IN December 2018, I posed a question in this column? “With the recent strong demand for well-performed mares in the sale ring, one wonders what Magic Of Light would realise were she to be offered at auction?

The then seven-year-old daughter of Flemensfirth (Alleged) had just added the Listed TBA Mares’ Novices’ Chase at Newbury to a previous success in the Grade 2 Glencarrig Lady Mares Chase at Punchestown, while she had also placed in a number of graded races over hurdles and fences.

I ventured further and said “she is certainly worth a lot more than the £75,000 Stroud Coleman gave for her at the 2017 Goffs UK Spring Horses In Training Sale, and this was a sizeable profit on the €20,000 she originally brought when Steve Kemble bought her for at the 2015 Goffs Land Rover Sale.”

Well, Magic Of Light was not done with on the racing front, and she was to go on and mix it over hurdles and fences, winning the listed Newbury chase three times in all, while twice landing the Grade 2 Warfield Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot. However, she will likely be most famously be recalled as the mare who chased home Tiger Roll in the Randox Health Aintree Grand National in 2019, the iconic winner’s second time to land this marathon.

In all, Magic Of Light won nine times and placed on 16 occasions for trainer Jessica Harrington, netting owners some £440,000. She did make it back to the sale ring, carrying her first foal by Crystal Ocean (Sea The Stars), and sold to Coolmara Stables for €185,000 at Tattersalls Ireland last November. The news that she had produced a daughter was followed by the announcement that she died in the process.

Best family

Bred by Baronrath and Colbinstown Studs, Magic Of Light is from one of the best female families in the stud book, one that has been far more used to producing top-class runners on the flat.

It is also famously associated with Sonia Rogers and her family at Airlie Stud, and they feature elsewhere on this page. That said, Magic Of Light’s dam Quest Of Passion (Saumarez) has established a notable National Hunt branch of the pedigree.

Quest Of Passion was bought by Philip and Jane Myerscough’s Ballysheehan Stud for 110,000gns as a three-year-old, and failed to sell her five years after she reached 150,000gns in the sale ring. At stud she visited Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) and Danehill (Danzig) and bred a few winners.

The best of these was Mughas (Sadler’s Wells) and Alan King won five hurdle races with him and he was runner-up in a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle.

The Myerscoughs with co-breeder Charles O’Brien, a brother of Jane’s, turned Quest Of Passion’s attention to dual-purpose and National Hunt sires with huge success. Matings with Definite Article (Indian Ridge) produced Sizing Platinum, placed in a number of graded chases, and Pingshou who won a Grade 1 novices’ hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting. In addition, their unplaced sibling Prairie Bell (Sadler’s Wells) bred the Grade 2 Gowran Champion Chase winner Cailin Annamh (Definite Article).

Special mention

Quest Of Passion is a full-sister to a listed winner and a half-sister to four other stakes winners. Fair Of The Furze (Ela-Mana-Mou) and Majestic Role (Theatrical) are deserving of special mention. Fair Of The Furze won the Group 2 (now Group 1) Tattersalls Rogers Gold Cup and the best of her winners was the Group 1 Italian Derby winner White Muzzle (Dancing Brave).

Through her listed winning daughter Elfaslah (Green Desert) Fair Of The Furze is grandam of the Group 1 Dubai Gold Cup and Group 1 Prix Jean Prat winner Almutawakel (Machiavellian).

Majestic Role’s sole success was in the Listed Tyros Stakes at two and she is grandam, through different daughters, of the Group 1 winners Mekhtaal (Sea The Stars) and Germance (Silver Hawk). The latter won the Prix Saint-Alary, while Mekhtaal was successful in the Prix d’Ispahan.