Donal White’s Foxwood Stud has certainly hit the ground running. Only officially open for business in recent months, its first covering season is going to be a busy one with breeders seemingly keen to take advantage of young stallions representing the Sholokhov and Saint Des Saints sire lines as well as a proven option in Racinger.
White is in a prime position to appreciate the merits of Sholokhov having worked closely with the stallion during his time at Glenview Stud. As such, the acquisition of his Group 3-winning son Night Wish appears to be a natural fit, especially as the stallion has already made a bright start with his first runners conceived at Haras de Montaigu in France. Night Wish, a brother to the German Group 1 winner Night Magic from a high-class German family, stood his first season in Ireland last year for White at Michael Shefflin’s Annshoon Stud and now switches to the Cork-based Foxwood, where he heads the roster at €4,000.
“Night Wish is an imposing horse, around 16.3 with great limbs, great scope and a fantastic hind leg,” says White. “From what I’ve seen, he stamps his stock. He’s also out of a very good race mare by Monsun [Night Woman]. I like those German families as they tend to be tough, sound horses with good wind and limbs, and you see them train on, which I think is so important in our game. Night Wish himself won a Group 3 as a six-year-old.”
Night Wish’s first crop are five- year-olds and already include a Listed Auteuil winner in Odiago. Crucially, however, he also has a potentially high-profile clutch of representatives in Britain and Ireland, among them point winner Omaha Wish, now with Dan Skelton after selling for £100,000, Ile De Jersey, a dual winner for Nicky Henderson, and Fontainebleau scorer Ivaldi, who was second recently at Ascot for Paul Nicholls.
“He’s had 13 individual winners and then his first runner in a point-to-point over here [Omaha Wish] won and went to Dan Skelton,” says White. “For a relatively young stallion with small crops, he’s doing very well.”
In Saintgodrel, Foxwood boasts the distinction of standing the only son of Saint Des Saints at stud in either Britain or Ireland. Saint Des Saints continues to exert a formidable influence, including via his son Jeu St Eloi, for whom a select representation in these parts includes the highly promising bumper winners Inthewaterside, D Art D Art and It’s For Me; the latter, trained by Willie Mullins, was favourite for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the time of writing.
Like Night Wish, Saintgodrel spent the first part of his stud career in France – his first crop are three-year-olds – before switching for 2022 to Annshoon. He looks set to be busy this season at a fee of €2,500.
“The point-to-point people love him as a few have had a good touch with his progeny. They’re forward going and get the job done, which suits those lads.”
“He is a gorgeous horse,” says White. “He could just be a diamond in the rough. I wanted a Saint Des Saints but the big thing for me is a horse’s family and he’s got a super pedigree – he’s out of a very good mare in Loumie, who is by Loup Solitaire.
“It helps that Jeu St Eloi is going very well. It shows that the line is working well here and off the back of that I have a few mares booked.
“I have a couple of yearlings and two-year-olds myself by him, and they’re old-fashioned types, big, strong, gorgeous horses. But I’d say they’d be early enough as well.”
Group 2 winner Racinger (€3,000) joins from France having supplied several high-class jumpers out of small crops, among them Farouk d’Alene, a very smart novice chaser for Gordon Elliott last season.
“There’s plenty of action with him as well,” says White. “The point-to-point people love him as a few have had a good touch with his progeny. They’re forward going and get the job done, which suits those lads.
“He has a fantastic walk and presence. Don’t forget, he was a four-time Group winner over a mile so he’ll give you a bit of speed as well. I think he’s going to work very well in Ireland, he’ll get his best chance here anyway. I’m really looking forward to covering my own mares with him.”
He adds: “We had over 300 people through our gates for the Irish Stallion trail, which was phenomenal really. It was great to see the interest. All of our horses offer something a bit different, whether it be their race records or their pedigrees. There’s one to suit different types of mares.”