The 2007 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) annual awards acknowledge the notable achievements of a diverse selection of British breeders, and 13 of the 15 were announced on Dec 9.
David and Patricia Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud has, for the second successive year, 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.
Cheveley Park Stud ended the domination of the Maktoum and Khalid Abdullah studs when taking this prize for the first time in 2006.
Prime among the contributors to Cheveley Park Stud’s success this year are the four-year-old mare Echelon, who carried the stud’s silks to victory in the group I Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and the Aidan O’Brien-trained group I St James’s Palace Stakes hero Excellent Art.
A fantastic year for Cheveley Park Stud also saw its prolific stallion Pivotal consolidate his position as the top British-based stallion. The son of Polar Falcon takes his second successive Barleythorpe Cup for the leading British-based sire (flat) in terms of individual winners. Pivotal sired 66 individual winners of 99 races in 2007, ahead of his nearest rival Royal Applause who had 58 winners.
The Cheveley Park Stud stallion, whose leading performer was the three-year-old colt Excellent Art, was also awarded the BBA Silver Cigar Box, given to the leading British-based stallion based on earnings.
The home-bred stallion also won both prestigious awards in 2004 and thus completes the double for a second time.
Deb’s Ball was a hardy and classy customer on the northern jump circuit, landing her biggest win in the 1993 West Yorkshire Hurdle for trainer Dudley Moffatt. The late mare is awarded the Dudgeon Cup for the National Hunt Broodmare of the Year.
Deb’s Ball’s eight-year-old Weld gelding Holt Weld, trained by Ferdy Murphy, became the first horse to pull off the Scottish Grand National/Betfred Gold Cup double in the spring, while her Prince Daniel daughter Only Millie scored over hurdles. Dudley Moffatt, and two associates bred both horses under the Cartmel Bloodstock banner.
Many knowledgeable judges tipped Oasis Dream to be the dominant freshman sire in 2007 and they have been proved right, with the Juddmonte home-bred taking the Tattersalls’ Silver Salver for the leading first season British-based sire.
Oasis Dream joins his predecessors Warning and Zafonic in gaining the award for Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte.
The 2003 champion sprinter was responsible, among others, for group III Princess Margaret Stakes heroine Visit and group III Cornwallis Stakes victor Captain Gerrard.
The 1991 French 1,000 Guineas and Prix De La Foret winner Danseuse Du Soir takes the British-based Broodmare of the Year Award and the HJ Joel Silver Salver, thanks to the late season triumphs of her Fantastic Light juvenile Scintillo, who captured the group I Gran Criterium at San Siro, Italy, in October, and her Barathea four-year-old Jumbajukiba, who scored in the group III Solonaway Stakes at the Curragh the previous month.
The 19-year-old mare, who raced for the late Daniel Wildenstein, is resident at Woodcote Stud in Epsom which is managed by Barry Reilly.
The TBA Silver Rose Bowl is a discretionary award for the flat breeder of the year, and goes to Southcourt Stud in Bedfordshire, owned by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and his sister Renee Robeson.
The award is in large part down to the exploits of the home-bred Notnowcato, who runs in the colours of Sir Evelyn’s sons Anthony and David de Rothschild. The admirable five-year-old won two group I races this year, the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland and the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. The first victory saw him defeat Dylan Thomas and Youmzain, who subsequently finished first and second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and, brilliantly ridden by Ryan Moore in the latter race, Notnowcato came over the stands’ rails by himself and ran on strongly to beat Derby winner Authorized and George Washington.
Octogenarian owner/breeder Bridget Swire is the worthy recipient of the TBA Silver Salver special merit award, following her biggest success with her home-bred sprinter Sakhee’s Secret, who blitzed to a brilliant triumph in the group I Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
The Hughie Morrison-trained Sakhee’s Secret is one of seven individual winners out of the Swire-owned mare Palace Street, who has also produced the home-bred multiple listed winner Palace Affair. Palace Street was bought at the end of her two-year-old career in 1989 at the Tattersalls December Sales and went on to win two listed races before being retired.
The small breeder of the year award, called the Langham Cup, was won by Peter Onslow whose Sanfield Stud at Leyland, Lancashire, produced two individual group winners.
The Bryan Smart-trained Moorhouse Lad won the group III King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, while the James Given-trained Trick Or Treat gained a deserved victory in the group III Princess Royal Stakes at Ascot in October, having finished third to Peeping Fawn in the Yorkshire Oaks earlier in the campaign.
A serious fall ended Terry Albone’s career as a jump jockey and, after a life spent in and around Newmarket in racing stables and stud farms, he becomes the deserving inaugural winner of the TBA annual stud staff award.
Terry is stud groom to Mr and Mrs Denis Haynes of Wretham Stud near Thetford, where he cares for the well-being of eight mares, including those belonging to Mrs Haynes’ sister, Bridget Clark, who trades as Girsonfield Ltd.
The Whitbread Silver Salver for the leading British-based National Hunt stallion (earnings) this year goes to Sir Harry Lewis who has sired 15 winners of 22 races, including top hurdler Mighty Man and Burntoakboy, who captured the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 23-year-old Alleged stallion stands at Wood Farm Stud under the watch of Bill Bromley, whose father Cecil collected the initial award 25 years ago with the Cambridgeshire stud’s Space King.
The leading active British-based stallion in terms of individual chase wins receives the Horse and Hound Cup. This award goes to Shade Oak Stud for the eighth successive year, with Alflora taking the prize for the fourth year in a row.
The 18-year-old stallion shared the accolade in 2004/2005 with stud companion Rakaposhi King, but this season he again stood supreme with 15 individual winners of 23 chases.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Silver Salver for outstanding contribution to national hunt racing and breeding is awarded to Mercy Rimell.
Mrs Rimell was a key component in the Kinnersley Stable success story as assistant to her late husband Fred, before taking over the licence at the famous training establishment upon his death in 1981.
The Awards will be presented at the TBA Awards Dinner at the Churchill Hotel in London on the evening of Jan. 8, when the winners of two special awards for contributions to the British Breeding Industry, the Andrew Devonshire and Dominion Awards, are announced.