Conversations

'The First Thing We Do Every Year Is Make Sure We Don't Go Out Of Business'

Widely considered as one of the shrewdest trainers in Britain, Stuart Williams discusses the major issues facing middle-to-lower-tier operators as well as his concerns for the wider industry as a whole in this week's Starfield Stud-sponsored Q&A.   Brian Sheerin: The first thing that pops up when you log on to your website is a quote from Timeform, which describes you as, 'A conjurer of a trainer. One who can transform an apparently moderate animal into a frequent winner.' Another compliment that could be paid to you is that few...

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Angus Gold: 'You Could Never Underestimate The Significance Of Baaeed'

In this week's Starfield Stud-sponsored Q&A, Brian Sheerin speaks to the long-standing Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold, who explains why Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), recently crowned the highest-rated turf horse in the world, came along at a hugely important time for the operation and much more.   Brian Sheerin: To what degree do you think Baaeed (GB) helped to secure the future of Shadwell given he reached his pomp during a difficult time for the operation? Angus Gold: I don't think it could be overstated how important Baaeed...

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'We Just About Break Even: Prize-Money Is Ludicrous In Britain'

Mick Appleby will bid to begin the new year with a bang when stable star Raasel lines out in the Dubai Dash at Meydan. Appleby will run four horses in total at Meydan over the coming weeks and months, all of whom cost just over £60,000 combined, which illustrates the Northern England-based trainer's ability to sniff out a bargain at the sales.    In this week's Starfield Stud-sponsored Conversations Q&A, Appleby discusses his approach to sourcing talent, speaks out on the poor prize-money in Britain and how difficult it is...

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Jane Mangan: 'Broadcasting Was Never On My Mind – It Seemed Beyond Me'

Former amateur rider-turned-television pundit, Jane Mangan is next up in the Starfield Stud-sponsored Conversations series. From her family's approach to breeding to her time working in Ballydoyle and at Primus, Mangan makes for an engaging subject in this week's Q&A with Brian Sheerin. Brian Sheerin: This year will be remembered for the remarkably strong trade at the sales. Your family's Conna Stud was a beneficiary of the excellent trade when selling a Churchill (Ire) filly for €230,000 at the Orby Sale in September. How did the year go as a...

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'Honeysuckle More Likely To Be Retired Than Run In Mares' Hurdle At Cheltenham'

   Peter Molony is best known for being the man who bought the reigning Champion Hurdler Honeysuckle (GB) (Sulamani {Ire}) on behalf of his client Kenny Alexander. He also works for Sheikh Fahad's Qatar Racing operation, is an agent for Goffs and has had a multitude of top horses through his hands at Rathmore Stud. That may be why the Limerick native signs off on his Twitter bio with the word 'busy'!    Son of the legendary Martin Molony, widely regarded as the best dual-purpose jockey of all time, Peter...

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'Trainers Are Finding It Tough But You Can't Wave a Magic Wand'

One of the most respected racing and bloodstock journalists in Britain and Ireland for over 20 years, Ryan McElligott bid adieu to the press room at the Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale as he embarked on his new role as Chief Executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association. Admitting there was some emotion surrounding the move, McElligott looks back on over 20 years reporting on the sport he loves and looks ahead to the challenges he faces in his new position as the IRTA chief.  The 41-year-old wears many hats....

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Stauffenberg Q&A: 'If You Didn't Get Paid This Year You Did Something Wrong'

   As entertaining as he is brave, Philipp Stauffenberg has dominated the top bracket of the pinhooking table despite buying only a select number of foals each year.    Stauffenberg was once again in the spotlight in October when five of his yearlings took Tattersalls by storm when selling for a combined figure of 2,345,000gns at a memorable Book 1 sale.     Back at Tattersalls, where he was searching for his next Book 1 star at the December Foal Sales, the never-boring and cigarillo-smoking Stauffenberg spoke with TDN Europe's Brian...

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James Harron Q&A: 'Foxwedge Really Got Things Going For Me'

James Harron is one of the most respected operators of his craft internationally. Based in Australia, the native of Northern Ireland credits Gai Waterhouse, agent George Smith and Winx (Aus)'s breeder John Camilleri of Fairway Thoroughbreds as being some of the key influences in his career.    Foxwedge (Aus) is the horse who got the ball rolling for Harron Down Under. He sourced the high-class sprinter-turned-stallion as a yearling and, from there, refined the art of making stallions on a commercial level through colt partnerships.    It's a little under...

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'There's An Opportunity In Every Horse And That's How The Industry Exists'

   Few people left an imprint at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale quite like Olly Tait. Under the banner of the newly-formed and Qatari-backed Wathnan Racing, Tait signed for nine horses to the tune of 1.75 million gns, headed by 450,000gns purchase Persian Royal (GB) (Al Kazeem {GB}).    Fitting that Tait has been tasked with growing Wathnan Racing into a formidable ownership vehicle in Qatar as it was the Australian native who was entrusted by Godolphin to get their Darley operation off the ground down under back...

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Noel Meade: 'Whoever Wins In The Ring Wins On The Track' 

Having been crowned champion National Hunt trainer in Ireland eight times and managed the careers of modern day stars like Harchibald (Fr), Go Native (Ire), Pandorama (Ire) and Road To Riches (Ire), Noel Meade has rightly earned legendary status in that sphere.  However, Meade, who has been training since 1971, has redirected his energies to Flat racing in recent season, a decision that was vindicated when Helvic Dream (Ire) (Power {GB}) provided him with a breakthrough Group 1 success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last year. Meade...

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“You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs Before You Find Your Prince”

   By her own admission, Eve Johnson Houghton does not have unlimited resources to tap into at the yearling sales, which makes her successes in recent seasons all the more impressive.    The trainer sent out 10,000gns purchase Chipotle (GB) (Havana Gold {Ire}) to win the Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot last season and, proving that result was no fluke, bagged the lucrative Tattersalls-sponsored sales race at the Curragh on Sunday with another cheaply-bought son of Havana Gold, the unbeaten Streets Of Gold (Ire).    With the help of...

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'I Just Love The Game,' – Pat Costello Shares The Story Behind Paramount Sales

   Paramount Sales has fast become one of the leading consignors in America with Jack Christopher, Life Is Good and Kameko an example of the recent graduates. Pat Costello, who emigrated to America in 1984 and climbed the ranks in the industry before setting up Paramount Sales in 2001 with fellow Irish ex-pat Gabriel 'Spider' Duignan, shares all about his racing backstory in this week's Q&A.    From turning a profit pinhooking for 10 years on the trot to revealing what horses in the Paramount Sales draft he's most looking...

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