Something Special
Tara Madgwick - Friday, 17 March 2017
This farm is hoping the rain stays away this weekend as to have three Golden Slipper runners that are all legitimate winning hopes foaled and raised in your paddocks is something special, but were they something special as babes?.

Unbeaten Catchy wins the G1 Blue Diamond - Grant CourtneyHorses foaled and raised at Coolmore have been enjoying spectacular success this season, but Golden Slipper runners Catchy (Fastnet Rock), Formality (Fastnet Rock) and Tulip (Pierro) have put the icing on the cake.

All three fillies were born at Coolmore and put through yearling preps before heading to the sale ring, Catchy and Formality to Inglis Easter and Tulip across the Tasman to New Zealand where she was offered by Curraghmore.

Below are the recollections of several key Coolmore staff as they look back on just what made these little girls turn out so special.

Having spent years working in racing stables in my teens, twenties and early thirties, fillies were always my specialty, the good, the bad and all of those in between and for every Ha Ha, Coco Cobanna and Light Up the World, there were a great many others not quite so committed to the cause.

Flighty, fickle and feisty, a close friend of mine always used to say "Some want to be career women and others are just happy to be housewives."

Safe to say Catchy, Formality and Tulip are career women!

Coolmore Australia Stud Manager Jim Carey

The reality is that the three of them were pretty straightforward as foals into their yearling year. They were all a good weight born and appealing in their own way.

Catchy as a foalCatchy was quite a tall filly coming into her yearling year. I think it's quite a surprise to most of us that she has proven as mature as she is, because as a yearling she looked as though she had plenty of furnishing to do.

Even looking at her in the parade ring before the Blue Diamond, while she is clearly and outstanding two year-old, she has a physique that suggests she is capable of improving further as she gets older.

Her success is great for Joy and Sam Jenkins who have been very loyal supporters of Coolmore for a long time.

Tulip was always the subject of particular scrutiny being from the first crop of Pierro.

She was amongst the more forward-looking of his weanlings and so it has played out. Again, she is another that looks to have plenty of scope for natural improvement next year and while she was more mature-looking than Catchy as a young horse, I would be very surprised if we have seen the best of her already based on what we know of her physically.

Formality as a foalFormality has always been noted as outstanding from the start. Her dam, Jolie's Shinju, is the apple of her owner, Dr Tan's eye and it's great that she has bred such a high-class filly.

While she has always been attractive, she had plenty of masculine qualities to go with it; just exceptionally strong and powerful.

Given they were three fillies that any breeder would have been proud to breed, it is very rewarding for everyone here to now see them taking their place in the Golden Slipper"

Coolmore Australia Foaling Manager Paddy Sheehan

The Fastnet Rock colt out of Cats Whisker last spring was the 6thfoal that we have delivered from the mare, so we have gotten to know her and her progeny very well.

I remember Catchy quite well as she always showed a bit of attitude. The mare gets big foals and Catchy was no different, but I remember well that she had a bit of a mean streak to her.

Tulip as a foalTulip I remember very well because she was one of the first Pierro's and everyone who ever saw her just loved her. She was a beautiful filly right the way through.

Coolmore Australia Yearling Manager William O'Connor

I'll never forget Formality as a weanling and through into her yearling year. She just had something special about her. I've been lucky enough to have been involved in a lot of good horses here over the years and some surprise you and others don't, but I would have been very surprised if Formality had not been a good horse.

She was amazingly strong with an incredible girth and hip – she just looked like what you come to expect a two year-old to look like. We had her sister in the barn the previous year and while she was a beautiful filly in her own right and clearly has good ability also, she was very different to Formality.

Formality had an incredibly calm demeanour all the time and just thrived in the prep. Her coat came very quickly and she was always a very healthy filly – an absolute pleasure to have anything to do with.

Every July and August we walk through the paddocks looking at the weanlings hoping there are some good ones amongst them, so to have three of them from the 2014 crop in the Slipper is amazing.

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