Meet The US Owner Behind A Lilac Rolla Who Is Full Of Admiration For Twomey

Paddy Twomey with A Lilac Rolla, whose American owner Amy King is bullish about ahead of the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday |


Who are the people behind the Mutual Admiration Society? The group of owners have enjoyed a whirlwind success with the unbeaten A Lilac Rolla (Ire) (Harry Angel {Ire}) and are gunning for Irish 1,000 Guineas glory.

Trained by Paddy Twomey, A Lilac Rolla has gone from strength to strength and is by no means a back number in Sunday's Classic at general odds of 10-1. She has already accounted for the market leader Opera Singer (Justify) in a conditions race at the Curragh last year and American owner Amy King sees no reason why her star filly cannot uphold the form.

King, who will be making the trip from Texas to see A Lilac Rolla strut her stuff at Irish racing's HQ, said, “My friend Nicholas Varney, who is a partner in the Mutual Admiration Society, has been involved with horses in Ireland for many years–he has owned plenty of racehorses. About eight years ago we decided to go in on a horse together and we've had six or seven since. Blue Uluru (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}), who was one of our first horses together, is in foal to Space Blues (Ire) and now we have been really lucky with A Lilac Rolla. It's just a dream.”

King added, “We bought her for €40,000 [at Tattersalls Ireland] and have been so lucky. It's funny, somebody said she looked expensive at the time! If she were to win on Sunday it would be a dream come true. She didn't really prove herself last year so much but she did beat Opera Singer. We're just so excited.”

King is something of a rarity in the world of ownership in that she chooses to have her horses based halfway across the world rather than in her home country. In Twomey, she says she has found a trainer who is aligned with her own views on how a horse is campaigned.

She explained,  “Nicholas has a house in Shannon and, when I was visiting him about eight years ago, I just got the bug. I love travelling back and forth to Ireland and I think the racing is much more pure in Ireland compared to America. It's all about finding a trainer who cares for the horses as much as we do. That is something really special.”

King added, “We are so lucky to have our horses trained by Paddy. He cares so much about the horses and is not going to run her unless they are ready, which is very important to Nicholas and I. He is very excited about A Lilac Rolla. He is really honest in his appraisal of his horses but I think he is really happy with her.”

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