15th May 2019

Adam Potts (IRE) give you an insight into his fifteenth week here on the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course. 


This week, we visited the Troytown GreyAbbey Equine Hospital. It was a most informative afternoon, where we were given a tour of the facilities and viewed the only equine MRI scanner in Ireland. We also witnessed a live gelding operation. Henry, our squeamish member of the course, was especially apprehensive at the thought of attending. He didn’t disappoint, with nausea coming over him at the removal of a testicle. Henry also had another matter to deal with at Troytown, as his girlfriend was spotted eyeing up a dashing groom during the treadmill session. After much cause for concern, the matter was soon dealt with and they all live happily ever after — for now.


The majority of us attended the Punchestown festival throughout the week. It was a chance for many of the international students to attend their first ever jumps meeting. With packed stands and high-quality racing, it didn’t disappoint. I (Adam) was delighted to see Chacun Pour Soi look a potential superstar when winning in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Chase, as I bought his sire Policy Maker in 2015 to stand in Ireland. It was a long time coming as he missed three years of racing through injury, but better late than never and he still has age on his side.


The 2,000 Guineas was a brilliant result for the stud, with Invincible Spirit siring his first British classic winner through Magna Grecia. Invincible Spirit, who has become such an integral part of the Irish National Stud, recently had a stone sculpture in his honour unveiled. Magna Grecia’s win yet again proved he was deserved of such a commission. 


Not only has he become a dominant sire, but uniquely, a dominant sire used by all the major breeding powerhouses. He did it the hard way too, starting off at a fee of just €10,000 before breeders noticed he consistently upgraded his mares. Shayna, our American student, captured herself giving Invincible Spirit a well-earned carrot shortly after the 2,000 Guineas, which gained over 13,000 views on twitter. It shows just how many fans Invincible Spirit has!


blankThe stud also welcomed its 200th newborn foal of the breeding season. Those in the foaling unit had a celebratory drink (non-alcoholic, of course). The milestone marked everyone’s hard work in the Sun Chariot yard and signalled the latter stage of the breeding season.


The time has flown by and it’s hard to believe that we’re now into the final few furlongs of the course. We couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people and I’m sure we’ve all met some friends for life. 

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