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Maker of Champions
An insight into owner/breeder Prince Khalid bin Abdullah and Juddmonte Farms
On 25th of March 2017, the Saudi Prince Khalid bin Abdullah owned Arrogate produced one of those unforgettable performances that will forever remain embedded in the minds of racing fans, when he came from a seemingly hopeless last position to win the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, timed by Longines, from Gun Runner, ranked co-third in the 2017 Longines World rankings.
That once in a lifetime performance not only earned Arrogate the respect of the entire racing community, but more importantly, the industry’s handicappers rewarded it with a top rating of 134, which meant that for the second year running he was awarded the title of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse.

Arrogate’s victory that day at Meydan was truly astonishing, but he is not the first champion to carry the famous green, pink and white colours of Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, a member of the House of Saud, the royal ruling family of Saudi, to success in one of the world’s most prestigious races.

Indeed, over the past forty years, Prince Khalid bin Abdullah owned horses like Known Fact, Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave, Oasis Dream, Kingman, Frankel and more recently the filly Enable, have triumphed again and again in important races like the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe,
(the 2017 Longines World’s Best Horserace), the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Juddmonte International Stakes or classic races like the 2000 Guineas Stakes and the Epsom Derby. They have changed the landscape of modern racing and have extended their influence to the stud, where their bloodlines ensure the continuous improvement of the Thoroughbred breed. The Prince, who was first introduced to racing by a friend, has come a long way since buying his first yearlings in 1977, which incidentally, did not produce any noticeable performances. However, shortly after, the filly Abeer offered him his first Royal Ascot success and in 1980, 2000 Guineas Stakes winner Known Fact made it into the history books of the British Turf when he became the first Classic winner to represent an Arab owner. By that time, the very private Prince, who likes to be referred to as K. Abdullah on racecards, was already truly captivated by the Thoroughbred and soon went from owning to breeding racehorses at his Juddmonte Farm in England.
Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, one of the most successful owner-breeders in racing history
Classic winner Known Fact would become the first stallion to stand at Juddmonte Farms, followed swiftly by Epsom Derby winner Rainbow Quest, as well as Dancing Brave, the 1986 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, who until the arrival of unbeaten champion and the world’s highest rated racehorse Frankel in the late 2000s, was considered the standout horse of the late twentieth century.

Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, Prince Khalid bin Abdullah’s racing manager, recalls: “Following Known Fact’s success, the trajectory of Prince Khalid’s involvement in the racing world was on a very steep upwards curve. He always told me that there had never really been a master plan, at least not in the beginning, and the way things developed was more of a jigsaw rather than a blueprint. Buying bloodstock, developing the farms, all that came incrementally as success followed. The question of what to do with those horses, like Known Fact, Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave and then all the fillies, needed to be addressed and with that came the development of the Juddmonte stud farms in England, Ireland and Kentucky”.

Over the years, Juddmonte Farms grew, as did Prince Khalid’s pleasure. Today, no less than seven stallions, including the outstanding Frankel, who is the very epitome of Prince Khalid’s breeding success and sire of Cracksman,
the 2017 Longines co-third highest ranked horse in the world, stand at Juddmonte Farms and Lord Teddy Grimthorpe confirms: “Prince Khalid is very passionate about racing and enjoys developing his interest in the sport. When you see him in the winner’s enclosure with a home-bred, he glows and it is there for all to see how much it means to him. It is a very special relationship; it is like being a parent, like having your own child or grandchild succeed. Now, over thirty years after he started his studs, there are fourth and even fifth Juddmonte generations that succeed on the racecourse and then come back to the stud farm. That has to be very special”.

Juddmonte Farms’ most famous home-bred is Frankel, who is by the stallion Galileo and the mare Kind, a granddaughter of the former Juddmonte stallion Rainbow Quest. Frankel, named after American handler Bobby Frankel, who trained many winners for Prince Khalid bin Abdullah in the United States, became one of racing’s all-time greats when he remained unbeaten in fourteen starts. Often referred to as the best racehorse the world has seen, he is however not only remembered for his scintillating display of power in the 2000 Guineas Stakes, but also for the emotional story surrounding his colourful and extremely gifted trainer Sir Henry Cecil who passed away shortly after Frankel was retired to stud.

The Thoroughbred Arrogate, winner of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse in 2016 and 2017
Trainer Bob Baffet side-by-side with Arrogate
“I think Frankel’s entire career was simply extraordinary”, explains Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, who was a successful bloodstock agent before he started looking after Prince Khalid bin Abdullah’s racing and breeding interests nearly twenty years ago. “But it was the whole story, not just about the horse itself, but also about his trainer Henry that was so unique. Henry’s rise, fall and rise was just an extraordinary human story alone. When Frankel came along, his rising vibrancy compared to Henry’s genius and increasing frailty was just pretty surreal”.

