MANY PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME WHY MY HORSES DIDN'T GO ABROAD THIS WINTER...
17 years ago I began training my horses abroad over the winter. For five consecutive years we went to Chantilly, followed by 11 years in Germany.
What people generally are mistaken about is that we did not just go abroad to train. This was never our point. We went abroad because we had horses that were good enough to compete at international level. Horses like Hakiki, Rolo Tomasi, Valley Chapel, Touch Of Hawk, Appel Au Maitre and Sir Lando.
It was a way to prepare our classic candidates and older elite horses, and to get a few races under their belts before returning to Scandinavia.
This winter, however, for the first time in 17 years I chose to stay at home. The main reason was the lack of horses able to compete at Group 3 and Listed level. Simply our yard didn’t have any suitable candidates this year, and after a mild Norwegian winter without a particularly amount of snow, I’m frankly very pleased.
The sand track at Øvrevoll, which we must rely on during winter training, has been kept very well and we’ve been able to exercise our horses regularly with thriving horses. I believe that our facilities keep improving, I don’t feel any disadvantages of staying in Norway and now I’m highly optimistic about getting our unraced 3yo classic contenders out early to qualify for the Swedish classics and other big events.
With excellent prize money in the big Scandinavian races, the incitement of running our horses abroad narrows down to either fillies chasing international black type before being sold on, or colts aiming at the highest level for future sire references. Apart from that I can’t see any reason to run outside Scandinavia!
Another point is that when you travel abroad your horses must get used to new surroundings and thrive. Norwegian horses are used to a cold and dry climate, but in Germany and France they have a large amount of rain causing a humid climate during spring. The climate often changes from day to day and thereby causes lung infections and change of coat.
On the contrary, during the recent years in Norway, it has felt like we’ve practically gone straight from winter to summer.
So, by the end of this season we will evaluate on whether we should stay home again or bring our horses three months abroad. But the sure thing is, however, that if we get the quality of horses to compete in international black type races, we will travel!
Our stable enjoyed a fine evening at Saturday's Norwegian Oscar Awards.
Amie Noire received a well deserved prize as Mare of the Year in her last season racing. She is a good and beautiful mare who also ended with an official rating that defined her capacity. Amie Noire is now in Ireland to be covered by Fastnet Rock at Coolmore.
Delacroix was awarded Norwegian Bred of the Year - a tough prize to win, as this category covers all Norwegian breds no matter the age. Delacroix was a heavy weight 2yo winning the Swedish Criterium.
Jan Erik Neuroth was crowned Profile of the Year. He contributed to our yard's fabulous season with many incredible rides and will continue as our first jockey in 2017.
Allan Wallace was awarded Champion Apprentice and we congratulate him specifically as he joined the team in January and will be a great asset going forward.
A special thank you to our veterinarians Petter Myhre, Espen Guriby and Erik Strand, as well as our farrier company Stig Haga and co-workers for playing such an important role in our aim for great results.
A RECAP OF THE SWEDISH RACING SEASON - AND MERRY CHRISTMAS
The statistic shows that each time one of our horses ran in Sweden during the past year, they made an average earning of 79.015 SEK.
We had 20 wins from 74 starts – a winning percentage of 27 – and total earnings of 5.847.210 kroner.
2016 was a remarkable season!
Obviously the many highlights included the spectacular Friday night at the Festival of Swedish Racing. Stall Perlen’s Appelina won the Breeders’ Trophy Classic, Stall Gammel Dansk’s Shalalee won the Breeders’ Trophy Mile and Stall EOS’ Dardenne took the Breeders’ Trophy Juvenile.
All three Breeders’ winners were ridden by Jan-Erik Neuroth, who enjoyed an indescribable evening that also included winning the Breeders’ Trophy Sprint.
The Swedish Derby Day was also a great day. Though we didn’t make it a 21st Derby winner, we celebrated three big wins with Amie Noire in the Margareta Wettermark’s Memorial, Angel Love in the Sofierolöpning and Killroy in The Malmö Sommarhandicap.
Again Jan-Erik rode all three winners in addition to his win for Francisco Castro in the Swedish Derby Sprint.
Angel Love went on to capture the Swedish Oaks, while Imala took the shorter Altamiralöpning.
In the Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning our yard had a double when Lady Marma finally showed her true potential beating Angel Love.
For Stall EOS the year ended on a high note with Delacroix winning the Swedish Criterium, Dardenne winning Marnoustielöpning and Staring At The Sea coming out on top in both the Waquaas Gold and Malmö Hösthandicap.
