PADDY BEHAN- BREEDER OF ALTIOR
10 March 2017
Will you be attending
the Cheltenham Festival? Have you got to be there for any of Altior’s big wins
No, we’ll be watching Cheltenham in our sitting room with
our family and a few locals. We’re based outside Portarlington and Altior (IRE)
is a bit of a celebrity around here!
What has the
experience of breeding Altior (IRE) meant to you?
People dream of breeding or racing a horse at the Cheltenham
Festival and to have bred a horse that might go down in history as one of the
all-time greats; it’s hard to wrap our heads around, it’s just surreal. To be
relatively new to the game makes it even more special- we are pinching
You bred and raced
the dam of Altior (IRE), having bought her own dam for IRP£6,400. Did you ever
dream this would be the end result?
The family had always been involved in racing- my sister is
married to Tom Lacey and my brother Jack trained quite a few winners, but Monte
Solaro (IRE) is my first mare. John bred her and when she foaled, he told me
“I’ll eat my hat if this horse doesn’t win,” so when she went to the sales as a
three-year-old, I told him I’d buy her if she didn’t make her reserve, which
she didn’t. We sent her to Frank Flood and she won a Graded race at Tralee,
which was brilliant.
Altior is by High
Chaparral (IRE), a stallion better known for his flat progeny. What made you
We choose horses with speed and we didn’t spare any expense
when it came to choosing stallions for Monte Solaro (IRE)- she visited High
Chaparral (IRE) at a fee of €20,000 and returned to him another twice.
What is Altior’s dam
due to foal this spring?
She’s currently in foal to Walk In The Park (IRE) and we
expect her to foal by the end of the weekend. We always have her on plenty of
supplements and she grazes on the best grass with our Shirley cattle. Only the
best for her!
Have you kept any of
We have her four-year-old Milan filly in training with Ross
O’Sullivan, whose father used to ride out for my father. He’s very impressed by
her and says she has plenty of gears- she makes everything look easy! We’re
hoping that she’ll run in a bumper at the Irish Grand National Festival or the
Punchestown Festival, but if the ground isn’t right, we’ve no problem waiting.
She is the best foal that Monte Solaro (IRE) has ever produced, there’s no
faulting her, so we’re very excited.
Has the success of
Altior (IRE) made you want to expand your breeding operation?
We will keep any fillies Monte Solaro (IRE) produces, but we
will focus on quality over quantity. We would like to have three to four mares
of the same calibre. In this industry, if you can’t sell a filly out of a mare,
she’s not worth having.