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Harfords' handsome reward; BLOODSTOCK BRIEFING.

BREEDERS Phillip and Willa Harford wasted no time in making an impact with their first Flat mare, Red Rose Garden. They were celebrating again on Friday when her son Handsome Ridge gained his fourth Pattern win in the Group 2 Credit Suisse Private Banking Mile at Sandown.

Breeding "is really my wife's hobby", says Phillip, a Gloucestershire farmer. "But we're both from racing backgrounds. My father bred some winners. I worked for Sir Noel Murless, then spent two years at Beech House Stud, preparing foals and yearlings."

The Harfords had kept hunters and the odd jumps-oriented mare before buying the five-year-old Red Rose Garden in 1990.

She had won over a mile and a half in Ireland at three and was offered, in foal to her owner Bill Gredley's sire North Briton, at the Doncaster November Sales. The Harfords picked her up for 2,500gns.

Her dam Jarama was a half-sister to Jacinth, who won the Cheveley Park and Coronation Stakes and was second to Mysterious in the 1973 1,000 Guineas. Another attraction was her sire Electric, of whom the Harfords were fans.

"She's a charming mare," says Harford. "She has huge depth and is very powerful, with short legs. We thought about selling her after [her 1992 foal] Red Bustaan looked as though he'd be good, but she's a bit of a pet - the children adore her - so we decided not to."

The Harfords sold Handsome Ridge for 42,000gns at the 1995 Tattersalls October Sales, and they used part of the proceeds to buy two more mares. Listed-placed Icecapped, in foal to Faustus, cost 9,500gns at the 1995 Tattersalls December Sales while dual winner Goodwood Lass, a grand-daughter of Lord Howard de Walden's fine mare Catalpa, was bought for 13,500gns - "We thought she'd be too much for us" - at the 1997 Tattersalls July Sales.

Red Rose Garden has a Persian Bold two-year-old filly and Distant Relative yearling filly who will be sold later this year, as well as a Zilzal colt foal who closely resembles the sire. Not surprisingly, she has returned to Handsome Ridge's sire Indian Ridge. Icecapped's four-year-old daughter Have Merci (by High Estate) has won twice over hurdles this term for Jessica Harrington and holds two Punchestown options tomorrow.

The trio of mares and their young offspring live on the farm, where Phillip and Willa - a medical secretary in an oncology unit - take a practical role in their care. And that has heightened their enjoyment of watching Handsome Ridge.

Harford says: "When you've made the hay, walked the foals and yearlings, mended the fences; that's real pleasure."

HORTON HALL FARM, CHIPPING SODBURY, GLOS

Goodwood Lass (Alzao-Cutleaf)

b f Feb 13 by Brief Truce visits Groom Dancer

Icecapped (Caerleon-Osmunda)

rested visits Pennekamp

Red Rose Garden (Electric-Jarama)

ch c Mar 18 by Zilzal covered by Indian Ridge
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Hickman, Janet
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 28, 1999
Words:473
Previous Article:IN BRIEF; BLOODSTOCK BRIEFING.
Next Article:CARLTON CONSULTANTS (DON BASS), JERSEY; BLOODSTOCK BRIEFING.


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