KIERAN Cotter’s £16,000 investment in Synthe Davis a decade ago has certainly reaped rewards. This was at the Doncaster January Sale in 2014, the next renewal of which takes place this week.

A daughter of Saint Des Saints (Cadoudal), Synthe Davis had been purchased as a two-year-old for €61,000 at Arqana, ran a few times in France without distinction, and was then sent into training with Nicky Henderson, carrying the colours of Sir Robert Ogden.

In spite of winning a mares’ novices’ hurdle on her final start for Henderson, and being placed on four of her other five outings, on two occasions beaten a neck, she was sold on for £20,000 to trainer Laura Mongan.

Hopes must have been high when Synthe Davis was beaten a neck on her first hurdle outing for Mongan, and then won her next two starts by 17 and 26 lengths. However, she was not to win again until landing a chase nearly three years later, and the following January Synthe Davis was sold on to Cotter. Four wins and 17 other top four finishes in 34 starts at least showed that Synthe Davis was a sound racemare, something that made appeal as a future broodmare.

Synthe Davis’ first produce, later named Night Combat (Presenting), sold as a foal for €40,000 to Jimmy Murphy’s Redpender Stud, and was among the stars of the 2018 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale when he sold to Gordon Elliott for €200,000, one of five lots to make that amount or more at the sale. He went on to race for Gigginstown House, not trained by Elliott, but the less said about his racecourse non-achievements the better.

A full-sister to Night Combat was next, Jersey (Presenting), and this €75,000 Derby Sale graduate was a moderate runner for Dan Skelton, finally managing to place second over hurdles on what was to be her penultimate start.

It was probably only a matter of time until Synthe Davis got a winner, and her third offspring was the one. Uncle Phil, a son of Walk In the Park (Montjeu), never went to the sales, instead making his way to Willie Mullins and the ownership of Marie Donnelly. He was sent to Kilbeggan for his first two starts, beaten into second on his debut, but made no mistake three weeks later when winning a bumper.

Promising sort

A subsequent Killarney maiden hurdle win has now been followed by three chase victories, and the most recent was at Fairyhouse last weekend when the seven-year-old won the Grade 3 SBK Dan and Joan Moore Memorial Chase.

Uncle Phil is a full-brother to the year-younger Heinwein (Walk In The Park), a placed point-to-pointer behind Croke Park who was bought by Jerry McGrath for £70,000 at the Goffs UK Aintree Sale in 2022. He is a promising sort now with Alan King, winner of a bumper and a hurdle race in five outings, and runner-up in a listed hurdle at Sandown last month.

Completing the line-up of younger stock out of Synthe Davis are the unraced five-year-old mare Sea Thrift (Bullet Train), a four-year-old Flemensfirth (Alleged) filly, a two-year-old son of Nathaniel (Galileo), and a yearling colt by Crystal Ocean (Sea The Stars). The latter was sold to Frank Doyle last November for €24,000, after which both his siblings, Uncle Phil and Heinwein, have given a boost to the family and earned blacktype.

It was highly appropriate that Uncle Phil should win a race run in memory of Dan and Joan Moore. Their son Arthur has enjoyed many great successes as a trainer in his distinguished career, and one of his very best runners was a star of the nineties, Klairon Davis (Rose Laurel). It would be fair to say that Arthur was one of the first to recognise the real potential of French-breds.

Fruitful career

Klairon Davis was bought as a yearling and raced for Chris Jones. The gelding enjoyed a fruitful career, running 54 times, winning 20 races, and being placed on numerous occasions. The highlight of his career was victory in the 1996 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, a year after he won the Arkle Chase at the same venue. Klairon David was also a multiple Grade 1 winner in Ireland, at Punchestown and Leopardstown.

When he retired from racing Klairon Davis had won more than £360,000. His final victory was in the Normans Grove Chase, a race he won for the third time at the age of 12. After his retirement, Klairon Davis enjoyed a long life at his owner’s farm in Co Meath where he died at the age of 29.

As it happens, Klairon Davis is from the immediate family of Uncle Phil. He is the best of three winners out of Styrene (Trenel), and that four-time winner is the third dam of the weekend’s Grade 3 winner.

Styrene’s placed daughter Trumpet Davis (Rose Laurel), the grandam of Uncle Phil, was a placed own-sister to Klairon Davis.

The first four dams of Uncle Phil have now all bred a blacktype winner. Trumpet Davis had six winning offspring, the best being the Grade 2 mares’ hurdle winner Violin Davis (Turgeon), while his fourth dam Fille Des Mers (Fine Top) bred the listed Auteuil chase winner, and Styrene’s full-brother, Zutphen (Trenel).

