WHAT a loss Fame And Glory (Montjeu) was to the National Hunt stallion ranks, and we are constantly reminded of how good he was.

While he had just two foals registered in his final and fifth crop, having covered only a handful of mares when he succumbed to a suspected heart attack in mid-February, Fame And Glory’s four full crops yielded their 25th blacktype winner last weekend, thanks to Hunters Yarn’s success in the listed novice hurdle at Navan.

Bred by Caroline Berry, Hunters Yarn is one of six winning offspring from the Epervier Bleu (Saint Cyrien) mare Full Of Birds. Four of that half a dozen winners have now won a blacktype race under National Hunt rules, and an incredible three of them are sons of Fame And Glory.

Willie Mullins trains Hunters Yarn for owners of the moment, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, while Noel Meade saddled Highland Charge (Fame And Glory) to win last year’s Grade 3 Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle at Naas. Last year also saw Do Your Job (Fame And Glory) finally get the big race win he deserved, capturing the Grade 2 Future Champion Novice Chase at Ayr. Over hurdles he had chased Belfast Banter home in the Grade 1 novices’ hurdle at Aintree.

All of these good winners have appeared some years after Full Of Birds’ first blacktype winner, also trained in the latter part of her career by Noel Meade, and that was Down Ace (Generous). However, it was during her time in training with Fergal O’Brien that Down Ace won a listed mares’ hurdle race, and now she is a successful broodmare, her best offspring Brandy McQueen (Yeats) looking to win for the fifth time today at Haydock.

Sadly, Hunters Yard was the last of 11 foals out of Full Of Birds, and just seven of the 11 were named. The only other named offspring was the mare Flew The Nest (King’s Theatre) who was placed in the JP McManus colours but never went to stud. Along with the aforementioned Down Ace, they were the only two daughters from their winning dam.

Immediate family

What a pity Caroline Berry does not have any of this immediate family. Full Of Birds was a half-sister to the Grade 3 French chase winner Full Jack (Kahyasi), and their dam Full Contact (Cadoudal) won a listed hurdle race at Auteuil.

Full Contact was one of four blacktype winners among the 10 successful runners produced by Full Of Pep (Hard To Beat), and this latter mare has had quite an influence on the breed. In addition to her own record as a producer, Full Of Pep is grandam of the Grade 1 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run (Cadoudal), the Grade A Dan and Joan Moore Chase winner Charlie Stout (Spadoun), and the Grade 3 Cheltenham Festival winning chaser Liberthine (Chamberlin).

That alone would be enough to ensure her place in history, but through her daughters she is also the tap root for winners such as the Grade 1 winning chaser J’y Vole (Mansonnien) and Grade 2 winning hurdlers Getabird (Getaway) and My Sister Sarah (Martaline). This is a real example of Irish and French breeding combining well.