Broodmares Mating Plans

Distaff delights

The influence of the mare on the breed is all too often overlooked.

 Words: Aisling Crowe of the Racing Post


You’resothrilling had already done more than enough to secure herself the position of queen of Coolmore’s aristocratic broodmare band but the victory of her daughter Joan Of Arc in the Group 1 Prix de Diane last year elevated her into rarefied company indeed.

The full sister to Giant’s Causeway is now the dam of four individual Group 1 winners, an achievement that places her in an elite group of mares. The 17-year-old has only a three-year-old filly named Toy to add further glory to her legacy in the coming season, as she failed to produce a foal to Galileo in either of the last two years.

Toy made a promising debut for Aidan O’Brien and the Coolmore partners and Westerberg when second in a seven-furlong maiden at the Curragh in late October, a run reminiscent of Joan Of Arc’s debut at Dundalk in November 2020 in which she too was runner-up.

With the death of her sole breeding partner, You’resothrilling was a member of a large group of Coolmore-owned mares that travelled to Newmarket to be covered by Darley’s Dubawi, who crowned another magnificent season by siring three individual Grade 1 winners at this year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting in the royal blue of Godolphin.

From seven runners to date, the cross has resulted in seven Group 1 performers with four of them Group 1 winners. As well as Gleneagles, who won four Group 1 contests including both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas, You’resothrilling is the dam of Marvellous, successful in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and the Group 1 Moyglare Stud and Prix Marcel Boussac winner, Happily.

She is also the dam of dual Group 2 Zipping Classic winner and Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes second The Taj Mahal, whose first foals are due in Spring 2022 while Vatican City was second in the Irish 2000 Guineas of 2020. Her daughter Coolmore won the Group 3 CL and MF Weld Park Stakes at two and was third in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational as a three-year-old. 

Marvellous visited one of America’s best stallions, Claiborne Farm’s War Front, to produce her first three foals. The best of her two runners so far is the Listed Star Appeal Stakes winner Fort Myers who was sold to continue his racing career in Australia, where he is known as Blue Soldier and is already a Listed winner for David Payne.

A change of direction was made for her 2019 covering, as she visited Quality Road at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky. Sire of champions Able Tasman and Caledonia Road, he is one of the most exciting stallions in America and the yearling filly by him out of Marvellous made $1.5m at Fasig-Tipton’s Selected Yearlings Showcase, ironically to War Front’s owner Joseph Allen. Now a three-year-old, she has been named Neverland and has joined the trainer of her dam and grand dam in Ballydoyle.

Marvellous was amongst a stellar book of first mares served by the unbeaten Triple Crown champion Justify at Coolmore’s Ashford Farm in Kentucky and has a colt yearling by Dubawi, to whom she returned in 2021. Her full sisters Coolmore and Happily joined her in the Coolmore broodmare band and were given the same dates.

Coolmore has a four-year-old War Front colt named County Wicklow in training with Marco Botti and his three-year-old full brother War Strategy is with Mark Casse. She joined Marvellous in visiting Justify in his first season and also has a colt foal by Dubawi, before being amongst the blue-blooded mares chosen for Wootton Bassett’s first book following his purchase from France.

Happily went further afield with leading Japanese sire Lord Kanaloa selected as her first mate and she has a two-year-old colt by the sire of Almond Eye. After that she followed her siblings to Kentucky where she was covered by Justify in 2020 and American Pharoah in 2021.

Gleneagles, who was the second foal out of You’resothrilling, enjoyed the most fruitful year of his stud career so far in 2021. The classic winner and champion two-year-old was Europe’s leading third crop sire and in Loving Dream, is now the sire of a Group 1 winner, the only element missing from his stud career to date.

CABARET – Norelands Stud

Cabaret’s success wasn’t as instantaneous. In fact it wasn’t until her fifth foal raced that she became a black-type producer but the daughter of the legendary Galileo has made up for that slow start with a pair of classic winners, including the reigning Cartier Horse of the Year, St Mark’s Basilica.

Bred by Epona Bloodstock and sold by Croom House Stud for €300,000 as a yearling at the 2008 Goffs Million Sale to John Magnier, Cabaret is out of the Lear Fan mare Witch Of Fife, who was second in the Listed Zetland Stakes at two. Witch Of Fife is the dam of Group 3 Solario Stakes winner Drumfire and of Ho Choi, who became a Listed winner in Hong Kong and was a classy juvenile in England where he was second in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes.