Mullins star gives fillip to de Bromhead

HENRY de Bromhead got something of a bargain at the inaugural Goffs Arkle Sale (the renamed Land Rover Sale) last summer when he paid €23,000 for a daughter of Doctor Dino (Muhtathir) from breeder Walter Connors’ Sluggara Farm. She is named Dino Roque.

This was in spite of the fact that she was a half-sister to four winners, and one of these had provided the pedigree with an important update the month before the sale. Readin Tommy Wrong (Authorized) ran second to Out Of Office (then sold for £160,000) in his only point-to-point outing, and the runner-up was then acquired privately for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. Readin Tommy Wrong raced twice last May from Willie Mullins’ yard, winning bumpers at Ballinrobe and Tipperary with ease.

Now the son of the Derby winner Authorized (Montjeu) is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles, on the second occasion winning the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Slaney Hurdle. This race is an almost certain sign that its winner is top-class, and just look at the nine previous winners of the contest; Champ Kiely (Willie Mullins), Ginto, Bob Olinger, Envoi Allen, Battleoverdoyen, Next Destination (Willie Mullins), Death Duty, Bellshill (Willie Mullins) and McKinley (Willie Mullins).

The only disappointment I encountered on the wonderful Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Stallion Trail last weekend was on my visit to Ger O’Neill’s Capital Stud near Bennettsbridge. No fault of the stud, but the repatriated Authorized was still in quarantine, though he will be available for breeders to see in the next few days. Mind you, National Hunt breeders from France, Britain as well as Ireland are already booking their mares into him, and no wonder.

The Walter Connors-bred Readin Tommy Wrong is just the latest star for his sire, who has been a source of top-class runners under both codes, and worldwide. Authorized’s son Santiago won the Group 1 Irish Derby and will stand his third season at Castle Hyde Stud at an increased fee of €5,000. Three more of his sons have been stars in Australia, Hartnell earning more than £4 million and winning four Group 1s, while Group 1 winner Complacent is now at stud down under. Pounamu is another who won there at the highest level.

Sale topper

Two daughters of Authorized won Group 1 races, Ambivalent in Ireland and Seal Of Approval in Britain, and the former sold for €925,000 at Goffs in November. Also at Goffs, but in December, the Grade 3 winner Zarkareva topped the sale when she sold to Coolmara Stables for €240,000. Zarkareva is far from being the only National Hunt star for Authorized, the first stallion ever sold by the Jockey Club of Turkey, allowing him to become available to breeders here.

I Am Maximus, Echoes In Rain, Nichols Canyon, Tiger Roll, Goshen and more have all ensured that Authorized is as familiar to breeders of jumpers as he is with breeders of classic hopefuls on the flat. The best three-year-old of 2007 in Europe, Authorized took with him into his second season a victory in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy as a juvenile, while he also won the Group 1 Juddmonte International and was runner-up in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes. Starting out at a fee of £25,000 at Dalham Hall Stud, Authorized stood his second season in Turkey last year at €12,500.

Readin Tommy Wrong is the fifth foal and one of six runners for his unraced dam, Roque De Cyborg (High Chaparral). Four of the half-dozen are winners, and both the others were placed last year.

In addition to the unraced four-year-old Dino Roque, Roque De Cyborg has a two-year-old filly, Spooked (Saint Des Saints), and a yearling colt, Upperocity (Saint Des Saints).


While Roque De Cyborg never raced, all four of her siblings who did face the starter won, and three of them earned blacktype. Kazal (Villez) won four Grade 2 races in Ireland, while Saint Roque (Lavirco) was placed in a similar standard race at Sandown Park.

However, neither could match the achievements of Quito De La Roque (Saint Des Saints), winner of a Grade 1 novice chase at the Punchestown Festival before adding the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal to his career tally of a single point-to-point victory, two hurdle races and seven chases.

Quito De La Rogue and his siblings are out of Moody Cloud (Cyborg), and this three-time winner over jumps in France was placed in a couple of listed chases at Auteuil. She was the only one of the seven winners out of her dam Chattannooga Choo (In The Mood) to get any blacktype racing.

Three maidens at Dundalk for O’Brien

LAST Friday at Dundalk saw three races for maidens on the eight-race card, and all the winners had a ring of familiarity about them. They had different winning riders, but all of them are trained by Joseph O’Brien.

First into the winner’s enclosure was the debutante Western City, a three-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy (El Prado) out of the Mr Greeley (Gone West) mare You Go West Girl.

