Star stayer Subjectivist off to stud

Subjectivist and Joe Fanning win the 2021 Ascot Gold Cup

By John Scanlon

On November 8, it was announced that Dr Jim Walker’s dual Group 1 winner, Subjectivist, by Teofilo out of the Danehill Dancer mare, Reckoning, has been retired to stud and will stand at Alne Park Stud in 2024.

Bred by Mascalls Stud, Subjectivist was purchased at Book 2 of Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2018for 62,000gns. He ran seven times as a juvenile in 2019, winning a Chelmsford novice event over seven furlongs by seven lengths, as well as finishing second three times, notably in Salisbury’s Listed Stonehenge Stakes.

At three, Subjectivist began his campaign with a decent third to Hukum, to whom he gave 4lb, in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot. He progressed to land the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton and the Group 3 March Stakes at Goodwood by 15 lengths. After disappointing slightly in the St Leger, Subjectivist bounced back to land the Prix Royal-Oak, Group 1, at Longchamp in October.

In 2021, as a four-year-old, Subjectivist turned in two career-defining performances. At Meydan in March, he comprehensively defeated a stellar field in landing the Dubai Gold Cup, Group 2, by five and three-quarter lengths, before eviscerating his 11 opponents in the Ascot Gold Cup, Group 1. Despite a couple of injury scares since Dubai, he produced a commanding performance under a superb Joe Fanning ride to ‘announce himself as the new superpower in the staying division’, winning by five lengths from Princess Zoe.

In a brave effort to recover from injury, he contested the 2023 renewal of the Gold Cup, finishing a brave third of the 12 runners.

Alne Park Stud’s Grace Skelton, the wife of the National Hunt trainer, Dan Skelton, expressed delight at the news. ‘The addition of Subjectivist to our stallion roster is a huge leap forward for Alne Park Stud,’ she observed. ‘To stand a stallion of this calibre is an immense honour.’

Mark Johnston is on record as having the highest opinion of the horse. ‘I always say that, when placing horses, the opposition trumps all other factors. But, very rarely, you come across a horse where the opposition isn’t a factor at all. Subjectivist was such a horse. In 2021, I truly believed that there wasn’t a horse in the world that could beat him at two miles or more, in any ground.

Subjectivist  is, of course, a half-brother to the multiple Group winner and St Leger second, Sir Ron Priestley, and to the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes third, Alba Rose, both, of course, trained by Johnston Racing.

Mark Johnston feels that the addition of Subjectivist to the Alne Park roster represents not just a huge step forward for the stud but also for British NH breeding as a whole. ‘Amongst a top class band of NH stallions now standing in the UK, Subjectivist offers exceptional value at a fee of £4,000,’ he said.

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