It is with great sadness that we must report our original stable star LORD KINTYRE has passed away just a couple of weeks after his twenty fifth birthday.
It was back in October 1996 that Rod took a complete chance by using our only yearling order from Malcolm Calvert and Colin Lewis to secure the son of Makbul for £9,200. People thought Rod was mad for spending that much on a yearling whose sire had only produced one horse to hit the track, having mostly covered ponies and non-thoroughbreds and stood for a fee of just £450. However, Makbul was a son of Fairy King that raced in the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum colours and was unbeaten in two starts as a two-year-old before injury intervened and curtailed his career. Ironically, he won the Youngsters Conditions Stakes at Pontefract on his debut, a race we have gone on to win with Master Carpenter, Cop Hill Lad (whose dam was Crofters Ceilidh) and Roi De Vitesse and Makbul then followed up at Ascot before being off the track for eighteen months. Meanwhile Lord Kintyre’s dam Highland Rowena had already produced the very useful Crofters Ceilidh, a three time winner that had been runner up in the Listed Scarborough Stakes as a two-year-old so there was certainly hope that Lord Kintyre could be a sharp two-year-old.
That hope was not misplaced as he showed plenty of speed from the minute he started cantering and while we were shocked he got beaten on his debut at Bath when only finishing fourth, he made amends on his second start when he won a 24 runner maiden at Windsor by two and a half lengths. Just eleven days later he headed to Royal Ascot and finished a very solid fourth, beaten just over two lengths in the Windsor Castle.
However, his main aim all season was the Weathebys Super Sprint, as he would be carrying a light weight due to his purchase price and the race was worth £150,000, a huge amount when the yard only had around 15 horses. Ridden by Brett Doyle, he was sent off at 7/1 in a field of 23 horses and having been held up in the early stages, he hit the front entering the final furlong and went on to win by three quarters of a length from Pure Coincidence. The resulting publicity from the success was a huge boost for the yard, brought in new owners and enabled us to expand and build more stables as well as improving the facilities, without such a win, it is unlikely we would still be training and we owe him everything.
The Super Sprint wasn’t his only highlight though, his next start twelve days later saw him finish runner-up to the Henry Cecil trained Daggers Drawn in the Richmond at Glorious Goodwood and followed that with a fourth in the Gimcrack and he ended his campaign when runner-up in Cornwallis at Ascot. It was always going to be tough for him as a three-year-old but he ran a stormer when third to Bolshoi in the Group 2 Kings Stand at Royal Ascot. Sadly, he broke a blood vessel in the July Cup and that was a problem that plagued him for the rest of his career.
Having failed to find a home for him as a stallion and the blood vessel issue meaning he only ran twice at four, we decided to geld him and give him nine months off in a bid to get him back to his best. On his return as a five-year-old, he was caught on the line when beaten a neck by Monkston Point in a handicap at Newbury under his regular work rider Cheryl Nosworthy before going on to be fourth in the Palace House at Newmarket, eighth of 23 in the Kings Stand and runner-up in a Listed race at Sandown. But finally, three years after the Super Sprint, he was back in the winner’s enclosure when landing a Conditions race at Newmarket, beating Nunthorpe winner Coastal Bluff by a neck. He followed up in a similar event at Nottingham before landing the hat-trick and our very first stakes success when winning the Listed Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster, earning himself a career high rating of 112.
He performed with credit over the next three seasons, often finishing placed in some of the best handicaps around and added a sixth and final career victory as an eight-year-old at Salisbury. He retired as a nine-year-old with earnings of £191,741 and had a home for life here at The Paddocks.
In retirement he competed in a few veteran classes at the local shows for Louise and remained a useful asset to the yard, providing our inexperienced riders with their first experiences of going round the gallops (at some speed on occasions!) and acting as a lead horse for the yearlings . While in later years, a long with our other old boy Whitbarrow, who sadly passed away last year, he was an excellent companion horse for those on a break and we went full circle as he was 2019 Super Sprint winner Bettys Hope’s companion this winter.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank his owners Malcolm and Colin for initially providing us with that life-changing order and been the best owners that you could possibly wish for with such a horse. While we would also like to thank all the staff that have looked after him over the years, especially Darren, Cheryl, Donna and Carolyn who had the most to do with him during his racing days and all those that spent time with him in his retirement, particularly Sophie who has treated him like her own in the past few months.