Pearl Secret truly made his mark on the racecourse as a popular, flashy sprinter, who gained a regular following as he returned to the racecourse year after year.
The seven year old was a winner at two, three, five and six years of age, landing major prizes along the way, including the Listed Scurry Stakes and Listed Beverley Bullet Stakes in 2012 and the Group 2 Temple Stakes in 2014.
He was also third to Sole Power in the 2013 Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, and second to Hot Streak in the following year’s Group 2 Temple Stakes.
Nancy Sexton, renowned bloodstock writer for the Racing Post, described his appeal very well:
“From a sire line renowned for producing classy sprinters, Pearl Secret is a member of same hardy family that provided Dutch Art, now a multiple G1 producing sire.
“This is a pedigree that shouts speed top to bottom. He represents access to the fast branch of the Indian Ridge sire line, of which he is physically typical, via Compton Place, a tremendous recent ally of breeders who has long been respected by trainers. Added to that, he is out of a tough 5f stakes-winning granddaughter of Miswaki, a horse who features as the damsire of a number of successful stallions including Galileo, Sea The Stars, Dalakhani and The Factor, a G1-producing American first-crop sire of 2016.”
The son of July Cup winner and subsequent hugely successful stallion, Compton Place, went through the sales ring at Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale in October 2016, when he was purchased by Salcey Forest Stud.
Course Specialist recently caught up with John Dance, part of the group that purchased Pearl Secret, to find out what happened next and how he has settled in to a new way of life at Bucklands Farm and Stud in Gloucestershire.
What tempted you to buy Pearl Secret at Tattersalls?
“Collectively* we had been interested in buying a stallion for a while and as soon as we saw Pearl Secret in the catalogue we were interested as he really stood out for us. He was a wonderful racer that won on debut as a juvenile but who also proved absolutely top draw as an older horse too and hence really appealed as a genuine all round stallion prospect.
*Myself, Salcey Forest Stud and Matt Eves (formerly the majority owner of the classic winning Jet Setting)
What was the process once you had won the auction for Pearl Secret and where did he head to initially?
“Dan Creighton of Salcey Forest Stud signed the sales docket and the horse headed to Salcey Forest once Tattersalls had taken blood samples for testing.”
Where is Pearl Secret now located?
“Pearl Secret is now residing at Bucklands Farm & Stud in Gloucestershire where he will stand as a stallion.”
How long did it take him to settle in? Does he have any quirks?
“He settled in very quickly which isn’t surprising as he is a great tempered horse, he hasn’t shown any quirks as yet but is very much his own person.”
What medical tests have been carried out?
“He has been tested to prove his fertility and thankfully is fully active in that respect.
“Stallions have to have bloods and swabs taken in the January of a covering season to ensure they are healthy and clean. We took the precaution of conducting these as soon as he arrived at BFS so that any issues could be treated and resolved with plenty of time in hand and we are delighted he is now ready to go.”
How has his diet changed?
“Well he would previously have been on a high energy race feed diet, but his new stud diet contains more grass as he is turned out every day and is now also on stud nuts, of which he is clearly a fan as he is described as being ‘a very healthy grubber’.”
Did he have to be officially registered anywhere as a stallion? If so, where?
“He has to be registered with Weatherbys, who thankfully are very efficient at the process and we are lucky in the UK to have such an operation behind the scenes of both racing and thoroughbred breeding.”
How much will Pearl Secret stand for in 2017? How did you arrive at this cost?
“£4,000. Looking at the overall market we felt this pitched him as being an absolute stand out stallion in this price range, based upon his pedigree, longevity and achievements on the track. As a first season sire this makes him very attractive to breeders.”
How many mares do you hope he will cover in 2017?
“We hope to cover over 80 mares in 2017; however, if he is especially popular, we would likely cap his maximum as we are conscious of over-breeding in the industry and over usage of first season sires.”
What for you are Pearl Secret’s greatest attributes?
“He has fantastic conformation and is a great physical specimen, he won and contested top class races at all ages from 2 to 7, he was tough, incredibly speedy and proved his durability; and those attributes should make him a very commercial sire.
“We believe Pearl Secret is the natural successor to his sire Compton Place, who sadly passed away this year, and that he will be especially interesting to breeders who had success with the latter.
We will be offering breeders a variety of bonuses for winning (see separate attachment) and will naturally be supporting his progeny in the sales ring.
How and where can interested breeders find out more regarding Pearl Secret?
Contact Dan Creighton of Salcey Forest Stud on 07597 945219 or Roisin Close of Bucklands Farm & Stud on 07739 279071