Exciting Chapter to Start!!

Cliff Brown Racing starts an exciting new chapter as Cliff relocates back to Australia. After a hugely successful stint training in Singapore, where Cliff was a dominant force in the major races the time has come to return home and set up a new stable back where it all started in Victoria.

With the help of the Mornington Race Club, Cliff has been able to secure stabling on course, with room for 40 horses. Mornington racecourse is base for some 60 trainers, and has become a first rate training center producing winners every week around Victoria and interstate.

The course provides great training facilities with sand, fibre sand, an all weather polytrack, inside grass and the course proper to work horses on.

Returning to Australia in early March, after the mandatory two week quarantine Cliff expects to be training from the facility by May 1st. Seven horses are returning from Singapore to continue their racing careers in Australia, and there are five 2 year old’s to come straight into work. Many current and old clients have already made plans for horses to join the stable.

Already active at the recent Melbourne Premier Sale with 5 purchases, Cliff intends on being present at the up coming sales in Sydney and other sales in the months to come. Cliff Brown Racing is offering shares in yearling purchases from Melbourne and these can be viewed in the Horses for Sale section.



Farewell Chairman, A Wonderful Man

In a fitting tribute to late prominent horse owner Mr Yong Nam Seng, affectionately known as “The Chairman” by the stable, Gold Kingdom saluted at Kranji on Saturday in race 4. Ridden by Oscar Chavez Gold Kingdom produced his best victory in Singapore when exploding away from his rivals to score by 4 lengths.

The 92-year-old, who was the chairman of local construction company Woh Hup, passed away last Saturday. The avid racing fan ran one of Singapore’s oldest stables with its easily recognisable gold and red diamonds silks which were carried to victory all around the world. Since Cliff located to Singapore, Gold Stable managed by Mr Yong were great supporters of the stable, racing horses with the stable for the past 12 years.

The prominent colours Of Gold Stable in the winners stall again.

In an interview with The Turf Club’s journalist Mike Lee Cliff paid tribute to Mr Yong:

“He was a wonderful man. He supported me from the moment I got here. He’s a terrific owner, very generous and a very caring guy. You don’t meet many like him. Our families became good friends. We often had dinners together, and my son Harvey told me one day that Mr Yong has always done the right thing by us, and he was right. Mr Yong died last Saturday, but we didn’t have any runners for him then. This win today is for him.”
A five-year-old by Animal Kingdom, Gold Kingdom has now taken his record to three wins and 10 placings from 28 starts for prize money that has now tipped over the $100,000 mark for the Gold Stable.
Another long time supporter of the stable Peter Lee (Buffalo Stable), also tasted success in race 1 with with Fireworks who made it back to back wins in Class 5 1400m. Well ridden from his wide gate by Apprentice K Hakim Fireworks also provided Peter with a race to race double as Thunder (Tim Fitzsimmons) won race 3.

Glorious day for Greenwich

Greg And Lisa Perry of Greenwich Stud Pty Ltd, enjoyed an excellent day of racing in both Australia and Singapore on January 9th. Whilst having to wait until well into the evening for their Singapore representative to race, In All His Glory in race 10, the wait was eased with the joy of two wins earlier in the day in Australia.

The day started in great fashion with Greenwich Stud’s 3 year old Hinchinbrook colt Pinnacle Prince making it 3 wins from 4 starts when winning the race 2 at Randwick. Retained by Greg and Lisa who bred him, the colt has been given plenty of time to mature by Brett Cavanough and his only defeat was when running second to the flying filly and subsequent Kosciuszko winner It’s me. Out of the Greenwich owned mare Crossyourheart, Pinnacle Prince looks to have a very exciting future indeed.

Later in the day, Greenwich Stud’s beautifully bred imported American mare Arriva Diva (by Curlin) opened her Australian account with an excellent win in Victoria at Spendthrift Park (Werribee). Purchased with a view to be a breeding proposition down the track, the win was a welcome edition to her impeccable breeding page.

