Forty years on from Khalid Abdullah's first winner, five facts about Juddmonte
A look at one of the world's foremost racing and breeding operations
Tuesday marks 40 years since the now celebrated silks of Khalid Abdullah – 'green, pink sash and cap, white sleeves' – were carried to victory for the first time, by Charming Native at Windsor.
Over the following four decades Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms has become one of the foremost owner-breeders in the world, regularly winning elite races in Europe and North America.
The operation's broodmare band is replete with top-class racemares and proven producers, and relations to both, while its stallion roster – containing as it does the likes of Frankel and Kingman – has an extraordinary concentration of quality.
So solid were foundations built in the 1980s, with little expense spared at the sales and in judicious private acquisitions, that the European arm of Juddmonte doesn't often go to market to add to its ranks. Most stars of today hail from families nurtured for many generations, with the organisation's home stallions peppered throughout their pedigrees.
To celebrate 40 years of Abdullah's involvement in racing, here are five facts about that Juddmonte breeding operation...
1. It has a remarkable record for quality and quantity
Juddmonte Farms has, at the last count, bred 108 individual Group/Grade 1 winners of 209 Group/Grade 1 races including 25 Classic winners.
The operation's present flagbearer Enable brought up two significant milestones by providing the 200th Group/Grade 1 victory and the 25th Classic score.
Enable is a fourth-generation Juddmonte-bred and her dam Concentric, granddam Apogee and third dam Bourbon Girl were all classy performers for the stud.
Concentric struck at Listed level at Chantilly, Apogee won the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont at Saint-Cloud and Bourbon Girl ran second in the Oaks and its Irish equivalent.
2. Calyx shows how success has bred success
Calyx, who promises to be one of Abdullah's star performers of the year ahead judged on his thrilling victory at Ascot this month, has no fewer than seven ancestors who won Group/Grade 1 races for the same owner.
First, the father's side of the family: there is his sire Kingman; Kingman's dam Zenda; and Zenda's damsire Dancing Brave.
Then on the mother's side: Calyx's damsire Observatory and Observatory's sire Distant View; and his dam's maternal grandsire Quest For Fame and Quest For Fame's sire Rainbow Quest.
But for a length – the distance Calyx's dam Helleborine was beaten into second in the Prix Marcel Boussac – it could have been eight top flight-winning ancestors.
3. It gives home stallions strong support
A proud boast by Juddmonte on its website is that it has bred and raced the first Group/Grade 1 winner by ten stallions it has stood over the years.
They were Beat Hollow (Proportional), Cacique (Mutual Trust), Dansili (Rail Link), Distant View (Distant Music), Known Fact (Warning), Observatory (African Rose), Rainbow Quest (Quest For Fame), Warning (Prophecy), Zafonic (Xaar) and Zamindar (Zenda).
4. There is a powerful line-up of sires on its current roster
The five stallions who currently stand at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, the nucleus of Abdullah's breeding programme, have supplied 24 Group/Grade 1 winners between them.
Oasis Dream, the elder statesman of the roster, is responsible for the lion's share, with 17 to his name. They are – take a deep breath – Aqlaam, Arcano, Charming Thought, Goldream, Jwala, Lady Jane Digby, Midday, Muarrab, Muhaarar, Naaqoos, Opinion, Polydream, Power, Pretty Pollyanna, Prohibit, Querari and Tuscan Evening.
Frankel is next on six – Call The Wind, Cracksman, Dream Castle, Mozu Ascot, Soul Stirring and Without Parole.
Kingman notched what is likely to be the first of many on Sunday when son Persian King landed the Poule d'Essai des Poulains.
Of the other two Banstead Manor stallions, Bated Breath is yet to be represented by a winner at the highest level but perhaps this month's Group 2 Dahlia Stakes scorer Worth Waiting will put that right, and Expert Eye served his debut book of mares only this season.
5. It has bred more famous horses than you might realise
Not all Juddmonte-bred stars have carried Abdullah's silks.
Brian Boru and Powerscourt were campaigned by Coolmore after being bred in a foal sharing arrangement that enabled Juddmonte to gain access to Coolmore kingpin sire Sadler's Wells.
Group 1-winning sprinters Prohibit and So Factual, meanwhile, started their careers in Abdullah's ownership but were sold on to new connections.
Then there are the talented jumpers sourced from Juddmonte dispersals at the sales, such as Cinders And Ashes, Rigmarole, Self Defense and – most notably – Wicklow Brave, who holds the unusual distinction of being a Classic winner (in the Irish St Leger) and Grade 1 winner in the National Hunt sphere (in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle).
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