Sheikh Fahad puts Longholes Stud up for sale as he spends more time in US

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani has put Longholes Stud in Newmarket up for sale as the leading owner is spending more time in California with his American wife Sheikha Melissa.

The sheikh bought the 217-acre property in 2013 and has poured a considerable amount of money into turning it into a state of the art centre for spelling, rehabilitation and pre-training for both racehorses and sports horses.

Knight Frank and Windsor Clive International are handling the sale of Longholes Stud, which includes a farmhouse for the manager, an owner's cottage and four other staff houses.

It also comprises 88 stables arranged in four main blocks plus horse walkers, lunge rings, a two and a half-furlong canter and six-furlong wood-chip gallop as well as modern therapy equipment.

The stud features extensive railed paddocks and around 100 acres of open pasture, which the property agents say could become a self-contained farm if planning permission were obtained.

The price for Longholes Stud, which the vendors said had potential to be developed into a commercial stud or training yard, is quoted as offers over £6 million.

“Sheikh Fahad purchased Longholes in 2013 with a view to turning the attractive and historic stud farm into a state of the art pre-training and rehabilitation establishment servicing the requirements of his own Qatar Racing and also the wider training centre of Newmarket,” explained David Redvers, racing and bloodstock adviser to the sheikh.

“Seven years later and Longholes boasts an incredible array of modern facilities, an outstanding team of committed and highly trained professional staff and a client list that boasts many of the most recognised names in horse racing, eventing and show jumping.

“Sheikh Fahad is proud of what has been achieved at Longholes but a change in his own personal circumstances means that the farm’s exciting future now needs to be in another’s hands.”

Redvers explained that although Sheikh Fahad had spent more time in California since marrying the former Melissa Margolis in 2018, he was still in the UK for more than half of the year.

Qatar Racing, spearheaded by the sheikh, has a leading chance for the Derby in the shape of emphatic Vertem Futurity winner Kameko, and the operation was busy at last autumn's yearling sales in Europe, with a 1,000,000gns Dubawi colt out of The Fugue and an 800,000gns Galileo half-sister to Latrobe among its purchases.

Sheikh Fahad was also active in the upper echelons of the US yearling market, where purchases made by Ben McElroy on behalf of Qatar Racing included a $1.2 million son of Medaglia D'Oro and a $1.05m Pioneerof The Nile colt.

California-based trainer Simon Callaghan, who was present with McElroy when the horses were bought, told the Racing Post at the time: “Sheikh Fahad is upping his interest in racing in America.

"He’s spending more time in California, so he wants to go after some of these high-end colts and go down the road of the Kentucky Derby, we hope.”

George Windsor Clive of Windsor Clive International acknowledged the unusual nature of selling a blue-chip equine property in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and consequent UK lockdown to prevent its spread.

“We're still bringing Longholes to the market in these strange times so that buyers can react quickly once restrictions are lifted,” he said.