07/03/2013 3:18PM

U.S. investors Moores and Noell purchase Kilfrush Stud bloodstock

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Dual Group 1 winner Immortal Verse is part of the bloodstock holdings of Ireland's Kilfrush Stud purchased by U.S. businessmen John Moores and Charles Noell this week.

Americans John Moores and Charles Noell have purchased all of the bloodstock held by Ireland’s Kilfrush Stud, including dual Group 1 winner Immortal Verse, with a view toward breeding to race and sell, according to a report Wednesday in Racing Post.

The Texans’ advisor, Peter Bance, said the private deal included about 30 horses of various ages. The pair also recently purchased Chanteclair Farm in Kentucky, the property formerly owned by the late Saud bin Khaled and Karen N. Woods. They also own the former Stonewall Farm near Midway, Ky., which they intend to use for cattle in the short term. Noell also has various farms in Maryland, and, in May, he bought the 120-acre Irish estate Ardbraccan in Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland. The estate and its Palladian house were listed for 4.9 million euros.

Bance said Moores and Noell also have selected Graham Motion as a new trainer for their Merriebelle Stable.

“They’ll race and breed at the top,” Bance said. “They’ll do both: breed to race and breed to sell. They’ll sell the occasionally filly, but get great genetics and stay as close to the top as they can get.”

Immortal Verse is perhaps most famous for beating Goldikova in the 2011 Prix Jacques le Marois. She also won that year’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, as well as the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham, and she was third in 2011’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. She’s currently in foal to Dansili.

Speaking to Racing Post, Bance indicated that Moores and Noell’s concerns over the prevalence of drugs in American racing, and its impact on breeding, influenced their decision to buy the Kilfrush stock. “They recognize that European racing is comparatively free of the medication problems we have in America,” Bance told the newspaper. “They look forward to breeding from horses who have raced without drugs.”

On Wednesday, Bance declined to detail Moores and Noell’s motivation for the Irish purchase, saying he would let their actions speak for them. But, asked whether American medication issues might be sparking a trend of American buyers looking overseas for bloodstock, Bance said: “All I know is that I talk to people from around the word who don’t want to come here and buy horses that have been medicated to stay sound and win races. Why do you want to buy into genetics that had to get that type of assistance in order to win, when you can go buy genetics elsewhere that haven’t needed it? This is me speaking, but America has to clean up their act, and, until we do, we’re going to lose business and lose the betting public’s confidence in our product.”

This most recent purchase did not include Kilfrush Farm’s 300 acres in Co. Limerick. The operation’s managing director, Brendan Hayes, told Racing Post that it is likely to be sold soon.