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Blythe Park Stud Visit Friday 21st September

24-September-2018 16:36
in General
by Admin

Just to the South of Burton on Trent, just over the Derbyshire border, in North Leicestershire lies the sleepy hamlet of Appleby Magna.

Just outside the village, set in 58 acres of quintessential English countryside you will find the Blythe Park stud owned and run by one R.W. Russell. Bob, to those who know him. A congenial host, good fun, good banter. However, don’t let the exterior fool you, beneath the warmth of the welcome we received, lies a wealth and depth of knowledge of the bloodstock industry that puts enthusiastic National Hunt bloodstock observers like me to shame.


A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on the horses trained by Henry Oliver for the Best Foot Forward Syndicate, conceived and run by another congenial pair, George Hibbert and Tino Mastoras. The Horses in training with Henry, Samarayia and Darlyn were both born at Blyth Park and when their racing days are done they will return to join the brood band of mares already in situ.

The brood band Bob has put together is indeed impressive, exclusively bred by the Aga Khan, their staying pedigrees have made them ideal mares to be sent to Authorised, Yeats, Kayf Tara, Kalanisi and Black Sam Bellamy over the years and while Darlyn is yet to fulfil her potential, Samarayia ( a daughter of Black Sam Bellamy out of the Aga Khan bred Samneeza) is a very exciting chasing prospect for the coming season and I suspect the members of the Best Foot Forward Syndicate are going to get more than there monies worth from this wonderful looking filly.


Bob would be the first to agree, as with racing itself, the bloodstock arena has its fair share of ups and downs and in the few times I have been in his wonderful company, one of his often repeated phrases is “ you can have the best pedigree in the world but they still have to prove they can run” 

Well, a modest man, he is right of course, but when you are breeding from Aga Khan stock to some of the best National Hunt Sires in England and Ireland, you’re going to get your fair share of the ones that can run, Samarayia being the perfect example.

Such is the forward planning of the Best Foot Forward Syndicate that I joined Bob, George and Tino at the stud to view not only the brood mares, which in itself was a privilege and a pleasure but to view the younger Stock which the syndicate hope will form the basis of the next generation. 

On the farm lies  another daughter of Black Sam Bellamy ,and she is in pre-training at the moment with Peter Hamersley in his yard nearby. Typical of her sire, this 5yo filly still has some growing to do yet but has a wonderful temperament and is pleasing in her initial work and seen here. 


She has a very high knee action and like Samarayia who has won on heavy at Hexham already, I’ve no doubt that her ground preferences will be the same. Bob is adamant that you just cannot push the buttons too early with progeny of Black Sam Bellamy and by giving them time and patience you will be rewarded with results, Samarayia being the perfect case in point.

I don’t think I am giving away any secrets here when I say George and Tino are both very keen on an very well bred filly by Yeats out of a mare called Zarranda  ( who is the boss of her paddock, gorgeous looking but bags of attitude, which is perfect) and a Kalanisi filly out of a mare called Akdara,who is just a beautifully built model to look at, still immature but bags of scope. Both fillies are clearly thriving in their serene environment, carefully looked after and nurtured each day by Bobs head girl, Katie. 

 The future looks really bright for the syndicate, the two horses already in training with 3 more to come further down the line as time moves on. 

There are plans for a much more interactive website in the coming months where the progress of all these fillies can viewed. One thing that has left a lasting impression on me in my dealings with George, Tino and Bob is that in their various roles each is bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear to the whole project. It’s going to be really interesting to see how this project develops given the quality of these bloodlines from Blythe Park. 

Anyone who buys shares in the small select syndicate that is Best Foot Forward is in for an awful lot of fun (and hopefully Success) in the coming years.

 Can I end by saying a huge thank you To Bob and Katie for their warm welcome and hospitality in showing round this wonderful stud.

 If anyone reading this wants to know more about the syndicate, please contact me and I would be more than happy to pass your details on the boys who will contact you direct


Pete Ingram 24/09/2018 









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