In All His Glory made it win number 3 for Greenwich Stud when saluting in the class 4 over 1200m, the last race race on the day in Singapore. The win gave comeback jockey Oscar Chavez his first win in Singapore after being granted a riding license for 2021, having not ridden in Singapore since 2017. The resuming All Too Hard four-year-old produced an electrifying turn of foot to beat Federation by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

A winner of a two-in-a-row last September, a below par performance at his next start showed that he needed a short let up. Produced again in great order by Cliff,  In All His Glory has now brought up his handy record to three wins, two seconds and one third from eight starts for prizemoney in excess of the $130,000 mark for Greg And Lisa who race their horse’s in Singapore under the Tarnpirr Stable.

In All His Glory scores in impressive fashion in the Class 4 1200m, giving poplar jockey Oscar Chavez his first win in Singapore since being re-licensed.

Many Positives from HK trip with Inferno

With the disappointment of Inferno’s scratching from the HKJC International Sprint subsiding, the Singapore Superstar arrived back in Singapore on Tuesday 15th to commence his 14 day stint in the quarantine stables at kranji. Assistant trainer Tony Lane has reported the big boy traveled very well, and has settled in.

The trip got off to a disastrous start when the air conditioning on the Singapore Turf Club truck which took him to the airport broke down. Without air conditioning, Inferno was left to swelter waiting to be loaded onto his horse stall for his trip to Hong Kong. Fortunately, Tony and club veterinarian Dan Shaw were on hand and were at least able to hose him down. Dan also gave him sedation as he had become extremely agitated. We have asked the club for an investigation into this calamitous incident, and as to why airport protocols were not followed when the air conditioning broke down.

Arriving the worse for ware and very dehydrated in Hong Kong it took a number of days for him to “bounce back” and get on his feed and drinking to our satisfaction. Trotting and cantering beautifully in the quarantine sand arena and on the dirt track at Sha Tin, all observers would not have detected any issues with the imposing son of Holy Roman Emperor.  However, with veterinary trot ups conducted on the bitumen in the quarantine stabling area, and the knowledge he had a slight hoof problem, the decision was made in consultation with the HKJC vets, owner Glenn Whittenbury and Cliff not to risk him and scratch him on Tuesday morning.

Sabri gives him trot before heading to main track

On the main dirt track…

On race day, with Inferno having his afternoon walk, he spotting other International runners returning from their races. To say he was annoyed was an understatement, as being the intelligent animal he is obviously had worked out that he should of been out there racing and was particularly annoyed at his humans for not allowing him to do so. On the whole he adapted incredibly well, was professional on the tracks, handled being on his own,  and will be a far more mature and adaptable horse if he has the opportunity to travel again.

Cliff and the boys slave over a cranky Inferno.

Hard at Work.

Unable to get Inferno out of HK on an earlier flight, we were able to observe and talk to other International participants over the following week. Pat from Ballydoyle who has traveled with Aiden O’Brien runners all around the globe for the past 22 years was only happy to impart his knowledge and the procedures they follow. Observing the Japanese and chatting to their interpreter, and watching the different work the horses did each morning, also gleaned many other useful facts in traveling horses abroad.

Afternoon walk.

We cannot praise the HKJC club enough for the incredible professionalism and hospitality they showed on this trip. No request was to much trouble, and in particular our thanks to Evelyn Chan (who organised everything for us), Quarantine Vet Dr John O’Shea and Quarantine Manager Charlie Henson.

Stable track rider Sabri Embee, and long suffering Inferno syce Zamri Bin Maat enjoyed the trip. Naturally disappointed we didn’t race, both gained valuable experience and worked hard on the trip. For Zamri, it was his first trip on a plane and first experience abroad. Finally, our thanks to Glenn Whittenbury who was part of the decision making process well before Inferno left for HK, and throughout the entire trip.

All set for the HK Adventure

Gold Rewards Owners

Long time stable clients Gold Stable were rewarded for their patience when 6 year old gelding Gold Reward notched up his 4th win in Singapore on Saturday 12th in race 4, the class 5 over 2000m. It was actually a Gold Stable one two in the race with Gold Kingdom running second.

