As a proud Yorkshireman, there is little doubt that Guy Reed would have taken immense pleasure by the winning performance of Economics in last month’s Dante Stakes at York. Reed died ten years ago but Economics is a product of four generations of his Ardneasken line and like many members of that family, was foaled at his Copgrove Hall Stud in Yorkshire, now managed by Brian O’Rourke on behalf of a trust.

At the time of writing, it was still unclear as to whether Economics, a tall, flashy son of Night Of Thunder, would be supplemented by connections for the Derby. What is clear cut, however, is that Isa Salman Al Khalifa has a potentially top-class colt on his hands, one who should with normal progression hold his own at the top table going forward.

Economics is the sixth foal out of La Pomme d’Amour, one of the last good horses to carry Reed’s yellow, pink and black colours. The daughter of Peintre Celebre won two renewals of the Prix de Pomone at Deauville for Andre Fabre, yet despite her talent had foaled only one winner by the time Economics came under the hammer as a foal at the Tattersalls December Sale. Adrian O’Brien’s Hazelwood Bloodstock pinhooked him for 40,000gns and went on to turn a handsome profit when reselling him for 160,000gns as a Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling.

“We run a business and we have to sell,” says Brian O’Rourke. “Night Of Thunder stood for €25,000 when we used him so we were happy, and at that stage the mare had only produced one winner and that was a bumper winner.

“She’d been bred to horses like Oasis Dream, Intello and Dawn Approach but winners had been thin on the ground so I decided we’d go to the Mr Prospector line in the hope of producing something. And so she went to Night Of Thunder.

“The family is all mile and a quarter and mile and a half. He ran well once as a two-year-old in a good race at Newmarket, then he obviously won his maiden at Newbury first time out this season. Knowing how big he was, we thought then that he must be good. We’d had word that William Haggas liked him but when you go from a maiden to a Group 2 race, it’s still a big step up.”

Agricultural tycoon Reed owned his first horses during the 1960s and on the advice of Middleham trainer Sam Hall, purchased the Right Royal mare Ardneasken at Tattersalls in foal to Sovereign Path. The resulting colt, Warpath, won the Doonside Cup and later stood with some success at Reed’s Nidd Hall Stud, while a later foal, Dakota, handed his breeder a popular success in the 1975 Ebor Handicap.

Indeed Economics’ female family offers something a bit different by today’s standards. His third dam Siouan was a daughter of So Blessed while his granddam Winnebago was by Kris, who stood for Lord Howard de Walden at nearby Thornton Stud. Kris’s tenure in Yorkshire harks back to a golden era in the industry for the county that was also graced for a time by the confidence of the Wildenstein family.

“Copgrove Hall itself was owned by Major Holliday and was predominantly a dairy farm up until 1985,” says O’Rourke. “Yorkshire is completely underrated when it comes to raising racehorses. Up until the 1980s, youngstock were either sent to North Yorkshire or Ireland, and then the emphasis changed to Newmarket. But Yorkshire would be the same weather wise as Ireland – we get a lot of rainfall, we’re on limestone land and we have an abundance of grass.

“The Wildenstein family boarded a number of youngstock here for many years. Peintre Celebre was at Copgrove as a young horse and I know Guy was extremely proud that the stud raised an Arc winner.”

With that in mind, Reed was an unsurprising supporter of Peintre Celebre during his time as a Coolmore stallion and so it’s very fitting that La Pomme d’Amour is now one of his stakes-producing daughters.

“La Pomme d’Amour didn’t show a lot in the mornings but Andre Fabre told Guy ‘whatever you do breed from this mare as she’s a different animal on the track’,” says Rourke. “She’s the only one we have left from the family now. There was a full-sister called Van Gosh [a Listed winner] that they thought was very good but she sadly died young.”

Reed enjoyed one of his finest moments on the track when his homebred La Cucaracha won the Nunthorpe Stakes in 2005. In contrast to Economics’ family, Copgrove Hall is still home to several relations of that quick family.

“Guy was a proud Yorkshireman, his word was his bond and he lived for winning races like that, especially at York,” says O’Rourke. “The stud is predominantly a boarding operation now, our own mares have been whittled down but the idea is to keep it going forward as long as its paying for himself. As we know, it’s not an exact science – the most important thing is that we raise racehorses.”

Now 16, La Pomme d’Amour has a yearling colt by Nathaniel who was sold at last year’s foal sales and now is in foal to Stradivarius.

“Stradivarius was a very good, sound racehorse – the type that we’re exactly trying to breed,” says O’Rourke. “We’ve got three of foals from his first crop up here and they’re absolute crackers.”

 

Alert nod to Fastnet Rock’s ability

No sooner had Coolmore announced the retirement of its dual-hemisphere stalwart Fastnet Rock, then there was a reminder of his prowess in Stay Alert, winner of the Dahlia Stakes on her seasonal debut at Newmarket.

A big, strong mare with a fine constitution who has operated at a progressively high level for Hughie Morrison for three seasons, Sir Martyn and Ben Arbib’s homebred is pretty typical of what we have come to expect of Fastnet Rock, himself winner of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and Lightning Stakes. She is also yet another example of the highly successful partnership between her sire and Galileo.

Now 23, Fastnet Rock is the sire of 43 winners at the top level. The bulk have been in the southern hemisphere, where his early success prompted a reverse shuttle to move to Coolmore’s base in Ireland. It was there, aided in part by his affinity with Galileo blood, that he sired the likes of Diamondsandrubies, Qualify, Via Sistina, Zhukova and now Stay Alert.

Fastnet Rock ceased shuttling in 2021 and his final Irish-conceived crop of around 30 are two-year-olds. He has a number of sons at stud worldwide, including the proven Group 1 producers Foxwedge and Smart Missile, but his legacy looks to be most keenly felt through his daughters, who between them are responsible for 13 Group 1 winners. The list includes several current stars including Warm Heart, one of the leaders of the three-year-old division of 2023, and Lady Of Camelot and Zougotcha, the recent winners of the Group 1 Golden Slipper and Queen Of The Turf Stakes in Australia.

“Fastnet Rock has been a once-in-a-lifetime horse, and we are immensely grateful for the incredible journey he has taken us on,” said Coolmore Australia’s Tom Magnier. “His legacy will endure for generations to come, and we look forward to seeing his influence continue to shape the future of the sport.”