"Marmelo the best horse we've ever bred"

Edward and Christabel Goodwin, who part-own the six-year-old, reveal how they bred the son of Duke Of Marmalade

Marmelo (green and gold) finishes second in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington behind Cross Counter (red cap) – Photo: Bronwen Healy

For small breeders Edward and Christabel Goodwin of Deepwood Farm Stud, their purchase of one mare led them to breeding the Hughie Morrison-trained globetrotter Marmelo, who will continue his assault on top races this season with a tilt at the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom on May 31st.

That purchase all those years ago led to the Goodwins breeding Seren Quest, a winning daughter of Rainbow Quest who in turn produced the In The Wings mare Capriolla – the dam of Marmelo.

The six-year-old is the best progeny out of the mare having won six races including the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieull and Group 2 Prix Kergolay. The son of Duke Of Marmalade also famously finished second in last year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup.

Of their star, who they own in partnership with Aziz Kheir, Edward Goodwin said: “Marmelo is probably the best horse we’ve ever bred. For small breeders like us to have a horse of the quality of Marmelo is pretty exceptional.

“Duke Of Marmalade was a brilliant horse and untried when we used him; I don’t think he had any particular big winners at the time. We mostly use top stallions, but we try and find the stallions who are a little under the radar.”

To have a horse of the quality of Marmelo is pretty exceptional

“All a breeder can do is put the best to the best and hope for the best”

The Goodwins, who have six mares on their farm in Maidenhead, are very hands on with their stock and Christabel said: “They’re born at home and Edward pulls them out. I’m there asking him to check if they’re okay.”

Edward adds: “I believe the nurture our horses get is probably a little bit more confidence giving because we’re very hands on. Christabel, my wife, is the daughter of a veterinary surgeon and she knows horses incredibly well and has a great empathy with them.”

Marmelo warmed up for an intended tilt at the Coronation Cup with an impressive winning performance in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes at Newbury last month, where he showed a quick turn of foot to sweep by his rivals.

With two track records to the entire’s name at York and Chantilly, Edward Goodwin is confident that Marmelo will handle the anticipated quick ground that Epsom will likely race on next week.

“All a breeder can do is put the best to the best and hope for the best”

He said: “Holding track records must show that he can act on good ground. He’s shown that he’s got a turn of foot and this year we’re coming back to a mile and a half because he’s shown this turn of foot.

“What Marmelo has demonstrated on softer ground is that he will go through it better than some. Hughie doesn’t like to run him on hard ground as it can jar some horses more than others.”

Morrison, who was speaking via a phone interview during the Breakfast With The Stars event at Epsom racecourse on Tuesday, said: “Marmelo is absolutely bang on course to run in the Investec Coronation Cup. The horse is in excellent form and he has come on again from Newbury.”

While the Goodwins may no longer have Capriolla on their farm having sold her for €7,000 to Selwood Bloodstock at the 2013 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale, they do have her Doyen half-sister Quiz Mistress in their broodmare band.

Trained by Morrison, Quiz Mistress was a three-time Listed winner and has plenty of progeny for the Goodwins to bring through including a two-year-old by Sepoy, a yearling by Camelot and a foal by Derby-winning sire Australia.

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