Champions Series Stars To Stud: My Dream Boat
6 Mar 2018
In the final part of our series - and with the Cheltenham Festival looming - we look at the Royal Ascot winner who has joined the ranks of National Hunt stallions.
My Dream Boat and Kirby after scooping the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture: Racingfotos.com
The principal players at the Cheltenham Festival next week all have a backstory that begins on the Flat.
Timico Gold Cup favourite Might Bite was sired by Scorpion, the 2005 St Leger winner, while Buveur D’Air, who will seek back-to-back Champion Hurdle wins, is a son of Crillon, a Listed winner on the level in France
Altior is by High Chaparral, the 2002 Derby victor, and the outstanding two-mile chaser Altior was sired by Black Sam Bellamy, winner of the Tattersalls Gold Cup in 2003.
Perhaps five or six years from now the biggest jump meeting in the calendar will include the offspring of My Dream Boat, the 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes hero, who has joined the ranks of Irish National Hunt stallions and will stand at Bridge House Stud in County Westmeath for owners Paul and Clare Rooney.
The Rooneys enjoy watching their horses under both codes and in a statement the couple said: “We are thrilled with our experience in racing and look forward to our stars of the future, whether it be on the Flat or over the jumps.”
My Dream Boat won six of his 23 races and accumulated £713,000 in prize money.
He ran in eight Group 1 contests (five of them under the QIPCO British Champions Series umbrella) with his Prince of Wales’s Stakes triumph being the high point.
The then four-year-old, who had won a handicap off a mark of 76 little more than a year earlier, never won again but earlier that year had landed the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown.
He began his career with Donald McCain – running three times for him in 2014 – before being switched to the yard of Clive Cox.
My Dream Boat was ridden for the majority of the time by Adam Kirby, although eight different jockeys had a spin on his at one time or another.
Had you placed a £10 bet on him every time he ran then you would have made a £585 profit.
The 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot was easily the high point of My Dream Boat’s four-season career.
Front-running A Shin Hikari went off the 8-13 favourite to give Japan a first Royal Ascot winner after a runaway win in France on his previous start (when My Dream Boat was among the trailers) with Aidan O’Brien’s Found, who started 4-1, being the only other runner in the six-runner field to be sent off at single-figure odds.
A Shin Hikari adopted his usual position at the head of affairs but could never stamp his authority on the race and dropped away when ridden two out.
Ryan Moore drove Found to the front but My Dream Boat, racing wide of her, stayed on strongly to edge a neck in front of her in the final strides.
What they said:
Clive Cox said after the Prince of Wales’s Stakes triumph: “I’m absolutely blown away. I had admiration for A Shin Hikari when we ran against him in France but I knew we hadn’t quite run our race.
“He found a perfect rhythm today and really found for Adam when he asked him to stretch. I wasn’t quite sure if he had won as they were poles apart but I was so pleased that we got the victory.
“Any horse who comes back from a race, you just try and nurture them back to that confidence you hope they are carrying into every race. Stuart Shilston (ex-jockey), rides him out every morning and he loves him to bits. You see this horse go to the start today, he was absolutely bucking so in spite of things not going right in France, he was in pretty good nick. I’m delighted.”
Where he will stand:
My Dream Boat will stand at Bridge House Stud in County Westmeath for a fee of €4,000, with his stallion career to be managed by Micheál Orlandi of Compas Equine.
The Stud was established in 1998 and prides itself on being a family-run operation.
Three other stallions there are Strath Burn,Let The Lion Roar and Cappella Sansevero.
What should we expect from his offspring?:
Boat can often be a derogatory term for a racehorse – many sailing vessels do not do anything quickly – but hopefully My Dream Boat will change all that by helping produce a mix of winners on the Flat and over jumps.
Just because he has joined the ranks of Irish National Hunt stallions does not disqualify his progeny from shining on the Flat.
An example was provided only last year when Wings Of Eagles won the Investec Derby. He was sired by Pour Moi, also trumpeted as a jumps stallion.
My Dream Boat looked more about stamina than speed throughout his career and, encouragingly with jumps in mind, was a sturdy individual in his racing days at home on soft ground.