On St Patrick's Day, it only seems right to focus on an Irish Jump Racing success story. Vautour’s stunning victory in the JLT Novices’ Chase was for many the performance of the Festival.
A son of Robin Des Champs, the six-year-old is the latest Jump Racing star to come from the stallion that stands at the Rathbarry and Glenview Studs in County Cork, Ireland.
Established in the 1930’s by Paul Cashman, the business is still owned and managed by the Cashman family. The studs are home to some of the most successful National Hunt stallions. At the age of 23, the most famous of all is Presenting who is responsible for producing some of the greats including Gold Cup winners Denman and War Of Attrition. The leading jump racing sire again had a terrific Cheltenham Festival with Call The Cops winning the Pertemps Network Final for Nicky Henderson.
The Seven Barrows’ six-year-old is improving fast and like many Presenting offspring appears to appreciate a sounder surface. A step up in trip has certainly aided his improvement and after the win his trainer immediately spoke of a chasing career next season. He looks a horse with a huge amount of potential.
Presenting also had success at Uttoxeter this weekend, when Goonyella won the Midlands National. He is yet another from the bloodline that enjoys a marathon trip. Ballabriggs famously won the Grand National, and Niche Market was successful in the Irish version. It would come as no surprise to see the Aintree specialists; the Waley-Cohen’s; targeting next year’s National with their classy son of Presenting, Rajdhani Express.
Glenview Stud is also home to the relative youngster Sholokhov. A son of the mighty Sadler’s Wells, he arrived via Germany and has quickly become a successful National Hunt sire. Don Cossack has been the flag-bearer this winter and looked unfortunate in his attempt to win the Ryanair at Cheltenham last week. A powerful galloper, there are plenty of major prizes still to be won by Gordon Elliott’s strapping chaser.
Shirocco is very much the baby of Glenview’s National Hunt operation. Also responsible for producing quality horses on the flat, including Brown Panther, he should certainly have had a winner at Cheltenham last Tuesday when Annie Power fell at the last with the Mares Hurdle at her mercy. Arguably his most famous offspring, she has only tasted defeat twice in her 13 runs under rules. If staying fit, she is surely set to dominate the mares division for several years to come.
Minella Rocco is the latest of the offspring to have the look of a future star. Jonjo’s five-year-old has only had two career starts to date, but has looked extremely impressive. It would be no surprise to see him become one of the top staying hurdlers next season, but he also has the size and scope to be successful over fences.
However, we started with the current star of Glenview, a son of Garde Royale, Robin Des Champs. Already successful with the incredible Quevega, he is also the sire of Cheltenham Festival winner and Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs. Un Temps Pour Tout is another from the same sire. He was an incredibly expensive purchase by the Pipe team and although yet to justify the price he could well change all that once sent over fences.
But of course it’s Vautour who is set to send Robin Des Champs to the top of the National Hunt Sires ‘most wanted’ list. At the Brightwells Festival Sale last week, Champers On Ice was snapped up for £205,000. The latest high-profile son of Robin Des Champs is said to be a strapping grey five-year-old, who won his point to point by an impressive 12 lengths. The ripples from stunning victories on the racecourse are understandably felt in the sales ring, but they will also be felt at Stud.
The Cashman’s are likely to be pretty busy over the coming period as owners dream of creating their very own Quevega or Vautour.