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Big Plans For Fast Growing Newgate Farm
Friday, December 2, 2016 RSS Feeds

Australia’s Newgate Farm has made a big splash at Kentucky’s breeding stock sales this week. Newgate, in partnership with SF Bloodstock, was the leading buyer through Book 1 of Keeneland November with 11 horses bought for $6.515-million, and Newgate and SF spent $1.585-million on four mares at Fasig-Tipton, with all the mares expected to go to Australia.

Founded by now 33-year-old Henry Field in 2010 on a leased 250-acre property in Australia’s Hunter Valley, Newgate has exploded into one of the preeminent nurseries and stallion stations in the country. Newgate moved to a 1700-acre property in 2013 and is now perennially a leading consignor at all the country’s major sales. It’s nine-horse stallion roster includes Horse of the Year Dissident (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}) and G1 Queen Elizabeth S. victor Criterion (NZ) (Sebring {Aus}), and that list is set to expand further, with Newgate having secured the future services of four exciting 3-year-old colts, including ‘TDN Rising Star’ and G1 Golden Slipper winner Capitalist (Aus) (Written Tycoon {Aus}). The TDN’s Kelsey Riley caught up with Field at Keeneland this week.

KR: In just six years of existence, Newgate Farm has became an industry leader in many aspects. You’ve become a leading consignor and breeder and also stand champions and Golden Slipper winners. Can you talk about Newgate’s business plan?

HF: Our business plan is to stand the best stallion prospects in Australia and try to develop them into champion stallions. We’re very much focused on getting horses we really believe in as sire prospects. We’re very fortunate that so many of the really good breeders in the country are partners in our stallions with us. It puts us in a position where we can really sculpt these horses’ careers and get really high-quality mares to them. We breed a lot of our own mares and we support our horses with high-class mares. Our focus is to stand the highest quality stallions we possibly can and manage them to the nth degree.

KR: So the stallions has always been the focus of Newgate?

HF: I started Newgate on a leased farm which was 250 acres. We were pinhooking foals and buying and selling horses and boarding mares. That was our business. The Bateman family, the late Dr. Bateman and his wife Belinda, in conjunction with James Harron, gave me the opportunity to stand Foxwedge (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), and our stallion business has grown from there. We were able to buy a very fine property in the Segenhoe Valley and we developed Newgate into a partnership then between myself, SF Bloodstock and Matthew Sandblom, who are not only business partners but close friends and mentors for me. They’re very successful businessmen in their own right. It’s just developed from there. We’ve tried very hard to look after our partners and our shareholders in our stallions with the highest level of regard. It’s paid us back because we can go and buy stallions we believe in. We’re very fortunate to have wonderful partners to come into these stallions with us.

We have four very exciting colts due to retire to stud either next year or the year after. Capitalist, who retired this week, will go down as one of the all-time top 2-year-olds, and he has a huge 2-year-old pedigree and a massive chance to be a very important stallion. Extreme Choice (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}) was a [G1] Blue Diamond winner that won a [G1] Moir; a very fast, mature horse. Russian Revolution (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) is a horse that we think has untapped talent. He is unbeaten all bar the [G1] Coolmore [Stud S.], where he ran a huge race, and he’s going to be a huge force in the autumn. And it’s a privilege to have bought into Flying Artie (Aus) (Artie Schiller), who is a pure outcross and in our opinion a monster of a racehorse.

KR: Those four future stallions are all very smart sprinters, and this is of course what the Australian Thoroughbred is best known for. Is standing sprinters at stud an important focus for you?

HF: There are certain things we believe in to make stallions and I don’t really care whether we retire a horse to stud that stands for A$10,000 or A$100,000; we have to have things that are important to us and we believe in. In Australia, natural speed is a very important thing. So it’s not that we’re focusing on that, it’s just an ingredient that seems to have worked that is a tried and true ingredient for making a champion stallion in Australia. We work really hard to not only manage the stallions when they go to stud, but recruit them. It all comes down to the owners of these colts trusting what we do. A lot of times the people that race these colts will co-own them with us when they go to stud, and that’s built some great friendships and some great relationships. For example, Alan Bell and Ananda Krishnan, who raced Deep Field, are two of the people we co-own the stallion with, but they have actually developed into people I’ve become very close to and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m a young guy and we’re building a business. We learn all the time, so to be able to learn off good people that have integrity and intelligence is a real honour and privilege for me.

KR: Has there been anything you have learned along the way that caused you to change direction or make changes to your business plan?

HF: What I’ve really learned is that you need to surround yourself and work with really high-quality people. A length is a long way in this game, so it’s really about the one-percenters. It’s a real cliche, but this game comes down to the one-percenters, because the margin for error is so small. Operationally, in decision making you really have to get all the small things right. That’s probably why we’ve grown the business so successfully. We’ve always tried to employ a really good person, 12 months before we really require them, so we’re ahead of the growth rather than trying to play catch up.

KR: You’ve talked about your partners, and China Horse Club is another one you’ve been doing a lot of business with.

HF: China Horse Club has been a really great partner to us. Mr. Teo Ah Khing, Michael Wallace, Mick Flanagan; it’s a great working relationship. We work on a lot of deals together and we’ve really had a lot of success with them. I’m not sure if we’ve been lucky or they’ve been lucky for us, but it’s probably a combination. We’ve got some crack horses in training and a really nice bloodstock portfolio which we share in to a degree. We co-own some mares together and some racehorses. They have a great broodmare portfolio of their own and we have a great broodmare portfolio of our own.

KR: You have reverse-shuttled your foundation sire, Foxwedge, and you’re also the Southern Hemisphere home of The Factor (War Front). Can you envisage reverse-shuttling any of your other sires?

HF: I think Australian horses are getting huge amounts of credit. The stallions that have shuttled back to the Northern Hemisphere have done fantastically well. Fastnet Rock (Aus), Exceed and Excel (Aus); Foxwedge has done a great job with his first 2-year-olds, as has Helmet (Aus). I see a huge opportunity; I’m here in America to buy well-performed, fresh blood to bring back to our market. What our market can do is bring the Northern Hemisphere market fresh blood that has a huge, lethal amount of speed attached to it and I think the fact that our horses have so much speed is the reason they’ve been so successful reverse shuttling. They really have been. Pound for pound the strike rate of Australian stallions that have shuttled to the Northern Hemisphere has been impeccable the last five years. I see a huge opportunity going forward where that fresh blood and natural speed we can offer will create a lot of value to Northern Hemisphere operations. It’s no secret we were underbidder on Vancouver (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro) when he went to stud, but I’m delighted that Coolmore decided to bring him to America. From an Australian perspective, we want our good horses getting the opportunity to stand in the Northern Hemisphere to prove they can be genetic dynamite to broodmare pools both in North America and Europe.

KR: You have noted the mares purchased this week are to go back to Australia. Does Newgate own any mares in the Northern Hemisphere?

HF: Newgate owns all our mares in Australia. SF Bloodstock obviously own a huge portfolio of bloodstock in the Northern Hemisphere but between the partners in Newgate, we own around 100 mares. We have some exceptional mares from the Redoute’s Choice (Aus) pedigree through to high-class Group 1 winners. A key focus with those mares is to produce top racehorses and support our stallions.

Courtesy of the TDN

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