Edwulf another feather in the cap for British breeders and Kayf Tara
Profiling the pedigree of the Irish Gold Cup hero
A golden age for British National Hunt breeding continued at Leopardstown on Sunday as the feature race of the new Dublin Racing Festival – the Unibet Irish Gold Cup – fell to a horse produced across the Irish Sea in Edwulf.
In recent seasons fellow British-breds Coneygree, Cue Card, Rule The World, Sam Spinner, Sizing John, Special Tiara, Thistlecrack, Unowhatimeanharry and Yanworth have also plundered prestigious prizes.
Nine-year-old Edwulf – whose trainer Joseph O'Brien has masterfully brought back to full health after he nearly lost his life at Cheltenham last March – was bred by Ivor Valentine, who runs a farriery business in Cleveland.
He is out of the Zaffaran mare Valentines Lady, who carried Valentine's silks to win a Wetherby bumper and two novice hurdles, and to finish third to subsequent Lancashire Oaks heroine Turbo Linn in a Listed bumper at Aintree.
Valentines Lady – the only black-type performer under her first three dams until Edwulf appeared – is also the dam of Grand Morning, a six-year-old Midnight Legend gelding who landed an Ayr maiden hurdle for Lucinda Russell and Edwulf's owner JP McManus last month on only his second start.
Valentines Lady has no subsequent progeny registered with Weatherbys, although she was covered by Soldier Of Fortune last year, and by Fame And Glory in 2015 and 2016.
Edwulf is another feather in the cap for Overbury Stud stalwart stallion Kayf Tara, who could legitimately claim to be the best jumps sire to have stood in Britain.
The dual Ascot Gold Cup winner is the sire of numerous top-class jumps talents, including Blaklion, Carruthers, Identity Thief, Planet Of Sound, Special Tiara, Tea For Two and his masterpiece Thistlecrack.
Kayf Tara, aged 24, is consequently one of the most in-demand jumps stallions, and is able to command a fee of £10,000 for the second season.
In 2017 the son of Sadler's Wells covered 114 mares including talented jumpers Gaspara, L'Aventure and L'Unique, as well as Nonnetia, the dam of Grand National hero One For Arthur among a host of proven producers.
With seven Grade 1s up for grabs over the weekend of the Dublin Racing Festival, it was honours even for British and Irish breeders, with each claiming three – Edwulf, Mr Adjudicator and Supasundae for Britain and Monalee, Samcro and Tower Bridge for Ireland. French-bred Footpad took the other on offer.
Sadler's Wells-line stallions were responsible for four of those top-level winners – besides Kayf Tara, other Sadler's Wells sons supplied Supasundae (Galileo), Monalee (Milan) and Tower Bridge (High Chaparral).
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