Ladyswood Stud sponsoring Hungerford Stakes




Return to seven furlongs expected to suit Yafta in Ladyswood Stud-sponsored Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday


Newbury Racecourse stages Ladies Day with Rudimental this Saturday, August 18, when the highlight is the £150,000 G2 Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes (3.35pm) over seven furlongs. Ladyswood Stud, a 90-acre establishment situated on the Gloucestershire Wiltshire border near Malmesbury, owned by Alex Frost, is sponsoring the Hungerford Stakes for the first time in 2018.


Sir Dancealot (David Elsworth) is the form horse among the 18 confirmations. He finished fourth in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket on July 14 before getting up on the nod to win the G2 Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood on July 31.


Last year's runner-up Librisa Breeze could turn out quickly after staying-on to fourth in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, France, on August 5. He gained the biggest victory of his career in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October.


The Richard Hannon-trained Yafta has progressed with every run this year and boasts winning course form at Newbury, having captured the six-furlong G3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes by a head on July 21.


The three-year-old son of Dark Angel has finished second on both of his starts over seven furlongs, which included a head defeat in a handicap company at Newmarket in June.


However, Angus Gold racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, believes there is more to come from Yafta over seven furlongs.


Gold said today: "Yafta is in very good form at home. Richard Hannon is very happy with him and everything has gone well since Newbury last time out.


"He is a very progressive horse, who has a lovely attitude to racing. We have decided to go for the Hungerford as the race fits nicely into the calendar, but we also think there is more to come from him over seven furlongs.


"Yafta was very tough in the Hackwood Stakes. I was slightly surprised he had the speed to win over six furlongs and the step back up to seven furlongs will suit him ideally on Saturday.


"We are looking forward to the race and hopefully he runs well."


Aidan O'Brien, reigning champion trainer in Britain and Ireland, has a trio of three-year-old colts among the acceptors, including G1 St James's Palace Stakes runner-up Gustav Klimt and G1 July Cup third Fleet Review.

The 2014 winner Breton Rock (David Simcock), who finished third behind Sir Dancealot at Goodwood, and progressive three-year-old filly Pretty Baby (William Haggas), a G3 winner over seven furlongs at Goodwood on August 3, also remain engaged.


Alex Frost, owner of Ladyswood Stud, said: "Ladyswood Stud is delighted to be sponsoring this year's G2 Hungerford Stakes, which looks set to be another competitive renewal.


"Newbury is our local racecourse and as a family we have a long association with the race. My grandfather Tom was a keen racehorse owner and in 1965 he was lucky enough to win the Hungerford Stakes with a grey horse called Roan Rocket. We can only hope that we may be lucky enough to breed a future Hungerford Stakes winner ourselves.

"I am really pleased that we have also been able to support both Racing to School and the charity, WellChild on Saturday afternoon, both of which do valuable work with young people and are very important to me."


Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury Racecourse added: "We are very grateful to Ladyswood Stud for its sponsorship of the Hungerford Stakes and enabling us to support two charities for young people as part of racing on Saturday for our Ladies' Day.

"Always a popular day with our racegoers, the feature race is always competitive and this year's renewal looks very interesting. I would also like to thank our other sponsors, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and Sportsguide for their support on the day."


John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing to School said: "The education charity Racing to School is very grateful to have been offered a title sponsorship by Alex Frost and his Ladyswood Stud on the prestigious Hungerford Stakes card.  


"We work closely with Newbury year-round and a record total of 14,000 young people will participate in our activity programmes across 350 days nationwide this year, the majority of which will be meeting the sport for the first time."


Elsewhere on the card, the £60,000 G3 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2.25pm) over mile and a five furlongs is often used as stepping-stone to big end of season targets such as the St Leger and Melbourne Cup.


Among the 11 entries for this year's renewal is Godolphin's exciting four-year-old Hamada. Trained by Charlie Appleby, Hamadamade in three from three so far this year when taking a valuable 14-furlong handicap by seven lengths at Newmarket on July 13.

Raymond Tusk (Richard Hannon) looks the pick of the two three-year-old contenders judged on his decisive two and a half-length victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes over 11 furlongs at Hamilton on July 20.


Two-year-olds put their reputations on the line in the £25,550 Listed Denford Stakes (1.50pm, 16 entries) over seven furlongs. Notable names on the roll of honour include subsequent Classic winners Rodrigo De Triano, Lammtarra, Haafhd and Just The Judge.


