The New Boy At Ballylinch Stud

It is never a chore to pay the team at Ballylinch Stud a visit. The winding road that leads to the stone entrance is hugged by greenery and pastures as well as a resplendent view over the River Nore which separates the Mount Juliet Estate and the stud. Once on the grounds, history is preserved amongst the new infrastructure as The Tetrarch’s grave greets you on your way to the stallion yard. It is a yard which houses horses who need little in the way of introduction.

The newest member of the roster is Bayside Boy (Ire), who was one of three individual Group 1 winners for his sire New Bay (GB), a fellow resident of the Kilkenny stud farm. Without a doubt, Lope De Vega (Ire) currently leads the five-strong roster but 2022 saw New Bay catapulted toward elite sire territory after three of this progeny struck gold at the highest level.

“Last year really was an exceptional year for him,” says John O’Connor, Managing Director of Ballylinch Stud. “To get three Group 1 winners from less than 90 runners is, statistically, not an easy thing to do and he’s got a lot of other nice horses to back those up so he’s well on his way.”

With the model that Ballylinch employs to launch the careers of their stallions it is no wonder that they are one of the foremost stallion farms in Ireland. When New Bay retired to stud, he was supported by a strong syndicate which included China Horse Club–breeders of Saffron Beach (Ire), who was her sire’s first Group 1 winner–among other prominent breeders.

O’Connor explains, “Luckily enough he kicked right off, he got some nice foals, his yearlings sold well and his first crop of 2-year-olds were impressing the breeze-up boys.”

As such his fee rose in increments over the years but, given the monumental strides taken in 2022, it was doubled for 2023, to €75,000.

“In general, we’re relatively conservative with stud fees and we like for horses to gradually increase so that there isn’t a sudden shock,” notes O’Connor. “But with this guy for the last couple of years, we’ve been so overbooked. We don’t want to cover excessive books of mares as it’s not good for the breeder or the stallion himself. So effectively, it’s the market deciding. He’s overbooked this year at his new fee so maybe I’ve got it wrong again, but I think we’ll take it nice and steady, let the horse build into whatever fee he ultimately ends up at.”

The solution to the problem of New Bay’s popularity would be to look to his son, Bayside Boy, who is stabled in The Tetrarch yard. Bayside Boy is well known to the team at Ballylinch considering that he was bred and raised on the farm. His listed-winning dam Alava (Ire) (Anabaa) had already produced a four-time group winner by a former Ballylinch resident in Forest Ranger (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}). Bayside Boy was offered by Ballylinch as a yearling and, while he captured the attention of many, it was Richard Ryan for Teme Valley who was the victorious bidder, with Ballylinch retaining a share.



During his racing career, Bayside Boy was held in high esteem from the word go.

“Roger [Varian, trainer] said, ‘this is a very talented horse’ and he proved it,” says O’Connor. “He won first time out and he got the highest Timeform rating for a debutant of the year in his first start, so we knew he was well on the way. He then went on and won the [G2] Champagne S., and he was placed in both the [G1] Dewhurst [S.] and [G1] Vertem Futurity.”

The early part of his 3-year-old year was “quiet”, according to O’Connor, with his down-the-field run in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains being a “bit of a non-event.”

“He built back into form and both William Buick and Tom Marquand said he was a really tough horse,” he continues. “He won the [G1] Queen Elizabeth II S., and it gave us a bit of dilemma of whether we should keep him in training or retire him. So, the deciding factor was the fact that New Bay’s fee was rising and those people who had started him may not want to be sending their mares to him at the new fee.”

In his turn, now Bayside Boy will benefit from a syndicate of breeders and “excellent judges who have taken shares in him,” as he begins his stallion career.

The roster at Ballylinch has something for everyone. Lope De Vega has recently sired his 105th stakes winner, Make Believe (GB) is set to be represented by his best crops yet, and the first crop of the Arc winner  Waldgeist (GB) will be hitting the track this year. O’Connor admits to being “quite positively surprised” by the feedback from trainers of Waldgeist’s offspring.

There is then much for the Ballylinch team to be keeping tabs on as the busy season progresses.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the team we’ve built at Ballylinch,” says O’Connor. “They’re high-quality professionals. Obviously, you need to get the genetics into the place, with the stallions and the mares, but equally then you must have the horse people to see to it that the horses achieve their potential and we’re lucky that we have some great people working for us.”

With those people helping Bayside Boy settle into life alongside his sire, the tried-and-tested formula of starting a stallion at Ballylinch will no doubt stand him in good stead.

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