Forge Meadow hoping to strike victory in Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Jessica Ryan, who bred the mare with her father, answers the key questions
How did you acquire Forge Meadow’s dam Ballys Baby? We bought her at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale for €2,500 in 2006. It’s a very strong family, Ballys Baby is a sister to Bobbing Back, the dam of both Many Clouds and dual Grade 1 novice hurdle winner The Tullow Tank.
Do you still have the mare? We do, she’s in foal to Mahler and is due in mid-March. The plan is to send her back to him again this year.
What are your memories of Forge Meadow as a foal? She was a star from day one, she was just magical. Even as a foal you could see that she was going to be a true racehorse. She showed a turn of foot and had plenty of ability against all the other foals in the paddock.
We took her to the sales as a yearling, where we sold her for €3,500 to George Mullins. He sold her on to Jessica Harrington as a three-year-old, and it all started from there.
Do you think she is capable of winning the Dawn Run Novices' Hurdle? I think she is. We would be delighted even if she could get a good placing in the race, and even more delighted if she could pull it out of the bag and win - horses can always surprise you.
What would it mean to breed a Cheltenham winner? It would mean everything. It really would be my Dad’s dream come true if we bred a Cheltenham winner. Ballys Baby is our only mare, and while we’ve two more mares to breed off in the pipeline, it would just mean the world to us.