Brothers jump to glory at Cheltenham

More Of That and Eastlake notch a notable family double more »

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It’s not unusual for a trainer, owner and jockey to record a double but when that double also includes breeder, sire and dam then it’s really something special.

Eastlake, now a ten-time winner, set up a mighty double at Cheltenham

Eastlake, now a ten-time winner, set up a mighty double at Cheltenham

On Saturday at Cheltenham the brothers Eastlake and More Of That pulled off just such a feat for the ever-successful team of Jonjo O’Neill, JP McManus and AP McCoy, with Eleanor Hadden taking the starring role as the breeder of the sons of Beneficial.

Their dam, the 23-year-old French-bred Esprit Do Nord mare Guigone has made a notable contribution to the National Hunt ranks, both in France and Ireland. Her seven-year-old Irish-bred son Eastlake set the ball rolling on Saturday with his length win over French Opera in the Jenny Mould Memorial Chase to bring his tally of victories to ten. Not to be outdone, five-year-old More Of That became Guigone’s third black-type performer when landing the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle later in the day – his fourth consecutive victory in as many starts.

During Guigone’s early stud career in France she produced Santenay, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls, who also has a Grade 2 strike to his name among his eight wins over hurdles and fences, and Chamirey, by Cadoudal, who was Grade 3-placed in his native country before being transferred to England and the stable of Donald McCain.

Waiting in the wings are three young daughters of the mare, two of whom went through auction rings earlier this year. A four-year-old filly by Scorpion fetched €16,000 at Tattersalls Ireland’s Derby Sale, while a filly foal by Stowaway was sold for €19,000 last month at the same venue. Guigone’s two-year-old filly by Flemensfirth is still owned by the Hadden family, who are also breeding from Koko Rose, a full-sister to Eastlake and More Of That. She has thus far produced two colts by Robin Des Champs, both of whom are now in the ownership of JP McManus, while this year’s filly by the same sire has been retained.

The Haddens, based in County Wicklow, have been responsible for producing some top-notch jumpers over the years, including two more brothers by Beneficial – the Grade 1 winner Cooldine and Grade 2 runner-up Fists Of Fury, out of the Le Moss mare Shean Alainn – as well as the hugely popular Calgary Bay and Punchestown Champion Novice Chase winner Rare Bob.

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