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Hobby breeder on a roll not tempted to sell dam of Classic hope Diala just yet.

1,000 Guineas BREEDER Q & A Contender Diala bay filly Iffraaj-Quaich (Danehill) Declan Johnson How was the dam Quaich acquired? I bought her for 17,000gns at the Tattersalls July Sale in 2007. She was a big, athletic filly with a lot of presence about her, and I liked that she was by Danehill. I was buying a few mares at the time just as a bit of a hobby - I work in the construction industry. Quaich was carrying a Halling filly later called Matula, who won her maiden nicely first time out for Ralph Beckett, but she didn't seem to train on at three last year.

I've had a few calls from people asking to buy Quaich but so far none have offered a price that would tempt me. We'll see how things pan out with Diala.

Why was Iffraaj chosen? I live in Kildare where we're surrounded by sires, so I try to get around and see a lot. I like Iffraaj, he's a popular sire and looked a good physical match for Quaich. We also look at nicks and try to get them to work, though it seems most sires are successful with Danehill mares.

Do you fancy Diala's chances at Newmarket? I just hope she'll be placed, but I don't think she'll want it too soft. She's a good striding filly, while Danehill seems to get hard-ground horses and Quaich won on good to firm. Luckily Newmarket seems to dry out quickly.

What would it mean to breed a Classic winner? We'd be over the moon - anyone would. We're on a roll at the moment; me and my brotherin-law Flor Ryan - I'm married to his sister Mary - have only four mares between us but one of his, Fantastic Account, bred Coupe De Ville, who goes in the 2,000 Guineas. Another of my mares, Land Army, is the dam of Lethal Force, who was fourth in the Coventry last year and won his maiden by nine lengths last month. More to follow Quaich has no foal this year, but her Elnadim filly foal was sold to Powerstown Stud last year and she has been covered by Iffraaj again this year. Rathasker Stud consigns all of our sales horses. Maurice Burns is brilliant to deal with. Martin Stevens


Coupe De Ville: 2,000 Guineas hope was bred by Johnson's brother-in-law Flor Ryan
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 4, 2012
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