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Horse Racing: Marwell's influence still as strong as ever; BLOODSTOCK DESK.

Byline: By Nancy Sexton

IT MAY be nearly 30 years since the multiple Group 1 winner Marwell swept ten races en route to clinching the European champion three-year-old filly award of 1981, but her influence fittingly remains as strong as ever at Sir Edmund Loder's Eyrefield Lodge Stud, situated near the Curragh.

Although rarely represented by large numbers, Eyrefield Lodge has seldom been out of the limelight since the golden era of its most famous filly, Pretty Polly, who graced the turf more than 100 years ago. Her descendants have produced a host of major winners, including Brigadier Gerard and Invasor, making her one of the most influential broodmares of all time.

For Eyrefield Lodge, Pretty Polly's female line has also been responsible for the recent Classic-winning graduate Vintage Tipple as well as Marwell, to whom five of the current 16 mares trace. Another mare, Desert Plum, is a granddaughter of Marwell's dam, Lady Seymour.

Miling queen Marling, who is best remembered for clutching victory from the jaws of defeat against Selkirk in a thrilling Sussex Stakes in 1992, is one of two daughters of Marwell at the stud. Although Marling has produced the Listed winner Mugharreb, who now stands at stud in Australia, the 18-year-old has not had much luck in the breeding shed, returning barren four times and producing a dead foal in 1999.

However, the daughter of Lomond has been tested in foal to Danehill Dancer this year, while her One Cool Cat yearling filly is already named Chatline.

Eyrefield Lodge retained Mugharreb's sister, Pilgrim's Way, to race and she rewarded them with two victories in a short career. She has been covered by Ad Valorem, while Marling's sixth foal, the unplaced Royal Crescent, visits another Danzig-line stallion in Cape Cross.

Marwell's 1997 foal, Littlefeather, failed to emulate her dam and half-sister with Group 1 victory as a two-year-old but the daughter of Indian Ridge was good enough to be placed in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. The ten-year-old has already bred a winner in the form of Rock Dove, who produced her first foal this year.

Overbury's sister, Overruled, is visiting Montjeu, thereby replicating the Sadler's Wells cross that produced her Irish Oaks-winning daughter Vintage Tipple, a daughter of Entrepreneur.

Overruled has a two-year-old filly by Red Ransom and a yearling filly by Cape Cross, while her three-year-old, Record Breaker, has shown progressive form for Mark Johnston.

Overruled's first foal was the Group 1-placed Spettro, and among the younger mares on the stud is his sister, Her Grace. The unraced mare produced her first foal, a colt by High Chaparral, this year.

Pretty Polly's descendants are a hard act for the stud's other residents to follow, but Eyrefield Lodge's US-based band of mares, who are boarded at Mill Ridge Farm, look to be just as powerful.

Leading the brigade is Natalma's great-granddaughter Drums Of Freedom, the dam of Kentucky Derby runner-up Proud Citizen. The son of Gone West is represented by his first juveniles this year, some of whom are in training on this side of the Atlantic. Drums Of Freedom has been tested in foal to Gone West's son, Elusive Quality.

On pedigree, Saint's Play has just as much potential to make an impact. The daughter of Saint Ballado traces to the Californian Oaks heroine Northern Meteor via Meteor Stage, herself the dam of the champion two-year-old filly Pleasant Stage.

Saint Play's first foal is a member of Afleet Alex's first crop, while she is now in foal to the red-hot young sire Officer.

Grade 3 winner Buffalo Berry has made the trip back from the US to Europe to visit Pivotal. The daughter of Sri Pekan, who is closely related to the high-class sprinter Nabeel Dancer, has already bred the high-class US turf performer Chattahoochee War and has a yearling colt by Unbridled's Song.

Among Eyrefield's recent acquisitions are Truly Yours and Concept. A half-sister to Catcher In The Rye, Truly Yours has been quick off the mark at stud as the dam of two winners, including the Group 3-placed filly Truly Mine.

The Juddmonte-bred Concept is closely related to Xaar as a Zafonic granddaughter of the blue hen Monroe. She traces to Best In Show, whose clan have been in the headlines yet again this year courtesy of the star US filly Rags To Riches.

Monday's Goresbridge details, page 79


Marwell: five of the 16 Eyrefield Lodge mares trace back to her
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 30, 2007
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