Newgate stallion formula getting better and better

12 min read
It's been less than a decade since Newgate launched its very first sire, but today it sits among the elite stallion operators of the world. We caught up with Henry Field on the eve of The Everest to talk names, numbers and why there is always room for more at Newgate Farm.

On Saturday, The TAB Everest will have a captive audience for its fifth edition. For months, the race has bubbled away as the destination sprint of the Sydney spring.

For one man in particular, the rich, 1200-metre scamper could prove a very interesting occasion because, remarkably, it will be the first time he’s had a horse in the race. That man is Henry Field, the managing director of Newgate Farm, and that horse is Snitzel colt Wild Ruler.

“It is the first time we’ve ever had an Everest runner,” Field said, speaking to TDN AusNZ. “We’ve been offered a slot every year from the 3-year-old colts we’ve had in training, but we’ve resisted the temptation up to this point.

Henry Field

"And that’s only because we’ve felt that the Coolmore is the Golden Slipper equivalent for 3-year-olds and it’s where all the best 3-year-old sprinters clash. For that reason, it’s a great stallion-making race.”

If Henry Field knows anything, it’s making stallions.

In 2012, he launched Foxwedge into a stallion career barely two years after founding Newgate Farm. Thereafter, he acquired such horses as Wandjina, Dissident and Deep Field. They were Champion sprinters and milers, Horses of the Year and so on, and they exploded the profile of fledgling Newgate as a home for serious sires.

"...And that’s only because we’ve felt that the Coolmore is the Golden Slipper for 3-year-olds and it’s where all the best 3-year-old sprinters clash. For that reason, it’s a great stallion-making race.” - Henry Field

Today, Field has 11 stallions under the Newgate banner, and it’s a powerful lineup.

There’s Capitalist and Extreme Choice, who argued over the Champion First Season Sire title last season. There’s Deep Field, who has plunged into his seventh year at stud with ever-increasing rates of success, and eight others that are earning their oats brilliantly.

In fact, there isn’t a single one among them not kicking goals.

Nevertheless, there’s room for more and, in the evolving landscape of horse racing, things can change quickly in a mere weekend of Group racing.

Spring snapshot

Six or so weeks into the breeding season, Newgate is ticking along as a major producer in the Hunter Valley.

It will breed around 120 of its own mares through the spring, horses owned by Field and the farm's co-owners, SF Bloodstock and Matthew Sandblom. On top of that figure, it will breed additional mares belonging to Sandblom’s Kingstar Farm.

The vast majority of these broodmares will be spread across the Newgate roster, and it’s a well-played formula that works. It complements the farm’s big-name sires, but it also props up the new and emerging stallions.

The Newgate team at another successful sale.

“We support our stallions heavily with our broodmare pool,” Field said. “All in all, the shareholders in the farm would be breeding between 150 and 200 mares to our stallions. We’ve got right behind our first and second-crop stallions this year because we’re loving the foals we’ve seen by Brutal, Cosmic Force and Tassort, so we’re loading back into them heavily.”

This season, Newgate has only North Pacific as a new addition, the fetching son of Brazen Beau that won the G3 Up And Coming S. and ran second to Ole Kirk in the G1 Golden Rose. North Pacific is standing his first season at $22,000 (inc GST).

Among the mares that will visit the freshman sire, there is Sprightly Lass (Snitzel), a Group-winning speedster that will suit the stallion well. She is a full sister to the Listed winner Le Cordon Bleu, and this is a consistent stakes-producing family.

North Pacific, however, isn’t the only significant difference for Newgate this current season. According to Field, that honour belongs to Flying Artie.

Flying Artie | Standing at Newgate Farm

“He’s a horse that was a truly elite racehorse, in no uncertain terms,” the studmaster said. “He won a Coolmore, was placed in a Golden Slipper and a Blue Diamond from seven starts, and we had to beg, borrow and steal to get mares to him last season. This year, we’re turning mares away at two times the stud fee.”

The reason for this is that Flying Artie’s first crop hit the tracks running last season, and among it was G1 Blue Diamond winner Artorius, as well as Listed winner Giannis.

"...we had to beg, borrow and steal to get mares to him (Flying Artie) last season. This year, we’re turning mares away at two times the stud fee.” - Henry Field

“The market last year went totally off this stallion, but it shows you what can happen if you stick to your conviction,” Field said. “I think Flying Artie will keep escalating in stud fee year after year, and I think he’s going to be a very, very important stallion.

