Showing a wealth of promise

The Grey Gatsby’s first two crops have met with critical acclaim and, with his subsequent books being of a higher quality, the future looks bright for Haras du Petit Tellier’s young sire. Lizzy Sainty reports.

In his new career at stud, The Grey Gatsby has already enjoyed two promising seasons in France and abroad, and 2023 began on a high for the Haras du Petit Tellier sire, with his first crop daughter Mylady, bred by Gestüt Karlshof, winning the Group 3 Very One Stakes in Gulfsteam Park at the beginning of March. 

A €120,000 Arqana Breeze-up Sale purchase by Stephen Hillen, The Grey Gatsby was trained by Kevin Ryan to win the Group 2 Dante Stakes, Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club and Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes during his brilliant 3-year-old career, also finishing second in the Group 1 Juddmonte International behind Australia, whom he then defeated at Leopardstown. Tough and genuine, he ran at the highest level until the age of six, placing three times at Group 1 level as a 4yo – only going down by a short head in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes to Free Eagle – and earning more than £2.7m in prizemoney. 

The Grey Gatsby avenges his defeat by Australia in the Juddmonte International, by beating him into second place in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes.

The Grey Gatsby avenges his defeat by Australia in the Juddmonte International, by beating him into second place in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes.

The son of Mastercraftsman was bred just down the road from where he stands now at Patrick Chedeville’s Petit Tellier by Pierre Talvard at Haras du Cadran – one of France’s leading breeders who is also a shareholder in the sire. He is out of the Listed Prix Solitude second Marie Vison (Entrepreneur) and hails from the immediate family of Group 1 winners Macoumba (Mr Prospector) and Septieme Ciel (Seattle Slew), his third dam being the Group 1 winner Maximova. His grandam, Métisse (Kingmambo) was responsible for three Stakes horses in her career as a broodmare. 

The Grey Gatsby finished his second season with 27 individual winners from 60 runners (45%), seven Stakes horses (11.67%) and four Stakes winners (6.67%). Master Gatsby, trained by Fabrice Chappet and bred by Chedeville’s partner Antoinette Tamangi at Haras de Saint Julien, won the Group 3 Prix de Lutece over 3,000m; Mylady, prior to her export to the U.S.A, won the Group 3 Dr Busch Memorial and finished third in the German Oaks; Atomic Blonde won the Group 3 Premio Verziere, finished second in the Group 2 Oaks d’Italia and third in the Group 2 Stutenpreis at Baden-Baden, while Indian Wish opened her year with a win in the Listed Prix de la Californie and was not disgraced on her three attempts at Group level. She has since moved from Henri-Alex Pantall to Joseph O’Brien for her 4yo season and her full sister, named Indian Flash, was sold at the Arqana October Yearling Sale last year for €105,000 to Holger Faust’s HFTB Racing Agency.

While he really excelled on the track as a 3yo, The Grey Gatsby also finished second in both the Acomb Stakes and Champagne Stakes (Group 2s) as a 2yo, and his progeny are likewise showing ability as juveniles. He sired two Stakes 2yos in 2022: Frozen, out of the Seeking The Gold mare Angel’s Tears, and Greygoria, a daughter of Listed performer Louvre Rare (Rock Of Gibraltar). Interestingly, The Grey Gatsby’s offspring have also begun to demonstrate their aptitude over jumps with Greyval, winner of a Listed Juvenile hurdle at Doncaster in January, being his first Graded winner. 

The Grey Gatsby missed out on leading second crop sire honours in France, having the misfortune to retire in the same year as Zarak (Dubawi), the latter securing the title by notching up a remarkable 51 winners (62%) from 82 runners and 13 (15,85%) Stakes performers. Zarak naturally saw his fee take a significant lift to €60,000 this year – up from €12,000 in 2021 and €25,000 in 2022 – but this has not deterred breeders, as his book was filled long before the covering season got underway. 

The Grey Gatsby, meanwhile, stands for €12,000 in 2023, up from €8,000 in 2022 and 2021, and a share in the stallion (1/60th) recently sold for €58,000 to Vanessa Teehan’s Bridge Consignment on Arqana Online. His two crops of runners to date were both bred off a fee of €7,000.  

“His book (limited to 120) has filled very quickly,” explains Chedeville, “and there has undoubtedly been an improvement in the quality of mares coming to him over the last two seasons. He’s received a good number from Germany once again – the breeders who have used him since the beginning have had plenty of success on the track with his progeny. 

The dual Group 3 winner and Group 2 placed Spirit of Nelson, whose dam is among the quality mares visiting The Grey Gatsby in 2023.

The dual Group 3 winner and Group 2 placed Spirit of Nelson, whose dam is among the quality mares visiting The Grey Gatsby in 2023.

“He’s also been well supported in France. His breeder Pierre Talvard is sending Reponds Moi (More Than Ready), who was Listed placed and has produced a tough racehorse in The Champ, winner of over €90,000 in prizemoney. Leading owner-breeder Jean-Claude Seroul is sending the Listed winner Stormy Pouss (Stormy River) and the Invincible Spirit mare Spirit of Pearl, who is already dam of three Stakes horses, including the dual Group 3 winner and Group 2 placed Spirit of Nelson. Other significant bookings include Society Lady, who has a promising 3yo in Society Man; Ridisia, a daughter of Group 1 Opera winner Ridasiya from an Aga Khan family, and Meandering, a full sister to Group 2 winner and Classic-placed Up and half-sister to Dutch Art. 

“He is easy to cross, he produces attractive yearlings who are sound, just like him, and he looks like he improves his mares. He also passes on his excellent temperament to his offspring, producing tough racehorses. In terms of value, there is none better available on the market.”

The Grey Gatsby is an athletic horse who has covered an average of just under a hundred mares a season – a very respectable showing for a young sire in France. His 2022 book included a granddaughter of the great Wurftaube called Wanda’s Girl; the Group 3 producer Varsity, dam of  the dual Group winner GM Hopkins (winner of €480,000) and an unraced sister to Group 3 winner and Group 2 placed Spirit Of Nelson called Perle de Reve. His 2023 list looks even stronger, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he can take the step up into the major league in the next couple of years by becoming a Group 1 sire. His statistics to date suggest that he could well do so.

About the author

Lizzy Sainty

Lizzy Sainty grew up in Kildare and Lambourn, before moving to Chantilly after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a First in Classics and a solid grounding in racing from Ian Williams, for whom she rode out each morning. She also worked several breeze up seasons for the indomitable Malcolm Bastard. After seven years as assistant trainer to John Hammond in Chantilly, she then worked with bloodstock agent Rupert Pritchard-Gordon and at the French daily Jour de Galop. She is a freelance journalist and French representative for Ballylinch Stud.

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