Welcome to the 2017 Ballylinch Stud website. There have been some significant updates since I wrote to you this time last year. In December 2014, for only the second time in over 100 years, Ballylinch Stud was sold. The stud and its bloodstock were purchased by the legendary American business man John Malone and his wife Leslie. Shortly afterwards, the Malone’s also purchased the world famous Castlemartin Stud in Co. Kildare which is now being integrated into Ballylinch under the direction of James Burns. Both farms will benefit from a significant investment in their already top class infrastructure and bloodstock facilities.
Meanwhile, 2016 saw further impressive results for the Ballylinch stallion roster. Lope De Vega, Champion First Crop Sire in Europe in 2014, progressed to become one of Europe’s elite sires, with his statistics putting him right up there with the very best around and two individual Group 1 winners and 25 stakes performers in 2016 alone.
Lawman sired yet another Classic winner as Harbour Law was an impressive winner of the St Leger while Dicton was dual Classic placed in France. Both remain in training for 2017. Lawman’s best-bred crops are now hitting the track and that showed with his 25 individual 2yo winners in 2016. Plenty more top flight winners can therefore be expected in the future. Dream Ahead has made a fine start to his stallion career with him being amogst the leading sires of his generation. He lies third in the European Second Crop Sires Championship with 9 black type horses alone in 2016 with some exciting 3yos with Classic ambitions for next year. With his stock likely to progress as he himself did especially with he’s in for a very exciting year in 2017.
Ballylinch stalwart King’s Theatre is the reigning Champion National Hunt Sire and heads the field again in this season’s Championship. His replacement, Beat Hollow's first crop of Ballylinch bred horses are now 4 and we expect to see them make a real impact on the National Hunt scene this year. His achievements as a flat sire have been extraodinary this year siring a Classic winner in Wicklow Brave who won the Irish St Leger as well as the impressive Group 2 winner Exosphere.
Make Believe settled in very well and has let down into a fabolous looking stallion. He covered 120 mares of quality with very good fertility. We hope to see an excellent crop of foals hit the ground this year. As a racehorse his form has taken a massive boost in 2016 with Limato who he bet in the Prix de la Foret developing into a top class sprinter himself. Make Believe remains an extremely exciting stallion for 2017.
This year, we’re delighted to announce that we have acquired two new additions in the form of Fascinating Rock and New Bay. Fascinating Rock was a top class 10f horse and a dual Group 1 winner at that distance winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Qipco Champion Stakes. Thankfully Maurice Regan of Newtown Anner Stud has stayed involved with the stallion and has already shown tremendous support with the mares he has committed to the stallion as well as some of the extremely well bred mares he bought at the sales to give this son of Fastnet Rock an excellent start at stud. New Bay is a winner of the Prix du Jockey Club like so many other great stallions such as Montjeu, Lope De Vega, Shamardal, Lawman and Le Havre. In fact his racing profile would be similiar to Le Havre after a fast finishing 2nd in the French 2000 Guineas and then going on to win the Prix du Jockey Club in his next start. Juddmonte have retained a sizeable interest in the stallion as well as the China Horse Club so he will be supplied with some extremely nice mares to give him every chance at stud.
Finally, I wish to thank all our clients for their support. We look forward to working with you in the year to come and wish you every success in 2016.
JOHN O’CONNOR, MANAGING DIRECTOR