“I remember doing the Darley Flying Start course and seeing his grandsire, El Prado, and jeez he reminds me of El Prado, so hopefully he can replicate those feats in the breeding shed.”

Field of dreams

In less than a decade, Field has become one of the greatest stallion brains in Australian bloodstock. He has sound instincts and knows exactly what he wants, and also what will work.

Did he foresee having 11 stallions on his roster when Foxwedge kicked off in 2012?

Henry Field and Peter Moody after Dissident defeated Wandjina in his final race before retiring to stud | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

“Not really,” Field said. “It just built up organically, right from Foxwedge to Deep Field and Dissident, and even when we brought The Factor out from America. We’ve really tried to hone in on what has historically worked in Australia, and that’s fast colonial stallions. Some work and some don’t, but it was really lovely to get Deep Field in our first significant wave of sires.”

Deep Field entered stud in 2015, and through seven seasons he has sired nine stakes winners, including Cosmic Force, who joins him at Newgate, Fiteuse and Isotope, and G1 Oakleigh Plate winner Portland Sky (who was last week announced as a new addition to the Widden Stud roster).

"We’ve really tried to hone in on what has historically worked in Australia, and that’s fast colonial stallions." - Henry Field

The trajectory of Deep Field has been extraordinary in this time.

The stallion started off at $22,000 (inc GST), climbed to $44,000 (inc GST) in 2019 and is now double that at $88,000 (inc GST). He is one of the most popular sires in Hong Kong and, in the first 37 days of this racing season alone, Deep Field had 35 winners, a strike-rate bettered only by I Am Invincible last season.

“I can see him being a top 10 Australian stallion for many years to come,” Field said. “From our point of view, a top 10 Australian sire is what we benchmark as a high-level stallion, and we think he’s going to be that for a long time.”

Deep Field | Standing at Newgate Farm

Deep Field is covering large books.

Only once in six seasons has he covered less than 200 mares (in 2017), and this spring he will service the likes of Miss Exfactor (Your Song). She’s a Group 3-winning mare that goes straight to Cotehele House (GB) (My Swanee {GB}) on the fourth line.

“From our point of view, a top 10 Australian sire is what we benchmark as a high-level stallion, and we think he’s (Deep Field) going to be that for a long time.” - Henry Field

“We’re lucky, because as the business has built up since Deep Field, we’ve been in a position with our partners to buy better and better stallion prospects every year,” Field said.

“So we’ve started with a good, hard-knocking racehorse like Foxwedge, and come forward to last year where the first-crop stallions we had were the Champion 2-Year-Old (Capitalist), Champion 3-Year-Old (Extreme Choice) and the sire of a Blue Diamond winner (Flying Artie).”

Elite talent

The juggling act of managing stallions is a near art-form at Newgate Farm. Numbers don’t intimidate Henry Field, which is why he isn’t concerned if there’s a raft of potential sires in the wings.

And there is.

Right now, the operation has The Everest-bound Wild Ruler to consider, along with Golden Slipper and Champion 2-Year-Old Stay Inside (Extreme Choice). There’s Artorius to consider, as well as In The Congo (Snitzel) and Captivant (Capitalist).

Gallery: the potential new stallions of Newgate Farm

“We just want to stand stallions we believe in,” Field said. “Whether they’re Golden Slipper winners, or horses that had unbelievable talent but never got the chance to show it, that’s what we’re interested in. A horse like Tassort is a good example.

“Daniel O’Sullivan does the form for us, and he had Tassort marked as a freaky talent. He’s a horse that won a Golden Gift and went amiss at his second start, and we think he’s an elite talent so we’ll give him a chance.”

“We just want to stand stallions we believe in." - Henry Field

Field has put a mare like Spellbinder (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) to Tassort this spring, a two-time stakes winner that was Group 1 placed. She has already foaled a colt this spring to the son of Brazen Beau after a Deep Field colt the year before.

Tassort covered 137 mares in his opening book last season, and his fee is unchanged this spring at $11,000 (inc GST).

A numbers game

In February, Newgate bought a share in Stay Inside with a view to his standing on the farm. Field said that Wild Ruler, irrespective of his effort in this weekend’s The Everest, will almost certainly join the ranks at some point too.

Even if this pair heads to Newgate to join all 11 current stallions, there is still plenty of room at the inn.

