ANOTHER incredible week for Cork breeders, jockeys, owners and trainers — with several accolades and milestones achieved.
Frank Motherway’s Yellowford Farm enjoyed a very successful Tattersalls Ireland National Hunt Sale.
The east Cork breeding operation sold the three most-expensive foals on Sunday, having sold a pair of them for €100,000 each, and another for just shy of the six-figure mark.
All three colts are sons of the popular sire, Walk In The Park, who stands at Grange Stud, Fermoy.
The first is out of Quiritis and is a half-brother to the ill-fated grade one winner, Sir Erec.
The joint top-lot is out of the dam, The Crown Jewel, a daughter of Rose Of Inchiquin, which makes him a relative of the Cheltenham Festival winner, Empire Of Dirt.
The 100k mark is Yellowford’s biggest-ever return for a National Hunt foal and it is also the second-highest figure paid for a foal in five years.
It was an extraordinary day overall for the Killeagh outfit, which produced another Walk In The Park colt, out of Mardale, from the family of the Galway Hurdle winner, Farmer Brown.
He fetched €95,000 at the sale. Motherway bred two of the three foals mentioned, while he consigned the other — the colt out of Quiritis — for a friend.
The Yellowford boss has produced no shortage of quality horses over the years, most notably in the shape of the multiple top-level winner, Bellshill. His local stud farm also houses Scandisk, the dam of the legendary hurdler, Hurricane Fly.
Scandisk happens to be the second dam of the recent Goffs December NH Sale-topping foal, who is out of Blixt and fetched €82,000.
On the racing front, Kanturk trainer, Michael Winters and Doneraile jockey, Darragh O’Keeffe achieved their first-ever Cheltenham wins, when combining to land the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, last Saturday.
Chatham Street Lad demolished the field to land the spoils at odds of 16/1.
The Beneficial gelding was a 15-length winner on the day. To mark the landmark success, the winning-trainer had a roll around in the mud in the famous Prestbury Park parade ring!
Winters is enjoying a fruitful season and he looks to have some very exciting horses at his north Cork yard.
Along with Chatham Street Lad, who has won three from four this term, Winters has the exciting mare, Sayce Gold, who was the winner of the recent Kerry Group Stayers’ Novice Hurdle, at Cork.
The daughter of Gold Well sports the famous colours of Trevor Hemmings and has won on all three starts this season.
At the 2020 Horse Racing Ireland Awards, Lombardstown’s Eugene and Maxine O’Sullivan received the HRI National Hunt Achievement Award, earlier this week, for their memorable Cheltenham Festival success.
The father and daughter team combined to win the Foxhunters’ Chase in superb style, with their 66/1 chance, It Came To Pass, last March.
In doing so, the O’Sullivan’s emulated the same yard’s 1991 success with Lovely Citizen — though William was the rider in the plate for his trainer-brother that day 29 years ago.
This time around, it was the trainer’s daughter, the leading amateur rider, Maxine, who did the steering — achieving her dream of a win at The Festival. It Came To Pass was bred by east Cork’s Edmond Coleman.
Al Boum Photo was crowned HRI Horse of the Year.
The son of Buck’s Boum sports the yellow and black colours of Cork owners, Joe and Marie Donnelly. Trained by Willie Mullins, and ridden by Lisgoold’s Paul Townend, he made it back-to-back wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, earlier this year.
In doing so, he became the first horse to win consecutive renewals of the blue riband since Best Mate.
Al Boum Photo has won the last two editions of the Savills New Year’s Day Chase, at Tramore, en route to both Festival triumphs.
He will likely reappear at Tramore again, next month, for what is becoming his traditional return.
Meanwhile, Mallow amateur rider, Chris O’Donovan, landed point-to-point career winner number 50, at Boulta, last weekend.
The former champion novice rider had a double on the day. He reached the landmark half-century aboard Barrowdale, who is trained by one of his main supporters, Michael Winters.