He pauses and remembers: “Frankel as a yearling already set hearts racing. By the time we put the saddle on him in the late autumn of his yearling career, we thought that we had a horse that might or could be a champion”. He laughs and adds: “Don’t get me wrong, we think that of most our foals, but the fact that Frankel delivered and that Henry was the one to train him made the story even better”.

Interestingly, before Frankel was awarded the world’s highest rating of 140, only Dancing Brave had been ranked higher and following a review of the rankings by the handicappers in 2013, Dancing Brave’s rating was reduced from 141 to 138. Thinking back what made Frankel so special, Lord Teddy Grimthorpe says: “You could choose any number of reasons that set him apart from others. When he won the Juddmonte Royal Lodge as a two-year-old, he just exploded to win by ten lengths. We thought that there had to be something special and then when he won the 2000 Guineas Stakes by making all, it was just extra­ordinary. He was ten, fifteen lengths clear at half way and maintained it and people started clapping and cheering from half way. I have never seen that. And then you go to that extraordinary emotional day at York, when he won the Juddmonte International Stakes, Prince Khalid’s own flagship race, in front of a huge crowd. He was running over 2,000 meters for the first time and again, he won by seven lengths. And then his last race. It wasn’t a coronation, as he was already a king, but it was a justification that he could do everything, every distance, every ground. People still come up to me and say, I took my children to see that. To get that emotion was just tremendous for the sport. Frankel jumped from the sports pages to the financial pages to the front pages and of course he had the character to go with it”.

The emotions of that time are still raw and Lord Teddy Grimthorpe knows that the many history pages written by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah owned and mostly bred horses are very special in a world where success is clearly measured on a daily basis. On a racecourse, only victories matter and he counts himself very fortunate to be involved in Prince Khalid bin Abdullah’s operation. “When I think of Dancing Brave winning the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from a field of what? Eight Group 1 winners? I look at that race and I still have hairs standing up on the back of my neck”, he concludes. “And then the extra­ordinary Frankel, who is just in a different sphere. And Arrogate, whom we bought to race in California. To say that we hit the jackpot with Arrogate is a gross understatement. And now there is Enable, who has already won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and who will be prepared to defend her title this year. It is simply amazing and we are all very fortunate to bear witness to these champions”. [Liz Price]
When horses fly...
Flying around the globe for business, leisure or sporting events has become second nature to most people, yet we are not the only ones jetting through the skies. No, horses too, over the latter half of the last century, have become frequent flyers who just like everybody else must have a passport to travel, suffer from a form of jetlag and have a choice of flying first class, business or economy.
“Unlike us though, horses unfortunately cannot collect air miles”, informs Martin Atock, the Managing Director of Peden Bloodstock, one of the most experienced international equine shipping agents in the world that regularly flies Longines Global Champions Tour contenders and the world’s best racehorses or endurance horses to major sporting events around the globe.

For Atock, a former Junior International Event rider for Ireland, collecting air miles is the least of his worries when it comes to shipping multimillion dollar stallions, racehorses or show jumping champions from Europe to America, from Hong Kong to Mexico or anywhere else in the world. For him, it is much more important that his equine passengers are well looked after and handled correctly so that their flying experience is enjoyable and the horse arrives at its destination in peak condition.

He is a firm advocate of horses being treated as individuals and he explains: “Every horse, like every person, has a different personality and that is where our experienced and specifically trained squad of professional flying grooms comes into the picture. Sometimes, you only have a few seconds to assess the personality of a horse when you meet it on the tarmac before loading it onto one of the air stables. If there was an issue on a plane, which thankfully is extremely rare, you must know what to do”. And he quickly adds: “Most of the time if a horse does get upset it is because it is feeling claustrophobic and in that case, you try and give it some more space by taking out a partition. I know I am repeating myself, but again, they are just like us and some react more than others when they are in a confined space”.

