To find out more call us on 01933 440077 or email us on enquire@weatherbyshamilton.co.uk

 

Monday, 1 April 2019

Cross Counter lands Dubai Gold Cup – the first WHSM qualifier

Cross Counter successfully bridged the gap between Australia and the UAE with a brilliant victory for jockey William Buick over Isopolini – like the winner a 4-year-old owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby – in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, the first qualifying race for the 2019 WH Stayers’ Million.

Winner of the Melbourne Cup last November, Cross Counter defied the lengthy lay-off, showing great courage as the two stablemates drew clear of their eight rivals from 500m out. Ispolini surrendered the lead 250m from the finish, where Cross Counter forged ahead to gain victory by one and a quarter lengths in a time of 3min 19secs, the third-best in 11-year history of the race.

Cross Counter, who gave both his trainer and jockey their first successes in the race, was taking his career record to six wins and two second placings from nine races.

French-trained Call The Wind stayed on over the last 500m to be third, three lengths off the first two and four lengths ahead of Gold Mount, Hong Kong’s first runner in the race.

Winning trainer, Charlie Appleby, said: “It was his first opportunity to run since Melbourne and he answered all the questions. William was put in a bit of a pocket in the race but you’re actually never too worried when you’re working with the nice horses and good jockeys we have.

“I’m delighted with the result, it’s what tonight is all about and it’s good to get the first one out of the way. I just spoke to His Highness and we said we’d let the dust settle before come up with a plan but we could maybe go for the Gold Cup. But we’ll sit back and enjoy today before deciding where we go.”

The focus of the WH Stayers’ Million now turns to Navan for the Vintage Crop Stakes on Sunday, 28th April.

 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

2019 WH Stayers’ Million launched in Newmarket

Yesterday saw the official launch of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million (WHSM) 2019 in Newmarket.

Bjorn Nielsen’s 2018 Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million victor, Stradivarius, looked magnificent and showed his wellbeing in no uncertain style as he was paraded.

His trainer, John Gosden, and regular pilot, Frankie Dettori were on hand to lend their support to the initiative which aims to build on the success of last year and bring more attention and excitement to the Stayers’ division.

For 2019, the WHSM has been further enhanced with the introduction of four qualifying races in Dubai, Germany, France and Ireland to supplement the four British qualifiers which remain as last year.

Consequently, this means that the WHSM will be awarded to the connections of a horse that first wins one or more of eight elite staying races staged between March and May:

  • Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (Dubai) – March 30th
  • Vintage Crop Stakes (Navan) – April 28th
  • Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot) – May 1st
  • Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester) – May 9th
  • Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen (Berlin-Hoppegarten) – May 12th
  • Matchbook Yorkshire Cup (York) – May 17th
  • Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – May 23rd
  • Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (ParisLongchamp) – May 26th

If one of these horses can then go on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (June 20th), the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival (July 30th) and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (August 23rd), its connections will win the £1 million prize.

As in 2018, the £1 million will be split between the connections of the successful horse, with 70% awarded to the owner and 30% divided equally between the trainer, stable staff, breeder and jockey

Speaking at the launch, John Gosden confirmed that the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup would again be the likely starting point from which Stradivarius would seek to defend his crown.

Also at the event, Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdulla, revealed that Weekender, a stablemate of last year’s victor, could be looking at the WHSM.

John Gosden said: “The great thing about the Stayers’ Million this year is that there are so many more entry races. It starts in Dubai on Saturday and there are now races in Germany, France and Ireland. These new races mean that the dream will stay alive at least until after the Gold Cup and hopefully Stradivarius can do it again. Stradivarius is in great form with himself and the plan is to start off as he did last year in the Yorkshire Cup.”

Charles Hamilton (CEO Weatherbys Hamilton) said: “I really thought the Stayers’ Million could be done at this time last year even though there were doubters. The Gold Cup is the key race and once that is in the bag the Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Stakes are a good fit in the calendar.

