'This is a big turning round' – team player Noseda sharing the Phoenix adventure
Newmarket trainer going forward step by step with wife Kerri Radcliffe
For much of this year, Jeremy Noseda has been watching his life change in ways he never could have imagined.
Noseda has been a primary beneficiary as Phoenix Thoroughbreds has soared, virtually overnight, to become a power player in global bloodstock markets. A series of superbly-bred young horses from North America and Europe have been designated for him to train – and the fact that he has helped select many of them at the side of his wife, Phoenix bloodstock and racing manager Kerri Radcliffe, makes it all the better.
"This is exciting, I'm thrilled," Noseda said during the third session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, while Radcliffe was signing the ticket for another $1 million purchase. "There are some lovely horses and I'm lucky I'm getting some of them to train. Whatever help I can give to Phoenix Racing and to Kerri, that's what I want to do."
While Noseda has earned a reputation as a savvy professional, having trained Classic winners Araafa and Sixties Icon as well as Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko and other Group 1 performers including Fleeting Spirit, he said he endured some lean years prior to the creation of Phoenix by Amer Abdulaziz Salman. Phoenix duly offers a whole new beginning.
"This has been a big boost to me," Noseda admitted, relating he has about 40 horses at his Shalfleet Stables in Newmarket. "This is a big turning around. It's really important to me that it goes well. We'll work hard, do our best. You make your own luck by how hard you work."
Noseda is currently training eight horses for Phoenix. Of his Phoenix runners to date, 40 per cent have been winners, a high percentage in a challenging sport.
Among those winners is Take Me With You, also Group 3-placed, an American-bred Scat Daddy filly who was an $800,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select two-year-old in training sale.Zafonic. Yearlings Phoenix has acquired at Keeneland expected to be trained by Noseda include a $1.1 million War Front half-brother to multiple Graded winner Parranda, plus a $950,000 Scat Daddy colt from the family of Group 1 winner Hawkbill.
Collecting young horses of this kind is every trainer's dream, and Noseda and Radcliffe are enjoying every moment. They sit together during bidding and he often congratulates her with a kiss after the gavel comes down in her favour.
But their interaction also includes some serious business synchronicity. After Radcliffe bought an $850,000 Violence colt in partnership with Three Chimneys Farm on Tuesday, she said that Noseda had been key to the arrangement with the notable Kentucky stud.
"Jeremy used to train for [Three Chimneys chairman] Goncalo [Torrealba] and he said: 'Kerri really, really likes this horse.' And [Torrealba] just said: 'Let's do it together.' And that's how it turned out. It's just so great for Phoenix Thoroughbreds to have partners like this in racing: it spreads risk, and spreads costs."
On Wednesday Radcliffe entered another partnership, with Eric Fein, to pay $1 million for a colt by Orb consigned by Dromoland Farm, from the family of Grade 1 winners Stellar Jayne and Starrer. "The high-end horses are all going for a lot of money," Fein reasoned. "It's come down to partnerships; otherwise, you're bidding against each other for crazy amounts."
"The most important thing is that Phoenix and Amer Abdulaziz succeeds. If Phoenix is successful, whether it be with Bob Baffert or Jeremy Noseda or whoever, the ball keeps rolling; we keep coming back to Keeneland and Saratoga and Newmarket and Deauville and Florida to the breeze-up sales; we move forward and keep this thing rolling along."