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

Friday, 24 August 2018

 

Stradivarius lands the Million!

 

Stradivarius scooped the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million bonus when completing a clean sweep of the series with a famous victory in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York.

Winner of the Yorkshire Cup, The Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Cup, the top-class stayer, owned by Bjorn Nielsen, landed the bonus for connections with a performance that was full of guts and determination.

It may not have been straightforward for the 4-11 favourite, but the John Gosden-trained four-year-old ultimately got the upper hand in the final furlong to beat his old rival Count Octave in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Petitioner, wearing the Nielsen second colours, set a sensible gallop until the turn for home, where Count Octave took over.

Stradivarius took some time to find his feet, but he knuckled down to his task and once he hit the front at the furlong pole, he kept up the gallop to beat Count Octave by a length and half.

Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho was four and a half lengths away in third place.

Gosden said: “Full marks to the owner, he’s been trying to breed a Derby winner for years and he ends up with a Cup horse!

“But seriously, he’s passionate about breeding and puts a lot of time and effort into it, so he deserves it.

“It’s an extraordinary achievement. The horse has a lot of determination, but also a lot of class.

“I wouldn’t say he was at his sparkling best today, Rab (Havlin, on Petitioner) did a good job setting a pace and it was a good job he was there otherwise there wouldn’t have been much pace at all.

“I think he’s better off a really strong pace. But we can’t complain as we won.

“Just briefly Frankie had his ground taken. He hates coming up the rail at York, he won right down the middle on Mark Johnston’s horse yesterday and was determined to do the same, but he ended up on the rail.”

Reflecting on the year, he said: “The highlight was definitely Ascot, that was a terrific race, we never knew if he’d stay or not.

“After the first leg we were only thinking of Ascot, after that then it (WH Stayers’ Million) became a real possibility, then of course, after Goodwood we were only ever going to be thinking of it.

“When it was announced we thought it was a great incentive, but would be very hard to do, so I’m thrilled to do it in the first year.”

Of a potential crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Gosden said: “It looks very hot this year, so we’ll just have to see.”

A proud Nielsen said: “To win just one leg of the incentive is huge, they are all prestigious races.

“To win four, first of all you need a tremendous horse, but you also need an enormous amount of luck and a very talented trainer to bring the horse to a peak four times in a season.

“As for next season, it seems pretty obvious to keep him to the same races. I’ve no inclination to take him to Australia (Melbourne Cup), it is very hard for a horse to come back from there and show the same form.”

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

 

Stradivarius – one in a Million!

 

It was the race that set the first day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival alight, as Stradivarius landed the Group 1 Goodwood Cup in the hands of Andrea Atzeni.

Owned by Bjorn Nielsen, who also bred the son of Sea The Stars, the John Gosden-trained colt always looked to have the measure of the front-running Torcedor as he came to take the race in the final furlong.

He had to tough it out though to reel in Jessica Harrington’s charge, and all roads now lead to York for the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, the final race in the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, for which he is firm favourite.

Charles Hamilton, Chief Executive of Weatherbys Hamilton, said:

“We couldn’t be more excited that the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million is very much alive with just the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup between Stradivarius and a £1 million payday for his connections.

“There were many who thought that the WH Stayers’ Million would be nearly impossible to win but they were reckoning without a horse who encapsulates everything that is great about a stayer – soundness, longevity, versatility and real quality.

“We are delighted that throughout the last few months our initiative has focused well deserved attention on these ‘Trojans of the Turf’ and we now look forward to an incredible climax at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in just over three weeks’ time.”

Friday, 22 June 2018

 

Frankie perfectly in tune in quest for WH Stayers’ Million

 

Stradivarius secured victory in a thrilling renewal of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday under Frankie Dettori.

This was Dettori’s fifth Gold Cup, and the 60th Royal Ascot race of his glittering career, that has taken connections one step closer to landing the WH Stayers’ Million.

Trained by John Gosden, the four-year-old was stepping up to two and a half miles for the first time in his career.

Torcedor led the field into the home straight ahead of Stradivarius, French challenger Vazirabad and 2016 Gold Cup hero Order Of St George, the other 7/4 joint-favourite, and it was Stradivarius who came home best.

Stradivarius was bidding for his second Royal Ascot success, having won the Queen’s Vase at last year’s meeting.

He was beaten a length into third place by Order Of St George in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, but a winning return in last month’s Yorkshire Cup suggested he could be an improved performer this season.

