October 4

VIKTOR Kalejs became the latest smart performer to fly the Brown Island Stables flag when successful in the prestigious Norwegian Criterium for trainer Roy Kvisla.

Now the winner of two races, the two-year-old son of Spring At Last was purchased by Chad Schumer for just $10,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October Sale in Kentucky.

He is out of Make A Promise, a Mr Greeley half-sister to G3 winner Essence.

Other two-year-olds to represent the Collins - Schumer partnership include unbeaten G3 Acomb Stakes winner Syphax, who was recently bought by Godolphin, and dual winner High Acclaim.

September 4


Grade 1 winner First Defence, sire of champion Close Hatches, has been sold to continue his stud career at Haif Stud in Saudi Arabia in a deal brokered by Chad Schumer of Schumer Bloodstock and Khalid Alsyari.


The 12-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song previously stood at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky.


Trained by Bobby Frankel on behalf of Juddmonte Farms, First Defence won six of 14 starts for $580,534 in prize-money. 


A top-class sprinter who was effective on both dirt and turf, he took the 2008 Grade 3 Jaipur Handicap at Belmont Park before turning in a brilliant performance to run out the 6 3/4 length winner of the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga. He also won the Long Branch Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park and ran second in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes and Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.


First Defence hit the ground running at stud when his first crop contained multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches and the high-class British 2yo Dundonnell. Close Hatches was crowned the champion older mare of 2014 after sweeping the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap, Ogden Phipps Stakes and Personal Ensign Stakes while Dundonnell landed the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York before becoming a prominent runner in Hong Kong.


A stallion who has made an impact in both North America and Europe, First Defence is also the sire of Graded/Group stakes winner Antonoe and Irish Jasper.


First Defence is a product of one of the deepest Juddmonte families in the Stud Book as a son of Grade 1 winner Honest Lady, herself a Seattle Slew half-sister to Grade 1 winners and successful sires Empire Maker and Chester House. His granddam dam, Toussaud, won the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap and is today noted as a matriarch of Juddmonte’s operation.


Joining First Defence in Saudi Arabia is United States, who stood the 2016 season at Northwest Farm in Florida. 


The son of A P Indy is the sire of G3 winner and G1-placed La Irunesa from three small crops of racing age.


The nine-length winner of his maiden at Gulfstream Park, he boasts an excellent pedigree as an A.P. Indy son of Blithe, a half-sister to Fusaichi Pegasus from the immediate family of Pine Bluff.


August 17

$25,000 yearling Syphax retains unbeaten record in G3 Acomb Stakes; Breeders' Cup on agenda

Syphax, a bargain $25,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Chad Schumer on behalf of Johnny Collins' Brown Island Stables, justified the high regard held of him on Wednesday when denying Best Of Days, an expensive recent purchase by Godolphin, in the G3 Acomb Stakes at York.

The son of Arch made an impressive winning debut last month at Musselburgh to prompt trainer Kevin Ryan to step the colt up in class.

Partnered by Jamie Spencer on this occasion, he missed the break and was very green during the early stages, running in snatches behind horses. However, he ate up the ground once asked in the straight to reel in Best Of Days and win a shade cosily. Lockheed, a highly regarded colt owned by the China Horse Club, ran third while Courage Under Fire, who ran second to Caravaggio in the G1 Phoenix Stakes last time out, did nothing for that form out the back.

"He'a a lovely horse with a great temperament and for the first furlong he was very green and clueless," said Kevin Ryan, who saddled subsequent French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby to run second in the Acomb Stakes in 2013. "He's just a big baby and could be a very exciting horse.

"He's Breeders' Cup eligible and that was always at the back of our minds which is why we stepped him up so far and so quick. We needed to find out now if we had something like that. He's a very exciting horse going forward."

Jamie Spencer was similarly impressive, adding: "He didn't learn a lot at Musselburgh, so it was very much like a horse having his first run today.

"Kevin has always liked him - he asked me two months ago to ask [prominent owner] Dr Hay to buy him - and before he'd run he said he could be one of the best he has."

Syphax was bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud and is the third foal out of Listed winner Much Obliged, a Kingmambo half-sister to G3 winner Bedanken.

He was beautifully prepared by Johnny Collins' Brown Island Stables for the Arqana May Breeze-up Sale in Deauville, France, where he resold for €100,000 to Steven Hillen and Kevin Ryan.




August 7

Just days after Theory turned heads with a smashing winning debut at Saratoga, it was the turn of his half-brother Roman Officer to take centre stage when successful in the Chairman's Cup at Mountaineer Park.

The pair are out of the stakes-placed Gem Sleuth, a daughter of Officer purchased by Chad Schumer on behalf of David Smart for $45,000 at last year's Keeneland November Sale.

Eight-time winner Roman Officer, by Roman Ruler, has won each of his four starts this year for trainer Kevin Patterson and now boasts close to $220,000 in earnings.

Gem Sleuth was a talented mare herself who won three races and was third in the Bennington Stakes. Also the dam of two other winners from four foals of racing age, the daughter of Officer is a half-sister to stakes winner Buddy Got Even and from the immediate family of G1 winner and sire Artie Schiller.

Gem Sleuth foaled a Paynter filly this year in New York and was bred back to Alpha.


August 1

Breaking Lucky, out of $50,000 Schumer Bloodstock purchase Shooting Party, returned to winning ways on Monday when successful in the G3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine.

Winner of last year's Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the son of Lookin At Lucky now boasts earnings of close to $500,000 for owner Gunpowder Farms LLC and trainer Reade Baker.

Partnered by Luis Contreras, Breaking Lucky stalked the early pace-setter Royal Son before striking three wide round the home turn. He took up the running at the top of the stretch and gamely repelled the even money favourite Are You Kidding Me to win by three-quarters of a length.

Breaking Lucky was bred by Jay and Christine Hayden out of the G1-placed Shooting Party, purchased for $50,000 by Chad Schumer on behalf of the Haydens at the 2008 Keeneland November Sale. 

A tough daughter of Sky Classic, Shooting Party won four races and was stakes-placed on multiple occasions, notably when second to Voodoo Dancer in the G1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

She was also placed in the G2 Nassau County Stakes and G3 Pebbles Handicap.

Breaking Lucky, one of four winners out of the mare, has also been similarly consistent at stakes level with a Classic victory in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes and placings in the G2 Eclipse Stakes, G3 Dominion Day Stakes, G3 Ben Ali Stakes and G3 Ontario Derby to his name.

Shooting Party produced a filly by Bellamy Road for Christine Hayden and Shawhan Place this year and was bred back to Palace Malice.