Newbury's eight race programme starts with a race for purebred Arabians at 1.20pm and ends at 5.15pm.


Chart topping and BRIT award-winning act, Rudimental will take to the Party In The Paddock stage after racing on Ladies Day, Saturday 18 August 2018 to perform a live DJ set. 


The DJ set is expected to begin 45 minutes after the last race and last for approximately 90 minutes.


The going at Newbury is Good to Firm (Good in places), with showers forecast on Monday.


Time Race Dist/Age Value

1.20pm Royal Cavalry of Oman Clarendon International Stakes (Group 2) 5f/3yo+ (for purebred Arabians)

1.50pm Denford Stakes (reg as the Washington Singer Stakes (Listed) 7f/2yo £25,500

2.25pm Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer Stakes (Group 3)   1m 5f/3yo+ £60,000

3.00pm Ladies Day Handicap (76-95) 7f/3yo+ £20,000

3.35pm Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes (Group 2) 7f/3yo+ £150,000

4.10pm Racing To School British EBF Maiden 1m 4f/3yo £15,000

4.40pm Well Child Handicap (66-85) 1m 2f/3yo+ £8,550

5.15pm Sportsguide Handicap (61-80) (for lady amateur riders) 1m 4f/3yo+ £9,400

A Collective Vision to Revitalise the Tote

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 12:18 pm 

Alex Frost

By Emma Berry

Breeders like to think that without breeding there’d be no racing and punters believe the same of gambling. Both parties are right and it’s time for all involved in racing and breeding in Britain to grasp of the implications not just of the recent decision to reduce Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) stakes to £2 but also the impending end of the Tote’s exclusivity as the country’s pool-betting operator.

Whichever side of the industry we are involved in, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that countries with a tote monopoly also have a racing programme with healthy levels of prize-money, which in turn helps both to retain existing participants and to attract new ones. This cannot be said for the country that prides itself on having created horseracing as we know it.

Britain is blessed with decent attendance figures at many racecourses and it can still dine out on the heritage which has racing fans flocking to its prestigious meetings from all corners of the world. But those visitors, if they happen to have a horse in training in, say, France or Australia, shake their heads in disbelief at how those associated with providing the British racing ‘product’ can make a living. Many, increasingly, cannot.

Back in 1928, the Tote was established by the British government partly with the aim of improving the Thoroughbred breed and the sport itself through a return from some of the revenue from gambling on horseracing. The betting landscape changed in 1961 with the legalisation of off-course betting. That immediately made it harder for the Tote to compete because while it could still rival the bookmakers on course, the technology did not exist at that stage for it to take bets away from the racecourse and get them into the pool. In 2011 the Tote was sold off to bookmaker Betfred with an exclusive pool betting agreement which is set to expire in July.

Important progress has been made by the British Horseracing Authority in recent years to boost racing’s coffers, significantly through the closure of the loophole which allowed offshore betting operators not to contribute to the Levy, but these are small steps when giant strides are needed to keep pace with other racing nations.

Many of us involved in the sport will have muttered to ourselves that “something needs to be done” while sitting back and expecting somebody else to come up with a grand plan. That somebody may have just stepped forward.

Alex Frost, a 42-year-old former Merrill Lynch trader who became one of that company’s youngest managing directors before his 30th birthday, turned his passion for horseracing first into ownership and then last year solidified his increasing breeding interests by buying Ladyswood Stud from Martyn Meade. He is also on the board of Epsom racecourse and is at the head of a consortium which, as of last week, now owns 25% of the Tote.

“I love the sport and I’ve made a huge investment in it but I’m very concerned for its future,” Frost says. “We as an industry have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the Tote and to re-establish pool betting. If it wasn’t us buying it, it would be one of the big bookmakers buying it.”

At a time when Frost could be enjoying the fruits of his labour by watching his foals gambol around Gloucestershire paddocks while pondering next year’s mating plans, he decided instead to combine his financial acumen and that love of the sport in a bid to enhance the future of racing in Britain. He is not alone in this endeavour. As the recent launch of the ‘Together for the Tote‘ campaign highlights, Frost’s Alizeti Capital has behind it a collective of racehorse owners which shares his aim. The individual identities of the powerful group haven’t yet been announced but together they account for more than 1,000 racehorses.

