News Bloodstock Bites: Black-type double for team Mullins

Bloodstock Bites: Black-type double for team Mullins


Willie Mullins and jockey Danny Mullins combined for a black-type double at Warwick on Saturday with Thomas Hobson (Halling), carrying the colours of Mrs Susannah Ricci, leading home a one-two for the trainer in the Grade Two Leamington Novices’ Hurdle barely an hour after Black Hercules (Heron Island) had jumped impressively to land the Listed Betfred Hampton Novices’ Chase.

A four-time winner on the flat for John Gosden, having been purchased by Blandford Bloodstock for 35,000 guineas at the 2011 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Thomas Hobson transferred to Mullins’ care following his purchase by Harold Kirk and Mullins for £240,000 at the 2013 DBS November Yearlings and Horses-In-Training Sale. A half-brother to the three-time flat winner La Superba (Medicean), Thomas Hobson is the second foal out of the winning miler and 2007 Listed Pretty Polly Stakes third La Spezia (Danehill Dancer), herself a half-sister to the 2009 Listed Fishery Lane Hurdle winner Torphichen (Alhaarth) and 2004 Listed Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes winner Brindisi (Dr Fong), dam of the 2014 Listed Wild Flower Stakes winner Livia’s Dream (Teofilo), from the further family of the 2013 Oaks winner Talent.

Better known as a flat sire, having produced European Group One winners Jack Hobbs, Cavalryman, Cutlass Bay and Empoli before his retirement from full-time stud duties in 2014, the dual Juddmonte International Stakes and Eclipse Stakes winner Halling has also been represented by his fair share of high quality jumpers including the 2015 Grade One Anniversary 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle winner All Yours and the five-time Grade Two jumps winner Deep Purple. The same cross that produced Thomas Hobson, namely Halling with a Danehill Dancer mare, has also produced the 2015 Listed-winning hurdler Balmusette.

A week on from the victory of Mountainous (Milan) in the Welsh National, trainer Kerry Lee was responsible for a second winner of a Grade Three staying chase when her nine-year-old gelding Russe Blanc (Machiavellian Tsar) ran out a three-and-three-quarter length winner of the Classic Chase at Warwick in the hands of Charlie Poste for owner Mark Jackson.

An £8,000 purchase by her father Richard Lee at the 2010 Doncaster Spring Stores Sale, Russe Blanc is one of four winners produced by the French mare Fleur de Mad (Maiymad), an unplaced half-sister to the 1995 Grade Three Whitbread Gold Cup Handicap Chase winner Cache Fleur (Kashneb), and becomes the first black-type winner to be sired by Machiavellian Tsar (Machiavellian), an unplaced half-brother to Paul Nicholls’ triple Grade One winning jumper Noland (Exit to Nowhere).

Black Hercules (Heron Island), winner of the Listed Betfred Hampton Novices’ Chase for owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, is the first winner produced by Annalecky (Bob’s Return), an unraced half-sister to the 2001 Grade Two Classic Novices’ Hurdle winner Indian Scout (Phardante). A graduate of Tattersalls Ireland and two-time graduate of Goffs, on the most recent occasion when purchased by Patrick Mullins, son of Willie and an accomplished rider himself, for €16,000 at the 2012 Landrover National Hunt Sale, Black Hercules is from the same family as Noel Meade’s triple Grade Two-winning hurdler Monksland (Beneficial) and the 1988 Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase winner Kissane.

Earlier in the week at Thurles, Gigginstown House Stud’s Don Cossack (Sholokhov) put himself back on track for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, having fallen when mounting a challenge at the second last fence on his previous start in the King George VI Chase, with a nine-and-a-half length victory under Bryan Cooper in the Kinloch Brae Chase, the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old gelding’s second successive victory in the Thurles Grade Two.

Bred by Gestüt Etzean out of the German two-time winner Depeche Toi (Konigsstuhl), a half-sister to the 1996 Listed Frühjahrs Stuten Preis winner Dapprima (Shareef Dancer) who is herself the dam of the German Group Two winner Denaro (Dashing Blade) and Group Three winner and sire Davidoff (Montjeu), Don Cossack is a half-brother to five winners including Dubai Diva (Unfuwain), a three-time winner in Germany and dam of the French Listed Hurdle runner-up Dubai Star (Lord of England), with his further family containing the 2011 Kentucky Derby and 2013 Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom as well as the German Classic winners Diu and Diacada.

