Everything, that is, except their famous all cerise colors and three individual racehorses.
"Darley came to us out of the blue and wanted to buy everything we have,” said John Ingham. “We did not approach them. They have a plan to be dominant in Australia and as money speaks all languages, the decision was made to sell. Subject to government approval which has to regulate foreign investments that are $5 million or more, Darley should have the Ingham properties, most of the horses, our trainer Peter Snowden, and our stallions."
“The sale of the bloodstock business was not something I was contemplating,” said Bob Ingham, senior member of the Ingham family. “Once approached by Darley, I decided it was an opportunity I should accept. The sale is on a walk-in-walk-out basis. I will, however, be keeping our racing colors and I will continue to race horses. Not only is it in the long-term interest of the company, it also secures the continuation of the bloodstock business and the employment of the team. Peter Snowden and his staff had signed a three-year contract with us to train the horses and part of the agreement with Darley was that those contracts would be honored.
"On top of that it takes the business under Darley, a global breeding and racing operation, into a new and exciting phase. It’s a win-win for all parties.”
In a carefully worded statement, Darley principal Sheikh Mohammed commented: "I have long admired the love Australians have for the horse and for racing. The Ingham family have made a significant contribution to Australian racing and to the Thoroughbred and I am looking forward to building on their success. I am delighted to be making this commitment."
Darley currently operates stud farms in the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Japan, and Australia (at Aberdeen in New South Wales and Seymour in Victoria). Darley currently employs 100 people in Australia and was established in Australia in 2001. Bob Ingham, along with his late brother, Jack, have been involved in racing for more than 40 years and purchased Woodlands Stud at Denman in the Hunter Valley in 1985. Inghams Bloodstock (currently employing 230 people) also includes another stud at Cootamundra in New South Wales, plus training stables at Warwick Farm near Sydney and Flemington in Melbourne, as well as two pre-training centers on the outskirts of Sydney. Woodlands owns more than 500 horses.
Oliver Tait is the Australian general manager of Darley and now, after swallowing up the Woodlands roster of stallions which includes former Australian Horses of the Year Octagonal and Lonhro, along with star sires Strategic and Commands, will be standing more than 33 stallions in Australia this season. With their well-marketed incentive payments plans which includes free travel of mares to their stallions, Darley could very easily cover 4000 of Australia's 21,000 mares this up coming season.
It is understood the Inghams have kept exciting racing and eventually stallion prospect Musket (by Redoute's Choice), the half-brother to Australia's greatest female galloper of all time, Makybe Diva. Musket is a 4-year-old colt and has had just five starts, winning three.