15th May 2012
The bloodstock breeding aspect of the thoroughbred business involves less punching of the air than other areas and it can seem like a never-ending series of calamities and setbacks at times. Happily we have our “Barzalona” moments too, and while a Group 3 at Leopardstown may be humble to some, it was fantastic to watch Yellow Rosebud make her 3yo debut a winning one. In so doing, she is a legitimate contender for the Irish 1000 Guineas, and we will have an exciting two weeks. As a first crop daughter of our own Jeremy and out of our mare Nebraas, she is very much a taxpayers filly and deserving of a wide fan club – the biggest racing club in the world, the Irish nation! Her back pedigree contains the names Ahonoora and Lord Gayle, so she has Tully written large on her origins.
My day at the races involved a couple of presentations too. As a stallion manager I presented a prize on behalf of the EBF to the winner of the 2yo maiden. In a way it was a shame it was not the runner-up we were presenting to, a big syndicate of enthusiastic racegoers under the wing of Ger Lyons. Instead I presented to MV Magnier on behalf of a slightly more famous racing partnership who happen to be the biggest supporters of the EBF (Tabor/Smith/Magnier). The EBF is the vehicle through which stallion owners have channelled millions in sponsorship to racing in Europe over the last twenty-eight years. Some feel the acronym “EBF” is a bit overlooked and would like a stronger connection made between the origin of the money and the destination, the owner. Like many sponsorships, it may be taken for granted slightly. Nobody doubts that the stallion owners have benefitted greatly through the decades and that the stallion owners need a healthy racing industry to sell our services. The degree to which the stallion market underpins the racing product both directly and indirectly is not so well reported.
My other presentation was to the winners of an art competition and the prize was a school tour to the Irish National Stud for the winning school – Foxrock Boys National School, beside Leopardstown racecourse. The team at Leopardstown, led by Pat Keogh, are working so hard to make racing interesting especially for the younger racegoers. We look forward to introducing the foals to the next generation soon.