LAST week Shane and Kim Molan were recipient of a Connolly’s Red Mills/The Irish Field Breeder of the Month award for the exploits of Waikuku in Hong Kong, where he is a three-time Group 1 winner. This was extra special as Shane’s parents in Riversfield Stud bred the gelding’s sire Harbour Watch.
A son of Acclamation (Royal Applause), Harbour Watch gained his most important success at two when he was successful in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. In fact, he was unbeaten at two and, sadly, did not make it back to the racetrack, retiring to stud at Tweenhills. While he failed to set the stallion ranks alight, his five crops included a pair of Group 1 winners, the other being last weekend’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, Pyledriver.
This was a second success at the highest level for Pyledriver who has now amassed some £1.85 million in earnings, and to think he could not find as buyer as a foal, being retained at 10,000gns. He also won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom and a pair of Group 2s, the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
Pyledriver is the first foal out of dual French winner La Pyle (Le Havre), and the second of that mare’s successes at three was at Saint-Cloud. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that she was sent hurdling in England, but La Pyle showed no real ability when popping over timber and was sent to stud. There she is a revelation.
La Pyle’s first three foals are all now winners in 2022, and her fourth is a two-year-old with the great name of Shagpyle, a daughter of no less a stallion giant than Frankel (Galileo). La Pyle is well entitled to be upgraded in terms of sires. She is, after all, a half-sister to Mont Ormel (Air Chief Marshal), winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, and a full-sister to Normandel (Le Havre), a Group 3 winner in Ireland and a broodmare at Ballylinch Stud.