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Friday, 16 November, 2018

'Go gently and learn about the industry before you invest'

The latest in our series of questionnaires with figures from the industry

Filip Zwicky: has worked for Goffs for ten years
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Name Filip Zwicky

Age 35

Languages English, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian

Occupation Editor of Race Web, consultant to the bloodstock industry in Scandinavia, agent and Scandinavian representative for Goffs and Goffs UK

How and when did you become involved in racing? There was a family connection – I was born into horseracing. I started my company Scandinavian Race Web in August 2000.

What has been the greatest opportunity in your career? Working for Goffs for the past ten years has been the greatest opportunity in my career for sure. Joining the Goffs team back in 2007 was a big step.

What aspect of your job do you most enjoy? The travelling, buying winners and seeing the horses on the racecourse I've helped people to purchase. I'll attend all of the Goffs sales in Britain and Ireland. Then I'll go abroad to Scandinavia. I have about 100 travel days a year now, watching racing in Scandinavia or going to the sales in Britain and Ireland.

And least enjoy? Being away from my family – I have two sons, Hans Christian (9) and August (4).

Best day in the business? The day I bred a Derby winner. Tigress Eleven was a filly and won the Danish Derby in 2011. I also co-owned her. It was the biggest achievement and the biggest thrill so far. I would say during the past 15 years, only three fillies have won the race.

If you intended to spend £1 million on a yearling, whose opinion would you seek? And who would you want to train and ride it? I'd probably seek the opinion of Peter Doyle, as he has a fabulous record buying horses for Scandinavia and is an agent I have a lot of respect for. Even the horses bought with lower budgets have been running really well. I would like to have it in training with Kevin Ryan and to ride either William Buick or an apprentice Kevin Stott. They are two guys having a good career in Britain.

If you could have owned any broodmare, past or present, who would it have been? Urban Sea. She was the first Arc winner I saw at Longchamp. She has always been a mare I've followed, even before Galileo.

What would you like to see change in the industry? Within the Scandinavian industry, I would like to make it easier to import horses to Scandinavia, and for more races to be for foreign-bred horses.

What has changed most during your time in the bloodstock industry? The financial crisis changed a lot for buyers. I was actually lucky because my clients bought a lot of good horses for relatively little money, and their investments have been rewarded so the crisis has actually been a help.

Why are Scandinavian buyers drawn towards Britain and Ireland? There are so many good horse bred in Ireland and Britain, including many of the best horses we have in Scandinavia. They are both a source of really good horses.

Advice for someone hoping to get into the industry? I would say prepare a lot, get somebody to give you advice instead of acting on your own, go gently at first and learn about the industry before you invest.

What's different about breeding in Scandinavia? There are less than 500 foals a year in Scandinavia, so there is not a lot to choose from. There are more than that at a single sale in Ireland and Britain.

What stallions and/or broodmares are big names in Scandinavia? There is one of the only sons of Deep Impact standing in Europe in Sweden. His name is Barocci, a brother to Beauty Parlour. He had his first foals last year, he could be as good as any stallion standing in Europe and stands at a very affordable fee.

What do you look for in a breeze-up buy? What you would look for in Scandinavia would be horses who will act on dirt. The two big courses in Sweden are typical American dirt surfaces, so it’s not something other European trainers will look for at the breeze-up sales. It’s bringing a bit of America to Europe and is something we have had a lot of success with.

What purchase are you most happy with? Let’sgoforit was bought for just €10,000 as a yearling at Goffs. He went on to become champion sprinter in Sweden and won 21 races. He won the Group 3 Zawawi Cup at Jagersro and was placed in a Listed race in the UAE as well. He has been a really lucky purchase.

Which purchase of yours, yet to race, are you most looking forward to seeing race? We just bought a very nice filly foal by Zoffany at Goffs November Sale, a half-sister to multiple Scandinavian champion Bank Of Burden. She has some great credentials and, in my opinion, is by the best sire who has been bred to the mare.

Breeding and co-owning a Derby winner was the biggest achievement and the biggest thrill so far
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