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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Speedy Unfortunately fits the bill for Cheveley Park

Stud hopes that star juvenile can preserve fragile legacy of Society Rock

Society Rock (far side) fought out the last three finishes of his career with Lethal Force: now his son Unfortunately is to join his old rival at Cheveley Park Stud
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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.

The retirement of Nunthorpe winner Kyllachy (green silks) left Cheveley Park prospecting for a young speed source
 To have his future at stud formally secured on the first day of the Tattersalls Ireland September Sale, moreover, could not be more fitting. For it was at the same auction, last year, that Karl Burke surpassed even the remarkable standards he has set in finding such bargains as 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.


Society success sending sale upmarket

Society Rock now long odds-on to be leading first-season sire

It is some achievement, given the page Burke was assessing for Lot 381 this time last year
E.W. Terms
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