Racing Post, September 8th 2010
IT REQUIRES a bold man to venture into stallion ownership, and one such man is Yorkshire native Reg Bond. He owns two sons of Danehill Dancer at stud: Monsieur Bond, at Norton Grove Stud in North Yorkshire, and Misu Bond, whose first foals are now yearlings and who stands at Hedgeholme Stud in County Durham.
With two Group 3 winners in his third season with runners, Monsieur Bond is enjoying his best year. And besides Ballyogan Stakes scorer Gilt Edge Girl and Sunday’s Prix la Rochette winner My Name Is Bond, his daughter Ladies Are Forever was third in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
This year was Monsieur Bond’s first at Norton Grove, having stood for five seasons at Whitsbury Manor Stud. Bond says: “When Monsieur Bond went to Whitsbury they bought a share, but later they wanted to sell their share, so we bought them out.
“Monsieur Bond can produce five furlong to one-mile horses. At pounds 2,500, I think he’s terrific value for breeders, considering the cost of Danehill Dancer. He has such a nice temperament, we’re very happy with what he has done this season, and we’re now looking for better mares for him.”
Bond, who owns a tyre wholesale company, first entered racehorse ownership 12 years ago. He says: “I waited until I thought I could afford to go into racing, and I’ve put a lot of money into it.
“Our first big winner was Bond Boy in the Stewards’ Cup. It started as a hobby and now it has turned into a business. It’s very, very difficult trying to promote and do things on a small budget. Owning stallions was a new thing for us to do. If we buy horses now, we’re looking for fillies with nice pedigrees who could eventually go to our stallions.”
Bond adds a few yearling purchases to his team each year, which are selected by his son Charles and trainer Bryan Smart. “Bryan is a very good buyers of two-year-olds”, says Bond.
A third stallion, Captain Gerrard, raced in Bond’s colours, but was sold to stand at Mickley Stud in Shropshire.
“I would have loved to have kept Captain Gerrard as a stallion, but we had a good offer for him, so we accepted it”, says Bond. “Two is enough at the moment.”
Monsieur Bond won the Duke of York Stakes at four and was second in the Mill Reef Stakes as a juvenile. His sixth place behind Refuse To Bend in the 2,000 Guineas was bettered by Misu Bond, who was fifth to George Washington in the Newmarket Classic, having won the Free Handicap at the same track.
“Both have the Danehill Dancer blood, which we always thought would be good”, says Bond. “We’re hoping that Misu Bond can do whatever Monsieur Bond does. Monsieur Bond’s progeny have got slightly longer bodies, but the Misu Bonds look more compact and could have more speed in them.”
Bond also owns the 40-acre Yapham Mill Stud, at Pocklington, near York. “The stud has developed over the last three years”, he says. “We’ve 12 to 13 mares who we share between Misu and Monsieur, and three or four will go to Captain Gerrard. The majority of them we raced ourselves.”
The horses bred at the stud are offered for private sale. “Everything is for sale and those who don’t sell, we put into training with Geoff Oldroyd.
“There are no middle men. With the stallions, if someone is bringing four or five mares we can give them a good price.”
BOND has plenty to look forward to in Ladies Are Forever, who is owned by his Bond Thoroughbred Corporation. Her dam, Forever Bond, has produced four winners from as many runners. They include Ladies Are Forever’s sister Forever’s Girl, a four-time 5f and 6f winner at three and four, their brother Hoof It, a winner of four races over 5f and 6f, and Chosen Forever, by another son of Danehill Dancer in Choisir, who has won five times, over 6f on his debut and four races over 91/2f at Wolverhampton.
“York is my local course and to see Hoof It, a horse whom we’d bred by our own sire, win there was a dream come true.”