(Photo : Summerhill Stud)
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“FAMOUS FOOTBALLERS : SURE FIRE STALLION”
One of the best publicised stories on the naming of a racehorse belongs to Solskjaer. There are few of us these days, who don’t know that he was named for the best footballer at Manchester United, at a time when Coolmore Stud in Ireland owned 32% of the issued shares in Man U, and that it’s Coolmore’s habit to reserve the names of great people for that special day when a youngster comes up the gallops at Ballydoyle, and tells them he’s “the one”.
Before we talk about the news that produced our goose pimples this morning, it’s worth recalling the words of Europe’s best racehorse trainer in the aftermath of Solskjaer’s demolition of the powerful assembly gathered for the Royal Whip Stakes (Gr.2) on just his third racecourse appearance.
“This is an amazing horse. When we named him we thought he was going to be a superstar, but he tore all the ligaments off his hock as a two-year-old, and he did the same in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas. After two horrific injuries like that, 99 percent of horses would never come back, but he’s a fighter and we will train him for a big one, possibly the Irish Champion Stakes”. Aidan O’Brien.
Looking at Solskjaer’s first crop (now two year olds), and knowing his half brother, Yeats, is the best staying horse in living memory, the last thing we were expecting from his progeny were signs of precocity.
Yes, all of Ormond Ferraris, Herman Brown Snr, Mike de Kock, Mike Bass, Barry Irwinand Charles Laird honoured his name by chasing his youngsters through the National Sales ring, but these are classic connections of classic horses, and they would hardly have been in pursuit of early juvenile talent when they raised their catalogues.
So it was an added bonus when South Africa’s Champion Trainer, Charles Laird, rang us shortly after the morning’s work, to tell us how tickled he was with the showing of the Solskjaer half brother to Fanyana, out of the All Fired Up mare, Fidelity Bond.
We know it’s early days, but we also know what we’re working with in the lead up to the Emperors Palace Ready To Run, where we have another 11 among the entries, Charles’ call was simply a re-affirmation.