Memorable double gives Douch sweet satisfaction

Alun Douch with Sweet Coincidence and Gulliver as a foal

PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS Memorable double gives Douch sweet satisfaction
By James Thomas 1:21PM 10 OCT 2016

THERE may not appear to be many similarities between Gulliver, the winner of a 7f two-year-old maiden at York, and Sweet Selection, the filly who landed the Cesarewitch, the gruelling and fiercely competitive 33-runner handicap over 2m2f on Newmarket's Rowley Mile.

However, the pair are in fact siblings, and their respective successes on Saturday provided breeder Alun Douch with an unlikely and memorable double.

The pair are out of the winning Mujahid mare Sweet Coincidence, who has also produced Lightning Thunder, runner-up to Miss France in the 2014 1,000 Guineas and Marvellous in the Irish equivalent.

Douch acquired Sweet Coincidence privately from her breeder Louise Parry after seeing her being unloaded at Llety Farm after she returned home having gone unsold as a yearling at Tattersalls.

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"I'd been racing at Lingfield and when I got home at about ten o'clock at night I saw this horse coming off the lorry in the yard," said Douch.

"I rang Louise and we did a deal over the phone. We ran Sweet Coincidence three times as a two-year-old and she absolutely bolted up in a Chepstow maiden on her final start. We put her in foal as a three-year-old and now all bar one of her eight runners have won."

His success with one horse who went unsold as a yearling at Tattersalls may well prove to be a good omen for another horse still under the care of Douch, as he bought Sweet Coincidence's yearling colt by Exceed And Excel back at 75,000gns during Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale last week.

"Lightning Thunder is by Dutch Art, who cost just £6,000 at the time," said Douch. "Sweet Selection is by Stimulation, who stands for £3,000, and Gulliver is by Sayif, who also stands for £3,000.

"Everyone had been telling me to up the quality of the cover, so I spent £35,000 on using Exceed And Excel and then we couldn't sell the yearling! We were very disappointed we didn't sell him but he's still for sale and he's a proper racehorse. After Saturday it might be a blessing in disguise that we brought him home."

Douch, whose nursery neighbours David Hodge's Llety Farms in Carmarthenshire, could have scarcely asked for a better advertisement for his Exceed And Excel colt than the exploits of his siblings on Saturday, but for the time being he was more concerned with reflecting on the achievements of Sweet Coincidence.

"She's now produced a Classic horse, a Heritage handicap winner and a two-year-old who's won a hot maiden at York. She's just amazing," he said.

There could be more cause for celebration to come, as Douch reported Sweet Coincidence is in foal to Gleneagles, and Sweet Selection's unnamed sister is also with him and is successfully in foal to Canford Cliffs.

Also, Lightning Thunder has been snapped up by Coolmore interests for 420,000gns from last year's December Mares Sale and is in foal to the all conquering Galileo.

"It could be a very exciting family in a few years' time," he added.

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