Phoenix Thoroughbreds To Cease UK Operations

Amer Abdulaziz Salman | Sarah Farnsworth

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has announced that it will end its racing operations in the UK with immediate effect.

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has been embroiled in controversy since last November when its chief executive officer Amer Abdulaziz Salman was named in a U.S. federal court trial as being involved in a money-laundering operation. Abdulaziz was also accused of stealing money from sham cryptocurrency OneCoin, which he purportedly helped to run. Abdulaziz has repeatedly denied the allegations.

A statement from Phoenix on Tuesday read in part, “everybody at Phoenix Thoroughbreds is keen for investment into the international sport of racing and in the past few years has been fully committed to healthy growth. The company

has conducted itself appropriately, despite certain media outlets claiming otherwise. It is in no small part down to the unfair treatment from an industry media outlet that this decision

has been taken.

“Phoenix Thoroughbreds has always fully cooperated with the British Horseracing Authority and has always been and continues to be registered, compliant with and operates to the highest standards within the industry. We have been the recipient of incredible support for our ambitions in UK racing and cannot possibly begin to explain our gratitude to the many trainers, stables and other fantastic business partners we have had the absolute privilege and honour to work with over the past few years. We are looking forward to continued relationships with our trusted partners internationally, equine industry colleagues and esteemed providers as we seek even further success on and off the racecourse for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.”

A statement from Abdulaziz Salman read, “It is with a heavy heart that Phoenix Thoroughbreds will no longer have our racing operations in the UK. We have very much enjoyed working with our excellent partners in that market and seeing our colours race at Ascot, Newmarket and further afield has been a dream come true for myself and everyone here at Phoenix Thoroughbreds. We have invested large amounts into the industry in the UK helping to employ hundreds of staff both directly and indirectly.

“This has not been a decision we have taken lightly. However, for the growth and well being of our business and our partners internationally, we have taken the decision to leave the UK

for the foreseeable future. It saddens me greatly to have to do this but at this juncture we believe it is necessary. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve our dreams so far.”

Phoenix's best runners in the UK have included the triple Group 1-winning sprinter Advertise (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) and the 2018 G2 Queen Mary S. and G2 Prix Robert Papin winner Signora Cabello (Ire) (Camacho {GB}). It is involved in racehorses and breeding stock on multiple continents and is a part-owner of this year's G1 Golden Slipper winner Farnan (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}). Trainer Martyn Meade and Bob Baffert and bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington had already been among those to distance themselves from Phoenix since the money-laundering allegations arose, and over the weekend it was revealed that the company's Head of U.S. Operations, Tom Ludt, had also stepped aside.

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