There’s always something to make you think twice

Willie Mullins recently ran a horse in a bumper owned by the Curb Your Enthusiasm Syndicate. Whether the steed won or not cannot be recalled, but is not relevant to the remainder of what you will read hereafter. Now read on…

When I got into farming in my own right nearly a decade ago, one of the most salient modicums of advice ever imparted in this direction was as follows “When you have livestock, you’ll have dead stock”. Now, the case in point here thankfully didn’t end up that bad, but, it did underline why there’s always something to make you think twice about buying bloodstock, livestock or any kind of stock!

There are enough pitfalls involved in dealing with any sort of stock without having to contemplate the nightmarish prospect of your stock being stolen. Regrettably, livestock being pilfered has been a ‘thing’ since God was a gasun. The only commensurate case this corner can recall regarding a racehorse was the theft of Shergar in the early 1980s.

A multiplicity of theories have abounded over the years as to what happened the Aga Khan’s star colt and where he ended up. Most of them revolving around one less than desirable organisation and a town in the west of Ireland to which there will forever be a poignant affinity in this seat.

A lot more recently there was an attempt at a slmilar heist which thankfully was averted after neighbours to the piece of land noticed a strange vehicle in the gateway and, shall we say, russeled the russelers.

Princess Leya and Danny Mullins on the way to a Graded victory at Fairyhouse

The target on this occasion was the exciting broodmare Princess Leya and her colt foal at foot. Thankfully the mare, who won at Graded level in Fairyhouse under Danny Mullins for his mother Mags, was unharmed.

Though the foal did require attention from a vet once secured her current custodians, Paddy and Rose Behan in Co Laois. Princess Leya was a highly talented race mare in her own right, but further burgeoning her attractivness in the breeding shed is the fact she is a half sister to the storied two mile chaser, Altior.


Yes, that brings its own pressures, but so far Leya’s progeny have been keeping the family tradition alive, her first foal, Top Dog, has already put in a very impressive Bumper performance at Ascot.

The Behans, breeders of the mighty Altior, also have a foal by Free Eagle – formerly owned by Moyglare Stud and trained by Dermot Weld – which Paddy Behan described as “A great mover” while the youngster nearly swiped with his mother was by the formerly Mick Halford-trained Cassamento.

Through the observation and quick thinking of those adjacent to the outfarm on which the mare and foal were located, the highly successful breeders will be able to continue turning out top notch stock and the rest of us will have to pleasure of watching them progress.

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