PAT Doyle nurtured the early career of Flame Bearer, one of the many winners over the weekend that are trained in Closutton by the maestro, Willie Mullins. Under Doyle’s tutelage the eight-year-old son of Fame And Glory (Montjeu) won two bumper and three hurdle races, including the Grade 2 Johnstown Novice Hurdle at Naas and the Grade 2 Hardy Eustace Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

On his last start for Doyle, at last year’s Punchestown Festival, Flame Bearer was second in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle. The bay has raced exclusively over fences since joining Mullins, winning three of his six starts. He won the Grade 3 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase on his way to leading a clean sweep for Mullins in the Grade 1 WillowWarm Gold Cup Novice Chase at the weekend.


Bred by Jim Halligan, Flame Bearer sold as a foal for €36,000 and more than doubled that when resold as a three-year-old, again at Tattersalls Ireland, in the Derby Sale, realising €78,000.

A year and a half before he was born, Flame Bearer’s dam Banba, a daughter of Docksider (Diesis), passed through the ring for just €5,000 at Goffs. The dam of three winners then, she has added two more to that list, and a point-to-point winner.

Banba won over a mile and then over 10 furlongs at three, having been placed for trainer Jim Bolger as a two-year-old. She was one of a pair of winners from the unraced See Gold (Goldneyev).

The third and fourth removes of this family have produced many excellent performers, both on the level and over jumps. While most are distantly related to Flame Bearer, they do show the versatility of the family.

On the flat there are stars such as Group 1 Aga Khan Studs National Stakes winner Mus-If (Lahib), while under National Hunt rules Petit Mouchoir (Al Namix) is an obvious standout. His wins included the Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle.


Fame And Glory won 14 times in a distinguished racing career that saw him land Group 1 victories in four of his season’s racing, progressing from the Criterium de Saint-Cloud at two to the Irish Derby at three, landing the Coronation Cup and the Tattersalls Gold Cup at four, and crowning his career with an Ascot Gold Cup win at five. He was runner-up in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom. Sadly he died after just five seasons at stud.

As a sire Fame and Glory is responsible for 25 blacktype winners, and at Grade 1 level these include Foxy Jack and Commander Of Fleet from his first crop, Ballyadam, The Nice Guy, Home By The Lee and Flame Bearer from his second, and Gardons Le Sourire in France and Stage Star from his third. What a loss he has been to the Irish National Hunt stallion ranks.