Kevin Purfield

The Mean Queen (Ire), 2016 f. by Doyen out of Gail Borden, by Kris Kin

“KEVIN Purfield recently cheered home a Grade 1 hurdle winner bred at his Ashgreen Stud near Summerhill in Co Meath, the five-year-old mare The Mean Queen. She won the Jonathan Sheppard Hurdle at Saratoga, and what a performer she is turning out to be”.

That was the citation when Kevin was shortlisted for Breeder of the Month in August. A month later The Mean Queen added the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory Hurdle at Belmont, four weeks before she claimed a third Grade 1 in succession when she was victorious in the Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills.

A point-to-point winner in Ireland, she was also successful in a bumper, over hurdles at Wexford, and now she is a four-time stakes winner over the smaller obstacles in the USA.

She is out of a mare called Gail Borden, and very unusually that mare has the same name as her own third dam! The first mare to carry the name was bred and raced by Kevin’s father John Purfield. She won seven races and just missed out on a big race success, being placed in both the Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh and the Downshire Hurdle at Punchestown.

Her son Dellersbeck went on to win both of these races, though his achievements were eclipsed by his half-brother Bartres, whose biggest win was in the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.

The newest Gail Borden did not race but she has made a great start at stud with two winners among her first foals. The Mean Queen is a real star now in the USA.

Cecil and Martin McCracken

El Bodegon (Ire), 2019 c. by Kodiac out of Al Andalyya, by Kingmambo

EL Bodegon provided trainer James Ferguson with his first Group 1 success, landing the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. A 70,000gns buy last October, El Bodegon is one of a pair of winners from his dam Al Andalyya who was placed at two and purchased by Cecil McCracken for 10,500gns at four.

He is also the mare’s second Group 1 winner, as his full-brother Best Solution won three times at that level, having been purchased for 90,000gns as a yearling by James Ferguson’s father John. Bred by the father and son team of Cecil and Martin McCracken, Best Solution is by some way the biggest money earner for Kodiac, his nine career victories netting the Godolphin team almost €2.9 million. His globetrotting provided him with a pair of Group 1 wins in Germany and success in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup down under.

Four of al Andalyya’s siblings went on to win. Her half-sister Kosmiche won a listed two-year-old race in Germany, while her half-brothers Cape Clear Island and Squire Osbaldeston are stakes-placed, the former running second in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart. They are all out of the Aidan O’Brien trained Kushnarenkovo, and she was group placed in Ireland before being sold as a four-year-old at Keeneland for $1,250,000.

Kushnarenkovo is a full-sister to the Group 1 St Leger and Racing Post Trophy winner Brian Boru, and the unbeaten stakes-winner Kitty O’Shea. Their siblings also include Sea Moon and Moon Search who won the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes and Group 2 Prix de Royallieu respectively, while Sea Moon was runner-up in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

John Tuthill, Owenstown Bloodstock Ltd

Creative Force (Ire), 2018 g. by Dubawi out of Choose Me, by Choisir

CREATIVE Force, bred at John Tuthill’s Owenstown Stud, stepped up to the big time and added the Group 1 British Champions Sprint to an earlier win in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

This €400,000 Goffs Orby Sale purchase by Godolphin was winning for the sixth time, and becomes the second Group 1 winner for his dam, Choose Me. The first was also a hero of British Champions Day, Cheveley Park’s Persuasive who landed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

That duo are among six winners, the first six foals, for their dam and that list also includes the stakes winner and group-placed Tisbutadream. Owenstown sold a full-sister to Persuasive for €230,000 to Amanda Skiffington at Goffs a couple of weeks ago.

Choose Me was bred at Owenstown Stud and raced in the colours of John Tuthill’s aunt Averil Whitehead. When she won the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales Race and the Listed Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary, Choose Me was the last winner as an owner for Mrs Whitehead who died in 2010. Afterwards the filly continued to race and was placed a number of times, including in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes.

Creative Force’s fourth dam was the Michael Cunningham-trained Cairn Rouge, the Irish 1000 Guineas and Champion Stakes at Newmarket winner. While she did not breed a winner approaching her own class, she has through her daughters and descendants left a rich legacy.

Some of the best known runners in the family include Harlem in Australia, the Japanese 2000 Guineas winner Epoca D’Oro, four-time US and Canadian Grade 1 winner Ventura and the Irish-bred, dual South African Group 1 winner Queen Supreme.

Derek Iceton, Limestone and Tara Studs

A Case Of You (Ire), 2018 c. by Hot Streak out of Karjera, by Key Of Luck

LAST year A Case Of You won the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes. Trained at the time by John McConnell, his subsequent sale meant that he transferred to the care of Ado McGuinness. The colt’s new handler was interviewed in January of this year, and he said: “Hopefully he will progress into a very smart horse. He has blacktype already, which is not easy in Ireland, so hopefully he will go forward and become a Group 1 and Group 2 horse in the future. I think he could definitely win a Group 1 race in Europe somewhere.”

Ado got it spot on, and the son of Hot Streak stepped up to the plate and won the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, having been runner-up at the same level in the Derrinstown Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

A Case Of You was sent to the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale but could not get the minimum bid of €3,000. Derek Iceton sold him for what he called a “fraction of the minimum bid” subsequently. The three-year-old is the best of three winners for his dam Karjera and she was also bred by Limestone and Tara Studs. She came within half a length of winning a race on her penultimate start as a three-year-old.

Karjera’s dam Lock’s Heath was purchased through bloodstock agent John Walsh for 6,800gns at the Tattersalls December Sale 25 years ago. She clicked with Tara Stud’s Key Of Luck and three of her four winners were sired by him. The best of the trio, Akanti, won the Listed Rochestown Stakes for Ger Lyons and later won a stakes race in the USA.