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Proclamation a fitting legacy for Ryan

The late Cathal Ryan, who died last December, tasted success as an owner and breeder at the highest level both on the flat and over jumps. Cork All Star, who won the 2007 Champion Bumper, returns to Cheltenham in just under two weeks for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle but it is though Proclamation that Ryan’s name is guaranteed to remain linked with thoroughbred breeding for years to come.

The young stallion, who was bred at Ryan’s Swordlestown Stud and sold to Sheikh Mohammed as a yearling for 84,000gns, currently has his first few foals on the ground. Following appearances at Doncaster’s January Sale and Tattersalls’ February Sale, demand has been strong for the grey son of King’s Best and that’s hardly surprising. Athletically built with plenty of scope and size, once seen he’s a must for any breeder’s shortlist.Looks aren’t everything, however, and we don’t need to cast our minds back too far to the summer of 2005 to remember what a superb individual he was on the racecourse. His Heron Stakes win in May set the ball rolling for a stream of wonderful performances, including victories in the Jersey and Sussex Stakes at the two meetings which are synonymous with British summertime and top-class racing: Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. Incidentally, that same year saw his Hernando half-brother No Refuge, who was a Listed winner on the flat, record another win for Ryan as breeder at the Cheltenham Festival in the colours of Graham Wylie, an achievement which led to their dam Shamarra being crowned best broodmare at the ITBA Awards.Duty now falls to her best son Proclamation to add to the family’s roll of winners, a task for which he is amply qualified and which would provide a fitting legacy for his breeder.