The Alizeti consortium reached an agreement with Fred Done of Betfred to buy 25% of the Tote in what a transaction seemingly valued at £150 million. It has the option to purchase it in its entirety, which could happen sooner than indicated.

“We have an option to buy it out 100% in the third year but it will actually be at our discretion,” Frost explains.

“It will effectively be a cooperative which everybody can gain from, including bookmakers and racecourses, while we will be doing everything we can to revitalise the Tote experience.”

He adds, “If you are a racing-orientated person you would go with what would effectively be the [National Lottery operator] Camelot of the racing industry. People in Britain don’t have a bet on a lottery based in Yugoslavia but they do have a bet on the National Lottery because they feel it supports the right local causes. We have plenty of things planned for the Tote but primarily is needs to be a much better consumer experience with the ability for people to see where the cash is going.”

BHA figures show that owners of horses rated around 70 can expect on average a return of 8p in the pound in Britain. The current £138 million prize-money pot is set to be reduced significantly in future by last week’s FOBT ruling, though there has been a suggestion that this loss could be tempered by extending the levy to bets on global racing.

While Frost’s consortium certainly seems to have racing’s best interests at heart, it is not the only one with pool-betting aspirations. Britbet, set to launch in July as the Tote’s exclusive deal ends, represents a partnership of 55 of Britain’s racecourses—the exceptions being Ascot, Bangor, Chester, Chelmsford and Towcester—and is also pushing its allegiance to the sport with its ‘by racing, for racing’ slogan. Clearly, any reduction in the liquidity of the pool market will not be good for either operation or for racing itself. The Racing Post reported last week that Britbet has entered into negotiations with Alizeti and Totepool over a potential collaboration, which was confirmed by Frost.

While those talks are ongoing, Frost says of Alizeti, “We feel strongly that we represent breeders, owners and trainers, and we feel it’s very important that everyone should be working together. We’re not trying to be divisive—quite the opposite.

“I’ve brought 12 people together to work for two years on this project and they are the best people at what they do—we’ve got two best financial analysts that Merrill Lynch ever had, Michael Rawlinson who was at Barclays, then Freddie Grive, who ran legal counsel at Worldpay, as well as the best marketing people and the best tech people.”

Among the stated aims are a 25% reduction in the take-out, which is currently 19.25p from every pound staked, as well as £1 million Jackpots and Scoop6 funds and the development of an app to allow punters to bet directly into the pool.

He continues, “We’re promising that we can broaden the spectrum of the Tote and revitalise it, we can match it up with other pools globally and make it much more ambitious in terms of its reach and connectivity around the world.”

Frost admits to frustrations along the way in an industry which can be resistant to change. He can draw encouragement, however, from the level of support for the project, with the likes of the Thompson family of Cheveley Park Stud having already voiced their approval.

Charlie Liverton, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners Association, can also see its advantages and stated, “The retention of owners in British racing is of paramount importance and critical to ensuring that the number of horses in training increases. Whilst one of the challenges at the moment is sole owners leaving the sport, it is encouraging to see a group of owners and breeders coming together to help build a strong Tote to benefit all of racing, including through an increased contribution to prize-money. [It’s] a huge positive for the industry.”

While expressing bemusement at the lack of young people on racecourse boards, Frost is appreciative of the growing momentum to reinvigorate what trainer John Gosden has referred to as “one of British racing’s most cherished brands”.

“Thankfully we have massive support, not just from the horsemen, it extends further than that, right through most of the racecourses. We’ve found a lot of the racecourses fantastic to deal with—very commercial and very keen to improve the situation,” he says.

“We know that it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of hard work due to structural issues but the Together for the Tote campaign is exactly that, we’re all about bringing everybody together.”


Ladyswood Stud is sending a very strong draft of foals to the Tattersalls December Sales for the first time, including an attractive and beautifully bred colt from the first crop of Golden Horn out of Group 3 winner Damaniyat Girl, an Iffraaj colt out of a Bernadini sister to Damaniyat Girl and an Exceed And Excel colt out of a Medaglia D’Oro daughter of Damaniyat Girl. Completing the draft are a colt by the highly sought after Shamardal, and a filly by rising star Siyouni.  

