A Golden Opportunity At Sumbe

Golden Horde | Zuzanna Lupa


Sumbe-under its previous guises as Haras de la Cauviniere and Haras de Montfort et Preaux and still today under the guidance of new owner Nurlan Bizakov-has made a concerted effort to upgrade the level of stallions standing of France. It has done so with success, too; as part of its fruitful relationship with Gerard Augustin-Normand, the Cauviniere principals retained the 2009 G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner Le Havre (Ire) to stand in France, and the son of Noverre rose through the ranks to become one of the most successful domestic sires ever, climbing to a career-high fee of €60,000 and leaving behind 50 stakes winners and five Group 1 winners and counting.

Shortly after changing its name to Montfort et Preaux, the stud added Recorder (Ire), The Queen's homebred G3 Acomb S. winner by Galileo (Ire) who was well supported by breeders and, with eight first-crop winners this year, sits behind only Zarak (Fr) on the French first-season sires' table.

Last year, Golden Horde (Ire) (Lethal Force {Ire}) became the first stallion recruited to the stud since it was purchased by Bizakov and renamed Sumbe in homage to his hometown in Kazakhstan. The G1 Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde represents a unique opportunity for French breeders, he being one of very few representatives of the red-hot Acclamation sireline in the country, and its only Group 1 winner.

Bred by CN Farm, Golden Horde was picked up by trainer Clive Cox for £65,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale of 2018. He made his debut in mid-May for owner Al Mohamediya Racing and broke his maiden at second asking two weeks later when making all to win a Windsor maiden by 4 1/2 lengths. Two lengths from the winner Arizona (Ire) (No Nay Never) when fifth in the G2 Coventry S., Golden Horde won the G2 Richmond S.-just like Acclamation's ascendant sire son Mehmas (Ire)-over Threat (GB) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}), who would go on to add the G2 Gimcrack S. and G2 Champagne S. in his next two starts. Golden Horde, meanwhile, stepped up to Group 1 company finishing third behind Earthlight (Ire) (Shamardal) in the G1 Prix Morny before running that rival to a neck when second in the G1 Middle Park S.

Golden Horde returned to Royal Ascot for a belated 3-year-old debut in the G1 Commonwealth Cup, and shook off the cobwebs in decisive fashion when racing prominently and pulling 1 1/2 lengths clear in the closing stages for a first top-level win. Facing older horses for the final three starts of his career, Golden Horde made a good account of himself on each occasion, beaten 1 1/2 lengths when third in the G1 July Cup, fifth in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and third in the G1 Sprint Cup S. Golden Horde proved both consistent and versatile, having been Group 1-placed over both good and soft ground.

“He was very consistent, very tough, and I loved his way of racing-first out, running hard all the way and very, very tough and genuine,” said Sumbe's Mathieu Alex. “It's a great pleasure to have him here too, he is very well behaved and has a great mind, and we have a lot of faith in him.”

Golden Horde's pedigree has continued to go from strength to strength since his purchase as a yearling. His dam, the Pivotal (GB) mare Entreat (GB), was sold by her breeder Cheveley Park Stud for 14,000gns at Tattersalls July in 2016 carrying Golden Horde. A month after Golden Horde became a pattern-race winner, his elder sister Exhort (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) also scored at listed level. Line Of Departure (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), Entreat's 3-year-old of 2021, won the Listed Cathedral S. in June, and was ultimately gelded after tall assignments in the July Cup and G2 Hungerford S. Entreat has a 2-year-old filly by Zoffany (Ire) named Heart To Heart (GB) who was a 580,000gns Tattersalls October purchase last year by MV Magnier and won one of nine starts this year, and a filly foal by Zoustar (Aus) who was bought back for 240,000gns at the same sale. Golden Horde traces back to a highly productive American family: his third dam is Imagining (Northfields), best known as the dam of the champion and Group 1 producer Serena's Song (Rahy), whose legacy includes G1 Coronation S. winners Sophisticat and Rizeena (Ire), Jim Bolger's useful sire Vocalised, dual Grade I winner and Grade I sire Honor Code and G1 Prix d'Ispahan victor Zabeel Prince (Ire).

The recent death of Golden Horde's broodmare sire Pivotal may mean that his genes are more highly sought after than ever, especially considering Pivotal's position in the pedigree of French champion sire Siyouni as well as exciting young stallions like St Mark's Basilica (Fr), Sottsass (Fr), Cracksman (GB) and Advertise (GB).

“Golden Horde's sireline is very proven-Acclamation, Dark Angel, and his dam Entreat is by Pivotal and is the dam of six winners including three stakes winners, and it is the family of American champion Serena's Song and Sophisticat,” Alex said.

Breeders can be encouraged, too, by the fact that Sumbe threw the strength of its broodmare band behind Golden Horde, who Alex describes as “a very good-looking horse,” in his first season at stud.

“He's very masculine and has a lot of strength, and he's a great mover,” Alex said. “We supported him heavily on the farm sending 20 very good mares–stakes performers and dams of stakes performers. He's been very well received in France, and across Europe.”

After covering his first book in 2021 for a fee of €10,000, Golden Horde will be available for €8,000 next year.

“I think Golden Horde should be a very commercial sire because he was a very talented 2-year-old who brings a lot of precocity, but also trained on and won a Group 1 race at Royal Ascot as a 3-year-old,” Alex said. “He's a fast horse, a very good-looking horse with a great pedigree, so fingers crossed-he has a lot of things going for him.”

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