Friday, 27 July 2012

Are we progressive?

This is a debate on which I would request as much feedback as there can be. The question is that are we a progressive horse racing and breeding industry? To start with one basic, let's take the case of auction sales. In an industry where we have almost 2000 foals born the last year, it is safe to assume that on numbers it's not too bad an industry. Leading breeding nations like Ireland have had approx 6000 foals born. Now, those foals are being sold / raced across Europe, a bit in the US and a small percentage beyond these countries. While a lot of people may think that ours is an Industry, it really is not. We're in a way still stuck in the license raj and we have no incentives or a push by the Govt. We pay huge import duties, and there isn't any encouragement from the banks or goverment. We also are a very close knit industry. In the sense that there are very few young new gen entrants in the industry whether it is racing or breeding or as professionals. Infact young potential trainers are hit hardest first by not getting a license to train in a major centre and I'd they do manage that then who do they go to buy horses for? That aside, talking from a more procurement point of view which is a basic for any industry, the basic is to be able to buy horses whether it is foals, yearlings, two year olds, mares or even stallion prospects. Ours is a fairly wealthy nation so to say at least pertaining to this industry. But there has to be an element of fair trade and in turn a contribution to the economy to the nation by virtue of increasing the turnover in real monetary terms towards the coffers of the economy. But how do we do that. To start with why can't we simply have more sales in our country. At the moment it is only the RWiTC who with the help of the Indian Stud Book (which to me is one of the best stud book depts) conducts sales. People will argue that MRC, BTC and the RCTC used to conduct sales in the past. But for whatever reasons they aren't holding them anymore is probably their learning from their experiences of the past. What we need to nderstand is that time has gone by and this country has changed. Besides, are the sales being conducted in the best possible way is another question. Maybe we need some more expertise and various kinds of tie ps and cross promotions. Every year every farm has mares to sell, they d be happy to sell foals, yearlings and two year olds. Similarly, owners that have ought yearlings may want to cash in or reduce losses and sell them as two year olds. As a racing and breeding fraternity and also as a potential industry to add to the coffers of the economy and to give ourselves a better chance to trade and be more exciting, we need to have many more sales. We need to have: Foal sales: there isn't much of a concept of pinhooking in India. This is an exciting concept where people take a chance on a foal which they may buy at a certain price and sell at a profit. Yearling sale: tried and tested in Bombay but didn't take off. Maybe we need to take in strategic partners like Tattersalls, Goffs, Inglis etc etc to improve the content and the package for sales. Mares sales: there are scores of breeders wanting to sell mares and a fair bit who want to buy them. For a new breeder, where does he go to buy? There are only a handful of bloodstock agents and what if one doesn't know them? How does one get across? An auction is the best and the most fair way by and large to buy or sell just like the stock exchange. Horses in training sales: this is such a huge opportunity. Like mentioned above if one does not have the connections in the industry the only way to sell a horse in training is to wait for an offer. Atleast in an auction you make yourself available to sell and people know that a particular is there to be bought. Two year old sales: As much as people may disagree we must have a cap on a certain percentage every farm must sell in the ring. It's such a whim that horses will not sell well in the ring. They sell all across the globe and in far richer economies than ours. There isn't a reason why people won't do the same here. Atleast they re getting a fair price and the breeders get paid as they should. These are things to be thought and deliberated upon. And they need to be thought of seriously. How far this industry has progressed over the last few decades is anybody's guess. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Recap : 2011-12 Winter

When my friend and consultant Kripanarayanan called me around half four on 19th of December 2011, my heart raced as I took the call while on our way to Jaipur. Very matter of factly he said 'yeah, he's won but just by a length or so' and hung up. It was more of a relief that Plenipotent won his first race, a maiden million than to evoke a fist punching celebration. This was also when my wife and me were on our small holiday after our wedding. it was such a lovely gift! It happened to be our first 'million' winner and once I sat down to watch the race replay in the evening, it gave me enough reason to celebrate after seeing the manner of his win. He was green and drifting in the straight but once the joc gathered him, he took the race in a matter of strides. A few weeks before this race, we had a similar reaction to Montpelier's first outing win in a maiden. At Mebajeona we sure knew that we had sent out a few exciting horses to run this winter but how good they actually would prove was to be seen on the turf. It was very exciting but at the same time we I was wracked with nervousness as this was our first big crop (big by our standard of 12 two year olds) with a few got abroads as well as the first crop of our highly regarded but deceased stallion, Home Affairs. Thus, the pressure was on us to deliver or it would be another case of 'small farm, question mark on various aspects of farm management...' etc and a whole lot of people would have just said 'I told you so' or put it down to blink luck. Anyway, it did work out for us and boy, how. Plenipotent and Montpelier met in the Darley Arabian Stakes, Gr3. Plenipotent won the race but Montpelier ran a nice third despite drifting in the straight. This was our first Group race in a fairly long time. Next up, Plenipotent again won a Gr3 million in taking style by almost 5 lengths. The form of the race showed up when the runner up went on to win a Gr3 in his subsequent start. In the meantime VIjay's Pride made a smashing debut to lift a maiden Million on the Derby day at Hyderabad. She just cruised to land the race as she liked and showed good promise. Montpelier who had been improving with each run then ran out a decisive winner of the Godolphin Barb Million,Gr3 thus giving us a third Group race this season. In all we had three Gr3 wins and five million races (incl the Group 3 wins). All from just four horses to run for us in Hyderabad. They were amongst the first horses bought by trainers LVR Deshmukh and Leo D'Silva and we were delighted that they did well for everybody. In the meantime, the progeny of Home Affairs started firing in Bombay. After showing promise in a maiden on the Indian Derby day, Capital Attraction ran out a fine winner of a 7 furlong showing guts to fight out the finish. Home Factor, our first winner by Home Affairs won his second start in good style under Richard Hughes.he followed that up by a nice effort in finishing second to the highly rated Deja Vu. He is another with promise for the next season. Rodeo, a half brother to the smart Radical Attraction won his third start in fine style going start to finish in a 9 furlong to win as he liked. He likes ground and will be an interesting prospect in the future. Both Capital Attraction and Rodeo a trained by Sanjay Kolse while Home Factor is trained by Ivor Fernandez. In all, we had three winners from four starters by Home Affairs in Bombay. Hopefully some of these would be classic contenders in the monsoon season. Vijays Pride did us proud by winning the Fillies Championship,Gr1 in Bangalore. We'll relive that in the next blog. We would like to pay a rich Mr Pratap Chander Reddy who was the first amongst the seasoned owners to buy from our farm. We are so happy that we could provide him with his first ever Gr1 winner in Bangalore.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on the season too! Comment here or join us on Twitter or Facebook and share them. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Welcome to

We would like to welcome you to This website heralds a new era for our stud farm. We would be blogging regularly and would like you to interact freely as much as possible as we want this to be an interactive blog which would bring together thoughts and views from the racing fraternity in India as well as abroad.
You could also follow the facebook page of Mebajeona and on twitter.