Long time friend and client of the Bandoroff family, Barry Irwin of Team Valor shared the exciting news with his clients in the Team Valor International newsletter:
In August, Craig and Holly's son tabbed for elite two-year program; Recent Sewanee grad expects to follow in the family business -
Conrad Bandoroff walked across the stage as a college graduate last weekend and will step right into a select 2-year-old program that has been a long-held goal as he prepares to join the family business at Denali Stud. The son of Denali owners and Team Valor partners Craig and Holly Bandoroff, Conrad was announced this week as one of just a dozen invitees for the next class to enter the Darley Flying Start Program.
Launched and underwritten by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the leadership and training program is distinct within the Thoroughbred industry, with terms in Ireland, England, Kentucky, Australia and Dubai.
Bandoroff said gaining a spot in the program has been a goal of his since high school. He received his diploma last weekend from Sewanee: The University of the South with a degree in economics and a minor in business.
“It is a dream come true to have been accepted,” he said. “Upon completing the Flying Start, I have aspirations of building a career in commercial breeding by assisting my father in operating Denali, my ultimate goal being to take over the farm somewhere down the road.”
Daily Racing Form described the Flying Start 2-year itinerary as follows:
“[It] offers a full immersion into the Thoroughbred world. Starting at Darley’s Kildangan Stud — where Flying Start is headquartered — trainees spend their first autumn in Ireland and attend the Goffs yearling sale, and then go to Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket during the Tattersalls yearling auctions. They relocate for the following spring to Kentucky and experience an entire breeding season before attending the Triple Crown races. The second year begins in August and finds the trainees at Darley’s Kelvinside Stud in Australia, culminating with the Melbourne Cup in November. The final spring semester comes at Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai home base and provides trainees the opportunity to experience the World Cup and supporting races before they travel back to Ireland to finish the course.”
Alumni include Team Valor trainer Michael Dilger, TDN Vice President Gary King, Racing UK presenter Gina Bryce and Drakenstein Stud manager Kevin Sommerville.
Accepting congratulations from Barry Irwin, Craig Bandoroff said “Very proud of him. It's a tough ticket to get as you know. He will get a lot out of it and it should set him up well for coming to Denali. He's as good as you could hope to raise. Very blessed.”