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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Breeders' Cup aim for Longchamp winner The Black Album after Team Valor purchase

Churchill Downs: stages the 2018 Breeders' Cup
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Team Valor International has acquired The Black Album, recent winner of the Group 3 Prix La Rochette at Longchamp, and will point him towards the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs on November 2

The Black Album's victory earlier this month was his third in four outings for trainer Jane Soubagne and jockey Mickael Barzalona, who has accepted the mount for the $1 million event. 

The son of Wootton Bassett boasts the third-highest official rating among French two-year-olds, ranked 1lb below the top two. 

Team Valor chief executive Barry Irwin said: "This colt is just the right size for American racing, with tremendous athleticism. He has the ability to lay handy, pounce instantly when asked and moxie to hold off all challengers the length of the stretch.

"What’s so darn exciting about this guy is that he has top form already. In fact, in all the years we’ve been doing this we have never bought a European colt that was so highly ranked or accomplished as a juvenile." 

The Black Album will be considered for one final race in France, the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon on October 4 at Saint-Cloud, but it is possible that he will train straight up to the Breeders' Cup. 

Soubagne will saddle The Black Album for the Breeders' Cup and then turn the colt over to Kentucky-based trainer Rodolphe Brisset.

Good cause supported at Wetherby

A signed pair of Richard Johnson’s breeches, a private box at Beverley, a box at Wetherby, various luxury breaks in Yorkshire, Abersoch and Bamburgh, and a gorgeous Scottish landscape painting by artist Rhod Evans are among the auction items at the 28th Spinal Research Charity Raceday at Wetherby on October 17.

Carole Flather, a member of the Spinal Research Wetherby Race Day Committee, said: "Spinal Research is a charity that is very close to the hearts of many guests who attend as many of us know someone who has been unfortunate enough to suffer a spinal cord injury.

"By attending this special day, people can help fund research around the world to develop effective treatments for the devastating effects of paralysis."

More information and tickets via

McGarvey stood down for a week after Ballinrobe fall

Jody McGarvey, in the wars at Ballinrobe on Friday when he was unshipped from Padraig Roche's Way Back Home in the opening three-year-old hurdle, has been stood down for a week after he suffered a concussion.

The rider also received a possible fracture to his elbow in the spill but is due to see surgeon Paddy Kenny to get a proper examination on the injury.

He explained: "There's a query over the elbow fracture and I'm due to see Paddy Kenny on Tuesday week to ascertain the extent of the damage. The initial prognosis is that I shouldn't be out for too long."

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his colt is just the right size for American racing, with tremendous athleticism
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