom,” said Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson.

“Unlike other sports, racing operates on a year-round daily basis with a highly mobile workforce, so it is imperative we do our utmost to protect the health and safety of the industry,” he said. 

In SA, Gold Circle has introduced a facility at the training centre in Summerveld to allow stable staff to be vaccinated quickly and conveniently.

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