Racing: Stallion escapes stud life

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THE NUMBER of stallions who emerge from stud to continue racing is similar to the number of prisoners who made it out of Alcatraz. A current exception, though, is Environment Friend (above), the 1991 Eclipse winner, who will contest the same race on Saturday having spent the winter covering mares, writes Greg Wood.

Bill Gredley, his owner, decided on the dual career after Environment Friend, who was below his best for much of last year, signalled a return to form in last October's Champion Stakes. 'You've got to pick the right sort of horse,' Gredley said yesterday, 'because sometimes when stallions go to stud they become concentrated on just one thing, every time a mare or a filly walks past they're just roaring and shouting at them. But he's taken it so very easily.

'Up until the last two or three years, when a horse won a Group One everybody would run him off to stud. They used to fatten them up like turkeys and that's how everybody thought that a stallion should look. But if you relate the same to the human body, an athlete in good form would be much more virile than someone who's slobbing around, fat and overweight.'

The racing Environment Friend may be even better second time around. 'His sire, Cozzene, won the Breeders' Cup at five. He was improving all the time and I think that's what's happening with this horse. ' Photograph: Robert Hallam

(Photograph omitted)