Rerouted (USA) aka ‘Big Red’ the teaser

Martin StevensRacing

Many racing fans will remember Rerouted. Bred by Juddmonte and originally owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah’s operation, he won the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at two and ran second in the European Free Handicap at three.

As those results show, he had bags of talent on the track — but it is actually for one of his defeats that he will go down in history.

He lined up in the 2011 renewal of the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket expected to make the running for his fellow Juddmonte colour bearer, the unbeaten champion two-year-old and hot favourite Frankel.

However, Frankel and Rerouted were drawn at opposite ends of the field in stalls one and 13, and so Frankel was sent straight into the lead and strode clear, winning unchallenged by six lengths in one of the most jaw-dropping Classic performances of all time. Reroutedfinished eighth, not totally discredited as he had Group 1 winners Casamento and Roderic O’Connor behind him.

Rerouted later raced for South African trainer Mike de Kock, for whom he won valuable handicaps at Meydan and took third in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury, and is now one of most popular horses here at Chasemore Farm in his role as resident teaser.

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Chasemore’s in-house vet Pat Sells explains how Rerouted came to live at the stud.

“Our last teaser was an old cob stallion named Tom, who sadly passed away in 2016,” he explains. “Tim Lane, the National Stud director, got in touch to say he had a retired entire with a wonderful temperament who needed a good home, so I drove to Newmarket straight away to see him at one of the National Stud’s spelling yards.

“It was hard not to fall instantly in love with the big friendly chestnut, and he came to Chasemore just as soon as his bloods and swabs could be cleared. We have been in Tim’s debt for letting us have such a jewel of a horse ever since.”


And what exactly do Rerouted’s duties as teaser entail?

“At about this time of year ‘Big Red’ starts to come into the dry mare barn at night and spend time in their airspace,” Pat continues. “The sound and smell of him is essential in stimulating the barren and maidens out of their winter anoestrus [the period of sexual inactivity].

“He will stay up with them and help their follicles along, and make daily trips down to the main yard when the wet mares with foals at foot begin their post-partum cycles.

“Rerouted is also one of two horses on the farm (along with Lassie, who you can read about here) that provide plasma for the newborn foals. One of the original screening bloods taken was to make sure he was a universal blood group, which means that we can process his blood (ten litres taken every few months) into bags of hyperimmune plasma, fully charged with antibodies that are tailored to the local environmental pathogens.”

It is not just because of his usefulness that Rerouted is one of the best-loved animals at Chasemore Farm. He is also a wonderfully friendly character, with a surprisingly docile temperament considering he is an entire.

“Big Red is one of the all-time favourites at Chasemore, not least because of his incredibly soft nature,” says Pat. “For a red-blooded thoroughbred stallion to be so easily handled by any member of staff, particularly when surrounded by beautiful mares, is a rare and special thing.

“But perhaps the most important thing is that the mares themselves love him. Before taking on Red I was of the opinion that Welsh Mountain ponies made the best teasers, given their hardiness and persistence. The reality is, however, that not all thoroughbred mares will warm to a pony; yet every mare that has ever met Red has fallen in love!

“That makes him the very best at what he does, and we wouldn’t swap him for the world. I often say to students: a good teaser is easily as valuable as an ultrasound scanner in the mating game.”

Rerouted, or Big Red, is so popular that there must surely be a temptation to let him cover the odd mare and produce a few offspring of his own?

He is after all a Group 3 winner from the family of Classic winners Brian Boru, Flute and Workforce, and there is the well-known story of Haras du Logis’ own teaser Tiberius Caesar, who covered one mare each year and managed to sire the Group 2 winner Tiberian.

“Andrew Black often jokes that we should use him, not least for his exceptional outcross pedigree and race performance,” laughs Pat.

“But sadly the commercial implications of pushing an older stallion with tiny numbers of offspring represents too big a mountain even for Red to climb!”