Beset with niggling issues for the first half of 2019 which saw a drop in form for the usually consistent son of Warrior’s Reward, it was decided that a clean out of his joints by Vet Dan Shaw may help him return to form. After a post surgery lay-off for the second part of 2019, like many horses the enforced break due to Covid came at the wrong time with Gold Reward ready for to race again in early 2020.

Early runs over sprint distances in January and February to help him regain fitness for his more suited longer journey’s didn’t amount to anything as racing was shut down not long after. Whilst kept ticking along until racing resumed in July, it would again take a while to get him rock hard fit, and with a reduced racing schedule, find suitable races over distance for him.

His two runs prior to winning on Saturday were excellent with a second and third over 1600m, which had him primed for 2000m. Again partnered by John Powell, he was allowed to settle a little worse than mid-field in running, but it was always obvious Powell had him traveling beautifully, and at the 600m it was clear he had a lap full of horse and just needed to get out. Get out he did at the 300m and when JP asked him for his effort he easily over hauled those in front of him, and went on to win by a commanding 2 lengths. Stablemate Gold Kingdom battled on well for second.

Gold reward with John Powell aboard easily wins the Class 5 over 2000m.

With his 4th win to go with 7 seconds and 4 thirds, Gold Reward has taken his earnings to a tick under $155,000 in stake money. Whilst not having saluted the judge for some time, his past three races have clearly shown he hasn’t lost his zest for racing, and he enjoying his racing again. A win in class 4 may well be just around the corner, which would be great for Eugene, Nam Seng and Meehim Yong who make up the famous Gold Stable and more reward for their faith in their UK galloper.

Boomba makes it back to back Golden Horseshoe’s

The New Zealand Karaka Yearling sales have again come up trumps for the Barree Stable with Boomba providing for the second year running the Singapore Juvenile Championship, the Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe. Won last year in devastating fashion by Inferno who gapped the field, the pink and white silks of the Whittenbury family, this time were in a dog fight right to the line.

Last year, the two-year-old feature race was then staged as the culmination of a five-race series sponsored by Aushorse. As with most of the racing calendar, COVID-19 turned the juvenile series upside down this year – no lead-up races (Legs), only one race and downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3 with prizemoney halved to $125,000, and probably the most significant change, open to three-year-olds given its late date of December (instead of July).

Still any race is hard to win and particularly a Group race. Having run an excellent last start third in a Novice race over 1200m on November 21st after a brief freshen up, the Golden Horsehoe again showcased a masterful training performance which saw Boomba peak perfectly for the feature race. A fan of Boomba’s since well before his debut win in September, (and his rider at his three career starts), jockey Ruan Maia confirmed his intention to again ride Boomba when Cliff advised him that he had come on significantly since the run in the Novice.

The barrier draw of 13 was not ideal and Tony Lane deputizing for Cliff who is in Hong Kong with Inferno told Maia to just ride him where he was comfortable. If they go quick, the plan was to try and get in behind as he has natural speed. From barrier rise Maia had Boomba parked just off the speed all be it 3 wide. Not much changed until the top of the straight where leader Ablest Ascend was quickly challenged by race favorite Infinite Wisdom with Boomba commencing his final effort.

With Ablest Ascend a spent force, the two market fancies looks set to fight it out but were joined late by Relentless. In the last 100m in a thrilling three-way go, Boomba lunged at the post to down Infinite Wisdom by a neck, with Relentless steaming home for third place, another short head away, to give Barree back to wins in the final for juveniles.

Boomba gets the upper hand to land the Group 3 Golden Horseshoe.

As has been documented previously, on arrival in Singapore it was apparent that the son of Showcasing had not grown in height as had been anticipated since his purchase in early 2018. A slight change to the normal timing of his stints of pre-training in NZ meant he spent a little extra time in the lush paddocks of Kilmore Farm prior to his departure for Singapore. Oh and how he enjoyed the paddocks, arriving with a belly the size of a broodmare!

