Author: Breezeup


California Spangle - Meydan, Dubai

Fresh off his win in the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, California Spangle exploded on the international stage at Meydan in Dubai, stopping the clock in a track record of 1:07.50 to win the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.

Positioned forwardly by Brenton Avdulla, California Spangle kicked at the 400 metre mark and having put daylight between himself and the field, held off the late challenge of Star Mystery to win by just under a length. In landing his third Group 1 victory, the gelding’s immense talent was again on show. However it also further underlined his versatility, with his previous successes at the top level for trainer Tony Cruz coming over 7f (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup) and a mile (Hong Kong Mile).

“I got this opportunity and I came with a lot of confidence that we would win this race today,” said Tony Cruz. “The family – the ‘California family’ – is here today. Howard Liang, whose horses usually are named California, passed away recently so I would like to dedicate this win to him. We are over the moon with this, the owner’s wish was always to win these big races. I wish he was here tonight but his whole family is here and we’re going to celebrate together.

“If you look back through his history, California Spangle on his debut, he ran a record time in Hong Kong and he ran a record time at 1200m. I believe when he hits the front, nobody can catch him.

“I think we’ll go into sprint races back in Hong Kong, that’s the end of April [the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize]. We’ll take on Lucky Sweynesse. He’s always been a sprinter-miler and I believe he’s more a sprinter than a miler. You have to go for those longer races in Hong Kong earlier in their career but I think we know where he is best now.”

California Spangle was part of the 2020 generation of breezers at Gaybrook Lodge and was bought by Badgers Bloodstock on behalf of owner Howard Liang Yum Shing. He was bred in Ireland by Michael Enright out of the High Chaparral mare Pearlitas Passion and bought as a yearling by MC Bloodstock for €150,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale.

With that win, California Spangle brought his record to 13 wins for just over £7.3 million in earnings.


California Spangle

Former Gaybrook Lodge Stud breezer California Spangle returned to his brilliant best with an emphatic win in the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin.

Previously winner of the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile at the expense of Horse of the Year Golden Sixty, the Starspangledbanner gelding had been running well this season in defeat. However, he was in top form on this occasion for trainer Tony Cruz in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, making all under Brenton Avdulla to win impressively over Galaxy Patch with the world’s top-rated sprinter Lucky Sweynesse well in behind. It was California Spangle’s second win at the top level and set him up for a crack at the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan.

California Spangle was part of the 2020 generation of breezers at Gaybrook Lodge and was bought by Badgers Bloodstock on behalf of owner Howard Liang Yum Shing. The horse won ten races for the owner before Shing’s death in November 2023.

“This horse was very important to the late Howard Liang,” said Tony Cruz. “He bought the horse and I’m so glad he has won another Group 1. He is the best horse Howard raced and the exciting part of today is that California Spangle had to perform to go to Dubai. And now he’s heading to Dubai and everybody is thrilled about it.

“He had the perfect race today. I think Brenton rode a perfect race. He did exactly what I expected him to do. I’m so happy about that. We’re going to Dubai now and Brenton is going to ride him in Dubai.”

California Spangle was bred in Ireland by Michael Enright out of the High Chaparral mare Pearlitas Passion. He was bought as a yearling by MC Bloodstock for €150,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale.


Muqtahem looks a colt to follow in Saudi Arabia following his near nine-length romp in handicap company at Riyadh.

The Soldier’s Call three-year-old was bought by owner Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah out of the Gaybrook Lodge Stud draft at the 2023 Goffs Breeze-Up Sale in Doncaster. He was originally trained by George Boughey, who saddled him to win second time out at Pontefract. Subsequently sent to Saudi Arabia, he has made just the two starts in Riyadh to date but already boasts a rating of 90 thanks to his impressive second time out win.

Muqtahem was bred by Ballyhane out of the winning Bated Breath mare Smooth Sailing and bought as a yearling by MC Bloodstock for £27,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Sale. He continues a successful run for Gaybrook Lodge breezers of 2023 alongside other winners Albshur, Art Defender, Aurinko, How’s The Guvnor, Kinnigoli Kid, Never Better and Via Blanca.


Gaybrook Lodge Stud breezer Never Better justified favouritism to break his maiden on his second start for Roger Varian at Kempton.

The well-regarded No Nay Never colt had shaped well on his debut at the same track and made no mistake second time round, putting in a late challenge to run down the leader Asinara for a cosy win.

“He’s still a very green, big horse but I think he’s going to learn with the more racing he does,” said jockey Jack Mitchell. “He’s got a little bit of a high head carriage at the minute but that’s because he’s so green.”

Never Better was sold by Gaybrook Lodge Stud for €165,000 as an Arqana May breezer to Federico Barberini on behalf of owner Apple Tree Stud. He was bred by GSA Bloodstock Pty Ltd out of the Galileo mare Just Gorgeous.

Gaybrook Lodge Stud Graduates Flying High

Gaybrook Lodge Stud graduates have been flying high both domestically and internationally over the past 12 months, a number of them either developing into proven stakes performers or revealing themselves as potential Classic candidates.

