Mare of the Month – ILLAUNGLASS

Martin StevensMare of the Month

Mare of the Month by Martin Stevens


11yo bay mare by Red Clubs out of Esterlina, by Highest Honor

After Chasemore Farm founder Andrew Black struck gold by breeding Queen Mary Stakes winner Ceiling Kitty, he decided it would be a good idea to try cornering the market in other talented mares by his star filly’s sire Red Clubs.

Red Clubs, a Haydock Sprint Cup winner by Red Ransom, sired only two crops of foals during his tenure at Tally-Ho Stud as he had to be withdrawn from covering duty due to health reasons.

But with those few runners he proved beyond doubt he was a top-class stallion. Besides Ceiling Kitty he was responsible for five other stakes winners, headed by the brilliant 1,000 Guineas heroine Sky Lantern, and a further five stakes performers.

So Andrew embarked on a mission to secure as many of those black-type mares as he could, their appeal heightened by the fact that Red Clubs was a total outcross for Northern Dancer so his daughters would be easy to mate.

Sky Lantern was out of reach but he did manage to acquire Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stake winner Roger Sez, Group 3 Albany Stakes third Illaunglass and Listed Boadicea Stakes third The Gold Cheongsam to accompany their paternal half-sister Ceiling Kitty in the Chasemore Farm broodmare paddocks.

Illaunglass, our mare of the month for November, quickly vindicated the purchase as her first foal, the result of a mating with Shamardal, was Illaunmore. She won two races and earned black type by finishing third in two Listed races in France.

Farm Manager, Jack Conroy, pictured with ILLAUNGLASS (left) and ILLAUNMORE (right)

Next for Illaunglass, who is a half-sister to stakes scorers Pepita and Redolent from the family of champion filly Forest Flower and 2,000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder, was the Scat Daddy gelding Papa Stour and then came the twice-placed Tale Of The Cat gelding White Iverson.

The name Illaunglass is taken from a small island south of County Cork in Ireland. The Blacks have named the progeny they kept after other islands in the British Isles - Illaunmore is off County Clare and Papa Stour is in the Shetlands.

Kodiac x Illaunglass colt - sold for 280,000gns at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Book 2 2020

Illaunglass's two-year-old colt by Shalaa sold for €125,000 at last year’s Arqana August Yearling Sale and her yearling colt by Kodiac - a favourite among Chasemore Farm staff during his sales prep - was knocked down to Shadwell for 280,000gns at Book 2 of this year’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

The mare did not deliver any produce in 2020 but she is safely in foal to Wootton Bassett, who was on the mark at the Breeders’ Cup with Filly & Mare Turf heroine Audarya and has had his fee raised to €100,000 from €40,000 as he moves to Coolmore for 2021.

Illaunglass is joined at Chasemore Farm by Illaunmore, and daughter has taken after mum by proving a sales ring hit with her first foal. The Shalaa colt out of Illaunmore sold to Blandford Bloodstock for 290,000gns at Book 1 this autumn.

Both the Shalaa out of Illaunmore and the Kodiac out of Illaunglass are expected to go into training with John Gosden for 2021, so Andrew and Jane can look forward to seeing them at Clarehaven when they go to see their exciting colt Uncle Bryn.

Illaunmore did not have a foal this year either, but she is also pregnant to an in-form sire, in her case Siyouni - the source of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor Sottsass and Dewhurst winner St Mark’s Basilica.

It is looking as though the hunt for Red Clubs mares was well worthwhile.