Airlie Beach set to race on before resuming broodmare career
Daughter of Shantou was covered 'properly' by Mount Nelson this year
Airlie Beach, the daughter of Shantou who was covered by a supposed gelding just shy of her actual second birthday sometime in 2012, will continue to race in foal to Mount Nelson after finishing third behind Tigris River in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old was covered by Boardsmill Stud's new recruit this year. A son of Rock Of Gibraltar, he joined the Irish stallions ranks for the 2017 breeding season having spent eight years based at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire.
Of the decision to send her to the sire, Mullins' son Patrick said: "We have Penhill, who won at Cheltenham this year, by him and that was an influence. He's an up and coming sire and it's a good opportunity for them to have a mare like Airlie Beach covered by him. Fingers crossed she can be as good a broodmare as she has been on the track. We're doing it properly this time!"
Her connections, the Supreme Horse Racing Club, are now looking to add a Flat maiden success to her tally of victories that include a Grade 1 win in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last December.
It will not be the first time Airlie Beach has switched codes as last month she contested a 1m6f maiden at Killarney where she was beaten only three-quarters of a length by her stablemate She's So Flawless.
Mullins added: "She ran a fabulous race on Thursday and gave the whole syndicate a huge thrill when turning for home; they thought she might just pull it off. However, she did herself proud again.
"There should be a staying maiden within her grasp before she heads out to the paddocks. She ran well last time at Killarney and we'll try to get an opportunity to win one with her."
No plan has been made as to whether Airlie Beach will be sold in foal but Mullins did have an update on her first produce, a four-year-old colt. He is by Miguel Angel, a son of Enrique who was placed in a field of fillies as he was believed to have been gelded having been bought by Harold Kirk in France for €25,000 as a yearling.
It turned out he was not a gelding and at some point covered Airlie Beach during the spring of her two-year-old season.
Mullins said: "Her foal is now four and he's in the yard. He's just started to do fast work and all seems well with him at the moment. He looks a bit like his mother and we're hoping he has some of her ability.
"He could possibly run in the autumn but we'll see how he goes. It would be great to get him a win, then the whole family will have done so."