Can Mr David Allan please take a bow? – Turf Talk: 20 November 2017
WHILE our Monday Columnist David Allan travels to Ireland for the first of three straight weeks of foal and breeding stock sales, we offered to give him a Monday off. Instead we at Turf Talk can write about David’s own current “purple patch” in South Africa.
We won‟t rehash the profiles of David that have been written over the years, including in Turf Talk, but in our work we have seen the recent build-up of Allan-related winners.
He smiled when it was pointed out that he sits well up the Breeders Log by AEPR of individual breeders, not farms.“Let‟s see what it looks like after the remaining two thirds of the season, but we don’t use top end stallions other than Elusive Fort and one or two others at a similar level. We earn most of our stallion usage through syndicate management of six stallions and we back those sires when the matings are right”.
He is “chuffed” about the SA stakes won by Allan-breds and The Alado Project “totalling something respectable” calling it a vote for modest breeding costs working out productively. Ironically, David‟s highest earner as a breeder this season so far is by Jay Peg who goes largely unwanted commercially. He retained the filly twice “in deafening silence from bidders”.
Our heads have been turned most by the rise of Alado. This magnificently bred horse is contributing to the AllanBloodlines portfolio big time at the moment, dramatically on Saturday with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Selangor Cup by trainer Candice Bass-Robinson‟s ROCKET COUNTDOWN.
Alado is a Lanwades Stud bred member of one of the most successful families in the global stud book. He was imported by other means and got mares at his first farm Oaklands which unfortunately soon began to fail.
At a Royal Ascot Friday lunch, Miss Kirsten Rausing agreed to bring AllanBloodlines in to steady the ship. Then David “borrowed, leased and bought” mares in support.
Alado developed some impressive percentages – hitting 67% winners to runners from small crops but attracted few outside mares. David established Alado at Hemel „n Aarde Stud where he thrives. All of “his harem” reside there. Through refreshing the mare band and “getting better at it” each year, many visitors to Hemel „n Aarde remark on the constant improvement in foal quality over the years.
“We have bred and raced Alado Stakes placed runners before”, said David. “Northern Conquest – actually Klawervlei bred and we raced him– and Half Moon Hotel each won four or five plus their bits of black type. Adorada is a current multiple winner and Stakes placed. All these were/are trained by Vaughan Marshall. Now, for supportive breeder – my good friends and clients – Oldlands Stud to have bred ROCKET COUNTDOWN is excellent. Bring on the Guineas!”.
Owner Gavin Almanza was successfully amongst the next believers.A boost came when Bass Racing and Wehann Smith bought half a dozen Alados– one being ROCKET COUNTDOWN for R120,000. From the Pro-ject, the progressive AWESOMENESS was a debutante winner under Anton Marcus while others such as AMERICAN SNIPER and DRAGONAIR should score.
Joey Ramsden campaigns the admirable twice winner APOLLO STAR while Alec Laird has moved into the Alado-trainer ranks with recent twice winner FLYING WINGER whose full brother has just arrived at Hemel ‘n Aarde. Paul Matchett has won with THE SHREDDER and Duncan Howells brought multi-ple winner BALTIC AMBER back to winning form.
Marshall recently sent out ADORADA as a cross-over runner. The Alado mare won in the colours of the Allan-Bloodlines managed Hintlesham Racing, a group that has enjoyed several successes in recent weeks. BUSHY PARK won a week ago for the second time. She is by Horse Chestnut out of a Jallad mare. Her stablemate in those colours GLENNIE has been 4th and 2nd having won earlier.
David makes no bones about having suffered at the sales. “We sold way below expectations in 2016/17 as did many others” he lamented. “It makes things ex-tremely difficult. But if you believe in what you have produced, you have to make it work somehow”.
He has several two year olds leased out and has recently engaged two members of the “next generation” that he so often calls for to help bring in more partners and members to existing and future Racing Groups from at home and abroad.
A little known but intensive effort he has made was to mediate between the sales companies in search of a rationalised programme. In late 2016 after discussing the sales schedule in public and privately, David briefed and successfully invited Andreas Jacobs of Maine Chance Farm to lead a delegation of two in a below-the-radar effort that lasted seven busy months involving unscheduled travel for both of them.
Neither has trumpeted their efforts because as David puts it “We can put forward points, scenarios, structures and suggestions, and successfully induce a healthily productive set of meetings and the basis for future co-operation, but ultimately the sales businesses make their own decisions. If we feel that we got 75% of the way there, it is credit to the sales companies for cooperating to the extent that they ultimately decided”.
Being “no longer necessary” in his earlier work on the export front – he was a goodwill ambassador in UK and Ireland “trying to get people to listen– and they did as a favour – but scientific and formal diplomatic progress in SA is happening now”, David did “stick his oar” into the NHRA by being influential in their employment of outside expertise (Judy Brannigan-Davies).
He has publicly described our Stud Book as being in dire need of reform for the sake of our cataloguing
status internationally and is thrilled that Judy is deriving support from many quarters.
The latest winner in his own colours together with Vaughan Marshall is GRANDIFLORA, the seventh winner from his Darshaan mare, now retired at Hemel ‘n Aarde. She and several relatives embody his passion for blending SA families with imported blood on which he wrote in this Column last week. – tt.