ONE of the biggest clichés churned out post relationship bust ups is: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
With that in mind, and on a July Cup day that sees his colours having been taken off one of the leading contenders, I have a feeling we should all be making the most of any horse owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah.
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The latter’s famous green and white silks with the pink sash have been carried by some of the greatest horses ever seen race in the Sport of Kings, including legend and unbeaten Frankel and an Arc hero in Dancing Brave.
But now, as he approaches an age nearing 85, just how long will one of the turf’s great owner and breeders – via his Juddmonte Farms – carry on?
Abdullah would have had a chance of landing today’s Darley July Cup with King’s Stand Stakes runner-up Equilateral. But that horse was sold just the other day to Dr Jim and Fitri Hay.
Added to that, Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, confirmed last month that Juddmonte Farms had sold the breeding rights to the operation's homebred undefeated Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Siskin. It’s believed Coolmore are the buyers.
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Juddmonte currently stands five homebred stallions at its Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, including legend Frankel and Siskin’s broodmare sire Oasis Dream.
The American wing of the operation, which stands the outstanding Mizzen Mast, was dealt a blow recently by the death of its champion galloper Arrogate, a rare non-homebred to have raced in the Abdullah’s colours who was euthanised in early June at the age of seven.
For many reasons not everyone is a fan of Abdullah's homeland Saudi Arabia, with the Western Asia country quite rightly under constant attack for its attitude towards human rights.
Abdullah, though, has always been a friend of racing since he started owning horses in the late 1970s.
As well as Frankel, arguably the greatest Flat horse of all time, and Dancing Brave, a desperately unlucky loser of the 1986 Derby who went on to brilliance in the Eclipse, King George and Arc, Abdullah has also owned the likes of Known Fact, the winner of the 1980 2000 Guineas on the disqualification of Nureyev.
Then there was Rainbow Quest – awarded the 1985 Arc – and Quest for Fame, Sanglamore and Commander in Chief, Workforce and Zafonic.
Not to mention Reams of Verse, Rail Link, Kingman and Empire Maker. Plus Midday and Banks Hill and, of course, the incredible dual Arc heroine Enable who was beaten by Ghaiyyath in the Eclipse last weekend. How lucky we are that Abdullah has kept John Gosden’s star in training aged six.
There has been a sign that the Abdullah family – he has four sons and three daughters – will carry on his passion for racing. But one has to wonder. For anyone like me who truly enjoys seeing his famous colours on the racetrack – make the most of it.
As I mentioned, Equilateral runs for the Hays in the July Cup, and they are also owners we are lucky to have in the game.
Not only does their support help many trainers and jockeys, but only the other day their daughter, Lauren, who works at the stables of Jonjo O’Neill, led in her first winner at Uttoxeter. That will have meant the world to all involved and they should be rightly very proud.
Equilateral will enjoy stepping back up to six furlongs, and is one of thirteen set to go to post for today’s big Group 1 live on the main ITV network.
The dash sees the return of Golden Horde, who was brilliant in the Commonwealth Cup for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby, and of course his sire Lethal Force banged in this event in 2013. He could easily score for the three-year-olds.
Sceptical will be held up late by Frankie Dettori after getting their too soon in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes behind Hello Youmzain.
However, I have a feeling conditions will be ideal for the latter, even if they have dried out a bit from time of writing to 3.35pm Saturday afternoon.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, Hello Youmzain is turning into a very useful older sprinter, and already has a Haydock Sprint and a Royal Ascot success to his name. Kevin Stott was fabulous on him at Ascot and if they were to go in again it would be another feather in his hat.
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