THE Czech Republic probably doesn’t spring immediately to mind when you think of racing and breeding on the international stage, though runners from that country do pick up prizes in Italy and Germany on occasions.
The best to emerge in living memory is the German Group 1 winner Darsalam, a son of Desert King, bred by the late Jeremiah Dillon at his Liscannor Stud. This half-brother to Caerleon’s St Leger winner Moonax later went to stud in Germany and France.
Now it is the turn of another Irish-bred, trained by Miroslav Nieslanik, to attempt to put the Czech Republic in the eye of the European racing community.
Bred by Liam Butler and the Gaffney’s Churchtown House Stud, Ponntos is a four-year-old son of Power (Oasis Dream), and his fourth career win came in the Group 3 Prix de Saint Georges at ParisLongchamp, adding to previous wins at home and in Italy.
He will run in one of the sprints next month at Royal Ascot.
Ponntos is among three winners from the winning Bahamian Bounty (Cadeaux Genereux) mare Blessing Box, one of which, Lady Mazie (Excelebration), won four times in Hungary and Slovakia. Another daughter, Blessed To Empress (Holy Roman Emperor), was a six-time winner in England. Blessing Box is a full-sister to the dual stakes winner Bounty Box (Bahamian Bounty) and a half-sister to the stakes-placed dam of Group 2 winner Rohaan (Mayson).
Sold by his breeders as a foal for only €2,200, Ponntos resold as a yearling at Tattersalls Ireland to Adam Wyrzyk for €6,800. His wins to date have netted more than €70,000.
Power has enjoyed a resurgence in recent times, thanks in large part to a trio of Group 1 winners, Helvic Dream, Laws Of Indices and Sonnyboyliston. Ponntos is from the last of his five crops conceived at Coolmore Stud.