13 March 2018

The Anthony Honeyball-trained mare Ms Parfois (IRE) has excelled over fences, with two Listed wins and a Grade 2 second to her name, and aims to add to her tally in Tuesday’s Grade 2 National Hunt Challenge Cup. This is much to the delight of her County Wexford breeders, father and son team, William and Daryl Deacon. ITM spoke to Daryl ahead of the big day.

You must be thrilled with the way Ms Parfois (IRE) has excelled over fences. How do you fancy her chances at Cheltenham?

Yes, we’re delighted with how she’s improved and with the change in going at Cheltenham we think her chance has grown. Unfortunately, we won’t be there to see her, but hopefully we’ll be celebrating at home!

She is one of the mares flying the flag for national hunt fillies- both in their talent and in their increased opportunities. Do you think the market for them has improved?

The market has definitely improved- if you have a nice filly, she can be quite valuable. Having said that, it can be tough at times, too.

You bought her dam, Dolly Lewis, for €9,000 at Goffs as a foal. She comes from the family of Garamycin, who your father, William, trained to win five black-type contests. Is his connection what drew you to the mare?

We always wanted to buy something from the family and once we saw the pedigree catalogued, we set out to buy her. Ms Parfois (IRE) is a big mare and so, wouldn’t be like Garamycin, who was a quality horse. Though, she wouldn’t take after him in colour!

Yes, she’s chestnut like her sire, Mahler. You bred to him when he was on his second season at stud. Why did you choose him?

We wanted to breed a staying chaser and with him being a son of Galileo (IRE), he was an obvious choice.

What other young sire are you excited by?

I’m a big fan of Imperial Monarch (IRE), who stands alongside Mahler at the Beeches Stud. Aizavoski (IRE) (Artic Tack Stud) is another nice horse who has bred promising point-to-pointers in his first crop*. I’m also keen on Snow Sky, who’s in his third season at Ballycurragh Stud.

I like to pick stallions from a few different studs for our mares.

*The first crop of Aizavoski (IRE) are now four-year-olds and has had just three starters in point-to-points. Two have won.

Do you still have Dolly Lewis and what progeny of hers do we have to look forward to?

We do indeed. We have a nice three-year-old by Mountain High (IRE), who will go to the store sales later in the year. Her yearling colt by Ask would remind you a lot of Ms Parfois (IRE) and she’s due to Ask in May.

Your father, William, also bred Maghull Chase third Dawn Leader (IRE). Do you have any mares from that family?

From the family, we have Tudor Fashion (IRE), a homebred Presenting mare, who I trained to win over hurdles and fences. She’s in foal to Alkaadhem, as is another of our mares, Miss Palm (IRE). She won four times for us, including the Gain Mares Final. Our other mare, Scarlet Rambler, is in foal to Libertarian.

You’re also a point-to-point handler. Do you have any young horses we should keep an eye out for?

We have eight horses in at the moment, which is a good number, but it’s hard to find good staff these days. I have a lovely, big four-year-old by Morozov, out of Danity. He’s one to keep an eye out for. 

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