Weinfeld lends support to Gosden breeding view

John Gosden: warned St Leger was in danger due to commercial breeding

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Weinfeld lends support to Gosden breeding view By Zoe Vicarage 11:52AM 9 SEP 2016

MEON VALLEY STUD’S Mark Weinfeld threw his weight behind John Gosden’s comments in Tuesday’s Racing Post that breeding for speed will be the ruin of racing.

Gosden warned that races such as Saturday’s Ladbroke St Leger are at risk from commercial breeding trends and that people are now breeding for sales instead of for racing.

It is a view that Weinfeld shares and his family’s Hampshire nursery has long been associated with top-class middle distance and staying horses through one of their foundation mares Reprocolor, ancestress of Kayf Tara and Opera House.

Weinfeld said: “John Gosden is absolutely right in his comments. Personally both myself and trainers I have spoken to feel that the current [Tattersalls October Book 1] £25,000 bonus scheme for two-year-olds would be more helpful if it was aimed at three-year-old runners.

“This would encourage purchasers to take a longer-term view when buying yearlings that may take more time and require a trip. The bulk of the Plus Ten races are currently for two-year-olds as are most of the sales races.”

Philippa Cooper of Normandie Stud, who is no stranger to success with staying horses thanks to the likes of her 2011 Irish St Leger hero Duncan, believes that sales companies need to take the lead in establishing a bonus for middle-distance performers.

She said: “The incentive needs to come from the sales houses. You’ve got to get owners buying the middle-distance horses and then that might make the breeders go back to breeding stayers.

“Something like a bonus for horses bought out of middle-distance stallions would encourage people.

“A lot of people, especially breeders, are really worried about breeding for speed.”

While the issue of breeding for speed has been a hot topic, Cooper was quick to point out steps the British Horseracing Authority have taken to address the situation.

During the course of this year the BHA has tested restricted maidens for progeny of stallions who stayed a distance of over ten furlongs or more. Wednesday’s race at Carlisle attracted four runners.

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