IRELAND’S second Grade 1 winner of the week came courtesy of The Real Whacker, and this seven-year-old just doesn’t know when he is beaten.
The son of Mahler (Galileo) is out of Credit Box (Witness Box), and was bred by Bernadette Keane. This €12,000 Goffs foal and €21,000 Goffs Land Rover Sale graduate was sixth on his debut behind San Salvador. Since then he has won over hurdles for Ann Duffield, was runner-up in a Grade 2 at Doncaster, and back with Patrick Neville he is undefeated in three starts over fences, all at Cheltenham. His pre-Cheltenham success was in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase, won last year by the now Grade 1 winner L’Homme Presse.
The Real Whacker is the first winner for his hurdle and chase winning dam, owned by Bernadette and trained by Maurice Keane. He is the first blacktype performer of any kind in the first four generations of his family.
Mahler stands at The Beeches Stud at €5,000, and The Real Whacker joins Ornua as a Grade 1 winning chaser for the Group 3 Queen’s Vase winner who was runner-up to Lucarno in the Group 1 St Leger and ran third, as a three-year-old, in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
JP McManus’ investment, after the Dublin Racing Festival, was rewarded in spades when A Dream To Share was one of the fairytale results of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival in the Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper. The five-year-old, bred by Brian Gleeson, cemented his Irish form which saw him beat Fact To File at Leopardstown.
The son of Muhaarar (Oasis Dream) could just have easily been bred to be a Group 1 winner on the flat, being one of four successful offspring from the first four produce of the Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) mare Hikari. She was bred and raced by Brian Gleeson and on her second start won a mile and a half maiden at Wexford by 15 lengths, trained by Dermot Weld and with Pat Smullen in the plate.
Hikari’s first foal Hazm (Shamardal), sold for 220,000gns as a foal, 725,000gns as a yearling and won a bumper before adding three wins in Belgium. A colt by Lope De Vega (Shamardal), Raise You, was next and he is a Group 3 winner in Ireland, a listed winner in England and earned £130,000. Hikari’s third foal, Lady G (Golden Horn) sold for €290,000 as a foal and she was a stakes-placed winner. A Dream To Share is number four, while his placed own-brother Liberated Light (Muhaarar) is the mare’s only other runner.
When A Dream To Share was conceived, Muhaarar was standing at Nunnery Stud for a fee of £30,000. This year, his second in France, he commands just €7,500. The Group 1 winning sprinter is also a Group 1 sire on the flat, and now joins that exclusive coterie of sires who have also sired a Grade 1 winner under National Hunt rules.