John Hammond

Dear Patrick: With Respect, I Disagree

Since the publication of Patrick Cooper's letter suggesting that the Irish Derby should be shortened in distance we have had a predictably mixed response in correspondence on the subject. You can find Cooper's letter in full here. In essence, it highlights the fortunes of two Frankel colts, the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner and Arc runner-up Westover and the Dewhurst and 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean, both of whom raced for Juddmonte. The latter is now a Juddmonte stallion at Banstead Manor Stud, while Westover is about to...

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Arqana Top Lot Make Me King to Wathnan Racing 

Arqana's Autumn Sale, which began on Saturday with a session of Flat yearlings, resumed with a lively session of horses in training, headed by Make Me King (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) at €380,000, one of two six-figure purchases on the day by Wathnan Racing. Sold as lot 420 by the Channel Consignment, the three-year-old has been in training with Andre Fabre and has won in both his seasons to date, as well as finishing runner-up in last year's G3 Prix Thomas Bryon. Out of the Listed-winning juvenile Miss Infinity (Ire)...

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Toronado Colt Shines At Arqana September

Arqana's inaugural September Yearling Sale, a replacement for the v.2 Yearling Sale, started its two-day run on Thursday, and a smart colt by the former French-based stallion Toronado (Ire) brought a session-topping bid of €120,000 from Mathieu Alex on behalf of Pauline Chehboub's SAS Yellow Agency. Part of the Fairway Consignment draft and already named Tomokay (Fr), lot 34 is the fifth foal from his dam, the winning Hold That Tiger mare Loumaxaye (Fr). His half-brother Hayejohn (Fr), by first-season sire Johnny Barnes (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), carried all before him...

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Remembering Lester: A Personal Recollection by John Hammond

It was Wednesday morning, 5 December 1990. The phone rang. 'You running anything at the weekend?'. Inwardly I groaned, I knew what was coming. I was running a handicapper slightly past his best in the 2,100m handicap at Saint-Cloud on the Saturday.  An older horse with his issues, not a comfortable ride, Lester had ridden him 11 days earlier when he was a well beaten third. 'Ok, I'll come and ride him'. And so, to my embarrassment, he flew over at his own expense for one, dodgy ride. It was...

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In Mighty Mishriff We Trust

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--In its short history, the Saudi Cup meeting has not been short of drama. It has also not been slow in ensuring Group 1 status, which it carries this year for the third running of the world's richest race.  It is a deserved uplift. Last year's winner of the $20 million Saudi Cup, Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), was a Classic winner coming into the race, and won another two Group 1s in Dubai and Britain following his success in Riyadh. What's more, he had the subsequent Breeders'...

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The Back Nine With John Hammond

A horse for 2022: Onesto (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), with Fabrice Chappet First season or proven: Proven Speed or stamina: Class Croissant or Full English: A long lunch please Newspaper or podcast: Newspaper Ascot or Longchamp: Both on their day Rock or classical: The late Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman (my generation's Wagner) Bright young thing to follow: Jack Cantillon Wise owl to look up to: Daniel Kahneman, never met him and not in racing but the wisest of owls.

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Rosacea's Sister Tops Arqana October Day Three

DEAUVILLE, Newmarket--By the end of the second session of the Arqana October Sale, turnover had already passed the 2020 total for all five days, and trade continued to bowl along in a similarly upbeat fashion on Wednesday with another €4,744,000 added to the overall tally which has just passed the €25-million mark. To put that in context, the current aggregate has been achieved from the sale of 424 yearlings so far this week. Last year, €18,617,000 was paid for 578 horses, and from a significantly smaller sale in 2019, €17,456,500...

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Asmussen Has Fingerprints All Over HK International Races

Former jockey Cash Asmussen is the owner of a Hong Kong International Races-related accomplishment that will never be surpassed. Asmussen, who remains hands-on at the age of 58 at the Asmussen Horse Center in South Texas trying to raise the next generation of equine stars, has not only called the shots aboard a couple of rare American-bred HKIR winners, but shortly after his retirement in 2001, he also helped select a Keeneland September yearling on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club who would go on to create history. Heady...

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John Hammond Appointed Racing Manager for Gerard Augustin-Normand

Trainer John Hammond, who trained G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heros Montjeu (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) and Suave Dancer (Green Dancer), has been appointed racing manager to Gerard Augustin-Normand, Jour de Galop reported on Wednesday. Sylvain Vidal remains an advisor to Augustin-Normand, who raced Le Havre (Ire) (Noverre) and stands him at Haras de Montfort et Preaux. The rest of the staff maintain their current positions. Augustin-Normand told the JDG regarding the appointment, "I always appreciated and followed the work of John Hammond. More recently, I have appreciated his human...

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Op-Ed: Musings on our magnificent triviality

For the first time in my memory, maybe since the war, there is a complete shutdown of racing in France, Ireland and the UK. It goes without saying that we in racing live in our own little bubble and the effects of the coronavirus are considerably more dramatic on other areas of society. We are in unchartered territory however. So, for the moment, all we can do is to hunker down and ride out the storm. 'Our magnificent triviality' was the description used by the much missed Hugh McIlvanney, Scotland's...

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The Great Racing Read: John Hammond

Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend By Joe Drape A fascinating story about Jimmy Winkfield, a black American jockey riding around 1900. He rode the winner of the Kentucky Derby twice before he was 20. At that time racing was the best attended sport in the US (hell, what happened?). It also had more skulduggery than today. Run out of America by the Irish jocks who ganged up on him, he fled to Europe. First Poland, where he became champion jockey and learnt Polish, then Russia where...

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