'She had brilliance' - Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Homeless Songs among Moyglare's exciting maiden mares for 2024

Kitty Trice speaks to Fiona Craig about the team's blue-blooded mares and their coverings

Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Homeless Songs is an exciting recruit to Moyglare's broodmare band
Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Homeless Songs is an exciting recruit to Moyglare's broodmare bandCredit: Patrick McCann (

Moyglare Stud's emphatic 1,000 Guineas heroine Homeless Songs is booked in for an exciting first mating as she joins their illustrious broodmare band for 2024. 

The daughter of Frankel and Joailliere beat subsequent Oaks and Breeders' Cup heroine Tuesday by five and a half lengths in the Curragh Classic for Dermot Weld. As befitting her status, the five-year-old is set for a first date with Coolmore's titan Wootton Bassett. 

Moyglare's long-time adviser Fiona Craig says: "She's not very big, at around 15.2 hands, but she had brilliance and we're trying to preserve the speed. Wootton Bassett should suit her. 

"Homeless Songs has settled down great, she's out in the field covered in mud and is as happy as Larry."

Homeless Songs' brother Spoken Truth shaped with promise when fourth on his only start last year at Leopardstown, and the pair's dam Joailliere is expecting a full-sibling to the duo. The stakes-winning daughter of Dubawi will then return to Juddmonte's champion sire Frankel.

Just Beautiful: Lanwades Stud Stakes winner and Matron Stakes third is set for a big date for her first covering
Just Beautiful: Lanwades Stud Stakes winner and Matron Stakes third is set for a big date for her first coveringCredit: Patrick McCann

Moyglare welcomes a number of other exciting additions to its ranks, including Just Beautiful, winner of the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes last year and third to Tahyira in the Matron Stakes. 

The six-year-old, a 625,000gns Tattersalls December Mare Sale graduate, is a half-sister to Frankel's Belmont Oaks winner McKulick and it is little surprise she too is booked in to him. 

Craig says: "Her half-sister by Frankel won a Grade 1 in America, and most importantly it's a good physical mating and she was fast, she barely stayed a mile; seven and a half [furlongs] was probably her trip."

Malavath, a daughter of Mehmas who struck in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte and was a half-length second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, will be covered by Coolmore's red-hot Justify. 

The €3,200,000 Arqana December Sale starlet was a talented performer for the Everest Racing, David Redvers and Barbara Keller partnership. She was also second to Kinross in the Prix de la Foret and won the Group 3 Prix Imprudence. Currently based at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky, she could remain in the United States or return to Ireland once she has been covered.

Malavath: bound for the sensational Justify
Malavath: bound for the sensational JustifyCredit: Racing Post/Scott Burton

"She's in the US and I think a good physical match for him," says Craig. "She's a beautiful mare. 

"Justify is very good in Europe but he's also very, very good out in the US, so it will be decided once she's in foal whether to stay or return to Ireland."

Amazing Grace, a €850,000 purchase from Arqana in December 2022, is another newcomer of note. The daughter of the late Protectionist won a brace of Group 2s in Germany for Waldemar Hickst and was twice placed in Group 1s. She also struck in a Grade 3 in the US for Christophe Clement and is now lined up for a date with Dubawi.

"She's an absolute beauty, and has the length, size and scope to hopefully suit Dubawi," says Craig.

Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner's operation uses a mix of proven middle-distance and speed stallions, ranging from Sea The Stars, Frankel and Dubawi to Blue Point, Dark Angel, Showcasing and Havana Grey. 

It is a tried-and-tested formula that has served the stud well, with recent stars including dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song, champion stayer Kyprios and Homeless Songs.

Thoughts Of June: sold for €2m at Goffs on Friday
Thoughts Of June: sold for €2m at Goffs Credit: Sophie Webber Photography/Goffs

Craig explains: "The plan is to breed fast horses, but somehow Eva ends up with a good few that stay two miles, but that's okay if they're the good ones! The majority of stallions used are proven, the few not are for various reasons."

Search For A Song is due to foal her first progeny to Baaeed and remains in great heart. The prolific daughter of Galileo and Moyglare's much-missed blue hen Polished Gem is another who will return to Newmarket, this time to be covered by Dubawi. 

Craig says: 'Baaeed is the most beautiful horse, he was a superb racehorse with an amazing temperament, so ideal for her first mating, but it's now Dubawi for her while he's still here; he won't be around forever.

"I'm hoping for a chestnut filly who comes out kicking and feisty, just like her mother, who was a little challenging temperamentally to say the least, but that's likely what gave her the instinct to battle and fight."

Another Galileo mare set for a high-profile covering is Cheshire Oaks winner Thoughts Of June, a daughter of Del Mar Oaks victress Discreet Marq who Moyglare raced in partnership with Coolmore.

She was bought outright by Moyglare for €2,000,000 at the Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale last winter and will be covered by Lope De Vega after foaling to No Nay Never. 

Joining Thoughts Of June to visit Ballylinch Stud's stalwart is Amma Grace, a Galileo sister to Search For A Song and Kyprios.

