The 2006 breeding season started with the arrival at Summerhill of four new stallions, Solskjaer, Way West, Cataloochee and Hobb Alwahtan, and hope as you might, whatever expectations you may hold from them, it’s very seldom all four will please you with their first foals.
Yet readers of this column will know of our enthusiasm for the first lot from Solskjaer and Way West, and now we can start “waxing” on the Hobb Alwahtan’s and Cataloochee’s. When Sheikh Mohammed asked us to take “Hobb” we thought he was of the order of 17hh for some reason, and our instructions to buy thirty mares for him found us looking for neat, quality types to begin with. It was only when one of our team saw him in the Sydney quarantine, that we realised he was a horse of immense quality himself, and he stood just under 16hh. This obviously necessitated a change of plan as far as the sort of mate he would need, was concerned.
He’s now had his first foals from each of these types and both are extremely attractive, athletic individuals. The second one is particularly interesting, as it’s from a daughter of Hobb Alwahtan’s close relative, Fort Wood inbred to 4 x 4 to Fall Aspen. She is a leggy, somewhat narrow type, from the immediate family of the unbeaten juvenile, Graded Stakes winner this past season, Royal Vintage. The foal is well balanced, substantial and “reeks” of quality.Gorgeous!
We always maintained that Cataloochee would serve as the perfect foil for the high quality Northern Dancer line mares on the property, and his first foal born at Summerhill is from a Braashee mare, giving identical breeding to the one bred by Vanessa Williams a fortnight ago. If these two are any indication of what we can expect from Cataloochee, roll on.