February ’24 Round Up

February saw the start of a busy sales period once again with sales at Tattersalls, Goffs and Arqana where there was a last chance to buy breeding stock and short yearlings for various clients.

On the racing front things were hotting up in the Middle East with international racing happening in Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar. Billy was in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Cup trials night to meet various clients and spend time at track work with local trainer Lucas Gaiten. Originally from Argentina, Lucas, who is the son of champion Argentine trainer Nicolas Gaiten, was head hunted to become a private trainer in Saudi Arabia and he showed Billy the lay out and facilities of the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

Following on from Saudi and Billy went to Bahrain for the Crown Prince’s Cup meeting. Billy and trainer George Scott had purchased a Godolphin bred 3-year-old in 2023 called Isle Of Jura from the now defunct Tattersalls Ascot sale, for £150,000 for Shaikh Nasser of Victorious Racing. Isle Of Jura cruised through handicaps in the UK throughout 2023 and was sent to Bahrain to contest the 2024 Triple Crown, the first race of which was the Crown Prince’s Cup, which he won easily.
Following the Crown Prince’s Cup at the beginning of February, Isle Of Jura’s second leg of the Triple Crown contest was in the Al Khalifa Cup at the end of the month. Once again, he cruised home under a hands and heels ride from regular rider Callum Sheppard to win easily by 4 lengths and set up a thrilling end to the Bahrain season with a tilt at the final leg of the Triple Crown next month, a feat which has never before been achieved before.

Other winners of note in February were Dasho Lennie, by Territories, in Australia for trainer Ciaron Maher. He was bought privately from Sean Woods’s stable in Newmarket and showed a lot of promise on debut at Sandown Lakeside in Melbourne when winning well on debut for his new connections and looks to have promising career ahead of him Down Under.