Paddocks relaunch for Lifeboat Mona
Bargain foal returns to her breeder and will be covered by Telescope
Talented jumps mare Lifeboat Mona has been retired after sustaining an injury in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The seven-year-old daughter of Kayf Tara has been bought back by Bryan Mayoh, who bred her out of the Astarabad mare Astar Love, a half-sister to Grade 1-winning French hurdler Great Love.
Mayoh – also the breeder of Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John – sold Lifeboat Mona as a foal at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale for just €600.
The purchaser, Michael Murphy, saddled Lifeboat Mona to win between the flags at Fairyhouse and after that she was transferred to be trained by Paul Nicholls for Axom.
She won six of her ten starts under Rules, including a Listed mares' bumper at Huntingdon in 2014 and a Listed mares' hurdle at Sandown in January.
"Throughout Mona's racing career I have loved her combination of high cruising speed, slick jumping, acceleration and determination, which I believe is rare in jumps broodmares," said Mayoh. "I expressed an interest in eventually buying her back as a broodmare some time ago.
"When I saw her race at Cheltenham it was with mixed feelings, for I very much wanted her to win but I knew that if she did I would never be able to afford her. When I heard she had damaged a front suspensory ligament and would race no more, I moved as quickly as I could to buy her back."
Mayoh is a shareholder in Hardwicke and Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Telescope, who is standing his second season at Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, and the Racing Post recently reported how the breeder was planning to send all his mares to the stallion.
He said: "Lifeboat Mona will be covered - and this may not come as a complete surprise to your regular readers - by Telescope, with the intention of breeding the Supreme Novices' Hurdle or Dawn Run winner of 2023 and the Champion Hurdle or David Nicholson winner of 2024. I hope to be alive to witness these splendid occasions.
"Because I don't wish to put all my eggs in the one basket, no matter how excellent a basket it is, I may now move one of my other mares to Scorpion - who I know to be the most underrated proven stallion in this country - although doing so might bite me in the end if the foal beats one of Telescope's in these races."