Professional Experience – 42 years in the Industry – A lifetime passion.
1978 – 1984
Jeffrey Gordon already had a family background in racing when he commenced work in 1978 as a Thoroughbred Pedigree Clerk with Coles Bloodstock Agency (a division of Dalgety Bloodstock Australia Pty Ltd) in Adelaide. It proved to be a telling first step that provided the basis for his continuing success in the industry. The job involved hours of researching of both local and international pedigrees for the production of sales catalogues.
The painstaking work was done manually and the result is an ingrained and instinctive knowledge and understanding of pedigrees that is retained in a personal data base that has been developed and improved ever since.
“The importance of the job as a Pedigree Clerk can’t be underestimated,” Gordon says. “To do all the work manually meant you absorbed something about every horse you researched. It has stayed with me ever since.”
In July, 1979, Jeffrey was relocated to Dalgety’s Melbourne office where his knowledge of pedigrees was expanded and his experience in the industry broadened through work as an auctioneer, bid spotter and inspector of thoroughbred yearlings entered in auction sales. During this time he travelled Singapore to where his uncle John Murray, a successful international jockey who rode 10 Group 1 winners locally and was leading jockey for world-class trainer Ivan Allan. This experience built on the solid foundations already laid and provided Gordon with a unique insight into the creation of modern racing industries, not only in Singapore, but the rest of South-East Asia.
It is an insight that has remained with Jeffrey for his entire career. It has also earned him unparalleled respect in the industry throughout Asia and helped to develop what is now a successful international network that consistently locates the right horse for the right market, the right owner and the right price.
During the early 1980s, Jeffrey sold his first horse to Singapore for long-time client Lim Hock Bee. The horse was named Windu Karya and won the 1985 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Cup, a success that opened the door to the Singapore/Malaysia market.
1984 – 1989
In early 1984 Jeffrey moved into the more specialised field of the bloodstock agency, joining the firm of AG Cavanagh & Co Pty Ltd, headed by the highly-respected Tony Cavanagh. Jeffrey became the sole bloodstock consultant within the company. The partnership became one of the most successful bloodstock agencies in the southern hemisphere, handling the purchase and sale of some of the best horses to race in Australia. During Jeffrey’s association with Tony Cavanagh, he negotiated the sale of outstanding galloper and champion stallion Centaine, Blue Diamond Stakes winner Let’s Get Physical, who was bred by Tony himself, the champion Group 1 mares Emancipation and Magic Flute, and many other stakes-winning fillies and mares.
Jeffrey’s association with Asian racing continued to grow, along with his belief that this was the sleeping giant of the international racing industry. It is a view that has been proved stunningly correct.
1989 – 1996
After more than a decade developing his instinctive talents, Jeffrey put his skills to the test by establishing J.J. Gordon Bloodstock Consultants Pty Ltd in 1989. With the support of his wife Debbie he used his great researching skills, knowledge of worldwide racing and practical knowledge of the horse itself to further establish himself in the Asian region. The success of Jeffrey’s business was based on integrity, the ability to develop international networks and a healthy rapport with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Jeffrey was ahead of his time in developing the unraced/trial horse market in Hong Kong. Horses like Concert King, who went on to become Hong Kong;s champion sprinter, Debonair, who won his first four starts in succession, and many others were purchased unraced and proved themselves competitively. Those successes continued to strengthen Jeffrey’s professional position in Hong Kong.
1996 – 2000
In 1996 Jeffrey backed his judgement in one of the most significant ways possible, relocating himself and his family to Singapore. Jeffrey became become operations/stable manager for MC Kent Racing Stables which was established with the assistance of his network of contacts. Within two years the Michael Kent stable became a major force on the Singapore/Malaysian circuit.
The previously developed system of sending unraced horses to Hong Kong was applied to the Singapore market with immediate success, including champion 3YO Southerly Wind (Triple Crown winner), The Jolly Roger (Group 1 Lion City Cup winner), Set the Fashion (Magic Millions Classic winner), Graceland II (nine-time winner) among many other topline gallopers.
“Even though I had visited Singapore and Malaysia for many years, the three years in Singapore further strengthened my working relationships with the community and advanced my knowledge in training horses in the tropical Asian climate,” Jeffrey says.
2000 – 2007
After developing J.J. Gordon Bloodstock, Jeffrey turned his attention to another aspect of the racing industry – the development of a jockey. While still servicing selected clients, Jeffrey took the decision to focus on mentoring his stepson Nicholas Ryan, guiding him on a path that took him to a Melbourne jockeys’ championship while still an apprentice.
“This stage of my life was my ultimate achievement in racing …. to watch Nicholas’s rise and success,” Jeffrey says.
Nicholas’ success as a jockey was phenomenal. He broke records that had stood for 4o years and at the tender age of 17 he was the youngest jockey ever to be granted a license to ride in Hong Kong.
At that same time Jeffrey had Zac Purton living with him as well and he couldn’t be happier seeing him now as one of the greatest jockeys in the world.
During this period, Jeffrey also pursued a passion for real estate development, and again found himself on a winner. This success in a business with no connection to racing adds to the breadth of Jeffrey’s skills and can only add to his knowledge, understanding and operation of his core business.
During this time he also raced a few horses in his own right. Belus, purchased for only $7,000, went on win the 2003 Group 3 Grafton Cup and the 2003 Group Tattersall’s Cup in Brisbane. Apres Ski, who won three of his final four starts, defeating subsequent Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes winner Lad of the Manor.
Dizzy De Lago is another outstanding success for J.J. Gordon Bloodstock. The filly was sold to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and believed to be the first ever Encosta De Lago mare to go to stud. Her first foal, Musir (by Redoute’s Choice), won a Group 1 in South Africa at two and was then unbeaten as a 3YO, winning the Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas, both at Meydan. Dizzy De Lago’s second foal, Merhee (by Elusive Quality), was a dual Group 2 winner in South Africa and placed third in the Group 1 Golden Horseshoe Sprint and her third foal Moofeed (by Duke Of Marmalade) was a Group 3 winner. Making every one of her progeny to hit a race track a Group winner.
Dizzy De Lago held a soft spot in Jeffrey’s heart but there was an array of mares who’s progeny would go on to be successful at the highest level. “There’s been a lot over the years” says Jeffrey. “I’ll often find myself looking through catalogues and remark ‘I owned this third dam’ or ‘I bred a group winner out of this horse’. It’s been so long you can’t remember them all unfortunately”.
2007 – 2010
Over the next few years J.J. Gordon Bloodstock continued to market horses to Hong Kong, selling Group 2 winner Multiglory and several other talented performers. Jeffrey continued to race the occasional horse under the family banner Singapore, including Kranji track record holder Corragio who had won two races in succession and was one of the favourites for the Singapore Gold Cup but was injured in the lead up to the race.
2010 – Current
In an industry that is constantly evolving, Jeffrey’s attempts to be ‘ahead of the game’ continued. At the start of the 2010 European racing season he took time out to research and develop a system for purchasing European horses for both Australia and Hong Kong.
He completed a feasibility study on racing worldwide and looked at the ‘numbers’ vs profitability vs training fees in distance ranges, especially in Australia and Singapore. The study was explained to Wayne Mitchell, principal of McEvoy Mitchell based in Australia, and he recognised the potential.
Trained in the industry since a very young age Jeffrey is very passionate about backing his judgement in buying maiden winners/lightly raced horses before they reach their potential.
This resulted in the purchase of stakes winner Sysmo who was the first horse purchased under the new system. Sysmo, who had won a maiden in France, won on his Australian debut at Morphettville and was an early favourite for the South Australian Derby before sustaining an accidental injury. He went on to win the Listed Seymour Cup and was subsequently placed at Group 3 level.
J.J. Gordon Bloodstock also purchased Big Memory who won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes and was less than three lengths from Admire Rakti in the 2014 Caulfield Cup, Le Roi, winner of the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the dual Group 3 winner Mouro.
All had the credentials that matched the exclusive selection process Jeffrey had developed through months of research and study of European racing.
With Chris Waller also following this purchasing model other trainers quickly caught on and now practically every staying race in Sydney and Melbourne is littered with European imports and horses from Europe became very expensive.
“McEvoy and Mitchell had complete trust in my judgement, and this resulted in also purchasing local Australian tried horses for the stable, which has proved to be greatly successful,” Jeffrey says.
Among the locals purchased were Prince of Capers who cost $45,000 and won more than $300,000 and Lucky Lucky Lucky, a $120,000 purchase who won and was placed at Listed level at his first two starts for his new stable.
During this time Jeffrey was introduced to Hong Kong based owner Pan Sutong who purchased his first three horses through JJ Gordon Bloodstock. Akeed Mofeed who won two Group 1 races in Hong Kong for trainer Richard Gibson. For the same stable Jeffrey found Gold-Fun whose potential he recognized before he won his maiden in Ireland. Gold Fun went on to become a three-time Group 1 winner over both sprint and middle distances in Hong Kong. Gold Fun also finished third to Akeed Mofeed in the 2013 Hong Kong Derby.
Another of Jeffrey’s other notable discoveries to shine in Hong Kong is Giant Treasure. Giant Treasure arrived in the Chinese territory as a Class 3, or 73 rating and when at his peak in winning the Group 1 Stewards Cup was rated 125.
All three, at one stage or another, rated among the top 12 horses in the world on the IFHA rankings, providing stunning justification for Jeffrey’s exclusive selection process.
With the success of the above horses Mr Pan entrusted Jeffrey to purchase a stud farm for his son of Dubawi in Akeed Mofeed. The historic Lindsay Park Stud, based in the Barossa Valley, was chosen. Now called Goldin Farms it hadn’t been in use for around four years and Goldin gave it the face lift it deserved. The stud has already produced several stakes horses from a boutique number of mares.
In 2015/16 Jeffrey ventured to the UK/IRE sales and purchased Blond Me for longtime client Rex Gorell. The filly raced all over the World winning a Group 1 in Canada, Group 2’s in England and Turkey as well as placing in a Group 2 in America. Jeffrey also purchased several other stakes performers at this time including Gold Vibe and Golden Stunner.
Getting back to what had worked for Jeffrey previously, he purchased a filly for Mr Pan called Spinning Memories after she had won a Naas maiden in Ireland and relocated her to Chantilly to be trained by Pascal Bary. She has raced 12 times in Mr Pans colours for two Group 3 wins, three Listed wins and a 4th in a Group 1.
Jeffrey continued to sell to an elite group of owners focusing on quality over quantity including the likes of top sprinter Wishful Thinker and Group class stayer Gold Mount, who have both earned over $2,000,000, as well as one of the best young horses in Hong Kong in Wellington.
Much to Jeffrey’s delight Nicholas decided to start his career as a horse trainer during this period and for the last 3 years Jeff has been very active in assisting Nick to build his stable.
Based at Caulfield, a major racing center in Melbourne, Nicholas keeps a boutique stable in operation. Jeffrey is very much hands on and has been involved in the purchasing of some stable stars including Mahamedeis, purchased for $24,000 (was offered $1,500,000 to sell) and has earned $900,000 in prizemoney, the lightly raced and highly promising Express Pass, purchased for $34,000 (was offered $1,700,000) and is already Group 2 placed and boom horse Columbus Circle who tragically lost his life during only his 6th career start after defeating subsequent Group winner Halvorsan at his previous start.
As a testament to the hard work Nicholas is putting in he was the recipient of the 2019/20 Colin Alderson Rising Star Award which is given to a Victorian-based trainers 40 years and under with no more than seven racing seasons’ training experience. Jeffrey is not surprised to see this as Nick is combining the Scientific approach, using E-Trakka, with the hands on approach and using his superb judgement as a rider.