Living the dream as Dakota Gold provides breeder with Group success
The son of Equiano is the second foal out of the late Joyeaux
To get a Group winner is considered the pinnacle of breeding thoroughbreds. To produce a horse like Dakota Gold is a dream, one that breeder Damian Flynn can testify to.
The six-year-old son of Equiano has proven a fantastic servant for connections, and on Saturday ticked off his Group-race win – having come so close last season – when landing the Bengough Stakes from Group 1 stars The Tin Man and Brando.
Flynn, who consigns as Redgate Bloodstock and is based at Langham Hall Stud outside of Newmarket, said: "Breeding a horse like Dakota Gold keeps us ticking over and makes you see that you've got to work hard and these things will come to you.
"We're pleased for everyone concerned, and it's another feather in our cap to breed a Group winner. It's an achievement because there are a lot of people out there who have never had a winner; just to get them to the track and stay sound is quite a feat."
Joyeaux proved the winning ticket for Flynn when producing Dakota Gold after her second covering. A 26,000gns sale from Tattersalls Book 2 to trainer Michael Dods was the beginning of quite a journey, one that has resulted in 11 wins and around £336,000 in prize-money.
Flynn continued: "Joyeaux raced for Peter and we've known him for 15 years. My wife, Emma, spotted that the mare was about to retire and asked if we could take half of her as [her half-sister] Aoife Alainn had won a Group race.
"Her first foal wasn't much to write home about but we then sent her to Equiano. Dakota Gold didn't make a lot at the sales, but you've got to get these horses out to run. That was where our association with Michael grew as he bought the horse from us."
Sadly the tale will not be added to as Joyeaux, dam of three other winners as well as Dakota Gold, died when foaling the Lethal Force-sired Commanche Falls three years ago.
Flynn said: "It's a tough game, we lost her when she was foaling, but you've got to take the good with the bad."
Flynn, who added that the process of breeding and raising bloodstock is "very much a team effort" with Emma, can find solace in a batch of young mares who are currently in foal to exciting stallions.
"We feel we've got to cover young mares with stallions that are going to get them winners," he said. "Equiano is not every trainer's cup of tea but he's worked for us."
This article and series is in association with Great British Racing International