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Westerner thrives in pointing field as his graduates excel

It was a stellar season for Westerner both in the point-to-point fields and for his exports of racing between the flags, headlined by the Grade 1 Cheltenham Festival success of Ferny Hollow.
A debut scorer at Knockanard when under the care of Colin Bowe, he joined the Willie Mullins yard with a price tag of £300,000, but he has certainly justified that lofty sum over the course of the season, signalling himself out as a very exciting prospect with a two and a half length victory in the Champion Bumper on day two of the Festival under Paul Townend.

That followed less than a fortnight after Bowe had introduced another very exciting son of Westerner in the point-to-point fields, when Amarillo Sky got the better of Tag Man, to make a winning debut in a Borris House four-year-old maiden.

With Ferny Hollow and Western Warhorse two subsequent Cheltenham Festival scorers that Bowe had produced to win four-year-old maidens, his latest point victor by the Castlehyde Stud resident stallion was unsurprisingly much sought after when he came up for auction at the Cheltenham Festival Sale, with Peter and Ross Doyle securing him for trainer Colin Tizzard, at the notable price of £280,000.

It is notable just how many of Westerner’s most successful performers on the racecourse during the season had started their careers point-to-pointing, including Thyestes Chase winner Total Recall, Grand National Trial victor Ifyoucatchmenow, Captain CJ, who won the Grade 2 Ten Up at Navan and the Midlands National winner Truckers Lodge.

Much therefore is expected of his many other point winners this season, as alongside Amarillo Sky, there was success for the likes of Exit To The West, Western Fiona and Sunset West from a total of seven winners between the flags and with 21 four-year-old’s by Westerner already hunter certed by the time the season was brought to a premature end in March, including no fewer than five with the champion handler Bowe, he looks set to feature very prominently in the expanded autumn.

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