Horses are looked after by a team of professionals that also includes a qualified flying vet and pilots in the cockpit used to carrying precious cargo. Gentle take-offs with no immediate sharp turns to the left or right, landings where the aircraft makes the most of the runway without applying the brakes too hard, give the horses ample time to find their balance and to relax. It helps too that air stables are designed very much like horse boxes, which gives the horse a feeling of familiarity and Atock confirms: “An air stable is 294 cm long and 234 cm wide. You can fit a maximum of three horses in an air stable, which is known as the economy class. Then you have the business class where the air stable has one partition and hence room for two horses, or you have first class travel where a horse gets the whole air stable to itself. Most warmbloods that travel for instance to the Longines Global Champions Tour events will fly business class, as they carry up to 630 kilos in weight and are up to 18 hands high. They need a bit more space and would just get claustrophobic in a single stall. However, the smaller endurance horses are actually quite happy to travel in economy class”.
Atock pauses and then says: “You know something funny? Just like us, horses usually travel facing forward in an air stable. However, if you put a horse in an air stable with no partitions, it will actually stand facing backwards, diagonally to the right. That is the position horses chose when they have the option. And we know that from moving horses in great numbers”.

Peden Bloodstock, which also manages Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s in-house equine shipping operation Janah, has transported horses around the world for more than 70 years. It made its first flight in 1947 when three horses, owned by legendary French breeder Marcel Boussac, made their journey from France across the channel to run at Royal Ascot. Since then, Peden Bloodstock has broken record after record with flying hundreds of horses to the world’s leading equestrian events. In fact, in September 2018, Peden Bloodstock is looking at flying the biggest number of horses yet, when the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM, where Longines is the Offical Timekeeper, take place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.

“In 2010, for the World Equestrian Games in Lexington we flew in 441 horses”, confirms Atock who spends more time in the air than in Germany, where Peden Bloodstock is based. “And this year, after we finish the Longines Global Champions Tour, we will be flying 560 horses to the Games, for which we have already chartered twenty aircraft”.

These aircraft are all either Boeing 777s or Boeing 747s and Atock says: “We try to use the most modern aircraft available because it might surprise you, but the crucial element on a flight is airflow. If you think of two horses flying business, that is up to 1,300 kilograms of animal standing there. Their bodies are breathing, they are generating body heat and so the paramount thing is to keep good airflow in there. We have multiple conversations with the cockpit and crew on getting the airflow right. And then it is extremely important that they remain hydrated. Again, forgive me for repeating myself, but the trick with horses is to remember that just like human beings they are mammals. They have brains, they have lifestyles, they have a body clock, they have everything we have. And just like we have to drink several litres of water on the flight, so must the horses. Correct airflow and hydration make a huge difference to the state of the horse and its recovery time”.

From three horses in 1947 to over five hundred in 2018, equine air travel has evolved into a thriving business. The world’s show jumpers are arguably the most frequent flyers, but some of the top racehorses can also clock up a fair amount of miles. With several grooms as attendants, pilots who aim for smooth landings, a passport control that is done while the horse is already getting comfortable in its stable, equine air travel sounds like the way forward. Just a shame about those air miles… [Liz Price]

It’s elegant and light like an evening in Paris. And at the same time, it is small and large, just like France. It stands proudly next to
the
19th century original stand,
which
reminds us where we come from.
ParisLongchamp:
elegant and light, like an evening in Paris!
There are some views worth waiting for and those from the ParisLongchamp racecourse, which was inaugurated in April following two years of extensive redevelopment, are simply unforgettable. From a suspended roof terrace, an architectural gem that is destined to become Paris’ latest hotspot, race lovers and visitors alike can admire the beautiful Paris skyline, set against the lush green trees of the Bois de Boulogne, whilst enjoying some of the best and most exciting horse racing in the world.
From three horses in 1947 to over five hundred in 2018, equine air travel has evolved into a thriving business. The world’s show jumpers are arguably the most frequent flyers, but some of the top racehorses can also clock up a fair amount of miles. With several grooms as attendants, pilots who aim for smooth landings, a passport control that is done while the horse is already getting comfortable in its stable, equine air travel sounds like the way forward. Just a shame about those air miles…

The new ParisLongchamp, designed by the French architect Dominique Perrault, who envisioned the stand to accommodate up to 60,000 spec­tators as a “stand in motion, like a galloping horse”, is not only going to be used on race days, but all year round thanks to music events, festivals, new dining experiences, as well as conventions, exhibitions and conferences.

This is a clear break with the traditional usage of major sporting venues and Edouard de Rothschild, President of France Galop, the association that runs the racing sector in France, explains: “Longchamp was first built in 1857 and was last refurbished in the early 1960s. At the time, the construction of the three new stands was considered quite a technical achievement, as the new stands were constructed on rails some 250 metres away from the course and then winched into their final position. However, they were built to suit different circumstances in a different era. Lately, they had just got very tired and certainly no longer corresponded to the needs and desires of our 21st century customers. We wanted to move with the times, to give people what they want. So the new ParisLongchamp, a project we started to work on during my second mandate as President of France Galop in 2010, was designed as a modern sports arena, more open to the world and to other activities,
for daily use and not just confined to racing. Now, in addition to staging over 30 race meetings a year and thanks to a new high-end catering offer, we hope to make ParisLongchamp a new, trendy destination for all types of different audiences. We want it to become a Parisian Monument people want to see, an experience people want to live, with or without racing”.

