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Webbey Predicts Older Horse Shortage

Wednesday, 7th September 2005

Meanwhile NSW handicapper Mark Webbey has warned older horses will become "a thing of the past if Sydney's top juveniles continue to be rushed off to stud or overseas," reported The Daily Telegraph. Webbey (who announced this week he is leaving his post at Racing NSW after 28 years to work in Singapore) said "too many breeders were now involved in horse ownership & were quick to pull the pin on a decent horse's career". Webbey said races like the "Gr1 Epsom Handicap & other open-age classics would only deteriorate if the worrying trend continued". He summed up: "My concern is Sydney has become more of a breeding mecca. You no longer have the pool of horses you once had. Any decent 2YO or 3YO is now retired to stud or snapped up by the Asian market. The 2YO & 3YO racing is always going to be strong, but your classic races aren't as strong as they once were. You only have to look at the Epsom next month. It's not as strong: there's no Grand Armee or Sunline, there's no luxury of having that automatic top-weight." In recent years, the newspaper noted, the "likes of Fastnet Rock, Reset, Redoute's Choice, Savabeel & Charge Forward were all retired after hugely successful juvenile campaigns."

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