Terrific Tuesday for Altior's dam as she delivers filly foal
Another son Silverhow broke his duck at Sandown on Friday
Tuesday proved to be a remarkable day for Paddy Behan, the breeder of Altior, as the awesome gelding's dam Monte Solaro delivered a Walk In The Park half-sister hours after he won the Racing Post Arkle Chase.
The filly foal, who arrived just in time to make it a red letter day at 11.50pm, is closely related to the dual Cheltenham Festival winner.
Altior, a seven-year-old son of High Chaparral, followed up on his success in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at last year's festival by landing the Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase on Tuesday by six lengths from the Malcolm Jefferson-trained Cloudy Dream.
Paddy Behan Jnr, the breeder's son, describes the filly as “a smashing foal."
He said: "We’ll look at her again in a few weeks' time and see how she is sitting up on her legs but at the moment she is a lovely, tall foal with a lovely colour. We are extremely happy with her.
“We had the radio playing down at the shed, and then the foal arrived, and the next minute, I was just doing the iodine and the usual thing, and then the 12 o’clock news came on. So it was that close to midnight."
Those hoping to see the filly at the sales in the near future will be disappointed. Behan Jnr said: “The plan would be to hold on to her. We’ve two great broodmares coming with both this foal and her Milan half-sister Melior. We want to hang on to that bloodline.
"The family has a great temperament and they are really nice to work with.”
Tuesday's success provided Altior with his fifth straight win over fences, and Behan says: “It was unbelievable. He didn’t win as he normally wins his races, but then the ground looked a bit sticky, which wouldn’t have suited him, so to win the race by six lengths on ground he didn’t like was some achievement. You’d nearly prefer it wet or dry, one or the other. The ground just gets so sticky for an hour or two when it’s drying out.
"It will be interesting to see if he goes down in history as one of the all-time greats. He’s going in the right direction and he is still young, so he has plenty of time."
When asked about a potential headline clash in the future between Douvan and Altior, Behan Jnr said: “It would be great to see a race between them, with both horses on their best day, on conditions that suit both of them, and to let them at it."
The four-year-old Melior is in training with Ross O'Sullivan, and will be aimed at either the Fairyhouse or Punchestown festivals.
Monte Solaro, a daughter of Key Of Luck, also has a two-year-old Milan colt.
Silverhow, a six-year-old son of Monte Solaro, broke his duck in a handicap hurdle at Sandown on Friday, becoming the fourth winner out of the mare.