Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 3rd 2015 Contents Saturday sees the running of the
final leg of the American Triple
Crown and the entire racing world
is holding its breath to see if the US
breeding industry can produce a
Triple Crown winner after 37 years.
Affirmed, in 1978, is the last US
horse to win the grueling three race
In American Pharoah however,
there is a different type of horse put-
ting its reputation on the line. This
is a horse who is eminently qualified
to create history. A two-year-old
champion who has trained on pow-
erfully at three. What more can be
What is also special about Amer-
ican Pharoah is that he was bred by
the owner out of a sire that he also
Saturday also sees the running of
the English Derby at Epsom Downs.
This is arguably the most famous
race in history and for the first time
in many years, the established pow-
erhouse of British racing, the Aidan
O Brien stable will not be fielding
the Derby favourite.
In fact, for the first time in many
years, it seems that all of the money
available could not buy a Derby win-
ner for the Coolmore partnership. I
may be talking out of turn because
Coolmore does field a number of
lesser fancied contenders in the big
race but it doesn t look like the win-
ner will be amongst them.
Instead, it is the owner/breeder
that has come to the fore. There is
no doubt that owning a Derby winner
is exhilarating but owning and breed-
ing one has to be the ultimate in rac-
Over the years in the UK, the
owner/breeder has been marginalised
as the big pocket owners are able to
make offers that are sometimes too
good to resist. It is therefore partic-
ularly pleasing when, every once in
a while, a good one escapes notice.
That is not to say that they escape
notice forever with Coolmore rushing
in to snap up American Pharoah s
breeding rights and Godolphin rush-
ing in to snap up a half share in Jack
Hobbs (English Derby contender).
In Trinidad, we are well on our
way with our own Triple Crown and
the series is once again being dom-
inated by Jamaican-bred horses.
In the two legs to date, only three
Trinidad-bred horses have competed
and in last week s Midsummer Clas-
sic, there was only one Trinidad-bred
animal. This trend goes back to the
2014 Trinidad Derby in which only
one locally-bred animal competed.
There is no doubt that we can
breed good animals but again the
issue comes down to economics and
a lack of incentives. We definitely
need to do more to encourage the
owner/breeder in our sport.
One of the most successful
owner/breeders in recent time has
been the Poon Tip Stud Farm and
we need to continue to explore
avenues for encouraging their pres-
It was very disheartening when we
learned of the demise of Rancho
Caballero, which has been success-
fully run by the Trestrail family for
so many years. To see that wonderful
estate transformed into HDC housing
was a very sorry development for the
industry in this country but we can-
not go back.
At risk at the moment is the Lee-
clare Stud Farm, owned in part by
the late Ainsley Mark. Mark s passion
for the sport will be hard to replicate
and the fate of this stud farm which
has produced many top class horses
locally is still to be determined.
To foster farms like Leeclare, we
need more support for owner/breed-
ers in this twin island state. Some of
the other prominent farms are Hum-
mingbird Stables (Ferreiras), the Pon-
derosa Stud Farm (Charles James),
Amigo Farms, Paradise Farms, La
Concepcion, Floraville Stud.
Most of these farms are involved
in the sport because of their love of
the animal since it is very difficult
for stud farms to be commercially
This is why support is required
from those in authority. The exact
nature of the sport has been evolving
but we need to quicken up the pace.
It is refreshing to see many more
races for the native-bred horses only.
It is also refreshing to see more
classic and condition races being
framed for native-bred horses, even
one for horses four years old and over.
Many more such races are required.
Interestingly, there is a school of
thought that the native-bred horses
are out-performed by their Jamaican
counterparts at two and three but
that the playing field becomes much
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 3, 2015
more level from four years old
The arguments in support of
this school are that the
Jamaican-bred are far more pre-
cocious than the native-bred and
so would dominate events during
the traditional classic year.
The native breds, although
slower to mature, are able to
match their Jamaican counter-
parts eventually. Given the
breeding profiles, it is not hard
to understand the logic of this
argument. Efforts should there-
fore be made to increase the
number of classic/condition races
put on for the older animals.
These incentives being meant
to encourage owners to invest in
native-bred animals and there-
fore support the local breeding
It is time for the sport to move
forward by championing more
and more of our farms to ensure
their survival. We are not going
to have a National Stud Farm
anytime soon, so we just need
to crack on with supporting and
developing what we have.
The incentives to improve the
breeding stock are in train and
now we need to make it more
worthwhile to persevere with the
The richness of racing this weekend
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