12 February 2018

Swordlestown Little, located in Naas, County Kildare, had reason to celebrate last week when their homebred Dinozzo (IRE) won his Group 3 in Hong Kong impressively. ITM spoke to Mariann Klay to reflect on their 2018 success so far and what plans they have for the future.


What a way to start the year- with international Group success and huge dreams emerging for your homebreds, you must be delighted?

We are over the moon. Dinozzo (IRE) has been such a tough and consistent horse for Mr. Size in Hong Kong and winning 5 races and close to €1million in prize money is just phenomenal. Being by our homebred Lilbourne Lad (IRE) makes it even sweeter.


You sold Dinozzo (IRE) as a foal at Goffs. How did he strike you in his early stages?

He was a tall, lengthy and correct colt with a nice temperament. Being out of an Aga Khan mare, he was always likely to get better with time.


Do you still have his dam, and if so, what siblings do we have to look forward to?

Yes, we are lucky to still have Nisriyna (IRE). She has a two year old filly by Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) in training with Ken Condon and we sold her Kodiac (now yearling) colt last November at Goffs. She is due to Awtaad (IRE).


How many broodmares do you have on the farm? What stallions are they due to foal to and due to visit?

We currently have eight of our own mares and two mares for clients on the farm. We took a big punt on Vadamos, with four mares in foal to him, and we are currently waiting on the first of them. Fingers crossed.


The unraced dam of Dinozzo (IRE) was bought from the Aga Khan draft at Goffs for just €2,000 and later gained a Group 1 update courtesy of half-sister Narniyn (IRE). What characteristics do you look for in a broodmare and what are you willing to overlook?

We actually did not buy her in the ring, but were lucky to buy her from Mr. Bradley later on in the bar! Like everyone else, we like an attractive, correct and good walking mare with a pedigree. They are hard to find on a budget! So we have to compromise and we can forgive unraced if we know why and that they had some ability in training.

You bred Dinozzo (IRE) by a first season stallion, while Bluebell (IRE) provided Mastercraftsman (IRE) with his first winner. Who is your first season sire pick on the track in 2018, and are you sending any mares to new stallions in 2018?

Since you are asking, I am saying Slade Power (IRE). We are planning to send mares to Caravaggio and Decorated Knight.


What Irish stallion do you see as under-rated or good value?

I think Jukebox Jury (IRE) might be an interesting dual purpose horse who has done very well with limited opportunities. I want to use him this year.


What is your favourite Swordlestown Little graduate?

It has to be Lilbourne Lad (IRE), a short head from Massive (IRE) and his full-sister Busted Tycoon (IRE) and, of course, Dinozzo (IRE). And I forgot the very brave Third Intention (IRE) and Orgilgo Bay (IRE). You can see, I love them all, even the ones that did not turn out so good!


Give us a horse to follow in 2018.

Ajman King (IRE), a son of Lope De Vega (IRE) out of Third Dimension.

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