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Doyen enjoys a succesful start to the season

Michael Hickey’s Sunnyhill Stud have long been associated with leading National Hunt stallions and the emergence of Doyen in recent times suggests there is a lot more to come from the Kildare Stud.

Doyen is a son of Saddler’s Wells who won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Gr.1) at Ascot in 2004 when becoming the Champion four-year-old of Europe. His dam was second in the French Oaks and third in the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas.

Doyen stood for some time at Dalham Hall in Newmarket followed by a stint in Germany before being acquired to stand at Sunnyhill Stud back in 2009. He is one of a select few Stallions who has sired top level winners on the flat and over jumps. Turfdonna won the Group1 German Oaks back in 2015 and

Battleoverdoyen won a Grade 1 Hurdle in January of this year at Naas over hurdles.
Even from his early crop’s horses such as Valdez, Pine Creek and Golden Doyen showed that he would become a strong force in the NH sphere when the opportunity allowed.

Once arriving at Sunnyhill Doyen was to enjoy the NH supply he deserved and from his very first Irish crop emerged Battleoverdoyen who won a four-year-old maiden at Loughanmore for Jerry Cosgrave under Mark O’Hare for owner Michael Lynch.  He was then sold to Gigginstown House Stud for £235,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham sale and won a Grade 1 Hurdle at Naas earlier in January of 2019.

His chasing debut at Galway was most impressive and he duly stepped up to Grade 2 company on Sunday at Punchestown when scoring under Davy Russell for Gordon Elliott. In doing so on just his second start over fences he had to see off the vastly more experienced Cheltenham festival winning Any Second Now. This performance now sees him shortened in price for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Elliott is also trainer of a hugely exciting son of Doyen in Andy Dufresne who won a Point to Point at Borris before selling for £330,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival sale and going on to win a bumper early in 2019. He reappeared this season in a Navan maiden hurdle and such was the authority of his success that he has leapt to the head of the market for many leading hurdles at the Cheltenham festival.

Indeed, Battleoverdoyen and Andy Dufresne winning in January of 2019 were two of ten individual winners sired by Doyen in January.
Gordon Elliott was also responsible for the sadly ill-fated but hugely talented Rapid Escape who was another point-to-point graduate.

In recent weeks Doyen has been enjoying further success between the flags, having produced five winners and two placed runners from 19 runners since the beginning of October.

Cian Hughes saddled Yousayitbest to win impressively at Moig South under Jamie Codd. This son of Doyen was winning on debut and sold on Friday 15th November at the Tattersalls Cheltenham November Sale to bloodstock agent Alex Elliott.

Paddy Turley saddled Hollymount Holly to win at Dromahane in most impressive fashion and she went on to make £62,000 at the same sale when knocked down to Aiden Murphy and Kim Bailey.

Doyen has proven himself as a high-class source of winners both on the level and more recently over jumps. He is responsible for two of the most exciting youngsters in training in Ireland currently in Battleoverdoyen and Andy Dufresne and with his Irish crops now emerging strongly it seems likely that the best is yet to come.

He is clearly popular with point-to-point handlers also with many of his graduates being well received in the sales ring alongside their undoubted talent. 


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