Al Wukair, bred by Ballylinch Stud. Winner of the Gr.1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le- Buffard – Jacques Le Marois in 2017.
Dear Breeder, This is the time of year when we review the year just ending and look forward to the next one with hope and expectation. 2017 was a year of continued success for Ballylinch. Our late great stallion King’s Theatre was crowned Champion National Hunt Sire for the fifth time in the last six seasons and his replacement at Ballylinch, Beat Hollow, is showing great promise with his first National Hunt crop of 4yos led by our own highly promising Hollowgraphic. Ballylinch bred yet another Group 1 winner when Al Wukair won the Prix Jacques Le Marois in August. His sire, Dream Ahead, who had an excellent year on the track, will stand at Haras de Grandcamp in Normandy for 2018. In keeping with his status as a leading young sire in Europe, Lope de Vega had four Group 1 winners in 2017 and, with his best-bred crops starting to race next year, we can expect his already very impressive statistics to improve even further. Lawman has yet again come up with a Classic prospect in Highclere’s unbeaten Group winner Luminate. He is a proven sire who has shown time and again that he can upgrade mares to Group 1 level, the spot we all aspire to. Ballylinch has invested heavily in young stallions in the last number of years and now the first foals by the top class miler Make Believe are hitting the sales. They have been enthusiastically received by both breeders and foal buyers and we confidently look forward to his first yearlings in 2018. Both New Bay and Fascinating Rock have been given the support that you would expect of the young stallions at Ballylinch. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing their first crop of foals in 2018. With the support of John and Leslie Malone, we continue to strengthen the broodmare band at Ballylinch and this was reflected in the sale of the beautiful yearling filly by Galileo out of L’Amour de Ma Vie to Godolphin at Goffs for €1.2 million. The fact that we support our young stallions with high class Ballylinch broodmares means that breeders can have confidence that our young sires have every chance to succeed at the highest levels. We continue to invest in upgrading the equine facilities at both Ballylinch and Castlemartin to ensure that every horse that is entrusted to us will have every opportunity to succeed. Finally, I would like to thank all our clients for their continued support and wish them every happiness and success for 2018. John O’Connor, Managing Director