Students of jumps pedigrees will undoubtedly appreciate the burgeoning roster at Knockmullen House Stud in Ireland given that it includes Group 3 winner Silas Marner, the only son of Doctor Dino’s sire Muhtathir at stud in Britain or Ireland, and Group 1 winner Mekhtaal, a son of sire-of-the-moment Sea The Stars.
A €300,000 yearling, Mekhtaal won the Prix d’Ispahan and Prix Hocquart for Al Shaqab Racing and spent the first part of his stud career standing under his owner’s banner at Haras de Bouquetot in France. He is advertised at €2,500.
“You can see how he cost €300,000 as a yearling – he’s a lovely model, 16.1 with a good walk,” says the stud’s Gordon Doyle. “To get a Group 1 winner is fantastic. Sea The Stars is the hot sire at the moment and it’s a lovely family. I think the fact he’s out of a Silver Hawk mare [Group 3 winner Aiglonne] is a huge bonus. I’m a big fan of that Roberto line as I think there’s a toughness to them – Bob Back was a Roberto.”
“Silas Marner has been lucky because his owner has supported him with mares, put the foals with good trainers and now he’s getting winners”
Silas Marner was another to arrive having spent his early seasons at stud in France, and from a handful of runners is off the mark thanks to the winners Purple Song, a debut scorer last year at La Teste, Angie and Zvolkov. Each are trained by Francois Nicolle on behalf of Alain Jathiere, who campaigned Silas Marner during the latter part of his racing career.
“It’s amazing to think what a great influence Muhtathir has become over jumping, especially with Doctor Dino,” says Doyle. “Silas Marner has been lucky because his owner has supported him with mares, put the foals with good trainers and now he’s getting winners. He’s a bit of an outcross and he’ll be getting a bigger book this season.”
Silas Marner stands for €2,000 while the Knockmullen House roster is completed by the hardy Group 3 winner Quest For Peace (€800), a well-bred son of Galileo whose first small crop contains The Galahad Kid, a multiple winner in bumpers and point-to-points.
“Quest For Peace is a very good-looking horse and he gets good lookers with great temperaments,” says Doyle. “He has a few nice horses coming through – we’ve got a few pointers to run by him.”