Amie Noire had a fabulous season winning the Cinnamon Challenge and Listed Coolmore Matchmaker Stakes in addition to being runner-up in the Group 3 Stockholms Stora Pris against the colts.
Amie Noire has ended her racing career and will now enter the breeding shed under the banner of her owners Stall Perlen.
Bokan, who won last year’s Swedish Derby, raced seven times in 2016 and never finished outside the first five. He finished his season over 2100m on the dirt at Bro Park, winning the Listed Songline Classic with his stable companion Killroy back in third. This was indeed a great end to his 4yo campaign and as he is still lightly raced, there will be even more to come from him next year.
I wish to gratefully thank everyone involved around our yard for a tremendous effort – our results were never possible without devoted stable staff, a strong jockey with an excellent pace judgment as well as the ongoing support from loyal and dedicated owners who are continuously eager to invest in yearlings and their own breeding operations.
My very best wishes to all of you who have taken the time to read these lines and those who have followed us online – I look much forward to seeing you again in 2017.
Stall Perlen have not only invested in premium yearlings this autumn. They have also bought three foals in Germany, UK and Ireland - two of them by sires nominated for the 2018-2020 Scandinavian Breeders' Series.
At the Goffs November Foal Sale in Ireland a filly by Holy Roman Emperor was knocked down to our associates Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock. The filly is out of a winner by Street Cry and hails from the immediate family of champion Danehill Dancer.
In Germany we picked up a Soldier Hollow half-brother to our former top juvenile performer Taja and German Group 3 winner Theo Danon.
Both Holy Roman Emperor and Soldier Hollow are nominated for the Scandinavian Breeders' Series, and the foals by these sires have been bought with the sole purpose to run for the big prizes within the series in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
In addition to the two Breeders' entrants Stall Perlen have also bought a filly foal by Mukhadram at the Tattersalls December Sale. The filly is a half-sister to the colt by Legal Force that Peter & Ross Doyle bought for us at the October Yearling Sale.
Buying international foals for Scandinavia is - in my opinion - a very natural reaction to the ever stronger yearling market throughout Europe and North America.
It has yet again - like we saw in the years before the big financial crisis 10 years ago - proved very difficult to buy international yearlings that suit our "Scandinavian pockets", and even though the task of buying foals contains a higher risk, I believe that this is where we actually have the biggest chance of picking up potential Group performers in the years to come.
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Dardenne was placed behind the leaders. Went from the inside to the far outside before the last bend and went away to win comfortably. A very good performance.
Bostar ran midfield and had some issues handling the ground. Still finished strongly into second. As a 3yo running with top weight against older horses this performance was approved.
Delacroix was ridden held up today, but he got a stop on the backstretch just as the tempo was increased. He lost his action and according to his rider he didn't act as well on the dirt today as he did when winning the Criterium. He will now rest for the winter.
Seraphine was never allowed to run her race. She was keen and willing from the gate, but got pulled backwards into last entering the first bend and never had a chance.
The 2016 racing season in Norway came to an end this week, and once again our yard can look back at a big year at home with a statistic of 22% winners and 46% within the first three from 96 starts. Our horses earned more than 2,7 million kroner in prize money and we finished 2nd in the race for the Trainers’ Championship Title.
Winning the Norwegian 1000 Guineas and the Breeders’ Prize Classic, Stall Perlen’s 3yo filly Appelina was our stable’s leading money earner, and her brilliant classic campaign has been even more exceptional, as she hails from the first crop of our multiple champion racehorse Appel Au Maitre.
2yo Delacroix, owned and bred by Stall EOS, won the Norsk Rikstoto Oppdrettsløp and the Norwegian 2yo Championships. Furthermore, the likes of 3yo’s Angel Love and Pas De Secrets made great impressions, even though the uneven surface at Øvrevoll isn’t preferred to any of them. Angel Love finished 2nd in the Erik O Steens Memorial on Derby Day, while Pas De Secrets was runner-up in both the Norwegian Derby and Norwegian St. Leger.
It is safe to say that in Delacroix and Dardenne we have a leading pair of Norwegian bred juveniles. We have said goodbye to our champion race mare Amie Noire, who will continue her career in the breeding shed. Obviously this leaves a tremendous gap, but our 3yo’s seem to have what it takes to take another step up in class for next season’s elite races, while Staring At The Sea has bloomed into a top sprinter.
