BREEDER BRIEFING: LYLE BUTTIMER ON BIG ZEB; BLOODSTOCK WORLD.
Tell us about yourself
I own and run a farm in Fermoy, County Cork, close to Grange Stud.
Generally we have around two thoroughbred mares on the farm whom we breed from as a hobby. We sell all the progeny as foals and the best horse we'd bred before Big Zeb (pictured) was the Cork Grand National winner Penny Hall. We currently have Boro Supreme, a half-sister to Penny Hall, and Boro Leader. Luckily, the farm hasn't been too badly affected by the recession - it means more people are staying in to eat at home, which has boosted demand for potatoes!
How did you acquire Our Siveen?
I bought her privately from her breeder, David Magnier, for Irpounds 7,500 in 1989. She was carrying to Henbit at the time and that foal, later named Herbert Buchanan, got us off to a fair start by selling for Ir5,000gns and winning five races. Over the next 16 years, until her death in 2007, I bred a further 12 foals from her. Interestingly, I thought Big Zeb was the worst-looking one of the lot - he made only EUR2,400 as a foal - and I was surprised that he made up into a nice-looking three-year-old.
Her youngest foal, who, like Big Zeb, is by Oscar, is three now, and we sold her as a foal to James Kirwan for EUR5,000.
Why did you send her to Oscar?
He offered very good value for money. Our Siveen went to Oscar in his first year at stud - we got into him for about Irpounds 500 and sold the foal for Ir13,000gns, so we were encouraged to send her to him again. We sent her to Oscar four times in total - Big Zeb is the result of her second visit. I often find that first-season jumps sires are quite reasonably priced.
How do you rate Big Zeb's chance at Cheltenham?
I'm not a gambler, but if I were, I wouldn't put money on him - not against Master Minded! But I wish his connections all the best, and anyway, it's probably a good omen if I don't put my money on him - then he'll definitely win!
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 6, 2009|
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