A UNIQUE NATIONAL HUNT OPPORTUNITY
with NICKY HENDERSON OBE
Bloodstock agents, Peter and Toby Jones, who are based in the South West of France, have found what they believe is a TOP CLASS, French 3yo hurdler for us, whose price tag represents outstanding value compared with normal market prices, and affords MPR the opportunity to access a totally different league of horse than they’ve previously been able to offer us. In any normal year, he would have been snapped up by GB agents, for €400,000 or €500,000; that’s generally what top class French horses sell for, as a private sale.
To date, Peter and Toby have sourced us OLEG (€80,000 and now the winner of 4 of his 6 races since arriving) and RED RISK (€72,000, who is one win from two runs for us and was heading for a Grade 2 Chase at The Ayr Scottish National meeting, before the NH season ground to an untimely halt.)
The horse they have sourced for us, here, represents a quite exceptional opportunity, wildly beyond anything we’ve been able to offer before at Middleham Park. The horse in question is the once raced, winning, hurdling debutant PAROS. See his images, form and pedigree pages attached to this page.
See his original sales video here:
He sauntered home in his only race to date at Dieppe by a comfortable 2 lengths, jumping for fun and sprinting clear in the straight to win his 3yo hurdle. His current connections have been telling Peter and Toby since January, that he is a future Champion Hurdle horse, well before the horse even set foot on a racecourse. Watch his debut race win replay on ATR here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Dieppe/22-May-2020/1230.
Since his winning debut, the runner up to Paros that day, has finished 3rd in a Listed hurdle and went on to win its subsequent start. The 3rd horse at Dieppe has won its only other, and subsequent start convincingly by 3.5 lengths, so the form has a rock rock solid feel to it. Since Peter and Toby first saw the horse in February, he has grown just under an inch in height and now stands at 16.1 and a half hands high. He has the makings of a strapping, top class recruit, ready for any NH code you’d care to think of. His previous connections had already declined offers of €150,000 and €200,000, such is the regard they held him in. In any normal year, he would have been snapped up by agents, acting on behalf of the likes of JP McManus or Simon Munir for €300,000 or €400,000, that’s generally, what top class French horses sell for, privately, and often more than that!
Horses like PAROS have never before come onto Middleham Park’s radar, but in this strange year, we have been afforded a unique opportunity to acquire him. The world is Paros’ oyster, if Peter, Toby and his previous connections are correct. Horses with PAROS’ talent can operate for years and years at the top flight over hurdles and fences and can even translate their talent to the Flat at places like Royal Ascot, as Verdana Blue showed only this week. Many horses that turn out to be top class over here, that are ex French recruits, come over to England having simply placed on a few occasions in France or have maybe won on their 3rd outing or so, before being bought to come over, so to have Paros’ form credentials in the bag already, really sets him apart, and adds further credence to his extraordinary potential. Even if his previous connections are 10% or 20% wrong about Paros’ level of ability, he can still be a 145 rated, Saturday and Festival performer, racing on the biggest stages, for large prize money pots. 145 or 168 rated National Hunt performers, depending on what Paros turns out to be, possess serious levels of Flat ability too, as we’ve previously alluded to.
If you click on the link of the Dieppe race (shown above), you can see how effortlessly he jumps and asserts, to put the race to bed, against some very talented rivals. One of his biggest assets, is his electric and fast jumping, he has the ability to make lengths in the air and it’s an asset that’s so so vital when racing against top class opposition. His career was due to get underway in May, in a LISTED HURDLE at Auteuil, the Cheltenham of France, such was the regard he’s been held in, but he was eliminated by a random ballot to protect field sizes, at the time, so he was switched to Dieppe to get off the mark. He was due to run next at Auteuil on 4th July in the Grade 3 Hurdle (see an update on that below), if he had not been sold by then, such is the faith his connections have in him. Just to reiterate, his previous connections believe he is destined for the top, with races like The Champion Hurdle, and potentially, The Champion Chase, in their thinking. He’s ideal for The Triumph next Spring too and we’d work back from that, in the first instance.
Given that most of the best 2m hurdlers in the country are trained at Seven Barrows by NICKY HENDERSON OBE, where better to send him to be trained? Nicky does so well with his French imports; Buveur D’Air, Epatante and Sprinter Sacre are perfect examples from small French sources where the horses aren’t bred in the purple.
Form Update (4th July): The horse, who was 2 lengths 2nd to Paros - JEU DE PAUME, has just finished a good 2nd in the Grade 3 Prix Aguado Hurdle at Auteuil; 6 lengths ahead of the third, so the form is looking very strong!
See some recent videos of him in the gallery.
Trainer Update (8th October): Nicky is very pleased with him and this morning told us: "I'm not sure we need to do anymore schooling with him, he does that so well it would almost be a waste of time." Lovely words from our trainer following his schooling session! We obviously gave him a bit of time to come to himself since he arrived from France and that really has helped him and he looks magnificent now as he builds up his level of fitness to a point where he can go and work. He’s already a winner of a juvenile hurdle in France so he could well be the type of horse we look at going straight into the “nicer” races with and a race ourselves and Mr. Henderson have pencilled in at this stage is the Listed Wensleydale Hurdle at the Charlie Hall meeting at Wetherby on October 30th.
Nicky is impressed with him and says: "He looks just like the type you would want for the Triumph!" No pressure then - he's already showing up well in the Cheltenham Festival betting........
AND he appears in Paul Ferguson's 'Jumpers To Follow':
Nicky has just released his 'Seven Barrows Horses-In-Training 20/21' brochure. Read what he says about him in the gallery.
If a top class National Hunt opportunity with the Champion Trainer is tempting you, do get in touch with Tom, our National Hunt manager if you have any questions: email@example.com.