Success at the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's National Hunt Awards

Dave Futter (left) and Will Kinsey of Peel Bloodstock (right), breeders of the Grade 1 performer High Class Hero, receiving the Mickley Stud Trophy from Finn Kent
Dave Futter (left) and Will Kinsey of Peel Bloodstock (right), breeders of the Grade 1 performer High Class Hero, receiving the Mickley Stud Trophy from Finn Kent

Breeders Will Kinsey and Yorton Farm’s Dave Futter enjoyed a successful evening at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) National Hunt Awards evening courtesy of the Tattersalls Jockey Club Sales graduates Romeo Coolio, runner-up in this year’s Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper (G1), and High Class Hero, a Grade 1 second at the Punchestown.

Kinsey bred Romeo Coolio, the Kayf Tara five-year-old gelding picking up the Overbury Stud Trophy for the leading NHF performer, and then the breeder enjoyed a second success on the evening – through his venture Peel Bloodstock he was awarded for his partnership with Futter for producing High Class Hero, winner of the Mickley Stud Trophy for the leading novice hurdler.

Romeo Coolio is a dual Tattersalls graduate – the gelding sold by Valyrian Bloodstock Ltd from Clononeen Stud at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale for €92,000 bought by Monbeg Stables. Donnchada Doyle then made a significant pinhooking profit when reconsigning the four-year-old gelding, by then a Belclare point-to-point winner, at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale 2023, Mouse O’Ryan and Gordon Elliott Racing paying a session joint top-price of €420,000.

The gelding went on to win his first bumper at Fairyhouse in January before putting in that fine run at The Festival, only denied in the final furlong by Jasmin Des Vaux.

The TBA awards’ evening was compered by Racing TV’s Nick Luck, and Kinsey reported: “Miss Bailly is one of of the first mares we bought when we started breeding properly.

“JD Moore organised a tour of the whole France to look at horses, at the second place we went to we saw this sister to the Listed winner Cap Soleil, the chap who owned her was retiring.

“We carried on with the tour, but we drove back up to Paris to buy her and get the deal done, and it has paid off! Her first cover for us was Kayf Tara and look what she has produced.”

Simon Sweeting of Overbury Stud presenting Kinsey with Romeo Coolio's award for the leading NHF performer.
Photos courtesy of the TBA

High Class Hero is by the former Yorton Stud-based stallion Sulamani and Futter paid respects to the enjoyment not only of breeding a good horse with his good friend, but also to his late stallion.

“To breed any horse who can run at that level is fantastic and to do it with a great mate is even better, I am chuffed to bits,” smiled Futter, adding: “I was quite a bit younger when I bought Sulamani – I thought then that I knew everything about handling stallions until I met Sulamani! He taught me so much about how you should look after a stallion.

“When we bought Sulamani he had produced a St Leger winner, and for me to buy him was a no-brainer. He went on to produce Honeysuckle, Rule The World and many good horses.

“We bought the mare on a trip to France – I had purchased three mares and Will asked to buy half of the Turgeon mare and I told him he could have half of all three or half of nothing… and he came in on the three.” 

High Class Hero was sold as a foal to Clifton Farm from whom he was purchased as a store by Matthew Flynn O’Connor’s Ballycrystal Stables and Hamish Macauley. They sold him as a four-year-old to Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins at the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale 2021 for £90,000 with a point-to-point win under his belt.

Now a seven-year-old, the gelding has gone from strength to strength under Rules. After making winning bumper and hurdle debuts for Mullins in June and August last year, he won a Listed novice hurdle last autumn and then finished a half-length second in the 3m Grade 1 novice hurdle at Punchestown in April.