Breeder rewarded by decision to retain an 'unfashionable' mare

Nancy Sexton, 29 Jan 2011
Mette with Presvis Presvis Presvis as foal with Forest Fire

Nancy Sexton talks to Mette Campbell-Andenaes, who bred globetrotting star Presvis.

METTE Campbell-Andenaes is not afraid to go against the prevailing fashion in the bloodstock industry, something which has stood her in good stead since she started breeding at Andbell Stud in East Sussex in 1992.

In 2004, the Norwegian-born former model was advised that her homebred mare Forest Fire was not enough of a fashionable commodity for the market, and that the Swedish bred daughter of Never So Bold and her Sakhee foal should be sold.

Campbell-Andenaes heeded part of that advice by selling the foal at Tattersalls for 15,000gns to Will Edmeades but decided against parting with Forest Fire, with the result being she now owns the dam of one of the leading money-spinners in Europe.

The Sakhee foal was Presvis, who on Thursday took his earnings above the pounds 2.3 million mark with a last-to-first victory in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya in a manner which suggested the Luca Cumani-trained Group 1 winner was back to something like his best. His exploits over the past four years, which include a win in the QE II Cup, as well as those of Flying Childers Stakes winner Sand Vixen, whom Campbell-Andenaes bred out of Fur Will Fly, saw his breeder pick up the Langham Cup as small breeder of the year at last summer's TBA Awards.

"I said when I won the award back in the summer that it wouldn't have happened if Presvis hadn't gone to Luca Cumani," says Campbell-Andenaes. "Luca always said he thought he had something but he didn't race until he was four and his owner [Leonidas Marinopoulos] had to exercise tremendous patience.

"People kept saying that I shouldn't breed from Forest Fire, that she wasn't fashionable enough and that I should sell her and her foals. Well anyway, I did sell the foal but instead of selling Forest Fire, leased her out for a year."

Campbell-Andenaes bred the multiple winner Forest Fire out of Mango Sampaquita, a Listed-placed daughter of Colombian Friend and Norsk Oaks winner Twins Fire. Presvis is one of two winners from four runners out of the mare who has a two-year-old colt by Cockney Rebel. Campbell-Andenaes owns a share in the dual 2,000 Guineas winner and is encouraged by what she has seen of the stallion's first crop, which have just turned two.
"They've gone to good trainers and now we have to wait. They're good looking with good bone and they move well. Now they have to run."

Forest Fire also has a yearling colt by Sakhee, who is destined for the autumn sales, and is again in foal to the Shadwell stallion, with Campbell-Andenaes holding out hope for a filly.

Campbell-Andenaes keeps six mares at her 70-acre stud, but also boards another five and her coloured Thoroughbred stallion, I Was Framed, in France. On the advantages of breeding across the Channel, she says: "I've had mares in France for five years now. I recently bred a winner of an ordinary maiden at Deauville but the race was worth EUR10,000 in prize-money, and when you added on the premiums, the total for winning that one race came to just under EUR20,000.

"It makes sense to breed in France. I wish it wasn't so as we live in England and keep our British mares at home. But when you see people winning as little as pounds 1,500 over here, it's the only option that makes sense."

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