Ladyswood Stud back at Tatts with new owners and a rare lot
First foal draft at Tattersalls this week for Alex and Olivia Frost
Ladyswood Stud has been a familiar name at Park Paddocks over the years and, after a brief absence, the operation has returned to the index of vendors in a Tattersalls catalogue under new ownership, the Wiltshire property having been bought by Alex and Olivia Frost in 2016.
The Frosts' first draft of foals will be offered at the December Sale this week and it contains the only foal by Shamardal to go under the hammer at a European auction this year.
Alex Frost, who worked as a trader for 20 years and is currently working in project finance, is no stranger to the racing world having had horses in training with Henry Candy including Spring Fling, a half-sister to Music Master and Twilight Son.
Through Harry and Lorna Fowler of Rahinston Farm and Stud, the 42-year-old has also been involved with a number of mares.
In a stroke of luck, the operation has ended up consigning that sole foal by Shamardal, whose book in the last two seasons has been made private, meaning the only chance for breeders and buyers to secure his stock is at the sales.
That, Frost says, is something that was unplanned when the colt's dam Wadaat was purchased through Blandford Bloodstock for €80,000 at the Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale last year. The daughter of Diktat has produced the winning New Approach gelding Al Khafji and is out of a half-sister to Walzerkoenigin, the dam of German Derby hero Wiener Walzer.
"We wouldn't have got into Shamardal otherwise, so it was the only way of securing a foal by him,” Frost adds. “Suddenly we realised that he would be the only foal by him and it's now very exciting.
"Shamardal is an international stallion who is at the very, very top end. There are some great stallions who are very European-centric, but he's done well wherever his stock have gone. You'd hope that this foal will attract a lot of interest.
"The colt is a lovely individual and he just stands out whenever you see him. He's incredibly strong and, dare I say it, he looks like an international type of horse."
The Shamardal colt (lot 990) forms part of a draft of five foals that Ladyswood Stud is sending to Tattersalls this week. He is joined by a Golden Horn colt (989) out of the Listed-winning Elusive Quality mare Damaniyat Girl, who goes through the ring one lot earlier.
The 11-year-old Damaniyat Girl was purchased privately by Ladyswood Stud and her son is one of a number of the first-crop foals by the Derby and Arc hero to go under the hammer.
Frost says: "He's different to the Shamardal as he’s big and rangy and quite like his dad. He’s very exciting too.”
They are joined by an Exceed And Excel colt out of the placed Medaglia D’Oro mare Mrakeb (688), who is from the family of Tiggy Wiggy, an Iffraaj colt out of the Bernardini mare Dubai Cyclone (687) and a Siyouni filly out of the placed Giant’s Causeway mare Titian’s Pride (689).
Mrakeb and Dubai Cyclone were purchased privately, like Damaniyat Girl, in foal to the respective stallions and they form part of the eight-strong broodmare band at the 90-acre operation located between Cheltenham and Bath.
Frost explains the decision to sell stock for the first time this year.
“We’ve had to start off somewhere and get going,” he says. “We thought the foal sales would be an interesting way of doing it.
“Selling as foals is what we’d like to be known for, but there will be a little of seeing how things go. We’ve tried to take a different view with the foals; we’ve walked them everyday and handle them all the time."
If all goes well at Tattersalls this week Frost says he plans to look at new mares in next week's breeding-stock section to keep the operation moving forward and says.
"Ultimately we want to race a few of our stock but we're a very commercial operation so we have to have commercial horses,” he says. "Having studied the market, it's very clear what kind of horses we should be going after."
But Frost's attention for now is firmly on the standout of their draft, the Shamardal colt who he has such high hopes for.
"To me he really could be, hopefully, a horse that makes our name early on as a stud,” he says. “He's a very exciting horse for us."