The elegant design, its light colour and natural materials of wood and glass blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape of the city’s famous park. At ParisLongchamp, Parisians, tourists and spectators will be able to enjoy a day in Paris without the usual visual and auditory distractions that come with life in the capital. “Yes”, smiles de Rothschild. “How many sports are greener than horseracing? In the past already, we have always been very conscious of our heritage and have tried to upgrade our buildings as much as possible to comply with sustainability standards. But with ParisLongchamp we have reached another threshold. We are in the Bois de Boulogne, a large park and one of the ‘lungs’ of the capital. So naturally we wanted our racecourse to be green, really green. Where there was concrete in the old Longchamp, there now is lawn in the new ParisLongchamp. We have three times more lawns than before and we planted 100 new trees. Now we have over 580 trees on the site. I am still amazed when I go today. It is just a beautiful area to be in, to walk around. And that stand, there is something slightly miraculous about monuments of that scale. It always seems a bit unreal while it is on paper or only a model. Now it is before us and it is just awesome”.



Baron Edouard DE ROTHSCHILD, Lisa-Jane GRAFFARD, Mickaël BARZALONA, Juan-Carlos CAPELLI
Where there was concrete in the old Longchamp, there now is lawn in the new ParisLongchamp. We have three times more lawns than before and we planted 100 new trees. Now we have over 580 trees on the site.
It is difficult not to be amazed by the new stand that has been cleverly designed so that racegoers won’t feel lost on normal race days, but that can easily accommodate the thousands of international racing fans that come each year for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend from England, Ireland, Japan, as well as Germany, Italy and many other countries. As de Rotschild explains: “From a practical point of view, nothing much has changed. We obviously still have the stables, the paddock, the weighing room… it’s all still there, but with a different look, a different feel. The viewing stand definitely offers a new experience, since the whole building focuses on the course itself, which by the way has remained the same. The rooftop restaurant is bound to be a hit with everyone, especially during the warmer months when you can be outside”.

ParisLongchamp is the flagship racecourse of French racing, the track where the world’s best racehorses meet, where champions become legends. It is only fitting that its famous races, like the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris or the Abu Dhabi Poule
d’Essai des Poulains et des Pouliches, should be enjoyed from a stand that suits the occasion, as well as its history and surroundings and de Rothschild concludes: “The most famous racecourses in the world say a lot about the people who live there, racing people and other alike. The Ascot racecourse is the epitome of British tradition and became a symbol of Cool Britannia, as the British economy and culture steamed ahead. And the Meydan stand in Dubai is to most racecourses what the Burj Al Arab, the world’s tallest building, is to our tiny Eiffel Tower. The top Asian racecourses are built to accommodate huge crowds and are something between a stadium and an airport, while a racecourse like Saratoga in America has got that countryside feeling and holiday-like flair that is quite unique”.

He pauses and adds: “And ParisLongchamp? What can I say… It’s elegant and light like an evening in Paris. And at the same time, it is small and large, just like France. It stands proudly next to the 19th century original stand, which reminds us where we come from… and that is a good thing in these times when racing’s fundamentals are at stake”. [Liz Price]
Meet Winx
Champion, national treasure and the most sought after equine entertainer in the world!
Like any good showgirl, when Winx winks, she has the world at her feet. From her native Australia, where by March 2018 she had notched up a record breaking twenty-five consecutive victories in Group races, and where she makes the news every time she sneezes, to Europe, where racing officials are falling over backwards in their aim to lure her to the Qatar Festival at Goodwood or the Ebor meeting at York, the six-year-old mare is a real superstar with her own twitter handle and fan club.
The incredible story of the horse that has become the hottest commodity in racing began in 2012 at the Magic Million Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where she was purchased by Magic Bloodstock for the trio of friends Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke. Tighe, who did the bidding that day, is quick to admit that they paid slightly more than they had intended, but the AUD $230,000 price tag today seems rather insignificant compared with the over AUD $15 Million prize-money she has earned.

