DARK Angel delivered his 16th Group or Grade 1 winning offspring at the weekend when the Moyglare Stud-bred Mad Cool took the honours in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen. This was the five-year-old’s second stakes victory in six wins to date, though he came close to a top-level success when he was runner-up in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes.

The grandson of Acclamation (Royal Applause) is lightly raced, and he was making just his twelfth start, one of which was in Hong Kong. He has been in the money on 10 occasions, is now the highest earner sired by Dark Angel with winnings of €2.134 million, and he has well and truly justified the €225,000 he cost Katsumi Yoshida as a foal at Goffs.

A look at his race record suggests that Mad Cool is really just reaching the peak of his ability, and his programme for the year ahead will be very interesting. A place at stud could also beckon for him, given the exceptional family that he comes from. He is the best of seven winners for Mad About You, a Group 3 winner by Indian Ridge (Ahonoora) who was placed four times in Group 1 contests in Ireland and France. Those seven winners are Mad About You’s first seven foals, her eighth being the unraced three-year-old filly Campari Soda (Showcasing).

Mad Cool traces back to one of a number of purchases that became foundation mares at Moyglare. This is Mad Cool’s fourth dam, Aptostar (Fappiano), and Moyglare’s advisor Fiona Craig told Nancy Sexton about the acquisition of the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes winner who was bought for $750,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s ‘Night of the Stars’ Sale in 1989. She had been a consistent campaigner for Centennial Farms and was by one of the most popular stallions in the USA. Even so, she was somewhat disappointing at first in the breeding shed.

“There weren’t a vast number of mares suitable for Sadler’s Wells at that time at Moyglare,” Craig told Sexton. “They were looking for a mare with a bit more speed, so they went to the Night of the Stars Sale in Kentucky and Aptostar was being sold by Centennial. Moyglare bought her, she came back to Ireland and went to Sadler’s Wells, and In Anticipation was the first result. There were a few more out of her by Sadler’s Wells and one by Indian Ridge but they didn’t do a lot. The stud ended up selling Aptostar and she didn’t really come up with anything else.”

Spectacular pinhook

In fact, she bred seven winners, only one of which was a blacktype horse. He was Colossal (Grand Lodge), and he was something of a story in his own right. Moyglare sold Aptostar for IR56,000gns at the age of 15 to Paul Nataf, carrying Colossal. The colt provided one of the most spectacular pinhooking successes ever seen at Goffs, achieved by Jimmy Murphy’s Redpender Stud.

Murphy paid IR£29,000 for the colt as a foal, but after his half-sister’s daughter Irresistible Jewel (Danehill) won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, Demi O’Byrne was impressed enough to splash out €480,000 for Colossal as a yearling.

Colossal ran three times for Team Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien, winning a Tipperary maiden on the third occasion. He was then sold to Macau where he was successful four more times and ran second in the Listed Macau Sprint Trophy. These were certainly not the results Moyglare hoped for when they spent three-quarters of a million dollars on Aptostar. Yet, the mare was a huge success in the long run.

One of Aptostar’s seven winners was In Anticipation (Sadler’s Wells), and she raced just four times, winning at Tralee and Gowran Park over 12 and 14 furlongs. At stud she turned into a goldmine, producing nine foals, all but one of which not only ran, but they all won. Two went on to become stakes winners, Diamond Trim (Highest Honor) and the aforementioned Irresistible Jewel, and both of these mares have established their own legacies at stud.

Profound Beauty

Diamond Trim was a listed winner at the Curragh and she bred the Group 3 winner and Group 1 The Irish Field St Leger runner-up Profound Beauty (Danehill). Through her daughters Diamond Trim is also the ancestress of six stakes winners, and pride of place among them goes to the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Homeless Songs (Frankel).

However, special mention must go to Irresistible Jewel, the grandam of the weekend Group 1 winner Mad Cool. Twenty-two years ago she won the 15-runner Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, later added the Group 3 Blandford Stakes and finished second to Bright Sky in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. She also established a connection with Japan, travelling out to compete in the Japan Cup, though she failed to strike a blow in the race won by Falbrav.

Irresistible Jewel is responsible for five winners, and her daughter Princess Highway (Street Cry) matched an achievement of her dam. This came about a decade after Irresistible Jewel did so, but Princess Highway also won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, and she was classic-placed in the Group 1 Irish Oaks. Two years ago, Princess Highway’s daughter Eternal Silence (War Front) was third in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Princess Highway was not the highest achiever among the winners from Irresistible Jewel however, and that honour falls to Royal Diamond (King’s Best). Ironically, just like Mad Cool, he was sold by Moyglare at public auction, bought for €70,000 by Sir Mark Prescott as a yearling. As a three-time winner at the age of three, he was sold at the Tattersalls Autumn Sale to Michael Dods for 400,000gns.


Four uninspiring runs later, Jonjo O’Neill took over the training reins, and he didn’t do much better, his final run for O’Neill seeing him beaten 32 lengths into third in a maiden hurdle at Fakenham. Tommy Carmody then took on the task of training Royal Diamond, and he worked the oracle, getting him to be beaten just a neck in the Ebor Handicap before winning the Group 1 Irish St Leger in one of the most exciting finishes ever to that classic. Johnny Murtagh handled the final part of the gelding’s career, winning and placed regularly in pattern company.

Royal Diamond was born the year after Mad About You, the dam of Mad Cool, and at two she showed that she had plenty of ability, being placed in a pair of Group 1 races, the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Prix Marcel Boussac, behind Saoirse Abu and Listen at the Curragh, and to Zarkava in France.

On her first start at three, Mad About You had to give best to Halfway To Heaven in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, and next time out occupied the same position in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes. Kept in training at four, she didn’t reach those heights again, but was always consistent at Group 3 and listed level. Now she has been a prolific winner-producer, and Mad Cool’s Group 1 win means that she has earned a special place in the pantheon of mares at Moyglare.

Declan Murphy

Finally, hats off to the new owner of Malinka (Pivotal), a winner and winner-producing mare who was culled by Moyglare last November. Barren, she realised just €3,000 and was bought by Declan Murphy from Galway. Now she is a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Mad Cool, and is one of the first mares visiting Rathbarry Stud’s new sire Bouttemont (Acclamation). Her future produce by the stallion will therefore be bred on very similar lines to Mad Cool.

In fact, as I called Declan on Wednesday to congratulate him on his purchase, he was loading Malinka on to the box for her journey to Fermoy to be covered. A small breeder who has had interests in horses with both Kevin Blake and Jack Cantillon, he is thrilled with the prospect of breeding a close relation to Mad Cool.