The Boomba in NZ….suppose to grow up not outwards!!

Once out of quarantine and in the stable it was then time to call Glenn and give him the news that his new arrival, was well, on the small side and quite rotund and to put it bluntly a bit of a fatty boomba. Ever the one for a creative name, Mr Whittenbury (I’m not sure proudly) then proclaimed from henceforth his 2 year old by Showcasing would be officially known as Boomba.

With a bit of maturing on his side, the obvious fitness improvement of being in a racing stable and a little bit of growth, there was never really a lack of faith that Boomba would make the grade. He was just that bit of an ugly duckling on arrival in Singapore. Superbly conditioned and well ridden in the Golden Horseshoe only confirmed that faith. Indeed jockey Maia was probably more upbeat than anyone in relation to Boomba, and the Brazilian’s early judgment has proved correct. As he said after Boomba’s win and his own third black type win in Singapore , “I’ve always believed in this horse. I’ve ridden him from his first trial.”

Glenn watching from home, was heard to cheer very loudly as the Boomba forged to victory, but then the uncontrolled giggling took over and Gen, Gregory and Gabrielle looked at each other thinking that Glenn was finally ready for the loony bin. Boomba has been a source of amusement, given his early time in Singapore seemed to consist of him finishing his breakfast in record time and then napping hours before any other horse.

A source of much amusement….Boomba already asleep as no breakfast left….

With that second win from four starts, Boomba has taken his stakes earnings past the $110,000 mark for the Barree Stable. Who would of thought that the small fat one, would be a group winner at just his fourth career start. Again we thank Barree for supporting the stable, and hope they enjoy many more wins with Boomba.

Inferno demolition gives stable 3rd Lion City Cup

The great Zac Spirit winner of the Lion City Cup (and Champion Sprinter) in 2014 and 2016 was joined by stablemate Inferno as a winner of Singapore’s premier sprint race.  Running 1min 8.28 the new star of Singapore racing ran the quickest ever Lion City Cup and made it back to back Group 1 wins after his victory last month in the Singapore Guineas.

The latest addition to Glenn Whittenbury’s Barree Stable highlight reel, can perhaps best be summed up by quotes from trainer and jockey shortly Inferno’s astonishing win in the $400,000 Group 1 event on Sunday October 25th.

“I haven’t ridden a horse like Inferno in Singapore.” Vlad Duric

“He’s quite something else, isn’t he?” Cliff Brown.

To put these quotes in context, both Cliff and Vlad have been the dominant forces in Singapore feature races over the past five years, and each have been involved with many great horses, both in Singapore and in Australia. Inferno’s victory not only made headlines in Singapore, but other racegoers world wide showed their enthusiasm on twitter and other racing jurisdictions had also taken note.

Pre- race some comment were made with the drop back in distance from 1600m to 1200m, tackling Singapore’s best and more seasoned sprinters and the fact that Inferno had to overcome the outside barrier 16, as reasons why the big son of Holy Roman Emperor faced a huge challenge. However, close connections to Inferno were supremely, but quietly confident that he would overcome these challenges, and in the end there was never any case for concern.

Duric settled Inferno in a rearward spot from barrier rise, keeping him out of trouble as the leaders ensured a good pace up front. From the 600m Inferno had been positioned well although wide on the track he had clear air to launch from the 600m. Stable mate Zac Kasa was running a great race and momentarily hit the lead, before Inferno rounded up nearly the entire field and surged clear with a bit over a furlong to run.

Eased down towards the line, the $9 favourite had two and a quarter lengths to spare from Mr Malek with stable mate Zac Kasa just nabbed on the line to finish fourth.The 11 year old track record held by Sacred Kingdom in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in 2009, may well have come under threat had Duric punhced Inferno out to the line. Now a winner of 8 of his 9 starts, with that  win in the Lion City Cup, Inferno has now amassed around $900,000 in stakes money for the Barree Stable.

