The breeding behind the winners on day two
Five winners on the card came from the Sadler's Wells line
It was not to be for the fancied Neon Wolf in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday as David Bass got a tune out of Willoughby Court to see off the favourite by a head.
Bred by Jack Kidd, the six-year-old Willoughby Court is by Court Cave and the third foal out of the unplaced Willoughby Sue. She is a half-sister to Drinmore Novice Chase winner and Grand National fourth Nil Desperandum. Double Shuffle, who holds an entry in this year’s Aintree showpiece, also appears on the page.
Willoughby Court was sold by Kidd as a yearling at the Tattersalls Ireland February Sale for €3,800. He changed hands twice more, including when sold as a three-year-old store by Pine Tree Stud to Highflyer Bloodstock for €48,000.
Court Cave, an unraced brother to Beat Hollow, is standing his tenth consecutive season at Boardsmill Stud, at a fee of €3,000.
The son of Sadler’s Wells has also been responsible for Champion Court, a three-time Grade 2 winner round Cheltenham, and Scottish Champion Hurdle scorer Court Minstrel.
Might Bite snatches the RSA from jaws of defeat
The RSA Chase saw a thrilling conclusion when Might Bite veered markedly right on the run-in having led over the last. He was headed within the final furlong but rallied gamely to get his nose in front of stablemate Whisper.
Bred by John O’Brien, Might Bite is a half-brother to dual Grade 1 novice hurdle winner Beat That. The son of Scorpion is out of the winning point-to-pointer Knotted Midge, a half-sister to the winning chaser Dushybeag.
Interestingly, Knotted Midge failed to sell for €14,000 when offered by O’Brien at the 2007 Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale. She also has a three-year-old colt and a yearling colt, both by Milan.
Scorpion became the third son of Montjeu to have a winner at this year’s festival, following on from the success of Labaik (Montmartre) and Tiger Roll (Authorized) on Tuesday.
After nine seasons at Castle Hyde Stud in County Cork, the 15-year-old recently relocated to Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, where he is standing at a fee of £3,000.
Special Tiara sparkles in Champion Chase
Few could have foreseen a defeat for hot favourite Douvan in the Champion Chase, yet that is precisely what transpired as Special Tiara, having made most of the running, stayed on strongly to see off the fast-finishing Fox Norton by a head.
Bred by David Young, Special Tiara is a ten-year-old son of Kayf Tara and the first of four foals out of the Bob Back mare Special Choice.
The other three are also by Kayf Tara: a six-year-old mare named Special Diamond, a three-year-old gelding and a yearling filly.
Trained by Henry de Bromhead, Special Tiara was raced in Ireland by Young before being sold privately to the American owner Sally Rowley-Williams.
Kayf Tara enjoyed an excellent festival last year with three Grade 1 winners: Ballyandy in the Champion Bumper, Blaklion in the RSA Chase and Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle.
The Overbury Stud stallion is standing his 17th breeding season, at a fee of £10,000.
Special Tiara was one of five winners from the Sadler's Wells line on the card, the others being Willoughby Court, Might Bite, Supasundae (son of Galileo) and Flying Tiger (son of Soldier Of Fortune).
Fayonagh strikes late in Champion Bumper
It proved a red letter day for Boardsmill Stud in Trim, County Meath.
After Willoughby Court struck for Court Cave in the opener, Fayonagh, a daughter of Kalanisi, obliged in the concluding Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
Bred by John Bowe out of the winning Taipan mare Fair Ina, Fayonagh won a bumper on her second start at Naas in November, and was subsequently a wide-margin winner of a Listed bumper at Fairyhouse last month, before making it three on the bounce here.
Fair Ina is a half-sister to Solerina, who was successful on 22 of her 40 starts under rules, including four top-flight wins, and the classy Florida Coast - who Solerina defeated in the 2003 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.
Fayonagh realised £64,000 when bought by Maura Gittins at the Cheltenham December Sale from Richard Rath’s Ballybawn Stables.
She is the second of five foals out of Fair Ina, who also has a two-year-old colt by Dubai Destination and a yearling filly by Fame And Glory.
Kalanisi, who has Another Hero to represent him in Thursday’s Kim Muir Chase, is standing his 16th breeding season and tenth at Boardsmill Stud, at a fee of €4,500.