Well-bred winners aplenty at Saturday's Irish meeting
Mullins strikes with another exciting French import
Dandy Mag upheld the family name at Gowran Park on Saturday as Vroum Vroum Mag’s half-brother ran out a comfortable winner of the maiden hurdle for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins.
The gelding was always going well in a prominent position, and having easily gone to the front between the last two flights was pushed clear to score by five and a half lengths.
The four-year-old son of Special Kaldoun was sourced from France by Mullins’ old ally Harold Kirk, who will have considered Saturday a good day at the office having also been responsible for the winners of races one and two at the County Kilkenny course, Bachasson and Ballycasey.
Dandy Mag was bred by Comte Antoine-Audoin Maggiar out of the winning Kadalko mare Naiade Mag, a half-sister to Grade 1-winning hurdler and Grand National runner-up Saint Are.
He twice finished runner-up in his native France for Etienne Leenders before transferring to the care of the Irish champion trainer.
Later on the card a sibling of another illustrious performer passed the post in front, with the tough and talented The New One’s half-sister Shimmer’s Rock grinding out a gutsy win in the concluding bumper.
Bred by Ronald Brown, the five-year-old daughter of Westerner was ridden by Richard Deegan and trained by Pat Fahy, and having gone best throughout she took up the running entering the straight. She then displayed the kind of attitude that has stood her half-brother well down the years as she fended off Crackerdancer by a hard-fought head.
She has already been through the sales ring on four occasions, though failed to sell at the foal and yearling stage. Her most recent date with the auctioneer came during the 2015 renewal of the Doncaster Spring Store Sale, where she was picked up by Alan Harte Bloodstock for £35,000.
Shimmer’s Rock has had two runs in mares’ maiden point-to-points, finishing second at Dromahane and Dungarvan.
She is out of the placed Turgeon mare Thuringe, who has since produced a half-sister and half-brother to Shimmer’s Rock, who are three and two respectively, with both being by Grange Stud stalwart Oscar.
Among those who finished in behind Shimmer's Rock was Blixt, a three-parts sister to legendary hurdler Hurricane Fly by Yeats.