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'Bit of a lad' who is aiming to crest a wave at the festival; CHELTENHAM BREEDER Q & A.

Contender Tranquil Sea 9yo bay gelding by Sea Raven out of Silver Valley (Henbit) Breeder: Edward Curtin LEADING Ryanair Chase candidate Tranquil Sea will be carrying the hopes of County Cork farmer Edward Curtin at the Cheltenham Festival, where a win would mark a high point for him as a breeder.

Curtin is a neighbour to Michael Moore's Ballincurrig House Stud, which sold Tranquil Sea for him for EUR10,000 as a three-year-old at the Tattersalls Ireland August sale.

"I have two broodmares," says Curtin. "Silver Valley [dam of Tranquil Sea] and a half-sister to Tranquil Sea. We bred them both. My father James bought Tranquil Sea's great-grandmother, Merry Valley, many moons ago - she's the backbone of the family.

"Tranquil Sea is the best horse I've bred, he came along out of the blue. It's one of those things that you think will never happen to you."

That said, Tranquil Sea isn't the first high-class jumper to have been bred on Curtin's Farm. "My father bred Brideswell Dew, who won at Galway and lots of other races," says Curtin.

Tranquil Sea has won ten races under rules, including the Paddy Power Gold Cup and, on his latest start, the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase.

Curtin remembers the son of Sea Raven as a bit of a character. He says: "He was very lively, a bit of a lad. He'd bite you for no reason. His half-brother was the same. He was a nice horse, though, I liked him."

The Ryanair Chase a week tomorrow will be watched with great excitement by Curtin, who says: "It will be a great achievement for me as a breeder if he wins it, I'd be very happy. You don't come across these horses all the time, so I appreciate what he does."

What gives you the biggest kick as a breeder? When they're running well and come back in one piece. My biggest thrill was when Tranquil Sea won the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Hopefully, he'll top that next week. What advice would you give to someone starting out as a breeder? Have a good-quality mare in the first place. Good bone and a good pedigree.

What is the biggest issue facing the breeding industry? The cost of stallions are a bit high for the top horses. Name a sire to follow Dubai Destination. He's getting a few mares and has had winners under both codes. He will be a pretty good stallion in time.

What are your interests outside racing and breeding? I go to plenty of point-to-points and also shoot and play golf. George Kimberley More news on racingpost. com/bloodstock Soldier Of Fortune to shuttle to Chile Death of Irish Derby winner Law Society Marathon victory for son of pounds 350 Needle Gun

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Tranquil Sea jumps the last in the John Durkan Memorial Chase. Next stop the Ryanair
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2011
Words:480
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