Speedy Unfortunately fits the bill for Cheveley Park
Stud hopes that star juvenile can preserve fragile legacy of Society Rock
The acquisition of Unfortunately by Cheveley Park Stud – as revealed on Tuesday – is consistent with its longstanding expertise with what the market designates "trainers' horses".
Yes, the veteran Pivotal has turned into a very different (and very special) influence; while the farm also has also helped to launch a young stallion of legitimate Classic credentials in Intello. More often than not, however, David and Patricia Thompson and their greatly respected stud manager, Chris Richardson, have tended to rely on stallions offering speed, precocity and value to keep the red, white and blue colours of Cheveley Park flying for independent British breeders.
Other than Intello and Pivotal, in fact, the roster comprises Dutch Art, Lethal Force, Twilight Son, Mayson and Garswood. And if Unfortunately might seem to offer only more of the same, then the fact is that he fills a vacancy created only a couple of weeks ago by the retirement of Kyllachy.Odeliz, a dual Group 1 winner picked out as a yearling for €22,000, or breeze-up graduates Quiet Reflection and Libertarian, at £44,000 and 40,000gns respectively.
Unfortunately, the 11th foal of an ageing Komaite mare, cost Burke just €24,000 – yet within the year he has become a Group 1 winner and a Cheveley Park stallion-in-waiting.
It is some achievement, given the page Burke was assessing for Lot 381 this time last year. Unfortunate, the colt's inauspiciously named dam, had been acquired for just €5,000 by Tally Ho at Goffs November in 2005. She had been a plating-class sprinter, a couple of wins in sellers never exalting her past an official rating of 53. Yet the daughter of Danetime she had delivered earlier that same year became a prolific stakes performer: Look Busy, trained by Alan Berry, won the Group 2 Temple Stakes as well as a Group 3 in Ireland and three Listed prizes.
Not a great deal could be added, admittedly, of her progeny since. But if his dam was Unfortunate, then what can one say about this colt’s sire? The death through laminitis of Society Rock towards the end of the 2016 covering season - only his third - has been made to seem ever more poignant by a prolific first crop.
Inevitably, given the herd-like behaviour of commercial breeders, a three-figure book at €8,000 in Society Rock’s first year had dwindled – via a second of 76 – to €6,000 for his third. As such, however, Cheveley Park will be hoping that they have already secured the strongest of what will necessarily prove very few strands to keep his legacy alive.