Phoenix Thoroughbreds Buying Bloodstock With Eye To Return On Investment

by | 08.11.2017 | 9:16pm
Kerri Radcliffe and Jeremy Noseda, 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale

Phoenix Thoroughbreds may be new to the international bloodstock scene, but it has arrived in a blaze of big spending. Kerri Radcliffe, the group's racing and bloodstock advisor, signed the ticket for six yearlings at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga Sale earlier this week for purchases totaling $3,950,000. That included an Orb colt who was one of two $1 million yearlings passing through the sale.

Radcliffe started buying for the group in March and handles purchasing and racing management for Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Northern Hemisphere operations. (David Lucas handles operations in the Southern Hemisphere.) Radcliffe was the leading buyer at OBS March earlier this year, and was the under-bidder on the $2.45 million Tiznow colt at OBS April, which set an all-time record price for the sale company.

Phoenix Thoroughbreds isn't so much an ownership syndicate, but rather is thought to be one of the first regulated Thoroughbred investment funds in the world.

“I'm working on the strategy that to get the best, I think you have to buy the best,” said Radcliffe. “It's nice to go and buy the big ones with potential although I have to say there's a hell of a lot more pressure with it.”

Radcliffe will be in attendance at yearling and breeding stock sales in England, France, and Kentucky throughout the rest of the year to purchase on behalf of Phoenix. The group will purchase weanlings later in the year as pinhook prospects, and also has plans to buy into broodmares and stallion prospects.

Radcliffe comes to the breeze-up sales with the unique perspective of a long-time exercise rider (in fact she breezes one of the Phoenix fillies in her home base at Newmarket), and previously spent some time as a bloodstock agent on her own before accepting the job with Phoenix.

Of course, it's a well-worn saying in the racing business that if you want to make $1 million in horses, you start with $10 million. So what's the motivation for Phoenix Thoroughbred investors to put their money in horses instead of stocks?

“Actually, the guy that put this all together is a huge racing enthusiast and a finance person,” Radcliffe said. “He has done an incredible job putting this all together and raising money for it. Obviously as we go along, we're going to be looking for investors.”

Amer Abdul Aziz has previously been identified as chief executive officer of Phoenix, although Radcliffe said she has no idea who the investors in the fund are. Aziz is an advisor at BD Globe Capital Inc., and was a champion owner of Arabians in the 1980s, as well as a long-time fan of Thoroughbred racing.

Radcliffe said her hope is Phoenix Thoroughbreds might go the way of China Horse Club, which is seeing graded stakes-level success in the early years of its existence.

“I don't know if we're going to be doing exactly the same thing as China Horse Club but the more I look into it, there are a lot of similarities to it. Obviously a completely different identity behind it,” she said.

Currently, Phoenix has 12 horses in training, with its American contingent based with Bob Baffert and its European runners with Jeremy Noseda, Radcliffe's husband. Radcliffe is hopeful Phoenix could an American runner in the Breeders' Cup this year and that the group could send one or two of its European trainees over for the event, also.

Take Me With You, a 2-year-old Scat Daddy filly Radcliffe purchased from the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale for $800,000, hit the board in the Group 3 Albany at Royal Ascot this summer. Radcliffe said the finish was a sneaky good one, as the filly had to start on the stand side of the racetrack, where Noseda thought there was a track bias working against her. Her next start is undetermined while Radcliffe waits out the rains in England, but she's on track for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Radcliffe is hopeful unstarted Dark Angel (IRE) colt Lansky (IRE) or Lonhro (AUS) son Gronkowski could contend the Juvenile Turf.

Radcliffe was disappointed by the recent Del Mar performance of Diamondsandpearls, her $1.7 million OBS March purchase who was fourth in the Grade 2 Sorrento. Baffert told her not to worry, however, as he suspects the filly will improve off her finish there.

“It would be just amazing [to have runners in the Breeders' Cup],” said Radcliffe. “I think my boys have very high expectations, so I'm having to become a bit thick-skinned. The pressure is getting to me a little bit. Everybody's got high expectations but it is horse racing, so there are fabulous days and then there are the bad days.”

