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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Mohawk another feather in the cap of O'Briens' breeding programme

Royal Lodge Stakes winner was bred by his trainer from Galileo

Mohawk: out of the Group 3-winning Encosta De Lago mare Empowering
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Aidan O'Brien fielded the first three home in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday and to cap it all, he and wife Annemarie are the breeders of the winner Mohawk and parents of Donnacha, who partnered the colt to victory.

Mohawk, who was fourth to Quorto in the National Stakes last time out, beat stablemates Sydney Opera House and Cape Of Good Hope into the places in the Group 2 contest for juveniles over a mile.


View the race result and watch replay


Mohawk is the 185th Pattern winner for Coolmore legend Galileo and his second winner of the Royal Lodge after the incomparable Frankel.

He was bred by the O'Briens' Whisperview Trading outfit out of Empowering, a daughter of Encosta De Lago who carried Annemarie O'Brien's silks to win the Group 3 Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial and Listed Sweet Mimosa Stakes.

Empowering was also a Whisperview Trading homebred, out of Prix Imprudence winner and Prix Marcel Boussac third Blue Cloud, a Nashwan half-sister to the top-class miler Bigstone bought for 45,000gns at the Tattersalls December Breeding-Stock Sale of 2005.

Blue Cloud also produced the Listed-placed Oratorio mare Blue Angel, who became the dam of Dee Stakes winner Viren's Army.

It appears as though Empowering may sadly have had her problems in the breeding shed, as Mohawk is only her second foal after the unplaced four-year-old filly Jigsaw, and she was not bred from again until this year, when she was covered by Churchill. However, Weatherbys reports that the mare subsequently left stud during 2018.

Mohawk has an interesting breeding pattern, as Galileo's sire Sadler's Wells and Encosta De Lago's sire Fairy King were full-brothers, so he is inbred 3x4 to that pair's parents Northern Dancer and Fairy Bridge.

Mohawk, who has been introduced to Derby betting at around 25-1, is by no means the first high-class performer bred by the O'Briens.

Group 1 winners Beethoven, Intricately and Qualify also hailed from the Whisperview Trading operation, as did the likes of the ill-fated Furner's Green and talented two-year-old King Torus.

The O'Briens were also joint-breeders, with Annemarie's father Joe Crowley, of the great Rock Of Gibraltar.


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Mohawk is by no means the first high-class performer bred by the O'Briens
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