McDonalds' patience with Ezilla pays dividends; BLOODSTOCK WORLD.
EVERY cloud has a silver lining, but for Jim and Mary McDonald of Herbage Stud, there must have been plenty of moments during the early life of their homebred Ezilla when that looked unlikely, writes Nancy Sexton.
As a sister to Listed winner Ebaziya, later the dam of the Group 1 winners Enzeli, Ebadiyla and Edabiya, Ezilla was bred to be good. But hopes of a racing career ended early when the daughter of Darshaan broke a shoulder as a foal.
The McDonalds opted to retain Ezilla as a broodmare, a decision that paid off in fine style when her Sadler's Wells daughter, Ezima, won two Listed races in the care of Jim Bolger. Consequently, Ezima became the subject of spirited bidding when she entered the ring during the early hours of yesterday's session at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale, eventually falling to Shadwell Estates for 320,000gns.
John O'Connor, whose Ballylinch Stud consigned Ezima, said: "It was only due to Jim McDonald's persistence and care that Ezilla was able to be kept as a broodmare."
McDonald purchased Ezilla's dam, Ezana, through O'Connor for Ir40,000gns at the 1994 Goffs November Sale, in foal to Akarad.
Although Ezana hailed from a deep Aga Khan family, the stud career of her daughter, Ebaziya, had at that time not taken off.
O'Connor said: "Ezana was already the dam of Ebaziya when we bought her. But Ebaziya had yet to produce her three Group 1 winners.
"Jim sent her back to Darshaan to replicate Ebaziya and, later on, it was the obvious thing to do to send Ezilla as a Darshaan mare to Sadler's Wells."
Ezana was retired after foaling a colt by Soviet Star in 2007.
However, McDonald still owns Ezilla as well as her five-year-old Linamix daughter, Shellin, and a yearling filly by Cape Cross.
Ezilla foaled a filly by Galileo this season and visited Invincible Spirit.