Dubai Cyclone 17 (Iffraaj) Colt18 January 2017

Mrakeb 17 (Exceed and Excel) Colt05 February 2017

Damaniyat Girl 17 (Golden Horn) Colt14 February 2017

Wadaat 17 (Shamardal) Colt16 April 2017

Titian's Pride 17 (Siyouni) Filly19 April 2017


SPRING FLING (in foal to Oasis Dream), a Stakes winning half sister to dual Group 1 winner and stallion TWILIGHT SON and Group 3 Winner and stallion MUSIC MASTER, arrives home to Ladyswood Stud for the first time.

She is joined by Casila (in foal to Showcasing), a High Chaparral half sister to the dam of Group 1 Winner JOHANNES VERMEER and Group 2 Winner ELIZABETH BROWNING, both out of Group 2 winner MILETRIAN, and Tegara (in foal to Equiano) out of the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes runner up and Listed winning DAMANIYAT GIRL, herself a daughter of Group 1 1000 Guineas second DABAWEYAA.

All three are enjoying the peace and quiet of life at Ladyswood Stud.

Spring Fling wins at Ayr!

SPRING FLING - having been twice placed 4th at pattern race level, Spring Fling won the Land O’Burns (listed) at Ayr on Saturday. She’s now likely to have one more run in the Coral Charge (G3) at Sundown on Eclipse Day before retiring to Ladyswood. 


The Listed Land O’Burns Stakes, the feature race of the day at Ayr yesterday, was won by the Henry Candy-trained Spring Fling. The six-year-old daughter of Assertive took cover in the main body of the field as Merry Banter (Bated Breath) took off in front at a fast pace. The winner struggled to find racing room, but when she did a furlong from home, she quickened well to win by a length and a quarter from Rural Celebration (Pastoral Pursuits), with Queen Kindly (Frankel) a further neck behind in third.

This was Spring Fling’s first victory at Stakes level and her third win from 18 starts, during a career which has lasted five seasons.

Bred by Caroline Wilson, the Goffs UK graduate is a half-sister to the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Gr.1 Haydock Sprint Cup winner and young sire Twilight Son (Kyllachy) and the Gr.3 Hackwood Stakes and Gr.1 Sprint Cup-placed Music Master (Piccolo).

Stud Groom Position

Ladyswood Stud is looking to complete a highly reputable team with an enthusiastic and motivated Stud Groom.

The successful applicant will be well versed in all aspects of mare, foal and yearling care with outstanding attention to detail, communication and the ability to work effectively within an ambitious team.

Their CV will highlight industry experience and come with exceptional references.

Attractive package to include accommodation and incentives.

Please contact Alex Frost at for further details.

New Owner for Ladyswood Stud

As featured in TDN: Thoroughbred Daily News

Ladyswood Stud in Wiltshire has been purchased by Alex and Olivia Frost, who plan to develop a band of up to 20 broodmares on the 90-acre farm.

“We are incredibly excited about Ladyswood,” said Alex Frost, a longstanding owner, predominantly with Henry Candy, whose colours have been carried to success by the likes of G3 Acomb S. winner Treaty Of Paris (Ire) (Haatef) and Signor Peltro (GB) (Bertolini).

“It’s a huge project and incredibly daunting but we hope to make it into a stud that proves to be a happy family home as well as a well as a highly respected breeding operation.”

Initially, the stud will be home to ten of the couple’s mares, with foals expected this year by Golden Horn (GB), Shamardal, Iffraaj (GB) and Exceed And Excel (Aus). While Ladyswood will be focused on breeding horses for the Flat, the Frosts also have a keen interest in National Hunt racing and breeding, and own Dalamine (Fr) (Sillery), the dam of treble Grade 1-winning steeplechaser Don Poli (Ire) (Poliglote {GB}) in partnership with Harry and Lorna Fowler. The 17-year-old mare, who has a 3-year-old filly by Beat Hollow (GB) and a Kayf Tara (GB) yearling among those still to race, lives at the Fowlers’ Rahinston Stud in Ireland.

Ladyswood Stud was previously owned by trainer Martyn Meade, who bought Snailwell Stud just outside Newmarket last April. Situated in Malmesbury, close to the border of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, the farm boasts woodchip and sand gallops along with the regular stud facilities.

Frost added, “We have two large barns and 23 boxes, along with offices and staff accommodation in two cottages. We have all the facilities we could wish for and are now looking for an outstanding stud groom to complete the team.”