Jockey Sean Levey celebrates the upset win by Billesdon Brook in the English 1000 Guineas.
A New Zealand breeder-owner shared in the upset success of outsider Billesdon Brook in the English 1000 Guineas last weekend.
Greytown-based identity Richard Craddock was as surprised as anyone when the Richard Hannon-trained filly scored at odds of 66-1.
“She’s a pretty good filly, but I only own two hairs of her,” Craddock said. “A syndicate of friends, who all know the breeder (Bob McCreery), got interested and that’s how it came about.”
Craddock, who has been breeding for more than 40 years, owned a thoroughbred advertising agency in England before settling in New Zealand in 2006.
“Bob McCreery was a client of mine for 15 years,” he said. “Darley, Coolmore, Juddmonte and Tattersalls were as well.”
Winner of the Gr. 3 Prestige Stakes as a two-year-old, Billesdon Brook went out at long odds in the Newmarket classic after a fourth placing in her lead-up in the Gr. 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes.
“It’s just a dream, I couldn’t believe it,” Craddock said. “The only Group One she was entered for was the Guineas. She’ll run in the Coronation Stakes now, but she’ll have to be supplemented for that.”
Even Billesdon Brook’s trainer was bowled over by the Guineas result.
“I didn’t see this coming,” Hannon said. “It is so nice to have a syndicate of senior people who have been in the game for a long time who have worked hard for it and they will enjoy it. It is nice to see people like that getting the good side of it.”
Craddock apart, Billesdon Brook’s family also has Australasian links.
“She has a fantastic pedigree. I know she’s by Champs Elysees, who is now a National Hunt stallion, but he had a stakes winner in America the same day our filly won,” he said. “He got only 64 mares last season so Juddmonte moved him on.”
Billesdon Brook is out of a half-sister to three European Group winners from the family of the Australian Group One winners Helmet, Epaulette and the now New Zealand-based stallion Bullbars.
Craddock also has a tie to the Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock, having successfully bred from his dam Upstage after purchasing her at the dispersal sale of the Group One winner’s breeder the Dowager Duchess of Bedford.