Cabaret was sent into training at Ballydoyle and made her debut in a seven-furlong maiden at Leopardstown in June 2009, where she was runner-up to the subsequent Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Termagent. After that she won her maiden at The Curragh on Irish Derby weekend and made two further starts as a juvenile, winning the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes and finishing well beaten in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac.

She ran three times as a three-year-old and failed to recapture any of her early-season two-year-old form, finishing down the field in the Oaks, Ribblesdale Stakes and Musidora Stakes. She was offered for sale, in foal to Danehill Dancer, at the 2010 Tattersalls December Mares’ Sale through the Castlebridge Consignment and was bought for 600,000gns by BBA Ireland on behalf of Bob Scarborough, a leading figure in the Australian racing and breeding industry.

He keeps around half a dozen broodmares at Harry McCalmont’s Norelands Stud outside Thomastown in County Kilkenny and that is where Cabaret boards and where her first Group 1 winner, Magna Grecia, was born and raised and from where he was sold as a yearling to Coolmore for 340,000gns. The son of Invincible Spirit won the Group 1 Vertem Futurity at two and the 2000 Guineas, his sire’s first winner of that race. His first crop of foals was born in 2020.

In 2019, the year Magna Grecia experienced classic glory, Norelands offered his Siyouni half-brother at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 where he made 1.3m guineas to Coolmore. That colt is this season’s champion three-year-old St Mark’s Basilica, who became O’Brien’s first winner of the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, one of five triumphs at the highest level for Cabaret’s best foal to date. St Mark’s Basilica joins his elder half-brother at Coolmore Stud for the 2022 breeding season, where he will command a fee of €65,000.

St Mark’s Basilica has a three-year-old full brother named Paris Lights, who failed to meet his asking price when offered by Norelands at Book 1 in 2020. Scarborough sent him into training with Jessica Harrington and he ran twice at two, unlike his older half-brothers failing to win. However, he did show promise when third on his second start in a seven-furlong maiden at The Curragh in October.

Cabaret has a yearling colt by Kingman and was covered Invincible Spirit’s best stallion son again in 2021. The Danehill Dancer foal that Cabaret was carrying when Scarborough purchased her was sold as a yearling for 525,000gns to the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings at Book 1. She got injured in training and was unable to fulfil her potential. Sold carrying her first foal, a Camelot filly at the 2016 Tattersalls December Mares Sale, she was bought for 170,000gns by John and Jake Warren.

Her first foal died and she has since produced a Kodiac filly for Floors Farming and Newbyth Stud, who was sold to Rabbah Bloodstock for 120,000gns. Neptune’s Wonder won one of her seven starts for Hugo Palmer and Dr Ali Riddah before she was sold for 67,000gns to Cormac McCormack at the 2021 Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale. Prance has a three-year-old colt by Lope De Vega named Laazaif, who brought 400,000gns from Shadwell Estates at Book 1 and is in training with William Haggas. Her now-two-year-old filly by Invincible Spirit was sold during the 2020 Tattersalls December Foal Sale as partial dispersal of the stock of the late Duke of Roxburghe. She made 155,000gns to Blandford Bloodstock and was offered as a yearling by Corduff Stud at this year’s Book 1 Sale but failed to meet her valuation.

Prance doesn’t have a reported foal in 2021 and was covered by the 2020 Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sottsass in the spring. Like Prance’s younger brother St Mark’s Basilica, he is by the leading French stallion Siyouni.

Cabaret’s second daughter is the Dansili mare Lady In Lights who was sold by Norelands as a yearling for 200,000gns to Rabbah Bloodstock. She ran twice as a three-year-old for Ismail Mohammed and was sold as a four-year-old to Blandford Bloodstock for 250,000gns. A year later she was back in the Tattersalls December Mare Sale, this time in foal to No Nay Never. Purchased on behalf of Al Asayl, she foaled a filly in January last year and was covered by Lope De Vega.

Cabaret also has a five-year-old daughter by Kodiac named Koala, who was trained by Nicolas Clement and ran just once at two. She was then sold for €105,000 to MAB Agency at the 2019 Arqana December Mare Sale and her first foal, a filly by Sea The Stars, was born in 2021.