A short history of Juddmonte Farms

Filed on 9 Jan 2008 @ 10:56

Charming Native began the Juddmonte story

His Highness Prince Khalid Abdullah, the driving force behind Juddmonte Farms, purchased his first yearlings in 1977 and had his first winner in Britain with the Jeremy Tree-trained Charming Native at Windsor in May, 1979, and that was soon followed by an initial stakes success when Abeer took the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot the following month.

Born in Taif, Saudi Arabia in 1937, Khalid Abdullah first experienced the thrill of European racing during a summer sojourn in Paris in 1956 and developed a love of the sport in Britain while living in London in the 1960s.

He was the first Arab owner to win an English Classic when his now famous green colours with white sleeves, pink sash and cap, were carried to victory by Known Fact, who took the 1980 2,000 Guineas upon the disqualification of Nureyev.

In May, 1982, Juddmonte registered its first home-bred winner when Fine Edge scored at Newmarket. That same year, Khalid Abdullah purchased the former Cayton Park Stud at Wargrave-On-Thames in Berkshire from Gerald Leigh, renamed it Juddmonte Farms and one of the most successful breeding operations of modern times was born.

The Juddmonte empire now incorporates farms in Britain, Ireland and the US, with Banstead Manor in Newmarket being home to a host of exciting stallions, notably Dansili, who will stand for £75,000 in 2008, the leading British-based first season sire of 2007 Oasis Dream, Beat Hollow, Three Valleys, Cacique and Dansili’s 2006 Arc winner Rail Link.

The British arm of the operation also includes Side Hill Stud in Newmarket, Juddmonte Dullingham and Estcourt Estate in Gloucestershire.

Juddmonte also has Ferrans Stud and New Abbey Stud in Ireland, while Juddmonte Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, houses the home-bred 2003 Belmont Stakes hero Empire Maker, a son of the great Juddmonte broodmare Toussaud who also produced Grade One winners Chester House, Chiselling and Honest Lady.

Abdullah’s initial major successes on the racecourse came with shrewd purchases such as Known Fact, 1985 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Rainbow Quest and the great Dancing Brave, winner of the 1986 2,000 Guineas and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but the Juddmonte breeding operation soon reaped dividends as the home-bred Warning, by Known Fact out of the fantastic broodmare Slightly Dangerous, ended the 1988 season as Europe’s champion miler.

It took just 17 years to win all five English Classics with homebreds

The remarkable triumph of Juddmonte’s breeding programme is illustrated by the fact that it took just 17 years to annex all five English Classics with home-breds.

In fact, the feat was achieved within a 10-year span commencing with Quest For Fame’s 1990 Derby triumph. Toulon collected the St Leger the following year, while in 1993 Zafonic took the 2,000 Guineas and a second Derby was thrown in for good measure thanks to Commander In Chief, another son of Slightly Dangerous. Reams Of Verse captured the 1997 Oaks and Wince completed the clean sweep when winning the 1,000 Guineas in 1999.

The French Classic clean sweep was achieved in 2004 when American Post took the Poule d’Essai des Poulains. That followed the earlier Juddmonte home-bred French Classic triumphs in the Prix du Jockey Club (1990 Sanglamore), Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1990 Houseproud, 2002 Zenda), Prix de Diane Hermes (1992 Jolypha, 2003 Nebraska Tornado) and Prix Royal Oak (1993 Raintrap and 1995 Sunshack).

The lengthy Juddmonte roll of honour also includes Irish Oaks heroines Wemyss Bight (1993) and Bolas (1994), Kentucky Oaks winner Flute (2003), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor Rail Link (2006) and the Eclipse Award winning champion mares Ryafan (1997), Banks Hill (2001) and Intercontinental (2005). The last pair named are daughters of the exceptional Juddmonte producer Hasili who is also the dam of Dansili and Grade One winners Cacique and Heat Haze.

Juddmonte Farms has received 10 coveted Eclipse Awards to date, including the Top Breeder Award in 1995, 2001, 2002 and 2003 and the Top Owner Award in 1992 and 2003.

Khalid Abdullah is the man ultimately responsible for Juddmonte’s outstanding achievements but he is never one to revel in personal accolades and is always keen to side-step the spotlight, favouring an emphasis on the importance of the team effort in the Juddmonte success story.

Many individuals have played a part in that tale of accomplishment and perhaps none has been more pivotal than the late Humphrey Cottrill, the former trainer who helped lay the Juddmonte foundations as Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager, adviser and purchaser from 1977 up to his retirement in 1982.

It was Cottrill who bought the initial batch of yearlings and introduced the Prince to his first trainer, Jeremy Tree, with whom he enjoyed great success.

Grant Pritchard-Gordon filled a similar position to Cottrill before being succeeded by the current racing manager Lord Grimthorpe, while a key player in the team for almost 20 years is Philip Mitchell, who joined Juddmonte in 1988 as General Manager of European Operations.

Filed on 9 Jan 2008 @ 10:56