Red letter day for Oak Lodge with Blue Point

Blue Point: son of Shamardal landed the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( Red letter day for Oak Lodge with Blue Point
By James Thomas 12:59PM 22 AUG 2016

BLUE POINT, the hugely impressive winner of Saturday's Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, not only gave his connections hope they may well have their hands on the real deal, but also gave his breeder Oak Lodge Stud cause for celebration.

They were responsible for sending Blue Point's dam, the placed Royal Applause mare Scarlett Rose, to Shamardal in 2013.

The County Kildare-based stud is run by Linda Coffey and her husband Reddy, and the Blue Point story began when Coffey acquired his dam from the 2006 Tattersalls December Mares Sale through John Walsh Bloodstock for 50,000gns.

"We were looking to buy a few mares in 2006 so we bought her when she was in foal to Starcraft," explains Coffey. "We liked Royal Applause and she was a nice, young mare and at the time the cover she was carrying looked exciting."

The purchase proved to be a shrewd one, as three of Scarlett Rose's four runners have gone on to be successful on the racecourse, with two of those, Blue Point and his half-brother Formosina (Footstepsinthesand), recording Group 2 victories.

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And it was the success with one of Giant's Causeway's sons that prompted Coffey to send Scarlett Rose to another of his most productive offspring, the Kildangan Stud resident Shamardal – a covering that resulted in Blue Point.

Coffey said the colt's quality was evident from an early stage.

"He was always laid back and a very classy foal," she says. "When we were preparing him for the sale he'd be out of his box doing what he had to do and then straight back to his feed, he loved his grub! He was very likeable, he was strong from the start."

In 2014 Blue Point was offered by Oak Lodge and Springfield House studs at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, where he was snapped up by Ebor Bloodstock for 110,000gns prior to embarking on his racecourse career under the care of Charlie Appleby.

Coffey said she was "absolutely thrilled" with Saturday's result, adding: "We were hoping to go to York but sadly we couldn't make it. But the end result is what we wanted."

She continues: "Those results are hugely important because we're trying to breed racehorses. Sales horses and racehorses can be two different things but our main aim is to breed the ones who go on the track. It's also important for the smaller breeders to get those successful horses and prove that it can be done."

Unfortunately Scarlett Rose has returned barren to Shamardal and Garswood in the last two years. However, Coffey had a more positive bulletin on the mare's 2016 cover.

"She's in foal to Night Of Thunder, we felt with her pedigree that might suit," she says. "It all depends on what people want to buy, but we like to give a young sire a chance as well as using proven stallions."

Coffey was forced to miss a trip to York having been busy overseeing the Oak Lodge and Springfield House-consigned lots who will head through the Doncaster sales ring during this week's Goffs UK Premier Sale.

Lot 260 is a filly by Society Rock who Coffey describes as "a very sharp filly from a very fast family", while lot 266 is a Footstepsinthesand brother to Grade 3-winning and Grade 1-placed Queen Of The Sand, of whom Coffey said: "He's a really strong, forward, speedy type with a lot of scope to him."

With a host of eyecatching yearlings due to be offered this sales season and a crack at Group 1 company now on the cards for Blue Point, further success could well be on the horizon for Oak Lodge.

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