Tom Peacock speaks to Kate and Andrew Brooks’ agent about his unorthodox strategies
Grossick Racing Pictures
” title=”Merely The Betts offered a landmark second for the Brooks household by successful at Cheltenham”
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Merely The Betts offered a landmark second for the Brooks household by successful at Cheltenham
Grossick Racing Pictures
By Tom Peacock
When Sean Tiernan sources horses for the likes of Kate and Andrew Brooks, he typically appears to be like past the standard settings of point-to-points and the gross sales ring.
As an alternative he wends his means by the French countryside, looking for many who haven’t but been discovered. He asks round, follows his nostril, generally leads to essentially the most weird locations. The Irishman’s path to discovering big-race winners together with Saint Calvados, Rouge Vif and Itchy Toes would make a watchable journey journal.
He recollects one occasion, saying: “We’d been taking a look at a horse on a farm someday and I stated to [owner-breeder] Denis Grandin, ‘Who else is round right here Denis?’ He stated, ‘There’s a breeder throughout the best way there, he’d have 4 or 5 horses, two or three mares’.
“He didn’t have something a lot, besides he was bringing a yearling out of the sector and I requested what it was. He stated, ‘Oh, he’s by Cima De Triomphe, he’s not modern’, however I requested to see him.
“This man had nowhere to trot the horse so we needed to take down the goalposts within the little subject throughout from the steady, and we trotted him up and down the soccer pitch. That was [Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner] Itchy Toes.”
It had been the same story when Tiernan discovered one for the Costello household lurking in a steady when he was intending to have a look at one other horse. He grew to become Ben Pauling’s Nationwide Hunt Chase winner Le Breuil.
“He was a small breeder who didn’t have anyplace to trot him both, he had a gallop however no onerous floor,” Tiernan remembers with amusement.
“He simply stated go and trot him on the principle street and wait till the site visitors lights go purple. After they go inexperienced get again within the steady yard.”
Patrick McCann/Racing Put up
title=”Sean Tiernan (centre left) is racing supervisor for Kate and Andrew Brooks”
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Sean Tiernan (centre left) is racing supervisor for Kate and Andrew Brooks
Patrick McCann/Racing Put up
Though the participating agent has a wealth of different good tales of this nature, his life will not be all about eccentric encounters and taking a punt. He works in tandem with vet Bernard Stoffel, his eyes and ears in France, in an exercise that appears just a little like steel detecting as they search excessive and low for treasures earlier than others get their arms on them.
“It’s groundwork,” he explains. “Going round in your ft and in your automobile, driving across the completely different farms, on a regular basis.
“Solwhit [the multiple Grade 1 hurdle winner including the World Hurdle] was one of many first, the proprietor was a man in Belgium, the place Bernard lives. We went to the farm and noticed him as a two-year-old. He had no pedigree however was a nice-looking sort of horse. We didn’t purchase him and he went and gained in Enghien as a three-year-old. We’d identified him for practically two years once we purchased him then.
“I’m not overly frightened a couple of horse’s sire, I’m extra explicit about attempting to purchase a superb particular person. When you’ve got a superb pedigree to go along with it on the dam’s facet, good, however that’s not at all times the case and we will’t at all times afford to purchase a horse that’s costly due to its pedigree. It’s all about danger evaluation.”
Tiernan has lived an eventful life, rising up in the midst of Dublin, the place his father had a pig farm, and spending afternoons working on the fabled Leopardstown stables of Seamus McGrath.
By way of the late Brian Grassick and BBA Eire he ended up being concerned with yearlings in Kentucky and skilled beneath a New York licence earlier than returning house to Wexford and establishing his Peak Racehorses enterprise.
“Our Conor was the most cost effective horse we ever purchased who was a star, €4,500,” he says of the white-faced gelding who took the 2013 Triumph Hurdle by a stunning 15 lengths.
“He jogged my memory precisely of a horse I’d purchased about 15 years earlier from Peter McCreery referred to as Majestic Man, for the value of a ham sandwich. He gained a load of races and ran within the Triumph, the place he acquired injured. They seemed the identical, similar step and massive ft like satellite tv for pc dishes beneath his legs holding him up.”
The Tiernan-Stoffel axis has additionally had a hand find fairly a couple of extra Cheltenham winners over time, from the favored Don Poli and County Hurdle hero Ch’tibello to Merely The Betts final 12 months, who grew to become a primary winner on the assembly for the Brookses.
title=”Stayers’ Hurdle hero Solwhit is one who caught the attention of Sean Tiernan”
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Stayers’ Hurdle hero Solwhit is one who caught the attention of Sean Tiernan
His involvement with the household has developed over the past 4 years and he grew to become their racing supervisor as they purchased into his ethos. Horses are usually bought at two and developed by Tiernan’s outdated good friend, the coach Tom Cooper, and his jockey son Bryan in Kerry.
The strategy has paid off currently with two vibrant younger prospects and sons of Stoffel’s stallion Courageous Mansonnien. Courageous Seasca beat file public public sale purchase Interconnected at Huntingdon for his joint-owner Julian Taylor, the chairman of the course, whereas the very thrilling Courageous Kingdom landed a bumper at Fontwell final Sunday.
“Early into the method, I stated as an alternative of spending 300/400k on horses, which lots of people do, I believe you may get much more profit out of shopping for a younger horse, being concerned and watching them develop, proper by from shopping for Saint Calvados collectively and going as much as the place we’re right now,” he says.
“Kate and Andrew discovered that course of a lot nicer; you’re rather more connected to the horse, and so they adore the animals.
“Consistent with this, my spouse Viva and I at all times make an effort to seek out good properties for the horses once they retire from their racing profession, that is additionally part of my job, and it’s an vital half. It is such a pleasure to observe them as driving horses, and so they typically go on to develop into very outdated whereas having fun with their otium.”
A pair extra of them appeared from one other uncommon setting.
“They’ve two with Oliver Sherwood with completely zero pedigree, a superb jumper referred to as Dominateur and his full-brother Grandeur D’Ame, who was second in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham,” says Tiernan.
“They had been owned by a goat farmer in the midst of nowhere, he didn’t also have a cell phone. Bernard discovered it somehow, all we noticed had been heads of goats protruding of stables, and no horses. This very good man got here out, Georges [Lacombe], and stated, [in French accent] ’Come een, come een’.
“We went around the again and noticed six of essentially the most lovely AQPS yearlings, two-year-olds. I requested, ‘What do you feed them, goats milk?’ He replied, ‘Sure, they get the whole lot, they stay out right here’. We purchased 4 horses off him that day.”
He provides: “It’s vitally vital that they’re wholesome, effectively and by no means hungry. It’s no use shopping for one from a farm the place the fella wouldn’t feed himself, he wouldn’t repair the fence and wouldn’t feed the horses. By the point they’re 4 and so they’ve acquired to place their head down and gallop, there’s nothing there.”
Sean Tiernan is especially happy that Andrew Brooks was concerned within the buy of Saint Calvados, the horse incomes his identify from what was the tipple of alternative the evening earlier than seeing the horse together with his former proprietor Jean-Pierre Dubois.
“I knew he was by Saint Des Saints and he got here trotting by us,” recollects Tiernan. “Andrew stated, ‘That’s a beautiful-looking horse’. I stated, ‘Don’t be taking a look at him anymore, simply purchase him’. Andrew’s not blind, he noticed him instantly.”
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Saint Calvados is prone to return to the assembly for one of many important occasions