With Order Of St George under a pressure a long way from home on this occasion and eventually finishing fourth, Stradivarius travelled strongly for much of the way and saw out the extra distance well to score by three-quarters of a length.

Vazirabad just beat Torcedor to the runner-up spot by a head.

Dettori told ITV Racing: “That’s 60 wins here, six Gold Cups and I’m only 47, in case you forget!

“He was a lion today. He had to see off Order Of St George, Torcedor and then Vazirabad and in the end he took off – it went perfectly.

“I come alive here, I love it. I think the crowd lifted him. The Gold Cup is the showcase of the week and to win it again, my first one for John Gosden, it’s great for the team.”

Charles Hamilton, Chief Executive of Weatherbys Hamilton, said:

“When we launched the WH Stayers’ Million in March, John Gosden and Jessie Harrington were amongst the first to give it strong support. Torcedor (Longines Sagaro Stakes) and Stradivarius (Mansion Bet Yorkshire Cup) both won their qualifiers and both have now fought out a magnificent finish to the Gold Cup today. There has never been any doubt in our minds that the WH Stayers’ Million is very winnable by an outstanding Stayer and so it is now on to the Qatar Goodwood Cup for Stradivarius to see whether he can come to York in August with a shot at winning the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and the £1 Million bonus. Nothing would be more exciting and you would have had a heart of stone not to be moved by the finish of the Gold Cup at Ascot today with three outstanding horses battling out a magnificent finish after 2 1/2 miles. That encapsulated everything that is so fantastic about the Stayers and why we are so delighted to be supporting them.”

Friday, 25 May 2018

 

Magic Circle storms home in final qualifier for WH Stayers’ Million

 

The Ian Williams-trained Magic Circle repeated his recent Chester Cup heroics when producing a mighty performance to land the Group 3 Matchbook Henry II Stakes at Sandown yesterday evening.

Qualifying for a shot at the WH Stayer’s Million in the process, the son of Makfi was held-up by jockey Fran Berry until two-furlongs out where he made steady progress to lead at the furlong pole and go on in fine style to score by six lengths from Red Verdon.

Although a run in the Melbourne Cup is firmly on the minds of connections, a tweet last night from owner Marwan Koukash suggested that they were considering going for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, meaning a shot at the WH Stayer’s Million is on the cards.

Last night’s success by Magic Circle concludes the qualifying races for the WH Stayer’s Million which have produced a set of four high-class winners. From Torcedor’s excellent front-running display in the Longines Sagaro Stakes to Idaho’s power-packed victory in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes, and the impressive performance of Stradivarius in the MansionBet Yorkshire Cup to Magic Circle’s mighty display at Sandown.

The dream of landing the ‘Million’ is very much alive as we head into June and to Royal Ascot, where the Gold Cup promises to be a cracking showdown.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

 

Chester Cup victor Magic Circle set for final qualifier for WH Stayers’ Million

 

Impressive Chester Cup winner Magic Circle is set to contest the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes at Sandown Park on Thursday for trainer Ian Williams.

Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash, the son of Makfi features amongst a competitive field for the Group 3 stayers’ contest over two miles of the Esher course.

David Simcock’s Sheikhzayedroad sets the standard with the John Gosden pair of Weekender and Glencadam Glory also declared.

Montaly, Red Verdon, Mount Moriah and Time To Study complete the eight runners in what is the final qualifying race for the WH Stayers’ Million.

Friday, 18 May 2018

 

Stradivarius cruises to Yorkshire Cup glory and takes third prep-race for WH Stayers’ Million

 

Stradivarius reinforced his staying credentials with a most impressive success in the Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup.

John Gosden’s charge was sent off the 4-6 favourite and Frankie Dettori’s mount never looked in danger down the long home straight on the Knavesmire.

Dettori allowed himself a look between his legs over a furlong out and when he asked him to go and win his race, Desert Skyline and Call To Mind had no response.

“He’s a star – it’s very rare you get a stayer with a turn of foot, but that is what he has got. It’s a deadly combination,” said Dettori.

“It is a great weapon to have over this distance and he’s a force to be reckoned with now.”

Third in the St Leger and only a length behind Order Of St George at Ascot on Champions day, Stradivarius is set to renew rivalry with Aidan O’Brien’s ace in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

Dettori added: “He is the young pretender in the Gold Cup, with fresh legs, and he’s on the way up.”

