Europe

A Joke to Be Taken Very Seriously

NEWMARKET, UK—After such giddy disruption to the last cycle, the first session of the European breeze-up calendar gave the sector a comforting sense that its world might be easing back on its axis. But those seeking continuity could find it, not between the market that was eventually salvaged last summer and the one that was tested here on Tuesday, but extending from the 2-year-old sales already staged this year across the ocean. Practical Joke has been the toast of the Florida sales, not least with the $750,000 filly who topped...

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Daughter of Again Debuts at Leopardstown

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Wednesday's Insights features a daughter of MG1SW Again (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). 2.00 Leopardstown, Mdn, €15,000, 3yo, f, 10fT SURELY (IRE) (Galileo {Ire}) is one of two from Ballydoyle alongside the Listed Staffordstown Stud S. third La Joconde (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), but unlike that half-sister to Santiago (Ire) (Authorized...

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Feeling the Love

Newmarket's Craven meeting cranks up on Wednesday, with the G1 1000 Guineas aspirants tackling the G3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn S. up the Rowley Mile that plays host to the May 2 Classic. As usual, the seven-furlong prep has some genuine prospects for the big occasion including Normandie Stud's TDN Rising Star Love Is You (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), who oozed class when beating the smart Gift List (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) by 3 1/2 lengths in the Listed Radley S. on testing ground over this trip at Newbury in October....

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GAIN to Sponsor New Curragh Race Series

GAIN Equine Nutrition will sponsor a series of three 2-year-old races at The Curragh billed as the "Champion Collection", the racecourse announced on Tuesday. The company initially sponsored the G1 Irish St Leger in 2012, switched to sponsoring the G2 Railway S. in 2014 and added the Listed First Flier S. in 2020. The G3 Marble Hill S. will be added to GAIN's sponsorship portfolio for the first time this term. In addition, the winning horse from the GAIN Railway S. will receive a free entry into the G1 Keeneland...

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Cotai Glory Off the Mark At Newmarket

There was a first winner for Tally Ho Stud's first-season sire Cotai Glory (GB) (by Exceed and Excel {Aus}) in the opening juvenile maiden of the season at Newmarket on Tuesday as Amo Racing Limited's newcomer Forca Brasil (Ire) scored for the George Boughey stable. Sent off at 4-1, the chestnut tracked the early pace before slipping between rivals to gain the lead with a furlong remaining and asserting for a 3/4-of-a-length verdict over Love de Vega (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). "He's a lovely horse who has always shown...

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Tattersalls Cheltenham April Entries Revealed

The return of point-to-pointing in Britain and Ireland has facilitated a number of recent winners to be entered for the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale which, because of ongoing Covid restrictions at racecourses, will be held in Newmarket on April 23. Twenty-three young jumpers have been catalogued, 17 of which have won a point-to-point or bumper in the last few weeks, including the 5-year-old Takoda (Ire) (Doyen {GB}), who strolled to a 25-length victory on debut at Higham on April 2. Also catalogued is a Shirocco (Ger) half-sister to the Grade...

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EU Animal Health Law Implementation Update Issued By TBA

The implementation of the EU Animal Health Law, due to go into effect on Apr. 21, will instead begin on Aug. 21, the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association announced on Monday. The rule affects Thoroughbred movements to the EU, and, whilst not yet formally ratified, the Thoroughbred Brexit Steering Group's understanding is that EU technical experts have approved a delay to the application of the new rule for equine exports until late August. Existing Export Health Certificates, among other export documents will remain valid until the revised start date. The TBA's advice...

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Back To HQ

While the British flat turf season officially kicked off at Doncaster at the end of last month, the real beginning takes place on Tuesday as Newmarket open their three-day Craven meeting. Any self-respecting fan of racing will feel that familiar warmth at the prospect of the fixture that hosts the Nell Gwyn, the European Free, the Earl of Sefton and of course the Craven itself. Tuesday's card has two longstanding race titles in the Alex Scott Maiden S. which gets the action underway and the Listed Feilden S. which pitches...

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The Weekly Wrap: Times Are A-Changin'

It's Craven week, followed by Greenham weekend, both coming on the back of some interesting Classic trials in Ireland and France. It is, as some people prefer to say in midwinter, the most wonderful time of the year.  There's no doubt, however, that the biggest racing story of the year has already happened. However much she wants to play down the gender card, Rachael Blackmore winning the Grand National aboard Minella Times (Ire) (Oscar {Ire}) was huge. In fact, Saturday was a big day on both sides for the world...

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Breeze-Up Sector Hopes For Positive Reboot

NEWMARKET, UK--Business as usual? Hardly. But at least things don't feel quite as unnervingly unusual as last year. At the best of times, breeze-up pinhookers have a precarious window of opportunity. After a long winter of preparation, their horses get a few, fleeting seconds between those timing lasers--and if for any reason they misfire then very few prospectors nowadays, whatever they may claim, will give them the benefit of the doubt. And, unlike with foals and yearlings, there is no second chance. All you can do is put the horse...

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Nicolas Lefevre Joins I Want The Winner

Nicolas Lefevre will serve as a bloodstock consultant for I Want The Winner, which launched on Mar. 15. Lefevre, who started his own bloodstock agency Equos Racing International in 2018, previously worked for Louis Le Metayer among others during a lengthy spell in Australia and New Zealand. Earlier in his career, Lefevre spent time at Cheveley Park Stud in the UK and His Highness The Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud in Ireland for two consecutive breeding seasons. Lefevre will also assist in promoting the development of the online sales platform. "It's...

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Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale Relocated to Newmarket

The Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale has been moved once again to the Tattersalls headquarters at Park Paddocks in Newmarket, Tattersalls Ireland announced on Monday. Ongoing COVID-19 related travel restrictions in Ireland prompted the location switch and 2021 marks the second year the sale will be held in Newmarket. The practice breeze session and breeze session proper at Newmarket Racecourse will be held on June 1 and 2, respectively, with the sale scheduled for June 3, as the racecourse is also operating as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. Originally, Goresbridge...

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