Inferno blitzes his 15 rivals in the 2020 Lion City Cup.

Barree Stable managing owner Glenn Whittenbury has had some wonderful racing moments in Singapore, but this may have been the best. Unable to be track side, Glenn watched the race alone in his home office, terrifying the life out his therapy dog and best friend Vito with a war cry that could be heard all over Kew as Inferno set sail in the straight. The rest of his family watched in another room as they are more intelligent than Vito. Vito’s behavioral improvements with the help of canine Valium over the past two years, have now seen a sad regression since 7.30pm Sunday, 25th. He may not recover.

Earlier in the day saw a great win in the class 4 1200m by the promising 4 year old Bluestone. Popular owners Dennis Cornwell and Tony Davies were track side to watch the win, and appeared delighted . Covid restrictions have impacted people differently and both could be seen licking the huge glass windows on level three after Bluestone romped to victory. We hope they were just overcome by emotion and this is not a common occurrence. Simply, it was an exciting win, and well enjoyed!

Simon Kok steers Bluestone to an impressive victory in race 3 on Sunday.

Bluestone took his record to a handy 4 wins from 10 starts and over $166,000 in stake money. He looks well above class 4, and both Tony, Dennis and Australian based owner Richard Pegum have plenty to look forward to with the son of Hallowed Crown.

Dennis and Tony celebrate Bluestone’s win in race 3.

New Arrivals have big boots to fill

Two 2019 New Zealand bloodstock purchases arrived in the stable at Kranji this week, and both have a bit to live up to. Given plenty of time to mature at Kilmore Farm and educated by Brooks Racing at Matamata both horses will race in familiar colours of Brown stable owner’s in Singapore.

At the NZB 2019 Yearling Sale in January, Lot 870 was by new NZ sire El Roca, out of the imported mare Pussycat Dream. Whilst not overly big, the stable did have the inside running with Cliff training the colt’s half sister What’s New. Weighing only 440kg, What’s New had showed plenty of ability from day 1 in the stable and whilst not big she was beautifully proportioned. Of course later in the year she would win a Group 2 and Group 3 race in Singapore.

Added to the benefit of racing the first of Pussycat’s Dream progeny, was the fact that the colt was also bred by long time stable clients Greenwich Stud. The colt was secured for $60,000 with Greg and Lisa Perry retaining a 50% share. The other 50% was quickly snapped up by those who had admired What’s New in Singapore and include Glenn Whittenbury, Dennis Cornwell and Michelle Norman who owns and operates Kilmore Farm at Matamata, the nusery used by Greg and Lisa Perry for all their NZ based bloodstock, and who look after all of Cliff Brown horses in New Zealand. The El Roca will race in Cliff’s Tarnpirr colours.

El Roca looking to be the 4th winner from four to race for broodmare Pussycat Dream.

Lot 129 at the 2019 NZB Ready To Race Sale was offered by Windsor Park Stud. He was by Zacinto out of the mare Prompt Payment, making him a half brother to the Singapore Champion Debt Collector. Since the purchase of Debt Collector Windsor Park had offered a number of progeny out of Prompt Payment, but on inspection they didn’t pass the grade in terms of type and suitability for Singapore.

Zachinto/Prompt payment has settled in at the stables at Kranji.

Lot 129 was more what we were after, although a touch immature being a late foal, he had DC’s head and looked an athletic type. Contact was made with Barree principal Glenn Whittenbury, and it was agreed that whilst we would bid on the horse we certainly were not going to pay overs for him. Cliff Brown racing was able to secure him for $80,000 and will be seen in Singapore sporting the famous Whittenbury colours.

We wish connections well with these horses, and look forward to them making their racetrack debuts.

Quick ascension after DC abdication

A week after the announcement of the retirement of Debt Collector made headlines in Singapore with Barree Stable managing owner Glenn Whittenbury extolling his virtues in an interview with Nick Childs, the famous Whittenbury colour’s were again in the headlines after tasting more Group 1 success this time with Inferno who easily won Saturday’s (26th September) Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m).