Carrying the colours of Fergus Galvin and raced by him in partnership with Marc Detampel, Western City was bought as a yearling by Galvin from the colt’s breeders, Glen Hill Farm, at the Keeneland September Sale for $75,000.

Western City is just the second winner for his dam, but the other is his full-brother Chicago Style (Kitten’s Joy), successful and runner-up in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes.

Their dam You Go West Girl was a multiple stakes winner, her 10 victories amassing more than $630,000 in winnings. You Go West Girl’s dam, Careless Heiress (Runaway Groom), was also a multiple stakes winner, and two of her eight wins were in Grade 3 contests.

Craig Bernick owns Glen Hill Farm and took over its running about 15 years ago from his grandfather, Leonard Lavin, who founded the farm almost six decades ago.

Beautiful Dawn

The second O’Brien-trained maiden winner on the card at Dundalk was the Sebastian Curran-bred three-year-old filly Beautiful Dawn. She was successful at her second attempt, having run with promise on her debut at Dundalk in October.

This daughter of Starspangledbanner (Choisir) was sold twice at Goffs, for €82,000 as a foal and for a profitable €330,000 by Ciaran ‘Flash’ Conroy’s Glenvale Stud at the Orby Sale.

Sebastian Curran bought the dam of Beautiful Dawn, Balakera (Dansili), as a three-year-old for €42,000, and sold her first foal, King Arthurs Sword (Camelot) for €68,000. That gelding is now one of his dam’s four foals of racing age, and all are winners. Last year Balakera was covered by St Mark’s Basilica (Siyouni).

Balakera is a half-sister to a Group 2 winner in Australia, and hails from one of the many successful Aga Khan female families.

Dawn Rider

The final race on the card at Dundalk was a maiden won by the four-year-old Dawn Rider, a daughter of Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) who was running for the fourth time in two and a half months. Second on one occasion, this win for the filly will be very important when she heads to the breeding shed, and given that Dawn Rider is now four that could well happen this spring.

Bred by Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm, and raced by him in partnership, Dawn Rider is the first winner for her dam, Roca Rojo (Strategic Prince). Brant purchased Roca Rojo for $625,000 as a five-year-old.

The mare had only raced nine times, starting out with two wins in Ireland at three. Three victories at four, from five runs, were headed by her win in the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes at Belmont, and she was runner-up in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes. At five, and with just a pair of starts, Roca Rojo was a Grade 2 winner at Churchill Downs.

When she sold at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale, Roca Rojo was one of a pair of winners from the unplaced Lucy Diamonds (Orpen), the other being the Group 2 Hong Kong winner and three-time Group 1 runner-up, Beauty Flame (Footstepsinthesand). Since then four more of the mare’s progeny have won, including the Group 3 runner-up Roca Roma (Australia).

Keeping Star Of Mystery cool is key

SUCCESSFUL on her seasonal bow in the Al Wasl Stakes at Meydan, not a listed contest, Godolphin’s homebred Star Of Mystery made the perfect start to her sophomore year, and if her trainer, Charlie Appleby, can keep a lid on her temperament she will be a filly to watch.

This was a third win in six starts for the daughter of Kodiac (Danehill), and last year she won a listed race at Newmarket and ran second in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at the same track. Indeed, Newmarket has been good to the family, as Star Of Mystery’s dam and grandam both gained important victories there.

Star Of Mystery is the fifth foal, fifth winner and third stakes winner out of Mistrusting (Shamardal), a consistent sort who won four times in seven starts, notably a listed race at Newmarket.

Star Of Mystery has big shoes to fill, as her two stakes-winning siblings were both successful at the highest level, Althiqa (Dark Angel) winning both the Grade 1 Diana Stakes and Just A Game Stakes, while Mysterious Night (Dark Angel) landed the Grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine at two.

Perfect start

With such a perfect start at stud, imagine the expectations that surround Mistrusting’s sixth produce, a two-year-old son of Dubawi (Dubai Millennium)? Sadly, her foal by Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) was dead at birth last year, and Mistrusting was covered again by Dubawi. Mistrusting is one of a pair of winners from Misheer (Oasis Dream), winner of the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes and second in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes and Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes.

Kodiac was looking a picture when I saw him on the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Stallion Trail, and be belies his 23 years. This year Tally-Ho’s flagbearer is available for €35,000, and the sire of Group 1 winners Best Solution, Campanelle, El Bodegon, Fairyland, Hello Youmzain and Tiggy Wiggy is joined at stud in Co Westmeath by his Group 1-winning son, Good Guess.