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Almost There!

Posted 18/5/2020

Bated Breath x Aureana 20c at 1 week oldBated Breath x Aureana 20c at 1 week old            Whilst we are all struggling as best we can through the pandemic that is COVID-19 and starting to come to terms with a new world, it is always a welcome relief to finish the breeding season with all foals on the ground and healthy and mares covered and in foal. Without wishing to tempt fate, James Ortega Bloodstock Ltd is almost there bar our 18yo Group 3 winning mare Birthstone who for one reason or another is proving difficult to get herself in shape for a cover by Sea The Moon. We still have a couple of months to go and hopefully she is ready to cover by the end of May which, if she gets in foal, would probably mean an early May foal at best. That does not worry us, and if she does not get in foal we have no issue to re-cover her in June or beyond as we aren't hellbent on getting an early 2yo type especially considering the sire whose offspring are likely to be better at 3yo. I think that there is far too much emphasis placed on having an early foal although I do understand the commercial drivers that largely drive it. Anyway, come on Birthstone!

            As for the rest, well it's been another filly fest with the first four this year all being that way inclined following on from all four foals in 2019. Indeed if we add on the last foal from 2018 that made nine fillies in a row! You can imagine there was some relief when Aureana produced a Bated Breath colt (left) on April 2nd to make it 4-1 to the fillies for the year. Not that I have anything against fillies and indeed four of the five black type racehorses we have bred have been fillies and anyway, after 56 foals the score is 28 all between colts and fillies so we can hardly complain about luck when considering our ten year breeding history. The key thing is that it appears that they are all healthy and doing well as are their dams.

            First up this year was a Jan 30th Ultra filly (below left) out of Mount Nelson mare Lady Macha who comes from the prolific Purring family who I think have their best years ahead of them with three black type daughters being dams including Lady Macha's dam Lady Francesca and 111 rated Purr Along whose 3yo Starcat won on his only outing at two and has an entry in The Derby. Lady Macha's full brother, 96 rated Bartholomeu Dias, is now plying his trade in Australia with up and coming trainer Ciaron Maher. The foal was born at Haras Du Logis in Normandy but is currently at Manor House Farm Stud in the UK as mother has visited Outstrip and is in foal. 

Ultra x Lady Macha 20f at 4 weeks oldUltra x Lady Macha 20f at 4 weeks old

            Next was Redskin Dancer who foaled a strong looking Oasis Dream filly (below) on Feb 10th before visiting Bated Breath whose foal she is now carrying. Redskin has two winners from three runners including seven time Listed winner Lincoln Rocks who herself has had a Churchill filly in 2020. This is her first foal and now she has been covered by Saxon Warrior. Oasis Dream x Redskin Dancer 20f at 5 weeks oldOasis Dream x Redskin Dancer 20f at 5 weeks old














            Feb 29th only comes around every four years and this year it was the date for Zawiyah's fourth foal who is a filly (below) by Twilight Son and hence full sister to her two year old colt Twilight Calls who is in training with Henry Candy. I like her physical as much as I liked the one of Twilight Calls and so Zawiyah went off again to the same sire and is in foal to him for the third time. Twilight Son x Zawiyah 20f at 7 weeks oldTwilight Son x Zawiyah 20f at 7 weeks old




             Finally we had the mother and daughter combination of Going For Gold and Aureana who were both in foal to Bated Breath. Goldie foaled a filly (below), who is a full sister to 98 rated Kaanoon, on March 29th before we finally got the colt from Aureana. Goldie is now in foal to Havana Gold who I think will be a good physical and distance fit for her, whilst Aureana stayed on the stud in Normandy and was covered by Ultra.Bated Breath x Going For Gold 20f at 1 week oldBated Breath x Going For Gold 20f at 1 week old

             So there we have it! A couple of full sisters to colts we have bred before, one of whom has won three races at a smart level (Kaanoon) and the other of which we have high hopes (Twilight Calls).  With the racing season about to start its belated 2020 version we await to see what the families of this quintet can do on the track. If successful the value of these foals will be enhanced but it will also provide encouragement to us in terms of what we might be able to expect from them as well. As always........Time Will Tell!