Another star for Kapgarde?
Haras de la Hetraie resident Kapgarde (Garde Royale) looks to have another exciting prospect in the shape of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’oudairies, who was an impressive 13-length winner of the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The four-year-old was having only his second start for O’Brien having plied his trade for leading French trainer Guy Cherel throughout 2018.
His success at Cheltenham came a month after the improving Clan Des Obeaux, also by Kapgarde, made the elevation to Grade 1 level when an authoritative winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Bred by Comte Michel De Gigou, Fakir D’oudairies is one of five foals out of the placed Grand Tresor mare Niagaria Du Bois, who has produced the winning Val D’oudairies.
There was another winner for Kapgarde on Saturday when the Dan Skelton-trained Betameche recorded his first success over hurdles in a two-mile maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter.
The fact that plenty of Kapgarde’s progeny are precocious is no surprise given that his own racing career in France reached its zenith at an age when the majority of British- and Irish-bred NH horses have yet to see a racecourse.
Successful over hurdles as a three-year-old, he scored over hurdles (in a Grade 3) and fences as a four-year-old, and was beaten a neck in the Gras Savoye Cinema-Prix Ferdinand Dufaure, a Grade 1 chase over an extended 2m4f.
Now 20, Kapgarde’s stud fee for 2019 is €12,000.
Birchdale a reminder of Jeremy’s talents
A week after Mister Fisher advertised his late sire Jeremy with victory in the Grade 2 Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle, another foal from his first book of dual-purpose mares that were born in 2014, the Nicky Henderson-trained Birchdale, showed his potential at Cheltenham.
The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old took out the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle by 18 lengths, after the favourite Brewin’Upastorm fell when in the lead at the last flight.
Both Mister Fisher and Birchdale were conceived during Jeremy’s first season at Garryrichard Stud in 2013, having spent five seasons at the Irish National Stud.
From his progeny to emerge over jumps, the son of Danehill Dancer has also sired the top-class hurdler Our Conor and the Grade 1-winning mare Jer’s Girl.
The late Knockhouse Stud resident Beneficial had a stellar weekend that yielded four winners, topped by Philip Kirby’s outstanding mare Lady Buttons adding the Grade 2 olbg.com Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster on Saturday.
The run of winners began on Friday at Huntingdon when the Graeme McPherson-trained Sammylou recorded the first win of his career in a 2m3½f novices’ handicap hurdle.
Lady Buttons duly made it two when she crossed the line at Doncaster and the closing race at Cheltenham on Saturday saw Fergal O’Brien’s Benny’s Bridge comfortably land the Steel Plate and Sections Handicap Hurdle over 2m1f.
The quartet was completed on Sunday at Sedgefield, when the Sue Smith-trained The Paddy Pie secured a novice handicap hurdle over 2m½f.
Double delight for Doyen
Sunnyhill Stud resident Doyen celebrated his first Grade 1 winner earlier this month thanks to Battleoverdoyen’s success in the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle. Over the weekend, the son of Sadler’s Wells sired a double.
On Saturday it was the Evan Williams-trained Skewiff returned to winning ways when a three-length winner of the mares’ chase at Uttoxeter. Bred by Redgate Bloodstock and Trickledown Stud out of the Niniski mare Skew, Williams picked up Skewiff for just £15,000 at Goffs in 2015.
— Owner Breeder (@OwnerBreeder) January 11, 2019
Across the Irish Sea on Saturday, it was the turn of the Michael Bowe-trained Halsafari, who relished the step up in trip to 2m4f to land a first win under rules.
Out of the Grade 1-winning Hatton’s Grace Hurdle heroine Solerina, Halsafari is a three-parts sister to the winning hurdler/chaser Jaime Sommers.
Juvenile prospect for Konig Turf
Forty-eight hours after saddling Fakir D’oudairies to victory at Cheltenham, Joseph O’Brien unveiled another exciting juvenile prospect in the shape of Konitho, who took out the maiden hurdle at Naas on Sunday by five lengths.
The four-year-old was making his debut in Ireland and he is by Group 2-winning miler Konig Turf, who has sired some useful jumpers in his stud career including Darasso, Diamond Guy and Sully D’Occ AA.
Jack Thomas bred Konitho out of the placed Turgeon mare Haute Chartreuse, who is already responsible for Konitho’s winning brother, Pichelot.
Konig Turf’s oldest crop of National Hunt progeny are six-year-olds in 2019 but with plenty of youngsters having already made their mark in recent weeks, it is worth keeping an eye on the son of Big Shuffle’s stock.