INTERVIEW: MARTIN CULLINANE OF MOUNT BROWN FARM
09 June 2017
The Irish Store Sales are upon us and Martin Cullinane is
brimming with anticipation, hopeful that his latest crop of National Hunt
youngsters will do themselves justice under the spotlight over the next few
days and weeks. The County Galway consignor is vastly experienced and has seen
some good ones pass through his hands. He describes this year’s offerings at
Goffs and Tattersalls Ireland as “maybe more select as a bunch” against those
from previous years, which must bode well.
Kingscliff (IRE) went through the academy at Mount Brown
Farm near Athenry. So did Road To Riches (IRE) and Go Native (IRE), among many
more topliners. At the Goffs Land Rover Sale in 2011 he sold his homebred Martello
Tower (IRE) for €12,000 to Mags Mullins. That horse went on to win the Grade 1 Albert
Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham and has €175,000 in the bank. It’s fair to say
Cullinane can unearth the odd gem.
Already there is a buzz about Lot
321 at next week’s Goffs Land Rover Sale, a three-year-old gelding sired by
Frozen Fire out of a half-sister to Brametot (IRE), who recently completed the
French 2,000 Guineas and Derby double.
“He is very correct to look at; he is a very good-moving
horse. I was drawn to him both on type and on pedigree as he has Monsun
down the page and he has been a superb sire of so many top class horses. The other
closer relation [Brametot (IRE)] doing so well winning the Classic races in
France has been a nice boost and good timing, I suppose. This horse is very sound
and clear-winded. I’d say he’s fairly interesting,” says Cullinane.
Asked to nominate another from his draft at Goffs, he
doesn’t have to deliberate too long before mentioning Lot
76, a son of Mastercraftsman (IRE) for whom he makes a big call. “Smashing
big horse, that fella is. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up running well
in a race like the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown. The damsire is Rock
Of Gibraltar (IRE) and he seems to be turning into a good sire of sires, too.
I’m very happy with that lad overall.”
Two weeks later when the caravan rolls onto the Derby Sale,
Mount Brown Farm won’t be lacking for numbers with 14 catalogued. Asking for
the customary steer into another one that will fill the eyes of those on site
at Fairyhouse, Cullinane pauses a little longer.
“I don’t want to narrow it down to one horse for the Derby
Sale because I have a few there that I really like,” he says, “but if you’re
pressing me I love the horse by Jeremy [Lot 322].
He was €21,000 as a foal but I’d say he was worth it. I like the sire and they
are not making any more of them. Correct, good-moving and I am very familiar
with the family. He is related to Clar Na Mionn (IRE) who raced for a neighbour
of mine, Val O’Brien and the page extends back to top horses that raced for the
Dreaper family. He’s a really nice horse.”