Not quite the final curtain for legacy of late sprinter Orientor
Alex Bogle of Sidehouse Farm Stud looks to the future
Orientor’s death this week aged 23 leaves a hole that will be impossible to fill at his home at Sidehouse Farm Stud in Ayrshire, where a change of direction is almost certainly now in order.
Alex Bogle, who founded his business a decade ago, had a connection with the popular sprinter’s owners through his former employer, Gordon Thom of New Hall Stud, and decided to stand him when they had given up hope of him being any kind of commercial success as a stallion.
Not that he was to become one in any event but Orientor has produced some results that the 34-year-old can be proud of.
His most notable offspring, Jack Dexter, shared many of his characteristics. Trained, and also bred, by Orientor’s former handler Jim Goldie, he was also to emulate his sire with victory in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle exactly a decade on and ran some mighty races in the highest of company.
"Orientor had the most fantastic temperament, he really was an absolute pleasure to deal with," said Bogle.
"Particularly from the better mares, he was a very good stallion. Some years he was even 100 per cent winners to runners, although sometimes he might have had only three or foals on the ground. I think if he’d have had a fair crack of the whip, he could have been really successful, but we were very happy to have him anyway."
Orientor covered one mare this season, with Bogle awaiting the outcome of that particular liaison. There were never enormous books and he reports that the sire has four three-year-olds, 11 two-year-olds, six yearlings and four foals on the ground. And it is not just in numbers that Orientor was quite a rarity.
"He was one of the last from the Byerley Turk sire line, I believe there’s only Pearl Secret left now in the UK at least, if not Europe, that descends from that," explained Bogle. "It’s been quite ill-fated recently with Dunaden, Compton Place and others, who have all gone."
The Byerley Turk, one of the three founding fathers of the thoroughbred, has been very much displaced by the Darley Arabian but had largely been perpetuated through Ahonoora and his sons such as Indian Ridge as well as Orientor’s sire, the classy Inchinor.
"That’ll probably be it for us with a stallion, we’ll probably become more of an owner-breeder, sending the mares to other stallions, board some mares for others," said Bogle.
"But you never know, we’ve got probably the most beautiful colt foal we’ve ever had by him, so we’ll keep him and put him into training. So we’ll give it a good go - stranger things have happened.
"Jim Goldie has sent most of his broodmares over the years and done incredibly well with using him. Orientor even had a horse sell to Kim Bailey for £24,000 to be a National Hunt prospect at the last Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale, so there should be some more years of fun following his progeny anyway."
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