Revelation And Vindication – The Story Behind Brilliant Broodmare Repose

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Repose: sold by Tinnakill House Stud to Juddmonte this week 

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Few broodmares carry a more impressive combination than Repose (Quiet American), who landed a left and right hook with State Of Rest (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) and Tranquil Lady (Ire) (Australia {GB}), and she's far from finished after it was announced this week that she would be joining the Juddmonte broodmare band after a deal was struck with Tinnakill House Stud.

Dermot Cantillon, the man behind Tinnakill, of which Group 1 winners Alexander Goldrun, Red Evie, Casamento and more recently State Of Rest are graduates, revealed that the Repose story is as much about vindication as it is revelation.

It was a November day in 2007 when Cantillon put his shoulders back and took a punt on a then 17-year-old mare called Monaassabaat (Zilzal).

According to Cantillon, she ticked a lot of the right boxes, being by a stallion with brilliance and from an exceptional family.

The one drawback, although Cantillon didn't see it that way, was her age, which may explain why he secured the mare for just €42,000.

Monaassabaat is a proven producer of black-type performers, including Prince Alzain (Street Sense) and Echo River (Irish River {Fr}), but it is Repose, who never managed to make it to the track, who has put the pedigree in lights.

They say the secret to becoming an overnight success is a lifetime of hard work and, in Cantillon's case, nurturing the bloodlines of the globetrotting star State Of Rest and genuine Oaks contender Tranquil Lady began when he took a punt on a mare that many others would have deemed too old back in 2007.

“The fundamentals we adhere to are strong,” Cantillon explained. “We always try and get into female families where the black-type is substantial and of good quality. That particular family featured one of the best mares ever in America, It's In The Air (Mr. Prospector) and we bought her daughter, Monaassabaat, quite cheaply.

“When we bred Repose, she was owned in partnership with Pat and Kim Hayes, who worked for me at the time, and I subsequently bought out the share. I bought Monaassabaat from Darley at Goffs in 2007. She was a Maktoum Al Maktoum-owned mare and, if you were to look down through the pedigree, it was a fantastic family, so that was a big attraction for me.”

He added, “I remember Monaassabaat because I was mad about Zilzal and, if memory serves me correct, she may have been the first stakes winner by Zilzal. I thought he had brilliance as a sire and was a Nureyev horse so, in my mind, it was ticking boxes.

“At the time I bought her, I had just purchased a farm in Kentucky and I thought she would be a very good mare to have over there given she had a strong American pedigree. We sent her over there and, out of her, we bred Prince Alzain, who was the first stakes winner for Street Sense.”

Repose never made it to the sales in America but, thinking he might have something different to offer potential buyers in Ireland, Cantillon elected to roll the dice at the Orby Sale at Goffs in 2013, but she failed to sell.

Acknowledging his luck, Cantillon recalled, “She held entries in the November Foal Sales at Keeneland in 2012 and was also entered in the sales at Keeneland the following January but she didn't attend either of those because I didn't think I would get much for her.

“I decided to bring her back to Ireland and offer her at the Goffs Orby Sale thinking she would be a bit different but she didn't sell. I had 10 yearlings that year and I sold nine but couldn't sell her.”

He added, “In actual fact, I sold Chicago Dancer (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}), whose first yearling made 1 million gns, so it wasn't a bad consignment looking back at it now.”

After failing to sell as a yearling, Repose was put into training before it was reported that she wouldn't make it as a racehorse and, while her first foal–as they often can be–was disappointing, she has quickly earned revelationary status as a broodmare.

Cantillon explained, “She has been an outstanding producer from two very different sires in Starspangledbanner and Australia. When you watch a horse that you have bred go on to win a race, it's like having a winner of your own without the expenses, and we have been given huge pleasure by State Of Rest. In fact, one of the greatest thrills of my life was watching him winning the Cox Plate.”

The State Of Rest story may never have been written had Cantillon not been prepared to take on an older mare but, along with the help of his wife Meta Osborne, an industry-renowned vet, it has been an avenue the stud have enjoyed huge success with down through the years.

Cantillon said, “Monaassabaat was 17 when we bought her. If you get a foal that looks the part out of an older mare, the chances are that it is the part. What happens with older mares, a lot of them are bred to first-season sires, who are unproven and chances are that one out of 10 of those sires will be good. There's a big bias with mares as they get older. When they are young, they tend to get bred to more proven sires, so of course they are going to produce much better horses.

“Meta is very good at what she does and treats mares as individuals. She thinks about them a lot and is at the cutting edge of managing older mares. We don't put ourselves under massive pressure with regards to expectations either. If we buy a mare who is 15 or older, we would be thinking that if we could get them in foal every second year, that would be good. We'd love to get them in foal every year but don't get too disheartened if we don't.”

Repose joined Juddmonte in foal to Frankel (GB), with Cantillon retaining a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly foal alongside Sunderland Holdings, although a decision has yet to be made on whether she will be offered at public auction as a foal or a yearling.

In the meantime, the pedigree could be set for yet another boost, with State Of Rest bidding for his first Group 1 on home shores when he lines up in the Tattersalls Ireland Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday, while Cantillon has already made plans to travel to Epsom to see Tranquil Lady tackle the Oaks. The story continues.

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