Also, we have welcomed an excellent new crop of yearlings this autumn, and I can certainly assure you of the great dedication of everyone involved around our team, and that we will continue to do our utmost for all horses and clients in the year to come.
Yesterday's sand track was difficult to cope with for several horses, who digged very deep into the ground. This was the reason to the below par performance by Seth, who was already in trouble after the first two furlongs.
Dardenne began a bit reluctantly, but answered his rider's call. A long way behind the leader until the straight, but since without any competition to take an easy six length win.
Iona was ridden handy and got up in front into the straight. She was a bit reluctant under the lights, but did defend her lead when a horse came up to her and they ran a dead heat. Like my other fillies by Appel Au Maitre Iona has inherited her father's will to win. She has been a filly that I have liked especially much - easy to train and always fighting. She has been sold to someone that I know will take great care of her going forward.
Hi Finn towards the back of the field and finished strongly to win on his preferred heavy going.
Seth was second throughout and fought well as runner-up on a surface that wasn't to his advantage.
Delacroix ran on sand for the first time and wasn't used to the kick-back. He was well ridden and stamped his class down the straight to win easily. It will be exciting to see him on Jägersro in the Swedish Criterium.
Staring At The Sea went straight to the front and was in control all the way.
Bostar was too keen and it didn't help that the horse to his inside kept pressuring him the entire race. He was approved as 4th and the blinkers might have done the trick.
Mustajjid was once again squeezed coming out of the gate as Chaves didn't keep his position. This cost us the win. He was dead last a long way out of the camera range but finished extremely well and was only beaten a length by the winner.
Bokan was placed midfield and started to progress before the bend. He went off to a big win in the Listed Songline Classic and obviously thrived on Bro Park's surface and track profile.
Killroy had an inside draw and got stuck behind tired horses. He finished well but had too much to gain and had to settle for third.
Amie Noire was racing held up and kept her speed until the last 400 yards. Her rider could lower his hands before the finish line and this was an easy win. Amie Noire likes a flat track, but she is at her best on a soft surface, which the Scandinavian tracks have lacked this season.
Thank you to her work rider Sergio Alonso for a great job throughout.
Amie Noire is a game mare with a fabulous temperament, and she will not be easy to replace.
Shalalee was third behind Amie Noire and not beaten far from second. She is a Norwegian bred filly who has delivered many great performances, and she always does her best.
Pas De Secrets was placed midfield along the rail, had an opening right after the last turn and gained ground on the winner without really stretching himself due to the surface, which like on the Norwegian Derby Day was loose on top and hard under neath.
This was the last race of the season for Pas De Secrets, whose best performance was in his debut in Cologne, beaten into third place on soft ground by horses who ended up being Group performers.
Although he still finished 3rd in Voterlöpning, 2nd in Norwegian Derby, 3rd in Norwegian St Leger and 2nd in Swedish St Leger, which proves that he is a horse for the big races next year - and hopefully he will get some soft ground in the future.
Gideon was placed midfield and picked up speed down the straight. He was only a nose from fourth place and not beaten far. He will get new opportunities next year to show his ability over distance.
Dardenne has usually been late from the gate, but this time he was fast as lightning and a bit too keen to get cover from draw number eight. He got a very wide bend and ran out of air in the middle of the stretch. Will he be a sprinter like his dam?
Today Stall Perlen purchased lot 908 at the second day of Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2.
He is a typical sprinter. It has been a good while since I trained a sprinter, but there have been many top sprinters in my yard.
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I look forward to next season. We have eight yearlings that are very good looking individuals and a fine mix of colts and fillies, Scandinavian and foreign breds.
The new yearlings come as an addition to our great classic crop, who will now aim at next year's elite races.
On Sunday Amie Noire will run her last race before retiring to the breeding shed.
That Stall Perlen are investing like they do at present is because of their faith in a stronger sport and because of the big prizes in the seasons ahead.
Big prizes in Scandinavia is the core solution for investing in great individuals, which naturally cost money. During the past 20 years we have invested in yearlings that have become top racehorses inside Scandinavia and internationally - with placings in the German Derby and several other Group 1, 2 and 3 races.
Some of our current horses will be sold, but we will enter 2017 with approximately 30 horses in training at Øvrevoll.
Shalalee carried top weight and gave away 7½ kilos to the winner. She kept on well to finish 2nd in a tough battle down the straight.
Bokan was placed right behind the leader. He finished well into 3rd, only beaten 2 lengths by the the winner. We decided not to go to the front, but unfortunately there was no pace in the race and it was never a genuined 2400m task.