Many happy returns
Once a stallion is a proven success, it’s easier for breeders to justify sending mares to him but the biggest compliment they can pay a young sire in his second season at stud is to book mares back to him on the strength of his first foals, and that’s exactly what’s happening with Vale Of York.
We’ve been really encouraged by the feedback from our clients ever since members of Vale Of York’s first crop started arriving in January, and positive comments have now turned into positive action with the Kildangan Stud resident enjoying plenty of repeat visitors this spring.
Peter Grimes supported Vale Of York with two mares in his first season and is doing so again in 2012 after being delighted with his two fillies out of Paris Glory and Ma Vie En Rose.
We too were delighted with Peter’s vote of confidence when he said: “The Vale Of York foals are the best foals I have had this year.”
As the breeder of Nell Gwen Stakes winner Esentepe, Paddy Kelly of Ballybin Stud has had plenty to cheer about of late and he’s also pleased with his Vale Of York filly out of Barbera, the dam of three-time sprint winner Berberana. “She’s our best foal this year,” says Paddy, which is why Barbera has also already returned to Vale Of York and has been scanned in foal.
John Doyle of Barrettstown has had a bay colt out of Queen Of Fools, the dam of four-time juvenile winner Powerful Wind and a half-sister to Hunan, who won the G3 Prix de Cabourg for Aidan O’Brien. He says: “We are 100% happy with him. He’s an attractive foal and we have very high hopes for him. He is as good a foal as we have ever had.”
Kildangan Stud Managing Director - Joe Osborne - also supported Vale Of York in his first season and sent his mare Designed to him. A lovely colt (pictured) was born in February. Joe said, “He is a strong and correct individual with a great outlook. He has a precocious build and could be Vale of York’s first two-year-old winner in 2014.”
As a first-rate two-year-old from the Green Desert sireline which boasts an admirable track record in the first-season sires’ title, Vale Of York offers breeders an excellent chance, both in the sales ring and on the racecourse, and for a very reasonable stud fee.
Successful on his debut in a seven-furlong York maiden, he became a Listed winner on only his third start before finishing placed in both the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes and the G1 Gran Criterium. But of course his best performance came in one of the toughest two-year-old tests of all, when he defeated the subsequent Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner Lookin At Lucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Vale Of York’s sire Invincible Spirit has been a consistent source of precocity and class since his retirement to stud and that is the case again this spring, with four stakes winners and two Group-placed horses in England, Ireland, Australia and America in the past week alone.
Soon it will be time for the son to shine. Come the foal sales, pinhookers will doubtless be scrutinising Vale Of York’s offspring, and with 116 youngsters from his first book, he has an excellent chance of making his mark when his first runners reach the track in 2014.