Having made a one act affair of the first (technically second) Leg, the Group 2 Singapore Classic (1400m) a month ago, Inferno started the shortest of  favorites in the Guineas. What people witnessed could only be described as an effortless victory in the Guineas by Inferno, who matched the mighty deed of Debt Collector’s wins in the second and third legs of the Singapore Three Year Old series in 2016. It does appear that the throne at the Cliff Brown Stable is now occupied by Inferno.

There is no such thing as a certainty in racing and with highly strung equine athletes nothing is a fait accompli, but jockey Vlad Duric did add to the stable’s confidence post trial on Tuesday 15th when he quietly said to Cliff “I think he’s improved.”

Drawing barrier one wasn’t ideal for Inferno, as the big striding bay prefers plenty of room. This scenario seemed to be playing out early in the Guineas as a very slow pace had him over racing with his mouth wide open. However, you don’t become a three time Champion jockey in Singapore for nothing and Vlad Duric, had him off the rails at the 400m, and ready to settle when Meryl (WH Kok) speared over three wide to go and inject more speed into the race.

Inferno then began to relax in the middle stages of the race. Hooking out on the turn Duric gave the son of Holy Roman Emperor time to balance up in the straight, before allowing him a bit more rein, and he quickly gathered in the leaders almost like a working gallop. Shaken up hands and heels by Duric, Inferno quickly put the result in no doubt and effortlessly strode to one of the easiest Group 1 wins seen at Kranji, by 1 ½ lengths to Rocket Star.

Inferno cruises to the line to take out the Group 1 Singapore Guineas with Barree Stable’s familiar colours.

The devastating win of Inferno yet again showcased Cliff’s incredible talents of having a horse peak on the day. With each subsequent victory more impressive than the previous during this campaign, his management of Inferno again highlights Cliff’s ability to have a horse keep improving each time it steps out. Together with a tremendous amount of hard work by all the staff (particularly Solleh his work rider and Zamri, Inferno’s at times suffering syce -Inferno can be nasty at times), more feature race wins look destined to follow. His next assignment will be finalised by Glenn and Cliff in the coming days. Whilst other stables may have had one or two Group 1 winners, Inferno represents Cliff’s sixth individual Group 1 winner since he arrived in Singapore. In that time, no other trainer comes close to this.

The post race debrief. Camera’s can be quite unkind.

On Thursday 6th of August 2015, Glenn Whittenbury and son Bryce made the journey from Australia to watch the Barree stable owned and Cliff Brown trained North Atlantic Ice run in a class 4 1400 on the following Friday evening. The second horse to be sent to Singapore by Barree Stable, was ridden by Rizuan Shafiq. Glenn and Bryce (along with all of us) roared him to victory, the first time the Barree Stable had enjoyed the thrill of a victory live in Singapore.

Having an owner make the trip, the horse win, and to enjoy celebrating the victory was hugely satisfying, as all in racing know, things don’t normally go to script. I don’t think anyone could have envisaged the replication of this joy and in so many big races in the years to come. Whilst Glenn is unable to attend the Singapore races due to Covid restrictions, that same joy has been relayed by many text and phone conversations over the past few days. Unfortunately for the DC crew (as Glenn calls his Singapore friends), celebrations are muted without Glenn, probably because he is not here to pay for the merriment.

Glenn knows racing back to front and how difficult it is to get top class horses. His continued support allows the stable the opportunity to try and unearth the next star. Very realistic in his appraisal of yearling prices, over the last 5 years Glenn has stepped up to allow the stable to purchase horses that we think will make the grade in Singapore. We don’t always hit the bulls eye, but with Glenn allowing Cliff to chart the course for his horses, this gives the stable the best opportunity to bring out the best in them.