Gosden, who had already won the Middleton Stakes and the Dante this week, said: “That was a proper test first time back and I haven’t been working him like that, I can assure you.

“Willie Mullins came to make it a proper test (with Wicklow Brave).

“He’d only done bridle work so I couldn’t be more happy.

“He’s bred by his owner and it’s important these people have success.”

Looking to Ascot, he said: “I promise you I can’t practice over two and a half miles (Gold Cup trip) at home, so the answer to if he will stay we’ll find out when they turn for home.

“We’ll go for the Gold Cup, but it’s uncharted territory.

“He switches off and the freshness is out of him, so if you relax and switch off you’ve got a chance.

“It was a tough race, they went hard.”

The victory qualifies Stradivarius to challenge for the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, a bonus he would land if he could claim the Gold Cup, Qatar Goodwood Cup and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

Gosden said: “It’s good, isn’t it – we’ve now got the big hurdle (Gold Cup), that was the little hurdle!”

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

 

Stradivarius tops eight in third prep-race for WH Stayers’ Million

 

Last year’s Qatar Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius will begin his bid for staying honours in 2018 when he lines-up for the MansionBet Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday.

John Gosden’s classy long-distance horse had a successful three-year-old career. Not only did he lower the colours of Gold Cup hero Big Orange, but he was also a highly-creditable third in both the St Leger and the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the winner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

Stradivarius makes his reappearance in this Group Two contest over a mile and three-quarters which is the third prep-race in the WH Stayers’ Million.

Should he be victorious on Friday, he would be in line for the £1million bonus on offer for any horse that wins one of four prep events in May before going on to claim the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Qatar Goodwood Cup and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins has left in both Max Dynamite and Wicklow Brave, who both ran over hurdles at last month’s Punchestown Festival.

Peter Niven’s 2016 winner Clever Cookie will attempt to strike again at the age of 10.

The William Haggas-trained Call To Mind is owned by the Queen who won with Dartmouth last year. Desert Skyline, Count Octave and On To Victory complete the line-up.

Friday, 11 May 2018

 

Classy Idaho strolls to Ormonde Stakes victory at Chester – and could be looking at a step up in trip

 

Idaho has a host of options open to him after making the most of having his sights lowered for the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester.

Following six consecutive appearances at Group One level, the Aidan O’Brien-trained five-year-old was back in Group Three company for the first time in two years on the Roodee and was the 8-11 favourite under Ryan Moore.

With the free-going Muntahaa making the running and Danehill Kodiac keeping him honest, Idaho was perfectly positioned in third for much of the way and got a dream run against the rail rounding the home turn.

His superior class was soon evident as he pulled three and a half lengths clear of Danehill Kodiac passing the post.

O’Brien said: “Everybody was very happy with him coming here and it was nice to see him do that.

“The plan was to come here and then look at races like the Coronation Cup and King George, those sort of races.

“Ryan has said he’d stay further, though, so that opens up even more options. He said he’d have no problem going further, so I suppose he could develop into a Cup horse.

“He’s travelled the world and is very professional now. You like to see them run through the line strong like he did there.”

Moore said: “He’s been a pretty consistent horse, really. He’s run in some of the best races and this was a slight drop down in class.

“This sort of ground and a slight step up in trip maybe suited him.

“I think he stays well.”

Idaho follows Torcedor in qualifying for the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million. We now have two top class contenders for the Million and look forward to the third prep race, the MansionBet Yorkshire Cup, at York on Friday 18th May.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018

 

Idaho set to star in Ormonde – the second WH Stayers’ Million prep race

 

Idaho drops back to Group Three level for the first time in two years in an attempt to regain the winning thread in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester, the second prep race for the WH Stayers’ Million.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained five-year-old has contested Group One events on his last six starts, with his most recent victory coming in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last June.

He has upwards of 7lb in hand of each of his five rivals, with the Richard Hannon-trained Danehill Kodiac and John Gosden’s Muntahaa next best.

Duretto would have to find 8lb on the official ratings, but he was only beaten three-quarters of a length in the race last year and trainer Andrew Balding is hoping the fact he does not carry a penalty this time will aid his chances.

He said: “He ran well in the race last year. He likes Chester.

“He had a penalty in the race last year and hasn’t got one this year.

“Any rain would aid his cause, but he seems in good form and usually runs fresh.”

