Norman Williamson

The X-Ray Files: Norman Williamson

The TDN sat down with Irish pinhooker Norman Williamson for this last installment in the series presented in cooperation with the Consignors and Breeders Association (CBA). Through conversations with buyers and sellers, the series looks to contribute to the discussion on radiograph findings and their impact on racetrack success. The Oak Tree Farm of retired National Hunt jockey Norman Williamson and his wife Janet is responsible for Classic-winning graduates on both sides of the Atlantic. The operation sold future 2019 GI Preakness S. winner War of Will (War Front) and...

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The Next Bucanero Fuerte? Aguiar Lands 200k Wootton Bassett At Doncaster

Robson Aguiar showered Tuesday's Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale-topping Wootton Bassett (GB) colt with praise by comparing him to his Group 1 winner Bucanero Fuerte (GB) and said £200,000 could prove to be good value for the colt in time.  The leading breeze-up handler, who also plays a major role in the Amo Racing operation, flew back to Ireland following inspections but lot 48 clearly made a lasting impression with Aguiar, who saw off stiff opposition for the Highclere Stud-drafted colt remotely. Speaking after the sale, Aguiar said, "He really reminded...

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“The Bar Keeps Lifting” – Tattersalls Craven Sale Kicks Off On Tuesday 

It's that time of year again, the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale--where whispers of Royal Ascot horses and potential breeze-up sensations fills the air.  There's scarcely anything more exciting than the eve of a major sale and they don't come much bigger than the Craven.  This is where Classic winners Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and Cachet (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}) were found and the roll of honour does not stop there. Everything is up for grabs at Tattersalls over the next two days and few people know this better...

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Deauville, It's Good To Be Back

DEAUVILLE, France--With a glinting sun, seagulls on the wing, and the occasional hint of a sea breeze, it is hard to imagine on this perfect spring day that there was ever anything wrong in the world. But it was three years ago that Arqana last held its Breeze-Up Sale at its rightful home in Normandy, with a prolonged pandemic twice forcing the uprooting of one of the most popular auctions of the year to Yorkshire. "It is good to be back here," says Freddy Powell, Arqana's executive director. "But we...

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On The Trail of the Next Breeze-Up Star

NEWMARKET, UK--His photo, needless to say, adorns the front of the catalogue. But those seeking another one at the first European breeze-up auction of the year will scarcely require that prompt when the horse himself will be surfacing halfway through the sale, just up the road on the Rowley Mile, as an unbeaten champion juvenile and favourite for the G1 Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) was found here last year as Lot 56 in the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale. On Wednesday afternoon, before the second of...

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Stage Set For Inaugural Dubai Breeze-Up Sale

DUBAI, UAE--The interesting thing about talking to trainers from different parts of the world is that one man's gallop is another man's breeze, or indeed another woman's canter. Even within the specialised sector of the breeze-up sales, a Donny breezer may set a different pace to a Guineas breezer, often deliberately so, and for the inaugural Dubai Breeze-up Sale the focus is more on letting the 2-year-olds stretch out and show their moves over the two furlongs rather than rousting them along at a searing pace. Not one for the...

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“Terrific Uncertainty” Around Breeze Ups

The breeze-ups can't seem to catch a break. Europe's 2-year-old sales suffered a nosedive in fortunes in 2018-a combination of polarization and oversubscription causing figures to plummet-but the market bounced back in 2019 in buoyant fashion. The breeze-up pinhookers, already surely some of the thickest-skinned players in the game, soldiered on, stocking up their barns at the yearling sales to take another shot in 2020, when the renaissance of the 2-year-old sales would surely continue. And then, along came a pandemic. "There is a lot of concern out there given...

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