Kalanisi enjoyed a fruitful end to 2019 and start of 2020, siring seven winners in a 17 day period.
First off the mark was the diminutive Rightplacerightime at Naas on December 16th. He landed a 2 mile maiden hurdle in dramatic fashion as he was severely hampered on a number of occasions up the run in by the eventual runner-up but showed great courage not to shirk his winning chance and prevailed by a neck. Bred by Richard and Graham Morrow in County Antrim, he comes from their great family that traces back to Mighty Mogul.
The 2nd of Kalanisi’s seven winners was the aptly named Encounter A Giant. He was the impressive winner of a 3 mile Beginners Chase at Hereford on December 19th. This towering now 8 year old, has taken some time to come to maturity having raced solely between the flags until making his track debut on December 8th last. On that occasion he was running a very pleasing race and was still in contention when coming to grief at the 2nd last in a race won by Slate House who went on to win the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novice Chase at Christmas. The Alastair Ralph trained Encounter A Giant posted a Racing Post Rating of 138 for his win and looks a horse to follow. He was bred by our near neighbour Ken Parkhill and was purchased as a store by Kevin and Anna Ross.
St Stephens day saw a double for KALANSI progeny. First up was on this side of the Irish sea with an impressive win for Dylrow in an ultra competitive Hunters Chase at Down Royal. The David Christie trained 9 year old was also impressive in his only Autumn outing between the flags and is a horse who can achieve high rank in the Hunters Chase division this season. Dylrow was bred by Mick Rowland and won 3 races on the track for Robbie Hennessey before he joined Christie last summer. The 2nd leg of his double on the 26th came courtesy of the talented Honest Vic in the closing event on Kempton’s King George card. The Henry Daly trained 6 year old scored an emphatic victory in the hands of Tom Scudamore in the £20,000 Handicap Hurdle. This was his 4th career success and he was racing off a career high mark of 132 and now has an official rating of 140. He was bred by Denis Cleary from Toomevara in Co. Tipperary and was sold as a 3yo store at the Goffs Land Rover sale for just €20,000. He is another example of the potent Kalanisi/Old Vic cross that has already produced Kalshnikov, Brain Power and Kalane.
There was a remarkable victory for Buster Edwards at Haydock on December 30th. The David Pipe trained 6 year old looked a well held 7th when jumping the last but somehow sprouted wings inside the last 100 yards to land his nose in front just on the line in the hands of Jack Tudor. This was the 3rd win of the season for the Willie Devine bred gelding who was a graduate of Ger Hannon’s Ralahine Stud as a yearling when bought by Matt O’Connor and was subsequently sold as a 4 year old to Tom Malone Bloodstock after being placed in a point to point.
We didn’t have to wait too long for the first winner of the new decade by Kalanisi. The locally owned/bred and trained 7 year old mare Lee Valley Legacy got her head in front for the first time in the Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day. The well known David Eiffe, proprietor of the Lee Valley Training Centre just outside Ratoath is the owner/breeder in question and he will have gained a lot of pleasure watching this victory at his local track. This mare’s pedigree traces back to Gold Cup winner Captain Christy and having produced 4 geldings from her previous 4 foals, David was only delighted that Lee Valley Native produced this filly in question back in 2013 in order to keep the line going.
Last but not least of the seven winners was the Alastair Whillans trained Kalaharry, who lead home a 1-2 for Kalanisi in an Ayr Handicap Hurdle on January 2nd. The consistent mare Haul Us In, finished a gallant runner-up under top weight. Kalaharry, who was winning for the 4th time, was bred by Matt Maher of South Lodge Bloodstock and was purchased as a store by Mel Smith Bloodstock at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale.