Czech connections strike Gold with Hardwicke Stakes runner-up
Arc and Melbourne Cup under consideration for Vaclav Luka's runner
British auction houses could be welcoming a few more visitors from the Czech Republic after the outstanding performance of bargain-buy Nagano Gold.
Vaclav Luka picked up the son of Sixties Icon for just 3,500gns at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale in 2014 and has already trained him to win two French Listed races and his domestic St Leger. On Saturday, jockey Christophe Soumillon suggested that being badly hampered at the start had cost Nagano Gold Royal Ascot glory in the Hardwicke Stakes, in which he was beaten just half a length into second by Defoe.
Bloodstock agent Tomas Janda, who was representing Luka as well as being something of a one-stop-shop for all things Czech racing, said: "He’s definitely now the best horse in central Europe. He’s not popular just in the Czech Republic, I think also people from the likes of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia are watching him.
"Of course there are many more successful horses every year than him, Classic winners from Ireland, England and other places, but it’s a bit special.
"He was a little bit unlucky in the race, and after this he could be able to even win a Group 1, so he’s a very good advert for English horses and the sales now."
"Sixties Icon is suitable for us, they are usually not very expensive. If you have two to five thousand to spend you can’t look at the Galileos or anything like that. Also, the dam of Nagano Gold already threw a good horse [Abu Dhabi Group 3 winner Jabr], he’d liked the pedigree and it was suitable for our racing."
Although the nation home to the Velka Pardubicka has long had its own breeding programme, Janda bought around 50 yearlings himself to export last year.
"Some owners prefer foals because they’re maybe a little bit cheaper, but most of them are yearlings or horses in training," he said. "There are maybe ten or 15 foals bought a year, and perhaps 100 yearlings, mostly from England and Ireland and some from France, but there’ll maybe now be more foals after Nagano Gold."
After his laudable effort, Janda says that the world is Nagano Gold’s oyster. "There are some offers to run in Melbourne, for the Melbourne Cup, we were invited to Hong Kong. The original plan was to target the Arc but we can consider more options now."
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