  • TwoBays

    Okay … exactly who doesn’t buy bloodstock with the thought of ROI? Also, who would wear off the shoulder evening wear to a horse auction, except someone who wanted ( and got, obviously ) attention? If you are a lovely young lady in a sport filled with men, you really do not need off the shoulder to get attention; men notice without it … just a thought

    • Lehane

      It’s the current fashion, it’s not evening wear and she looked fabulous.

      • TwoBays

        Yes, no one EVER said she didn’t look stunning. If a woman wants to sway men with her charms, she wears something provocative to a business setting. If she wants to be taken seriously, she doesn’t. It is that simple; current” fashion” has nothing to do with it.

        • Lehane

          Astute businessmen aren’t swayed by what a woman wears. They’ll notice what a woman is wearing but when it comes down to the business of selecting yearlings, they consider what’s important e.g. breeding, conformation, x-rays, vet’s reports, the yearling’s walk, etc. and the purchase price. Very judgemental of you to imply that she set out to sway men in their decision making. Were you privy to their discussions?
          Lastly, she likely loves wearing this dress.

          • TwoBays

            You have a lot to learn.

          • Lehane

            I don’t appreciate being patronised.

    • Rupert Pupkin

      Obviously you’ve never been to the Saratoga sale.

      • TwoBays

        thankfully

    • Guest

      I believe she is married to Jeremy Noseda.

      • greg

        You’re correct that is his wife, as for what she’s wearing, she’s playing her role as the pretty lady/spouse paying attention to her husbands client and appealing to his ego as well as his desire to “impress” her when bidding starts, all part of the game

  • Joey

    Good luck. Spend more to expect more is a good way to piss your money away in this business. They won’t be around in 2 years.

    • paul adams

      Wish there was a Where are they now? For all these fast money people over the years. Besilu , IEAH, could list 100s. Ends the same.

  • The Wizard

    average looking…certainly not ugly, but definitely not stunning…

  • Alberto Marcel

    Southern Equine Stables had the same vision too!

  • Tinky

    If buying at the top of the market were the simple secret to success, Sheikh Mohammed would have been vastly more successful over the years.

    This will neither last long, nor end well.

    • Lehane

      It’s like a lottery.

    • Jay

      Amen

  • Gls

    You got to love this business! Two year old works in 9.4 and the buyers are all over it. If you send a homebred into training and your trainer calls to tell you your two year old just worked in 9.4 ,you get a new trainer. If you go to the yearling sales all you here is how all the horses are a little off in the knee or walks a little funny, blablabla. Then go to the track and watch the horses walk into the paddock to get saddled, you would set your hair on fire and get out of this business.

    • greg

      I’ve been going to sales for well over 20 years and it never ceases to amaze me that very intelligent business men and women go to a sale and let their emotions take over go and spend huge amounts on a horse who works 10 or less for 1/8th mile and is bred as a turf router. Especially worse due to the shady deals made between consignors and trainers or agents

  • Guest

    I like the name – how many of us have to rise from the ashes over and over again in this game!!

  • Memories of Puchi

    curious to have so much money at your disposal but not know who the investors are, or the exact structure of the company. Are the investors purely looking for ROI? China Horse Club is all about the high end experience, something not yet mentioned about Phoenix so maybe they’re not an apt comparison.

  • gus stewart

    I like how he says there’s a lot of pressure when you buy the good ones.. what pressure does he have, or the owner’s who seem to have pretty deep pockets to start out buying at saratoga. Try being a small time trainer who buys a few for 20000. Train them feed them and pay all the bills on a limted budget, where if they dont race or win in a certain amount of time, your broke for awhile. Then have to hope to find the few and few between owners to give you a small guy a shot,, now thats pressure

  • Barry

    Given all the tricks that go on at Yearling sales and the endless horror stories from people who overpaid for yearlings, this story is breathtaking.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram