Joey Cullen & daughter Ella Cullen at Goffs.

Gear up for the Goffs Lacken Stakes

(Pictured above: Joey Cullen, Marketing Director at Goffs with daughter Ella Cullen)

Q&A with Joey Cullen, Marketing Director at Goffs 

Goffs will sponsor the Goffs Lacken Stakes for the 6th consecutive year this Sunday 21st May at Naas Racecourse. The Goffs sponsorship fits in well on our Royal Ascot Trials Day ahead of the Goffs London Sale. This boutique sale takes place on the eve of Royal Ascot at Kensington Palace Gardens, where the international racing community gather to kick off the most prestigious week of racing at Royal Ascot. The sale offers a high class catalogue of horses with Royal Ascot entries, international racing prospects, weanlings, breeding stock and breeding rights in a beautiful setting. 

We catch up Goffs Marketing Director, Joey Cullen ahead of our raceday.  Joey's role in Goffs is quite diverse as Marketing Director, with the key objective – getting horses sold for clients and ensuring that purchasers have the best experience possible when purchasing at Goffs.

1. What does your role entail at Goffs and how long have you held the position?

I joined Goffs from Irish Thoroughbred Marketing in 2007 and have been Marketing Director since 2011. My role is focused around attracting clients to all Goffs sales and ensuring they have a positive experience during their time at Irelands leading bloodstock sales company.

2. The Goffs London Sale is the eve before Royal Ascot kicks off, can you describe the sale for those who haven't attended?

Goffs London Sale is the ideal way to start Royal Ascot week and is held at Kensington Palace Gardens in central London. This boutique sale attracts the most progressive young horses in the marketplace for sale and a truly international buying bench as a result. Last year, Epsom Derby runner Hoo Ya Mal was sold to Australian connections for a sale topping £1.2m, while subsequent Group 2 Beresford Stakes winning 2YO Crypto Force realised £900,000.

3. Is it true you can buy a horse at the sale and then have a runner at Royal Ascot?

Yes, the London Sale is the perfect place to buy a Royal Ascot prospect and experience the unique thrill of owning a runner at the Royal Meeting. Many of the horses offered for sale in London will hold Royal Ascot entries and these details will be available in the online catalogue closer to the sale.

4. What race would you most like to win at Royal Ascot?

Winning any race at Royal Ascot would be one of the highlights of any owners’ racing career. It would be nice to win a race with the tradition of the Coventry or the St James’ Palace Stakes but the Commonwealth Cup is rapidly growing into a very prestigious race.

5. Goffs sponsor our Owners & Trainers lounge on the 1st floor of The Circle here at Naas, how important is that sponsorship?

Owners are the lifeblood of racing in Ireland and globally, and taking care of them should be a racecourse’s first priority. We like to think our support helps ensure that Naas Owners & Trainers is one of the best in the country.

6. Do you have a favourite Goffs graduate?

Thankfully Goffs has a lot of elite horses graduating on an annual basis under both codes and it is easy to get attached to some of them because of the people involved in the horses - you'd be surprised how a horse winning a small race can be a big thing when you know how much it means to connections. Orby graduate Jannah Rose is a very exciting filly, owned by fellow Naas sponsor Al Shira'aa Racing, and landed a Group 1 in France last weekend.

7. Do you have a Goffs graduate to keep an eye out for this flat season?

Jannah Rose is one of the leading fillies in France this year as I mentioned, and last year’s Goffs Million winner Galeron looks a horse to follow too after his promising run in the 2000 Guineas. It will also be very exciting to see the contenders for this year’s Million, Europe’s Richest 2YO Race, emerge throughout the season.

8. The Lacken Stakes has produced some top-quality horses in recent years, do you have a favourite winner?

Sioux Nation stood out as a physical specimen in the paddock and he has gone on to prove a very promising young sire in Coolmore. There have been some excellent winners such as future Group 1 winners Caravaggio and A Case Of You, it's always a high-class race. I recall being impressed by Only Mine when she won the Lacken, her daughter Reflexivity subsequently sold well at Orby and impressed when winning for Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables in the US last weekend having been purchased by the Goffs US Agent, Jacob West.

9. Who do you think will win the Goffs Lacken Stakes at the Royal Ascot Trials at Naas on Sunday?

Ocean Quest looked an improved performer in the Committed Stakes recently and can confirm the impression she made there in what looks a competitive renewal.

10. What is your favourite part of your job?

I'm very lucky to be a racing fan, both Flat and National Hunt, and watching young horses develop and reach their potential for Goffs clients is always special. There are so many enjoyable aspects to my job but there is particular satisfaction for the team at Goffs when we see vendors rewarded for putting their faith in us to get their young horses sold well to clients who ensure they get the best opportunities to maximise their potential on the racetrack.

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