New Face, Same Philosophies For Top Tatts Vendor

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Newsells Park owner Graham Smith-Bernal | Dominic James

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Newsells Park Stud has become one of the most steadfast sights of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale-being, as it has, leading vendor at Book 1 for the past three years, and five of the past eight years–and while many of the familiar faces behind the stud remain the same, it has in fact undergone some significant changes this year, with entrepreneur Graham Smith-Bernal having purchased Newsells Park in June from the Jacobs family.

Not that Newsells Park is new at all to Smith-Bernal-he had been a client of the stud for a handful of years, boarding his small broodmare band there before the opportunity came along to expand his bloodstock interests in a major way.

“Fortunately, Graham had enjoyed being an owner at Newsells because he decided to buy the stud when the opportunity came along,” said Newsells General Manager Julian Dollar. “That was very fortunate. He's a very nice guy, he's incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about it, which is so important.”

Newsells Park has a storied history that dates back to 1086, and the Newsells that we know today was incorporated by Klaus Jacobs in 2000. Jacobs's German influence is still very much prevalent in the bloodstock that emanates from the stud today, and Dollar noted that Smith-Bernal and his wife, Marcela, have become fully immersed in the experience.

“Graham and Marcela have became enchanted with Newsells Park–the grounds, the paddocks and the land–and they're spending a lot of time here, which is wonderful,” he said. “They really enjoy that additional benefit of the place; not just the horses and the fact that it's a business, but they're enjoying that it's a beautiful place to live. They've really embraced the stud and everything about it.”

Smith-Bernal stressed in a TDN interview in June that he is not looking to reinvent the highly successful wheel when it comes to Newsells Park, but that he is keen to explore branching out into other areas, in particular breeding and racing partnerships.

“I know he is interested in partnerships and I think he has a lot of friends and acquaintances that have been investors with him along the way in his businesses, and they're keen to support and they're interested in racing and breeding,” Dollar said. “A lot of them have been to see Newsells and really enjoyed that. I think there is a possibility that will happen, but there is no firm deadline. It might happen this year, it might wait until next year.

“While Graham continues to get his feet under the desk and understand the place, things remain pretty much as before. He'll gently tweak things as he goes along based on what he enjoys and what he'd like to see the stud do. He loves his racing and he'll be around to enjoy his racing so there is maybe the possibility that we'll be able to retain a couple more fillies than we have in the past. I think we all see partnerships as something quite important to the future, so I could see that happening and he's enthusiastic to welcome friends, acquaintances and business investors into that.”

The first order of business, however, will be the Tattersalls October yearling sales, and for Book 1 alone Newsells Park brings 29 yearlings, 19 of which are siblings to stakes horses and 19 of which are out of stakes mares.

Newsells's commercial star during the past decade-a reputation that has been upheld by her progeny on the racecourse-has certainly been Shastye (Ire) (Danehill), the dam of Group 1 winners Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) (1.3-million gns) and Mogul (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) (3.4-million gns), G2 Middleton S. winner and triple Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), G3 International S. winner Sir Isaac Newton (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) (3.6-million gns) and listed winner Maurus (GB) (Medicean {GB}). Shastye's current 2-year-old filly by Galileo (Ire), now named Skylark (GB), cost MV Magnier 3.4-million gns at Book 1 last year, and while the mare doesn't have a yearling or foal of 2021, two of her daughters feature with yearlings in the Newsells consignment.

Dollar noted that 20-year-old Shastye was scanned in foal to Dubawi early in the season, and she has an important scan in the coming weeks.

“We have three daughters of Shastye, which is wonderful,” Dollar said. “Shastye is going to be checked next week; last year we scanned 95 mares on the stud for the October 1 checks and 94 of them were in foal, so it was a bit sad that the one that wasn't in foal was probably the most important mare that we have on the stud, Shastye. But she is, we hope, back in foal to Dubawi and I hope that we might get one, if not two, more babies out of her. She looks fantastic, she is getting on these days but she doesn't look like an old mare–she looks 15, 16 tops. She looks great and I'm hopeful we could get one or two more.”