However, the story of Winx is not about money, but about an amazing athlete and a deep passion for racing. Winx is the daughter of the stallion Street Cry and the mare Vegas Showgirl. She was named by Richard Treweeke, at 86 the oldest member of the trio, who tells the story of a trip to Las Vegas where the wink of a showgirl could make a man very happy.

And over the last four years, from her very first start and first victory in a two-year-old handicap at the little-known Warwick Farm racecourse, to a two-year winning streak that includes an amazing three consecutive victories in the Cox Plate and a success in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Winx has been doing just that. She makes people happy. And not just those who are closest associated with her, but thousands of others, including those who might have never even seen a horse race in their life before.
“Has she changed our lives?” laughs Peter Tighe, the CEO of a fruit and vegetable wholesaler company in Queensland. “You bet she has. How could she not? And not just ours. People come up to me and they say, you know I don’t know the horses, I don’t follow racing, but I never miss a race Winx is in. And I’m thinking, this person has never held an interest in racing but now they make sure they are home on a Saturday at three o’clock to watch her run. That is what I love. My wife Patty and I now get recognised by people in the street who stop us to ask after Winx. It’s surreal but people talk about her like you would about someone’s daughter. Hey, how are the kids, are they good, are they healthy? They all talk in those sorts of terms”.

Winx has certainly captured the heart of a nation, but while it was obvious to her trainer Chris Waller that she had some talent, no one, not even her enthusiastic owners could have guessed that she would one day reveal herself as this exceptional champion. Tighe, who has owned horses for over twenty years, remembers each and every moment of the mare’s career and recalls: “She won her first three starts and like every horse owner we dreamt and hoped and wished that we had bought something special. But after those early wins, she had what we now know a bit of a growth spurt and that slightly put her off her game. So, after those early victories she got beat a few times. One day, she even got properly beat when she could finish only seventh of eleven in a Group 2 race. I’m not saying we stopped believing in her, but we never expected to see what came next”.





What came next was a defining moment in her career and Tighe goes on: “We ran her in the Sunshine Coast Guineas, a Group 3 where she started favourite. However, we wouldn’t have been disappointed if she hadn’t won, because in a field of 18, she had drawn the outside draw of 18. Also, we were coming back in trip from 2,400 metres to 1,600 metres”. The odds were stacked against her and coming into the home straight, with only 400 metres to go, she was still in last position. But deploying what has become her trademark acceleration, she burst past the field to win the race by an astonishing two lengths, starting a winning run that is not over yet.

“We can’t really explain what happened”, muses Tighe. “The penny just dropped. But the way she ran that day, she hasn’t done it once, but several times. On her next run, she was bumped and checked and ended up in all sorts of trouble. Again, she was 14th from 14 and even with your most vivid imagination you just couldn’t see her come and win. And yet she did”.

Since that memorable day on the Sunshine Coast in May 2015, Winx literally has not looked back and in 2017 secured her place in history when she lifted a third Cox Plate, one of Australia’s most prestigious races. The man who has been steering her to her last nineteen victories is no other than Hugh Bowman, the 2017 Longines World’s Best Jockey, who thinking back to that memorable day when she won a historic third
Cox Plate at Moonee Valley said: “Nobody had moved. Every single person was still standing in the grandstand and they were just looking at us. I was just lost for words. She had made history. She’s a dream to work with, she is the ultimate professional”.

Tighe was also down on the track that day and he remembers: “It was a sea of blue and white to honour her colours. It’s amazing really, people come in suits made up of the colours with white epaulets and women have handbags with the letters Winx on them”.

There is obviously no guarantee that she will remain unbeaten, but regardless what happens in the future, the three friends, Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke, as well as Chris Waller and Hugh Bowman, will always be grateful for the journey Winx has taken them on and Tighe concludes: “What is really amazing is that Winx has brought people together. The camaraderie and social side of racing has become so enjoyable because she has opened so many doors for us. We are now involved in charities and are able to do things for the less fortunate. We can use Winx to raise money for the National Jockey’s trust or for a children’s charity. She has taken us to places we probably wouldn’t have gone, to Sydney, to Melbourne, to Brisbane and obviously to London where she was honoured as the Longines World’s second highest racehorse in 2017. And who knows, maybe she will still take us to RoyalAscot? No matter what happens, she has certainly given us the ride of a lifetime!” [Liz Price]
... with only 400 metres to go
“The odds were stacked against her and coming into the home straight, with only 400 metres to go, Winx was still in last position. But deploying what has become her trademark acceleration, she burst past the field to win the race by an astonishing two lengths, starting a winning run that is not over yet”.
(ed : Sunshine Coast Guineas)
Summary
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