With racing in the UK and Europe currently suspended, Newmarket based trainer William Haggas has executed a master plan, winning three graded races with horses who are currently 10,500 miles away from home.
Addeybb followed-up his top spot finish in the Grade 1 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill with a prestigious victory in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick in the hands of Tom Marquand. This takes the horse’s earnings to nearly £900,000. This was the third win for Haggas in Australia, after Young Rascal won the G3 Manion Cup at Rosehill in March. The plan to send these two classy horses ‘down under’ was hatched well before the word Covid19 was famous, and despite not being able to travel to Australia, the trainer sent his string out an hour late so that he could watch the race.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Haggas said, “Tom gave him a lovely ride. He just didn’t go too early and when he went he went properly and put the race to bed, which was great.” He continued, “It’s a great thrill for him to get a couple of Group 1s on the board, especially while everything is so quiet over here.”
Sending horses to the other side of the world to race is a complex and costly exercise. Minimising changes in the horse’s diet is crucial during travel to help them maintain condition and well-being. It’s essential for William and his team that they change as little as possible in the horses routine.
“This is where Connolly’s global presence as a feed manufacturer comes in to play” says RED MILLS UK Thoroughbred Manager Adam Johnson. “Connolly’s RED MILLS horse feed is currently distributed to 80 destinations worldwide. With racing now such a global sport it’s vital we can keep our customers supplied no matter where they send their horses to race.”
Every country has their own different rules and regulations with regards importation of feed and equine supplies, so the expertise the Connolly’s have built up of the years distributing globally is valuable to the trainers.
Johnson continued “trainers have enough on their plate without having to worry about the feed being available to them when they travel. Our international export team make the process as easy and cost effective as possible”.
Making the process easy for the trainer is key to the service RED MILLS provides.
“Getting the feed to Australia was simple,” said Maureen Haggas. “Our secretary Aimee called Paddy Gerety, our RED MILLS Thoroughbred Specialist, back in January to arrange for the feed to be sent. We’ve had very little to do with the process, as Connolly’s take care of everything.”
Michelle Flynn, from the RED MILLS exports team, explains “once I know how many horses are travelling, when they are arriving and how long they are there for, we set about arranging the transport. I prefer sending the feed via the route that has the least number of stops, as the less handling of the feed that is required the better. We obtain 2-3 quotes from different shipping companies so that we can ensure we are getting our customers the best possible freight charge.”
Michelle and her team have worked hard over the years to ensure all the paperwork and legalities are in place, so that the receiving agents in Australia have little issues with the product clearing customs.
“I deal with Hiro and Lachlan at IRT Melbourne; we talk regularly to ensure that the feed arrives safely and is distributed to the racecourse stables in the necessary time scale.”
Focus now is on getting Addeybb home, as Haggas is keen to continue his career in the UK. However, Young Rascal looks set to remain in Australia. Racing becomes more and more of a global sport each year and Haggas has shown that success for UK trainers in Australia, outside of the traditional spring festival, is more than achievable.