Lot 260 is a Lope De Vega (Ire) filly and the first foal out of Shastye's daughter Secret Gaze, who cost Qatar Bloodstock 1.35-million gns at Book 1 in 2016. Secret Gaze didn't make it to the racetrack, and her first foal is bred by Qatar Bloodstock in partnership with Newsells Park.

“Secret Gaze probably reminds me the most of Shastye,” Dollar said. “She had some problems in training as a 2-year-old and never really overcame those. This is her first foal, and there's lots of mum and plenty of dad in her. People that have seen her on the farm seem to like her, and I like her; she has a good step to her and an honest way about her. She just wants to please and she's been a delight to do anything with. But that's the whole family.”

Following Secret Gaze's filly through the ring as lot 261 is a Kingman (GB) filly who is the third foal out of Secret Sense, a winning daughter of Shastye.

“Secret Sense is a proper, big Shamardal mare and this girl is rather magnificent,” Dollar said. “She has a great way about her, a great step to her and a great character.”

There will be few individuals at Park Paddocks on Thursday morning around 11 a.m. under as much pressure as Dollar will be, as Newsells sends the first three lots of the day through the ring, and four of the first 10.

“It's going to be a bit of a nightmare,” Dollar admitted, but, as far as nightmares go, even he would admit it is more of a daydream considering the quality of those four yearlings. First up is lot 336, a Dubawi (Ire) half-sister to the 2019 G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner and four-time Group 1 scorer Waldgeist (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) as well as the group winners Waldlied (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) and Waldkonig (GB) (Kingman {GB}) out of the G3 Prix Penelope scorer Waldlerche (GB) Monsun {Ger}). Waldlied's first foal, a colt by Kingman (GB), is next up as lot 337, while lot 338 is a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt out of the German listed winner Waldnah (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), who is a half-sister to Waldlerche. Lot 346 is John and Tanya Gunther's full-brother to G1 St James's Palace S. winner and young Newsells sire Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

The three 'W' family yearlings are extra special to Newsells as they descend from Waldmark (Ger) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}), who was bought as a foal by Klaus Jacobs and was the first horse he purchased for Newsells after buying the stud in 2000.

“It's nice for us now to have developed a couple generations of that family,” Dollar said. “We haven't always had the opportunity to do that because we've been so commercial.”

Newsells raced Waldlerche, the fifth foal out of the Classic-producing Waldmark, in partnership with Deitrich von Boetticher's Gestut Ammerland, and they too teamed up with Waldgeist, who was her first foal, and are co-breeders of the mare's Dubawi filly.

“What I think is so interesting about this mare is that every foal she produces has a bit of her and a bit of the stallion,” Dollar said. “This filly is absolutely no exception. She's probably one of the stronger fillies that this mare has produced. She's very much Dubawi– very strong, powerfully built, a very tidy model–and yet you have mum's colour, head, and a lot of mum's characteristics.

“She does have a very good mind; we know Waldlerche throws horses with very good temperaments, otherwise they wouldn't be good racehorses, and Dubawi is extraordinary for the temperament he passes on. We own her in partnership, but we felt we had to disperse the partnership; Dietrich wasn't particularly keen to race her because he might be cutting back a bit. We'll be there to support her; we're not going to let a filly like that just go, but she might be too valuable for us to race, unfortunately.”

Waldlied is the second foal out of Waldlerche, and though her record reads well as the winner of the G2 Prix de Malleret in only four starts, Dollar said there is more than what meets the eye.

“She won the Prix de Malleret but if you watch it she won it in a canter,” Dollar said. “The jockey didn't move and she won by four or five lengths. I know Andre Fabre thought the world of her and he thought she was a filly we'd supplement to the Arc that year. We didn't because sadly she did a tendon and never came back from that.”

Dollar admitted Waldlied's Kingman colt, likewise bred in partnership with Ammerland, will not be on the lists for those shopping for a Royal Ascot 2-year-old.

“This guy is a big, strong horse; he's magnificent,” Dollar said. “I think he has some x-factor about him. He's not going to be winning a Royal Ascot 2-year-old race, that's for sure, but hopefully his future is more exciting than that as a 3-year-old.