“We dipped our toe in the water last year as regards qualifying races but we thought we would extend it to Europe and Dubai this year.”

Frankie Dettori partnered Stradivarius to three of his four key victories last year. He said: “Stradivarius is remarkable in that he’s a stayer with a turn of foot.

“What he did was remarkable but when it came to the last race in the Lonsdale Cup he was pretty much a tired horse. We’re going to try again but it will be more difficult this year with more competition and more miles on the clock

 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million

Following the extraordinary exploits of Stradivarius last year, we are delighted to announce that the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million (WHSM) is back for 2019 and looking to bring even more attention and excitement to the Stayers’ division.

On his way to scooping the £1 Million prize in 2018, Bjorn Nielsen’s son of Sea The Stars achieved something remarkable and shone the brightest of lights on the merits of the Stayers with his courage, durability and will to win.

From the outset, the key objectives for specialist insurance broker Weatherbys Hamilton has been to celebrate, support and promote the staying horse – an animal that has defined the European thoroughbred for the last three hundred years. In 2018 it achieved all of these objectives and more.

Building on the success, the 2019 WHSM has been further enhanced with the introduction of four qualifying races in Dubai, Germany, France and Ireland to supplement the four British qualifiers which remain as last year.

Consequently, this means that the WHSM will be awarded to the connections of a horse that first wins one or more of eight elite staying races staged between March and May:

  • Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (Dubai) – March 30th
  • Vintage Crop Stakes (Navan) – April 28th
  • Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot) – May 1st
  • Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester) – May 9th
  • Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen (Berlin-Hoppegarten) – May 12th
  • Yorkshire Cup (York) – May 17th
  • Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – May 23rd
  • Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (ParisLongchamp) – May 26th

If one of these horses can then go on, as Stradivarius did so memorably last year, to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (June 20th), the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival (July 30th) and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (August 23rd), its connections will win the £1 million prize.

As in 2018, the £1 million will be split between the connections of the successful horse, with 70% awarded to the owner and 30% divided equally between the trainer, stable staff, breeder and jockey.

The origins of thoroughbred racing are founded on the Stayer with the original match races often taking place over extended distances. The legendary Eclipse (foaled in 1764), features in almost all the pedigrees of the modern thoroughbred and he habitually raced at distances of three to four miles.

Despite the recent trend towards breeding more precocious horses for shorter distances, it is the Stayers who remain for many the real Trojans of the turf. Their battles over nearly two miles or more have made magnificent spectacles and live long in the memory. Many feel that it is imperative for the health and diversity of the European thoroughbred that these bloodlines are perpetuated and cherished and the WHSM is already playing a key part in rekindling the fortunes of the Stayer.

The races that comprise the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million have been won by horses whose names still resonate through their heroism, their toughness and the longevity of their careers. Stradivarius’ achievements in 2018 entitle him to be mentioned in the same breath as Le Moss, Double Trigger, Sagaro, Ardross, Persian Punch and Yeats to name but a few. The finish of last year’s Gold Cup at Ascot when Stradivarius so memorably fought off the persistent challenges of Vazirabad and Torcedor up the home straight was one of the races of the meeting and embodied everything that is so special about the Stayers.

The introduction of the four international qualifying races is designed to promote even wider interest in the WHSM and the Stayers themselves, and the prospect of there being up to eight contenders in with a chance of embarking on the winning sequence come the Gold Cup at Ascot in June is to be savoured.

Weatherbys Hamilton is a broker that specialises in the insurance requirements of private clients. In addition to its dominant position in bloodstock, it is equally strong in the insurance of farms, estates and other high net worth property and is a dynamic force in all of these areas. At a time of growing anonymity in the insurance industry, its quality of service and the attention it devotes to its clients that increasingly differentiates Weatherbys Hamilton from its competitors.

For further information please contact: Nick Craven, Communications Director on +44 (0)1933 440077/+44 (0)7850 025835 or email: ncraven@weatherbys.co.uk

A copy of the full press release for the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million 2019 can be downloaded here.