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Salman reduces racing interest.

FAHD SALMAN, best known as the owner of the great Generous, yesterday announced a huge reduction in his racing operation, and cited low levels of prize-money as a key factor behind his decision.

The Saudi Arabian prince is to change the focus of his Dorset-based Newgate Stud to concentrate on commercial breeding, and will retain only a handful of horses in training.

Salman has about 50 horses in training in Britain, the bulk of which are split between Paul Cole and Henry Cecil. Although there will be no dispersal, the size of his string will gradually be reduced over the forthcoming seasons.

Salman's striking dark-green silks were associated with many big-race successes throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

He had a golden year in 1991, when European champion Generous won the Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Last year he finished seventh in the owners' table with nearly pounds 600,000. His best horse was champion three-year-old filly Ramruma, who won the Oaks, Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks.

A statement yesterday announced: "Prince Fahd, whose Newgate Stud in Dorset and Newgate Stud Farm in Kentucky are home to some 40 select broodmares, has decided to drastically reduce the number of horses he has in training.

"This decision has been taken partly due to increased commitments at home in Saudi Arabia, but more specifically as a result of his disappointment at the continuing low levels of prize-money in Britain.

"Starting this autumn, Newgate will sell all its yearling colts and the majority of the yearling fillies at public auction. Prince Fahd is to retain three or four fillies to go into training each year as long-term broodmare prospects."

Cole, who trained Generous, has been associated with Salman since 1984, and has enjoyed many big-race successes with the owner.

He took the news philosophically, saying: "I will have 25 fewer horses to train. These things happen. He has supplied an awful lot of my top horses but things can't go on for ever.

"He's a top-class chap to train for and I've had a great relationship with him.

"If he's going to do it, it must be for a good reason because he loves his racing. He's as good an owner as you could possibly get. But we must go on."

Salman is a member of the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, and a nephew of King Fahd. Like younger brother Ahmed, who heads the Thoroughbred Corporation, and father-in-law Prince Khalid Abdullah, he has experienced racing success around the world.

His other notable runners include Ibn Bey, a multiple Group 1 winner and runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Knight's Baroness, winner of the Irish Oaks, Bint Pasha and Zoman.

In 1998 he won an Eclipse Award in the United States with champion turf mare Fiji, whose seasonal earnings of $2 million exceeded that of his entire string in Britain.

In response to the news, BHB secretary-general Tristram Ricketts said: "This scaling-down by a major owner, operating at the top level, is very regrettable, and yet further evidence of the damaging impact of uncompetitive prize-money levels in Britain."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Lees, Jon
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 27, 2000
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