Marco Botti’s Dylan Mouth and the Mick Channon-trained Elidor complete the field for the extended one-mile-five-furlong heat.

Wednesday, 02 May 2018

 

Torcedor readily lands Sagaro to qualify for shot at Million

 

Irish raider Torcedor found conditions much more to his liking back at Ascot as he ran out a ready winner of the Longines Sagaro Stakes and qualified for a shot at the WH Stayers’ Million.

Fifth in the Gold Cup and second on Champions Day, Jessica Harrington’s stayer obviously likes the terrain at the Berkshire track.

Colm O’Donoghue was very positive on the six-year-old, setting a steady pace before kicking on a long way from home.

He was clearly in better heart on this occasion than last time out in Dubai and never looked in any danger.

Mark Johnston’s Time To Study gave chase in vain, while nothing else could get anywhere near as Torcedor ran out a five-length winner.

Speaking to Racing UK after the race O’Donoghue said the plan of aiming the gelding at the Sagaro and WH Stayers’ Million was hatched on the flight back from Dubai.

With the first element of the plan duly delivered, the Torcedor team now have their sights firmly set on landing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August, to take the Million!

Monday, 30 April 2018

 

Torcedor tops six contenders for first WH Stayers’ Million prep race

 

Irish raider Torcedor is one of six runners in the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday, the first prep race for the WH Stayers’ Million.

Jessica Harrington’s charge claimed the scalp of Order Of St George in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last spring and chased home the same horse in both the Irish St Leger and Long Distance Cup later in the season.

He was unplaced on his first start of 2018 in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan, but sets the standard in this two-mile Group Three on his previous form.

David Elsworth’s Doncaster Cup hero Desert Skyline makes his seasonal reappearance, but must concede weight all round.

The Andrew Balding-trained Montaly, who won last year’s Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, also makes his first outing of the year.

Peter Niven’s stable star Clever Cookie, Brian Meehan’s Raheen House and Time To Study from Mark Johnston’s yard complete the line-up.

The WH Stayers’ Million is a prize of £1 million that will be awarded to the connections of a horse that having won one of four recognised prep races in May – Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot), Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester), Yorkshire Cup (York) or the Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – then goes on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August.

View entries here: https://goo.gl/tVrhWR

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

WH Stayers’ Million Official Launch

The Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, announced at the end of January, was officially launched in Newmarket yesterday at the Jockey Club Rooms. The most exciting development within the Stayers’ programme for many years – The WH Stayers’ Million is a prize of £1 million that will be awarded to the connections of a horse that having won one of four recognised prep races in May – Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot), Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester), Yorkshire Cup (York) or the Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – then goes on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August.

The £1 million would 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.

Nick Luck conducted proceedings and interviewed a number of leading figures – trainers, owners, breeders and those from industry bodies. All of them gave their full support to the WH Stayers’ Million and stressed the importance of the initiative.

To download more information please CLICK HERE

WH Stayers Million Launch

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The WH Stayers’ Million

In the most exciting development within the Stayers’ programme for many years, Weatherbys Hamilton has today announced a new initiative to celebrate, support and promote the staying horse – an animal that has defined the European thoroughbred for the last three hundred years.

The WH Stayers’ Million is a prize of £1 million that will be awarded to the connections of a horse that having won one of four recognised prep races in May – Longines Sagaro Stakes (Ascot), Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Chester), Yorkshire Cup (York) or the Matchbook Henry II Stakes (Sandown Park) – then goes on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July and the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August.

The £1 million would 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. It is hoped that the WH Stayers’ Million will help rekindle the fortunes of the Stayer.

The races that comprise the WH Stayers’ Million have been won by horses whose names still resonate through their heroism, their toughness and the longevity of their careers; Le Moss, Double Trigger, Sagaro, Ardross and Yeats to name a few. More recently, who can forget the scenes surrounding the Queen’s Estimate winning the the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013 or the epic battle between Big Orange and Order of St George in the same race last year.

Weatherbys Hamilton is an insurance broker that specialises in the insurance of horses, as well as houses, farms and estates. Its reputation is founded on knowledge and exceptional service. The object of The WH Stayers’ Million is to emphasise the great spectacle of staying races and encourage breeders and owners to continue producing and racing the type of horse on which the thoroughbred was founded.

To download more information please CLICK HERE

CONTACT:
Nick Craven, Communications Director
+44 (0)1933 440077
+44 (0)7850 025835
Email: ncraven@weatherbys.co.uk