Castoff king O'Meara on mark again with Bravery in Lincoln
The son of Galileo was bought out of Aidan O'Brien's stable for 44,000gns
Ten or so years ago commercial breaks were chock-full of companies begging us to pop family heirlooms and treasured jewellery in the post with the promise of a windfall by return cheque.
While most of us rolled our eyes, I wonder whether trainer David O'Meara hit upon inspiration, as he does a fine trade in taking other trainers' tarnished gold and refining and re-purposing it into a more valuable product.
O'Meara did it with Mondialiste, no less than a son of Galileo and dual Group 1-winning sprinter Occupandiste bought out of Freddy Head's yard for €190,000. Having finished third in the Prix Jean Prat but failed to replicate that form in four subsequent starts for original connections, Mondialiste finished a neck second in the Lincoln on his debut for O'Meara and went on to win the Woodbine Mile and Arlington Million.
He did it again with Lord Of The Land, a Shamardal brother to Lope De Vega bought from Andre Fabre for €110,000. Although he disappointed when he finished down the field as a leading fancy in last year's Lincoln on his first run for O'Meara, by the end of the season he had won the Listed Golden Rose Stakes at Lingfield.
And, lo and behold, O'Meara has done it again with Bravery, who won the Lincoln on Saturday on his debut for the North Yorkshire trainer.
Bravery, a Galileo half-brother to ill-fated Poule d'Essai des Poulains third Furner's Green, finished fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last year for Aidan O'Brien, who also bred the colt with wife Annemarie, but confirmed himself one of the lesser lights of Ballydoyle with nine subsequent runs without a win.
At the end of the season Bravery was sold by O'Brien to Bradley/Kelly Bloodstock for 44,000gns at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale.
That trio – all, intriguingly for such well-bred cast-offs, ungelded and so have the possibility of stud careers ahead of them – are not the only well-bred horses who had lost their sparkle for other trainers but were polished by O'Meara. There is also Custom Cut (a Notnowcato half-brother to Free Eagle), Firmament (a son of Cape Cross and dual Dahlia Stakes winner Heaven Sent) and So Beloved (a Dansili half-brother to classy sprinter Deportivo).
Indeed, with O'Meara having established himself as the training ranks' equivalent of Cash 4 Gold, the question is how Bravery was allowed to be sent off at 20-1 for the Lincoln.