Foaling, backing, pretraining, first race under rules … owner Lucy Procter covers the full journey this month at The Glanvilles Stud
Our only February foal was a lovely Nathaniel filly out of Seemarye. This family line started with successful Yetminster-based owner-breeder John Meaden’s purchase of See-O-Duf, from the Dufosees, as a point-to-pointer for his daughter.
Once retired, See-O-Duf only produced one winner under rules, but that was a good one – See Enough, winner of the G2 Rendelsham Hurdle. See-O-Duf’s point-to-point winning daughter Shepani produced three winners under rules, including the good See You Sometime, a multiple G2 winner. And Shepani is the dam of Seemarye, from whom we have bred several foals and two winners, most notably her black-type Kayf Tara gelding Thibault. We are looking forward to seeing how this year’s foal develops over the next few years.
Each year we encourage the staff to give the foals ‘stable’ names. These are unofficial nicknames and usually bear no relation to what their registered names will be. Young Thoroughbreds in the UK are sold unnamed, with owners choosing and registering a racing name when they go into training. Each year on the stud we choose a naming theme – this year it is flowers – and the name has to start with the first letter of the dam’s name.
Seemarye has been leased to an owner in Bali, who has bred the Nathaniel filly with the intention of racing her, and the family are enjoying the whole breeding journey; we send them regular updates, photos and videos.
So we asked them to come up with their foal’s stable name and they chose Sambac – a type of jasmine and one of the national flowers of Indonesia. Sometimes stable names do turn into racing names, so look out for a filly called Sambac on the track in a few years’ time!
Long-rein and lunging
This month we restarted the backing process of a three-year old Kayf Tara filly, out of our own much-loved mare, Tsarinova. After her retirement from racing, I rode Tsarinova myself and our daughter Alice evented her before we started breeding from her following her half-brother Sam Spinner’s win of the G1 Long Walk Hurdle in 2017.
The filly’s sire, Kayf Tara, was a three-time Champion stayer on the racecourse, and he retired from stud in 2020 at the grand age of 26 years, having notched up 11 UK Championships as a National Hunt stallion during his 20 seasons at stud. Due to declining fertility, our filly is one of only a handful of foals sired in his final season, and we hope to retain ownership of her so that we can eventually breed from her once she has retired from racing.
Having spent six weeks last summer starting the filly – long-reining, lunging and leaning over her in the stable – backing her this month has been relatively quick and easy as she has a gentle temperament and has remembered much of what she learnt previously.
We began by long-reining her in the confines of the all-weather turnout and then round the stud to remind her how to stop, start and turn from pressure on the bit in her mouth. Then we progressed through leaning over her in the stable to sitting astride and, after a few days of getting used to the idea of someone on her back we took her round the stud with someone walking at her head. She is now happily hacking out with a quiet horse by her side and will stay in pre-training for a couple of months before having a break, with a view to running next autumn.
Comings and goings
Of the older horses, Inspector Maigret, the Monmartre four-year-old gelding that we have been pre-training, is almost ready for a run and has now gone to Harriet Brown, with a view to him having a first run over hurdles later in March.
Rinjani Bay, the three-year-old Motivator filly that we have also been pre-training for our Bali owners, is off into training at Anthony Honeyball’s this week for a couple of months work before returning here for a break. Like our Kayf Tara filly, we will aim for her to get to a racecourse next autumn.
Cosmore had her first two runs in February but has come home for a few weeks rest as she frustratingly had a minor muscle pull in her last race.
Pre-training Inspector Maigret and Rinjani Bay has been great fun over the past few months, and I will miss riding them out every day. But we do still have the Kayf Tara three-year-old, a point-to-pointer and Cosmore to keep us busy.
Foaling is obviously front and centre for us during March – we have four mares who are well bagged up and due to foal soon. Doug and I are hoping that the mares are considerate when they think about foaling, however – we have tickets to go and see Honeysuckle’s ‘last hurrah’ on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival. Fingers crossed!