One such Classic candidate is Qatar Racing’s Kings Shield, who caught the eye when the smooth winner of his debut at Newcastle for John Gosden just months after topping the Tattersalls Craven Sale at 675,000gns. It was a performance that prompted bookmakers to introduce him into the betting for the 2,000 Guineas.

And just as exciting is Walk In The Sun. Bought with Willie Browne for just $15,000 as a yearling, the son of Street Sense went on to sell out of Browne’s Mocklershill draft for a sale-topping €1.4 million at the Arqana May Sale. Kerri Radcliffe signed the ticket on behalf of Phoenix Thoroughbreds and as befits such a price, this Irish 2,000 Guineas entry has shown abundant ability for Jeremy Noseda as the impressive winner of both his starts to date. 

Phoenix Thoroughbreds also campaign the high-class Gotti with Ali Al Rayhi in Dubai. This tough son of More Than Ready won his second British start for Jeremy Noseda and recently ran a career best to finish second in the UAE 2,000 Guineas.

The achievements of Kings Shield, Walk In The Sun and Gotti are just some of the highlights of a year that also included the Group 3-placed juvenile Ball Girl and impressive Dundalk debut winner It’s Two O Clock. 

There is also the immense promise of the lightly raced French-based pair Jaylan and Zyzzyva to look forward to. Al Shaqab Racing’s debut winner Jaylan is unbeaten in two starts, her most recent win coming in a hot conditions race at Deauville, and holds entries in the French 1,000 Guineas and Oaks. The Group 3-placed Zyzzyva, meanwhile, holds entries in the French 2,000 Guineas and Derby for Paul Hancock.

They complement older, current high-flyers such as Tinnitus, winner of the Group 3 Polar Cup at Ovrevoll in Norway, Beauly, a Grade 1-placed mare who won last year’s Listed Indiana General Assembly Distaff Stakes in the US, and the progressive Thundering Blue, who racked up a sequence of wins in competitive handicaps last summer.

Such results have been achieved from a select draft of horses sent to auction each spring. Who will you find in this year’s group from Gaybrook Lodge?

Arqana Deauville Breeze Up Sale, May 14, 2016


Lot 22

A Bay Colt (FR) – 2014
Kendargent (FR) / Golden Lily
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Lot 41

A Grey Colt (FR) – 2014
Stormy River / Lunaba
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Lot 51

A Chesnut Filly (USA) – 2014
Distorted Humor / Ms. Margaret H
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Lot 106

A Bay Filly (FR) – 2014
Siyouni / Zalga
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Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up Sale, Apr 28-29, 2016


Lot 108

A Grey or Roan Colt (USA) – 2014
Mizzen Mast (USA) / Floresta (USA)
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Lot 136

A Bay or Brown Colt (USA) – 2014
Lope de Vega (IRE) / Lady Raj (USA)
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Lot 146

A Chesnut Colt (IRE) – 2014
Zebedee (GB) / Masela (IRE)
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Lot 170

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2014
Kyllachy (GB) / Pointed Arch (IRE)
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Lot 177

A Bay Filly (GB) – 2014
Dark Angel (IRE) / Raggle Taggle (IRE)
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Lot 254

A Bay Filly (IRE) – 2014
Born To Sea (IRE) / Capote West (USA)
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Doncaster Breeze Up Sale, Apr 19-20, 2016


Lot 65

A Grey Colt (FR) – 2014
Kendargent (FR) / Jani’s Queen (FR)
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Lot 73

A Bay Filly (GB) – 2014
Myboycharlie (IRE) / Lady Berta (GB)
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Lot 79

A Bay Colt (GB) – 2014
Oasis Dream (GB) / Last Second (IRE)
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Lot 123

A Bay Colt (GB) – 2014
Invincible Spirit (IRE) / Pocket Watch (GB)
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Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale, Apr 11-13, 2016


Lot 43

A Bay or Brown Colt (USA) – 2014
Lonhro (AUS) / Laughingly (USA)
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Lot 58

A Chesnut Colt (USA) – 2014
Elusive Quality (USA) / Melody Dawn (USA)
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Lot 69

A Chesnut Colt (GB) – 2014
Pivotal (GB) / Moon Goddess (GB)
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Lot 102

A Bay or Brown Colt (USA) – 2014
High Chaparral (IRE) / Spinning Time (USA)
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Lot 130

A Brown Colt (GB) – 2014
Harbour Watch (IRE) / Blas Ceoil (USA)
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Lot 132

A Bay Filly (GB) – 2014
Shamardal (USA) / Bright Halo (IRE)
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Arqana Saint-Cloud, May 8-9, 2015


Lot 9

A Chesnut Colt (GB) – 2013
New Approach / Anabaas Creation (IRE)
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Lot 32

A Bay Filly (FR) – 2013
Siyouni / Coastline (GB)
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Lot 37

A Bay Colt (GB) – 2013
High Chaparral / Crystany (IRE)
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Lot 44

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2013
Dream Ahead  / Gloved Hand (GB)
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Lot 58

A Bay Colt (FR) – 2013
Canford Cliffs (IRE) / Kalahaag (IRE)
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