“If you think about who is the best or the second-best son of Kingman, you'd have to say it's Persian King. We have Persian King's dam here and I know what Persian King looked like, and they're not dissimilar. He wouldn't be beautiful, but he's a rather fine, handsome horse and he has a great athletic step on him. To be fair, if I showed you the mare you'd understand the yearling a bit better. She's about 17 hands, she's very long and in deference to her–she is the most lovely person so I couldn't be rude about her– but she doesn't have the prettiest noggin, as they'd say in America. She's the most lovely character you could ever deal with, but she's not pretty.”

Lot 338, the Sea The Stars colt out of Waldnah, has had a few important updates since the catalogue was printed; the mare's first two foals, both sons of Le Havre (Ire), have won, with the 2-year-old Wanees (GB) an exciting prospect for Shadwell, which bought him for 325,000gns at Tattersalls last year. Wanees broke his maiden at Ascot on Sept. 4 and followed up in a Salisbury novice race last Thursday.

“The Waldnah/Sea The Stars is a lovely horse,” Dollar said. “They think quite a bit of the 2-year-old, Wanees, who is with Charlie Hills. We are very passionate about that family. We wanted to get a Le Havre filly out of the mare, we tried twice but we didn't get lucky. Sea The Stars is a mating we really wanted to try, too.”

Dollar and the Newsells team won't have much time to digest the results of the 'W' yearlings before another of their big-ticket offerings enters the ring, the full-brother to Without Parole, who is the ninth foal out of the Gunthers' Without You Babe (Lemon Drop Kid), who has also produced the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner and young sire Tamarkuz (Speightstown) as well as the American listed winner and Grade III-placed She's Got You (GB) (Kingman {GB}). Without You Babe's most recent progeny to see a sales ring was her 2018 Dubawi colt, who was bought by Kevin Ryan on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid for 1-million gns at this sale.

“He's just a beast,” Dollar said of Without Parole's full-brother. “He's not as beautiful as Without Parole-Without Parole is just such a lovely looking horse. But he's magnificent. He's incredibly strong. He looks very much like an American turf horse. I'd be amazed if the guys coming over from the States didn't zoom in on him.”

Without Parole won the St James's Palace S. while unbeaten in 2018. He joined Chad Brown in the States as a 4-year-old and while he didn't manage to pick up another win, he did place in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at four and the GI Shoemaker Mile and GI Shadwell Turf Mile at five despite meeting trouble in running on numerous occasions. He stood his first season at Newsells Park this year, covering just shy of 100 mares for £10,000 apiece.

“He's been well received, not really surprisingly,” Dollar said. “He's a Group 1-winning miler by Frankel, who looks like he might be the horse to succeed Galileo, if any horse ever could really succeed Galileo.”

Fifteen yearlings by Galileo grace Book 1, and Newsells Park offers a filly by the late, great champion sire (lot 365) who is the first foal out of the G2 Duke Of Cambridge and G3 Atalanta S. scorer Aljazzi (GB) (Shamardal), who Newsells bought for 1-million gns from the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale of 2018.

“The Galileo filly is an absolute belter, she's just lovely,” Dollar said. “She's beautifully balanced, walks beautifully and looks a real racehorse.”

Dollar also nominated a Dubawi filly who is the first foal out of German Group 3 winner Peace In Motion (Hat Trick {Jpn}) as being “very special.” Newsells offers five fillies on behalf of Al Shahania Stud, including a Dubawi filly out of G2 Diana Trial winner Longina (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) (lot 127), and a Siyouni (Fr) colt for that breeder out of G1 Cheveley Park S. winner and stakes producer Vorda (Fr) (Orpen) (lot 333).

“They're exceptionally nice horses, a very strong, level bunch with a few extra special ones,” said Dollar of the draft. Referring to Newsells's sale-topping filly out of Shastye last year, he added modestly, “I don't have a 3.4-million guineas filly, but we have some lovely horses. I just hope they all go there in one piece and that there are enough people there that like them and want to buy them and that our clients are happy with the prices they make. It's a nerve-wracking time and I'm always a bit anxious about these things, but I'm hopeful.”

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