Oisin Orr and Search For A Song after winning the Comer Group International Irish St Leger
Search For A Song: in fine form as she awaits her first foalCredit: Patrick McCann (

"Thoughts Of June has settled right down," reports Craig. "Discreet Marq died after only three foals, and Eva always said she'd like to have Thoughts Of June, so she's now back at Moyglare where she was born."

Dubawi's blistering first-season sire son Too Darn Hot will also be receiving Moyglare support in the form of multiple black-type winner Making Light and Espoir D'soleil, a Galileo half-sister to Tattersalls Gold Cup winner and Irish Derby second Casual Conquest.

Craig says: "Eva has some nice Too Darn Hots in training with Dermot and Jessica [Harrington], so it'll be interesting to see how they do. I also like the fact Too Darn Hot is related to Darshaan and that line mixes it up a bit."

Blue Point, the champion first-season sire of 2023, will also receive a brace of mares in Hazel Bay and Eclat De Lumiere. 

Hazel Bay is an Iffraaj half-sister to the top-class Youmzain and Creachadoir whose first foal, Tamrat, struck on his debut at the Curragh for Ger Lyons last August. 

Eclat De Lumiere will have her first covering and is a winning Sea The Stars sister to Prix du Conseil de Paris winner Listen In and a half-sibling to Hong Kong Vase winner Dominant.

Trevaunance with
Trevaunance with Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner after winning the Prix de la NonetteCredit: Racing Post / Scott Burton

Liber Nauticus, winner of the Musidora Stakes and the dam of Prix de la Nonette winner and Preis von Europa second Trevaunance, is bound for Kingman, as is Emilie Gray, a stakes-placed daughter of Dubawi and Carla Bianca, a half-sister to Joailliere who will be covered by Night Of Thunder after foaling to Lope De Vega.

Sonaiyla, a 900,000gns Tattersalls December Mare Sale purchase and Group-winning and Group 1-placed daughter of Dark Angel, heads to Baaeed after foaling to Frankel. 

Craig says: "Sonaiyla is not the biggest, she's a medium-sized mare, and I do think Baaeed will really suit her."

Sapphire's Group-placed daughter Federica Sophia, by Galileo, will be mated with Darley's champion juvenile and first-season sire Pinatubo after delivering to Kingman, while her Group-placed Kingman half-sister Kiss For A Jewel will go to Mehmas after delivering to St Mark's Basilica. 

The winning Chateau La Fleur, a sister to Group winner Toulifaut and close relation to two other black-type winners, will be among Paddington's first book at Coolmore, while Rose De Pierre, a dual Listed winner and the dam of the promising Red Viburnum, will return to Sea The Stars after foaling to him.

Paddington makes it four Group 1 wins in a row in the Sussex Stakes
Paddington: four-time Group 1 winner and new sire will receive Moyglare supportCredit: Edward Whitaker

'The costs are hideous'

There is no lack of acknowledgement prize-money levels in Britain leave owner-breeders struggling to make ends meet, or at least not lose an unsustainable amount – or that the situation in Ireland relative to many jurisdictions is not a bed of roses either – but the cost of accessing Europe's elite sires rises ever higher.

Dubawi has been joined at the £350,000 level this year by Frankel, a sharp increase from his 2023 fee of £275,000, while Sea The Stars, Siyouni and Wootton Bassett are all now at a career-high €200,000. 

Such rates leave little room for error, or manoeuvre, especially when it comes to colts.

Moyglare Stud's adviser Fiona Craig says: "There aren't many genuine owner-breeders left, they're a dying breed, and the plan when breeding has been to race everything, including colts by Frankel and Dubawi. If they can run, fine, but if they can't they're worth 20 grand, if that.

"That's the problem with colts, but fillies will always have a value, especially if they're a Dubawi or a Frankel as they'll be coming from a good pedigree. That's why so many people are selling good colts, for example Mr [Anthony] Oppenheimer."

She adds: "Moyglare Stud has been around 60 years and in the 1970s that's what Eva's father, and Moyglare Stud founder, Walter Haefner did, but he sold all the yearlings at public auction in Europe and USA, including a few Derby winners. 

"These days, if you're an owner-breeder and want to keep finances under some degree of control you've got three choices: breed fewer mares, breed to lesser stallions, or the other alternative, which we'll have to discuss further, is selling the colts.

"As an owner-breeder you tend to acquire horses; you keep fillies hoping they'll be mares, buy horses, and hence it does differ to a purely commercial operation. In the past decade or so, Moyglare Stud has sold both colt foals at Goffs and a few yearlings, with Group 1 horses among them; they sell well, and are entered with the plan to sell, not just to value, but the primary aim of this was always to reduce numbers. 

"It will be up to Eva [Maria Bucher-Haefner], but it could be that Moyglare Stud goes back to selling all colts as foals and yearlings.

"It's not about making money, Moyglare Stud will never do that, because all the costs are hideous, but it may be a way to offset the increasing stud fees."

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Kitty TriceBloodstock journalist

Published on 11 February 2024inFeatures

Last updated 16:29, 11 February 2024