Team DC  have all become quite close over the years, sharing the good times and the bad. However, any opportunity for some good natured ribbing is gleefully seized upon. Well, actually seized upon more like a pack of veracious piranha’s. It was Cliff’s turn to cop it this past week. Now, with this in mind, this year’s Victoria Derby will be compulsory viewing for the piranha’s , with the current pre-post favorite Ain’tnodeeldun looking the goods. Could be Glenn’s turn to be savaged, he knows why. But that’s for another day and another article.

With that seventh win (four at Group level), Inferno has banked in close to $700,000 for Barree Stable. By claiming the two Legs, Inferno is by virtue crowned the undisputed new Singapore Three-Year-Old Champion, even if he has already turned four given the modified conditions to the series in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also takes home $50,000 as bonus. Glenn celebrated with a well earned beer with his son Gregory.

Son Greg with dad Glenn, celebrate Inferno’s Singapore Guineas victory. (Greg managed 3 beers in the time it took Glenn to drink 1). Yes Glenn, your getting old.




“In Chris We Trust”

I thought that it was long overdue to put “pen to paper” to write about the exploits of one of the most important members of the stable team and a major contributor to my personal success.

A racehorse training stable is no different to any other business, with success or failure determined by the people within it. We are fortunate to have a tremendous team of people working together to keep the ball rolling.

Some twenty plus years ago a fresh-faced graduate of Marcus Oldham arrived looking for a job. I couldn’t have imagined then that he would become one of my best friends, someone I rely on regularly for advice and who I couldn’t imagine making a business decision without first running it past him.

For those of you who have not guessed, the person I am referring to is none other than Chris Bock (Christo/ Bocky/ Cedric). Aside from being all of the above, Chris possesses one of the best “eyes” for a horse you’d ever encounter and, in typical Christo fashion, his skills fly under the radar of most.

For the uninitiated to horse sales, days consist of hours and hours of walking, looking at horse after horse and maintaining focus the whole time. It also involves having the retentive memory to recall a horse seen days before. Now I must confess I don’t have these qualities and after a few hours into it I’m calling for a coffee and dim-sim stop, much to Chris’s chagrin. I can’t recall the amount of times my “goldfish attention span” has given out on me and I’ve left Chris to keep going on his own and for him to come back and say “you really have to come and look at this horse” and, as is regularly the case, he is right again.

To watch him at the sales is theatre in itself, book in one hand, cigarette in the other, looking at horse after horse, he patrols the barns searching for the next winner. I often watch the staff parading the horses in front of him sometimes with a look of, “who is this person in jeans, t-shirt and runners wasting my time?” laughing to myself that little do they know that the person perusing their horse is someone who pre-determines that horse’s success better than anyone else in the business.

While most of us crave recognition for our successes due to ego and insecurities I have never witnessed this with him. You read countless stories of bloodstock agents and their ability to purchase a good horse yet no-one looks at the money they have spent to achieve this. There is a list a mile long of agents that fall into this category, the supposed good judges whose budgets could keep “job keeper” going for another 6 months. Chris has the ability to find a nice horse at any budget level which, to me, is the greatest example of ability.

Christo’s list of achievements is long and in the last few years it has snowballed further and the arrival of Inferno is testament to his brilliance. Let me explain. The majority of us in this business are followers of fashion and as such we “run with the pack” at sales time. Inferno’s father, Holy Roman Emperor, was hardly flavour of the month and his mother had not had a runner at the time of his purchase. The selection of Inferno was simply done on “type” and it is Chris’s ability to see what others couldn’t that resulted in him turning up at our stable.

Stalking the Karaka Yearling sales

In this world of Covid -19 the logistics of attending sales will be very difficult so we have to work out how we best tackle the situation and continue to buy successful horses. I believe, at this stage, it will mean Chris will spend a few months away from Singapore at sales time as quarantine restrictions will not allow an easy transit from country to country. From a selfish point of view, I will miss his guidance and “banter” while he is away but I will sleep easy knowing he is at the sales doing what he does best.

During the sales period I strongly recommend that you spend a day walking around with him as you will learn more in a day with him than a lifetime with others.

Thanks again Christo,