The following race, the Grade Two Ocovango Coolmore National Hunt Sires EBF Mares Novice Chase, saw Pat Fahy’s nine-year-old mare Aunt Nora (Kayf Tara), carrying the colours of Mrs J Kealy, see out the 2m 4f trip best in the hands of David Mullins to run out a half-length winner and continue the fine run of form for her sire Kayf Tara, the Overbury Stud-resident who in recent weeks has been represented by Grade One winners Thistlecrack and Tea For Two as well as Ryanair Hurdle runner-up Identity Thief.

Bred by Fintan Kealy out of the bumper winner Niat Supreme (Supreme Leader), who he purchased for IR£4,600 at the 1999 Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale, Aunt Nora is a half-sister to two other winners including the 2004 Pierse Handicap Hurdle winner Dromlease Express (Fourstars Allstar) and hails from the family of Emma Lavelle’s black-type winning chasers Fox Appeal (Brian Boru), winner of the 2013 Grade Two Noel Novices’ Chase and Court By Surprise (Beneficial), the fortuitous victor of the 2014 Listed Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase.

On home soil Willie Mullins enjoyed a Graded race double at Naas on Saturday with the seven-year-old gelding Roi des Francs (Poliglote) leading home stablemate Pont Alexandre (Dai Jin) in the Grade Two Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase a race after Sempre Medici (Medicean) had claimed the Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle for the master of Closutton.

A €30,000 purchase by his original trainer Tony Mullins at the 2012 Goffs Landrover National Hunt Sale, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Roi des Francs is a half-brother to the dual French hurdles winner Reine Pieuse (Saint des Saints) and the winning French chaser Valeur Ajoutee (Polish Summer) being out of Grande Souveraine (Sillery), an unplaced half-sister to the 2005 Grade One Prix Maurice Gillois 4yo Grand Steeplechase winner Polivalente (Poliglote) and the seven-time French Listed-winning hurdler Grand Souvenir (Legend of France).

In addition to being from the family of the 2013 Grade Two John Smith’s Champion Open National Hunt Flat Race winner Killyglass (Heron Island), the 2011 Grade Two Prix Congress Chase winner and the 2011 Welsh Grand National winner Le Beau Bai (Cadoudal), Roi des France, being by Poliglote out of a Sillery mare, is bred along the same lines as the same connections’ three-time Grade One winner and leading Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Don Poli (Poliglote).

The previous race, the Limestone Lad Hurdle, saw Ruby Walsh steer the Mrs Susannah Ricci-owned six-year-old gelding Sempre Medici (Medicean) to a five-length victory. Foaled in France out of the Irish-bred mare Sambala (Danehill Dancer), an unraced half-sister to the 2005 Phil D Shepherd Stakes winner Bravo Maestro (Stravinsky), Sempre Medici is a half-brother to the three-time flat winner and 2012 Group Three Queen’s Vase third Ed de Gas (Peintre Celebre) from the family of multiple Grade/Group One winners Aldebaran, Chimes Of Freedom, Denon, Saddex and Spinning World.

At Leopardstown on Sunday, what looked to be a comfortable victory for Ruby Walsh aboard Willie Mullins’ Killultagh Vic (Old Vic) in the Grade Two “Money Back On Fallers” at Novice Chase ended up being anything but that when the seven-year-old gelding knuckled on landing after the final fence, losing all momentum and causing Walsh to lose an iron, but in a terrific exhibition of acceleration and horsemanship Walsh managed to galvanize the long-time leader to renew a challenge and narrowly get back up to win by three-quarters-of-a-length.

A Grade One winning-hurdler, having claimed the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April ahead of Thistlecrack (Kayf Tara), the Mrs Rose Boyd, Mrs Marie Armstrong and James Boyce Anderson-owned Killultagh Vic is a half-brother to Lily Waugh (King’s Theatre), a six-time winner under National Hunt rules and runner-up in the Listed EBF/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase and Ukash Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at Cheltenham, both being out of the twice-placed hurdler Killultagh Dawn (Phardante), a half-sister to the 2000 Grade Two Powers Gold Label Handicap Hurdle and 2003 Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase winner Killultagh Storm (Mandalus).