by Paul Simmons
(Djelfor x Ismalya) with colt foal by Amer - both owned by
is all about dreams, the dream of leading in your own winner,
riding it or breeding it. For the last 10 years Michael Brunton
has been harvesting his dream to one day be crowned Champion
owner and breeder. 2003 was his dream year when he was leading
owner beating both H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin R Al Maktoum and
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin R Al Maktoum as well as being top breeder
of Arabian race horses. The admirably tough CS Al Wahed was named
Leading Arab race horse by the AHS and his dam Cikada was for
the second year running leading broodmare. These are just rewards
for a man who has put time, money and dedication into the sport
of Arab racing. He is of course assisted by a determined team
of people, notably Tony and Sue Brunton who run his training
establishment to such perfection in Clarendon, Wiltshire for
2003 was the highlight then 2004 was simply the icing on the
cake. Tony Brunton started the season with Shahngali winning
the Group 3 at Brighton (for owner Tracey Wright). The season
reached a high when Tony trained The Vertuous Crusader (for
owner John Cook) to win the valuable Emirates Breeders Society
Handicap on Dubai day and then took his first Group 1 win when
Michael’s homebred mare CS Camellia took the Hatta Mares
Stakes, thus fulfilling Michaels dream of owning and breeding
a Group 1 winner. They then took the Group 2 Emirates Arabian
International Stakes with another homebred CS Al Wahed and
finished the season with CS Patriarch being crowned top Arabian
Purebred with four wins and three placings from seven runs.
Cikada was once again top broodmare with her son’s CS
Al Wahed winning four races including the Group 2 and CS Clarion
winning the Deira Stakes on Dubai day for owner/ trainer Gordon
Brunton lunging Group 3 winner Shahngali (Bengali D'Albret x
Affecshahn (Derbist)) at Clarendon - Feb '05"
I bought Clarendon, my son, Dan, and I wanted to have an impact
on the sport of Arabian racing. We were, however, realistic
about how long it would take to achieve. We knew that we could
not compete on the race track at the highest level in the early
years. To compete, you have to have serious fire power — and
we simply didn’t have an open ended budget to buy the
best. We realised we had to breed our way to the top.” explains
started with a series of brood mares acquired from Sultan Qaboos,
but they knew that only a few mares would not be enough. Tony
and his wife Sue were tasked with finding suitable brood mares
to expand the gene pool.
Comete (Bengali D'Albret x Cikada (Klarnet)) winner of 2
and FULL sister to Group 2 winner
Wahed - with her
first foal a filly by Makzan - Feb '05"
their best acquisition was the illustrious mainly Russian blooded
mare Cikada (Klarnet x Cider With Rosie),
which they bought from Joan Ratcliffe.
Cikada had already produced an International winner with her son Carrack
(Galeon). The combination of French and Russian bloodlines
has worked especially well
for Clarendon Stud. Cikada (Klarnet X Cider With Rosie) has produced a
succession of decent performers including the decent Newmarket
winner CS Comete (by
Bengali D’Albret), the Group 2 winner CS Al Wahed (by Bengali D’Albret)
and Deira Stakes winner CS Clarion (Chndaka). Cikada was Champion Arabian
Race broodmare in 2002, 2003 and 2004. (*Cikada sadly died
Straight Russian mare Pokrovka’s first runner CS Patriarch
(by Makzan) won four of his starts and was placed in the other
three during 2004 and was crowned top Pure bred.
Ciarosa with her March 2005 colt foal by Concord (Dormane)
Spanish bloodlines have always been synonymous
with performance and Clarendon Studs Straight Spanish mare
Ciarosa has produced
some astounding stock to date including Newmarket winner CS Corsair
(by Div (Peleng), Group placed CS Kadoza (by Shahil Rakkad) and
the phenomenal Group 1 winning mare CS Camellia (by Bengali D’Albret) – all
three have been sold to UAE.
There is also the Briery Close English
bred mare Samara Bint Samurai (Golden Samurai X Shahroza) who
has produced three gutsy,
determined mares. The decent handicapper Jumah (by Div) who has
won three races in the 0-85 Handicap bracket, Newmarket winner
CS Sambisoora (by Shahil Rakkad) as well as CS Shamal (by Bengali
D’Albret), who scored twice out of three outings in 2003.
Her other daughter Sabarrah (by Edykt) was unbeaten in eight
starts in Oman.
They stand Div (Peleng x Poprigunia) at
their Stud and he has proved to be a consistent sire of decent
handicap winners. “Tony
approached us when Div became available and we jumped at the
opportunity to buy him,” says Dan. “His first crop
for us produced Jumah (out of Samara Bint Samurai), a multi race
They reacted to the move on the racing scene to the use of French
blood for speed and power. They started to cover their mares
with French stallions, among others.
“We have worked closely with Shadwell Estate and Umm Qarn
over the last six or seven years to ensure we have used the best
stallions available,” continues Dan.
It is not just the breeding that achieves the results, it is
also down to a good trainer and training team.
“It has been a long journey and we’ve gone through
our good times and bad times on the way. It’s not just
down to me though – I have a good team of people, headed
by Sue, that ensure the horses are ready to run on time.” explains
There is obviously a great deal of preparation
that goes into the race schedule for each horse. The results
are testament to
this – from 80 individual runners in 2003, Clarendon achieved
a 25 per cent win ratio.
Charma (Amer x Ciarosa (Ciato)) 2 yr old colt - half brother
to Group 1 Hatta Stakes winner CS Camellia
A star of the
The white faced chestnut looking on is 2004 Champion
Patriarch (Makzan x Pokrovka (Desant)) - Feb '05"
But what for the future? Michael is very clear in his thinking.
“For Arabian racing to continue
flourishing, it needs the support of its racing members. By
this, I mean dedicated
breeding programmes as well as sponsorship of racing.”
“Like many of the Arabian racing fraternity, I’m
not in this for the money — our winnings each season are
ploughed back into the sport, without question. I am trying to
further promote the Arabian breed and the appeal of Arabian racing
to a broader range of equestrian people — the more the
merrier !” explains Michael.
Indeed the future looks bright for Clarendon
Stud, in 2005 they will have a selection of their homebred’s on the track
in 2005 including: the five year olds CS Kabira (Djebbel X Ciarosa),
CS Wraith (Djebbel X Waywood Ghost) who were both placed last
season, the four year olds CS Khan (Khairoaun X Cikada ), CS
Khamsin (Khairouan X Samara Bint Samurai) and last seasons top
pure bred CS Patriarch (Makzan X Pokrovka) and his full sister
who’s four, and two impressive looking 3 year old colts,
namely CS Jumali (Bengali D’Albret X Jumah) and CS Malik
(Makzan X Ciarosa).