Between Races: Hancock Explains Nasrullah Thinking; Says Colts Get Own Way--If They Can; Offers for Services Set New Record, Daily Racing Form, 1955-05-04


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Between Races By Oscar Otis Hancock Explains Nasrullah Thinking Says Colts Get Own Way — If They Can Offers for Services Set New Record CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 3.— Nashuas mental complexes and the widespread publicity they have "received has done racing a service, we feel sure, in acquainting millions with the knowledge that horses are as individualistic as people and must be treated as such. But "Bull" Hancock, master of Claiborne, has the idea that Nashuas idiosyncrasies have been puffed up to the point where Nasrullahs are now regarded, as even truly eccentric, a point that horsemen are quite willing to take as long as the breed runs as it does. "Not so," Hancock tells us. "Actually, the~Nasrullahs are extremely intelligent and are not as hard to handle as you might imagine. Perhaps more than most horses, they know the calibre of rider in the stirrups, and they are just smart enough to get away with anything they think they are big enough to. "Nasrullahs first crop in the United States, of which Nashua is one, was a rather small one, because some of his prospective foals were lost through virus. Sure, go ahead and print that, I dont mind because it is true and its something that none of us could help or. avoid. But I look for his current crop of two-year-olds to loom perhaps even larger in the American racing picture because there will be more of them in competition. Most of those who have started to date have raced rather well. It is common knowledge that the current bid for services to Nasrullah are 5,000, which is too much money. Most of our syndicate owners have received one or more offers for a season to Nasrullah at that figure. But nobody seems willing to sell. Nasrullah could be the most influential imported sire in American breeding since Sir Gallahad III. and Blenheim II., and might even eventually be compared to Leamington, and that is going, back a long way. Shareholders Clear Original Investment Every shareholder in the Nasrullah syndicate figures himself outj on his original investment, already, which is something of a record for a costly stallion. John Hertz, who owns five shares,- and who bred the Derby contender, Jeans Joe, a horse with more than the proverbial fighting chance if mud comes, says that after spending a few months in America, the horse quieted down, and was not the "spitfire" he was reckoned in Europe. Most European stallions are more spirited, if that is the proper term, than American studs because of difference in handling. But that Nasrullah was ever a man-killer, or unmanageable, in England and Ireland is not correct, and just how that story got around is one of those mysteries. Actually, we ran down the history of Nasrullah very carefully while we in Europe last fall and came up with the indisputable evidence that many of the stories rampant about Nasrullah and his iron will stemmed from, to put it politely, a timid groom. "Bull" Hancock by the way, dickered for Nasrullah for more than a year before the deal was ever closed. He came across Nasrullah quitet by chance. He had his agent in Europe on the lookout for a sire prospect not more than 10 years old, who was among the leading sires on the English-Irish list of two-year-old winners, and who had sired at least one classic winner. Nasrullah fit the specifications. He was set to make an offer for the horse when a friend called from New York, gave him a tip the pound was about to be devalued, with a suggestion that it might be discretionary to wait. The pound was devalued, and the deal fell through. Later, word was received that Joe McGrath of Dublin might sell and the deal was made on the phone, later was confirmed when Hancock and McGrath met face to face in New. York. Hertz Assumes Substantial Backing When Hancock was about to actually close the deal, he realized that his syndicate had not been formed, and that he might need a chunk of cash. Real cash, that is. So he phoned his neighbor, John Hertz. "Ill back you the whole way and take any part of him," Hertz told him, and with this assurance, Hancock went right ahead. Hertz told us about this, and he remarked, "Bull is a good, able horseman, and Id back him to the utmost in any stallion deal which he thought was worth while. Of course, when the horse was purchased, the syndicate shares were quickly snapped up, and I was quite content to take but five shares." Until Nasrullah came along, offers of 0,000 were the highest bona fide ones we could find for a season to a stallion, and there were just a few, a very few, of those. But the 5,000 bid on Nasrullah has come from so many different sources that they cannot be discounted. We understand that but one shareholder was willing to sell one season, that going to the West Coast. Most people have long held the view that anything over ,000 was too much to pay for a season, considering the hazards of raising a foal to the races, or salesring, but seasons to stallions are like any other commodity, they are in limited supply for any given, "horse, and the demand pretty much sets the price.

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