“We’ve developed the facility to stand a maximum of 20 stallions,” Field said. “I’m not saying we’ll ever stand 20 stallions, but it’s been developed with two breeding sheds, 25 turnout yards and 20 stallion stables. And the reality is we’ll stand as many stallions as we believe in, and to which the market gives an opportunity.”

Field said the Newgate team had been equally selected to manage an elite raft of horses.

"The reality is we’ll stand as many stallions as we believe in, and to which the market gives an opportunity.” - Henry Field

“We’ve got the infrastructure in place, both in bricks and mortar and in personnel,” he said. “And we’re always open to ideas. For example, we’ve had discussions with a number of people in Victoria and New Zealand about doing joint ventures with stallions.”

In this vein, Field said that despite his faith in the historical success of colonial speed lines, he wasn’t averse to international influence.

“The colonial speed line is our bread and butter for the simple fact that it has dominated the top 10 sires’ table year after year after year for the last decade,” he said. “Obviously, we want our customers to breed to the stallions that are going to give them the best odds of success, and we know that historically the Australian stallions are a far better chance of making it long-term than a shuttle stallion.

“The colonial speed line is our bread and butter for the simple fact that it has dominated the top 10 sires’ table year after year after year for the last decade." - Henry Field

“That being said, we’re open-minded. If there was a shuttle stallion that we thought was unique, we’d consider it. But we have a responsibility to our customers to stand stallions that are going to be around for the long-term, and that’s why we stick to what has historically worked year after year.”

Extreme success

Of Newgate’s complete roster, arguably Capitalist and Extreme Choice have commanded the most attention.

Capitalist has proven he is a sharp producer of early speed, and among the mares he will get this spring is Nettoyer (Sebring), the $2.5 million-winning race mare that was purchased by Newgate Bloodstock for $900,000 at this year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

Capitalist | Standing at Newgate Farm

Capitalist is a straightforward star, and he’s standing just shy of six figures this season at $99,000 (inc GST).

By comparison, Extreme Choice has been complicated. He has well-known fertility issues but, from a first crop of just 48 foals, his results were dazzling.

He sired a Golden Slipper winner as well as two other first crop stakes winners (Tiger Of Malay and Xtremetime), and he pipped Capitalist in the race to Champion Stallion honours, winning the first season title by earnings (Capitalist was one ahead by individual winners).

Extreme Choice | Standing at Newgate Farm

As recently as this week, Extreme Choice sired the G3 Blue Sapphire S. winner Extreme Warrior at Caulfield on Thousand Guineas Day. That made it four stakes winners for the stallion from his first crop of less than 50 foals.

Extreme Warrior also won within a short time of Espiona, also by Extreme Choice, who was impressive on debut for Star Thoroughbreds in the first at Warwick Farm.

“He’ll breed around 80 mares this season,” Field said of Extreme Choice. “We’re managing him very carefully, and he breeds only one mare a day but his fertility is phenomenal.

"Some of the mares are being vetted three and four times a day to catch them at that sweet spot to breed, and his fertility per cycle is almost up there with other stallions on the farm, despite his smaller book."

"...his (Extreme Choice's) fertility per cycle is almost up there with other stallions on the farm, despite his smaller book." - Henry Field

Extreme Choice is private at Newgate Farm, and one of the mares booked to him this spring is Foxy Housewife (Foxwedge). She was a Listed-winning purchase by Newgate Bloodstock at this year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, costing $250,000 from the draft of Glenesk Thoroughbreds.

Extreme Choice has a second crop of runners coming through this year numbering just 29, but Field is optimistic that the horse's micro-managed fertility is putting him on a near-level playing field with the rest of the roster.

“This is hugely significant because it gives confidence to the shareholders to breed their best mares to him, which will be very important to his longevity," he said.

NettoyerCapitalist
Absolut GlamBrutalRussian Revolution
Miss ExfactorDeep FieldPierata
Foxy HousewifeExtreme ChoiceWritten Tycoon
Sprightly LassNorth PacificPierroFlying Artie
AnatinaFlying ArtieCapitalist
SpellbinderTassortTassortDeep Field
London CallingCosmic ForceZoustar
MenagerieRussian RevolutionCapitalist
Tenant's TiaraWinning RupertCapitalist

Table: Selection of mares breeding to Newgate Stallions in 2021

Newgate Farm
Henry Field
stallions
breeding season 2021