'We’d love it if Min was running to make it a proper race'
We hear from Paddy Behan junior, whose father bred chasing sensation Altior
How confident are you Altior can live up to favouritism in the Arkle? As long as he stays on his four legs I don’t think there’s anything that can beat him. We’d love it if Min was running to make it a proper race, but there are always outsiders and horses that will come and shock you, but it will take a fair horse to beat Altior.
How impressed have you been by Altior’s form over fences? He’s class over fences, flawless. In his first first races the way he was jumping was a little bit untidy, but now that he has that bit more experience he’s meeting the fences perfectly. We’re raging he’s not in the Champion Hurdle though because we think he would be a runaway favourite! But hopefully he’ll go out in front and not get caught up with the other horses.
How did you acquire Altior’s dam, Monte Solaro? Dad’s brother, Jack, bred her. When she was born he always insisted she was a superstar. She ran very well but unfortunately broke down at Naas. We bought her as a three-year-old and she’s the first mare Dad owned.
Does Monte Solaro have any other runners in the pipeline? We have a three-parts sister to Altior in training with Ross O’Sullivan, who we are hoping will run at either the Fairyhouse or Punchestown festival. She is called Melior. We’ll hopefully try and keep every filly foal out of her.
Is Monte Solaro due to foal in 2017? She’s a month overdue to Walk In The Park, she always seems to go a month overdue. Once she foals and we see exactly what we have, then we'll decide where we send her next. She works well with sons of Sadler’s Wells so we’ve been trying our best to keep sending her to his sons, though we’re playing with the idea of going to a different horse.
What do you remember of Altior as a foal? He was a smashing foal, we sold him to Michael Carty from Kilmoney Cottage Stud straight from the field. He told us afterwards he wasn’t leaving the field without him! We're not set up to keep store horses so we sell them as foals - we sell the colts and keep the fillies.
The pedigree received a timely update on Friday with Silverhow winning at Sandown, did that help settle the pre-Cheltenham nerves? It had been annoying us that he hadn’t won yet, we’re watching them all like a hawk! Monte Solaro is the only mare we have so it’s a big deal when any of her progeny run. The first thing that happens here every Monday morning is a search to see if any of them are running. We’re pinching ourselves that we have the mare as she's the first horse Dad ever owned and that we ever raced. We’re going to try and hold on to the bloodline now that we have it.