It is a miserable day here in Newmarket and even the ducks will be bored of the relentless rain soon. We are lucky to be able to get outside on a regular basis however and even when soaked through it is good to remember that it is a privilege that many do not have at the moment.
This week has been a very sad one for racing as we have lost an icon. I am lucky enough to live opposite Banstead Manor Stud and during the first lockdown Sophie and myself took a daily walk through it. It was uplifting to bump into Concentric one day as she stuck her head over the fence and the many other beautiful mares that live there. Whenever we saw a new name, we would go on to the Racing Post to see what that mare had done. As the weeks went on the Frankel foals appeared and it was the highlight of our day in tough times.
Prince Khalid built things the right way and that is why so many people were in awe of him and respect what Juddmonte stands for. Of course you need to be surrounded by good people and Prince Khalid made sure he was. I did not hear anyone ever say, it would be easy to create if you had as much money as him. Many wealthy people have entered the game and exited the game but Prince Khalid stood the test of time as it has not really been about the money but about the passion for the sport and the horse. Juddmonte has been built with care and love and time. Money gives you the means but it does not give you the tools to create a success story. What the Prince has produced is a blueprint and anyone wealthy, entering the game with long-term ambitions who has not familiarised themselves with the Juddmonte story, really should do.
I hope the Juddmonte story continues because it scares me to think what would happen if it does not. After so much time and dedication to create bloodlines that produce top class racehorses year after year, it would be a shame if the famous green, white and pink colours are not carried to more Group 1 successes for many years to come. Too much power in one pair of hands is no good for any industry and should Juddmonte be broken up in the short to medium term, it would be terrible news for the sport if the biggest player of them all were to obtain the prize assets. We need a competitive sport that attracts new people into it and should we start having a third of the Guineas field from the same stable as well as half the Derby field, racing in this country really will be moving in the wrong direction.