Love all around Middlelane Farm with the second top performer | Bloodstock News
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Ocean Road, seen here winning as a juvenile at Lingfield, transferred his talents to America
Middlelane Farm near Naas now has a second top winner from a little-known broodmare who caught the experienced eyes of Kevin and Meta Cullen.
Love And Laughter, a first winner for Tim Easterby at Chester in 2004, joined the stud for 50,000 gns at the end of his racing career and was once responsible for the ill-fated but popular two-time Northern Dancer Turf winner Wigmore Hall which collected over £1million in prize money.
His much younger half-sister by Australia, Ocean Road, finished sixth at the Oaks last year for Hugo Palmer and Qatar Bloodstock, but was transferred to the United States and the Brendan Walsh stable.
Winner of an allowance race at Keeneland in April, she went from last to first in the space of a furrow under Umberto Rispoli to collect the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
— TwinSpires Racing (@TwinSpires) May 31, 2022
The couple’s daughter, Jennifer, said: “I didn’t know she was signed up until Saturday when a friend texted me congratulating him, but I set the alarm for two. quarter to the minute and we were all screaming home!”
Of the initial purchase of the now 20-year-old Theatrical mare, a daughter of Cherry Hinton runner-up Hoh Dear, she continued: “Age doesn’t seem to have stopped her, so that was it. just great.
“Mom and dad fell in love with her at Tattersalls December sale, they were determined to have her even though her page wasn’t that strong at the time.
“In the book, it was only half a page, there weren’t a lot of black characters, and they paid what we thought was a lot of money for her, but they were very good. to buy horses, so we’re happy to see how it worked out. I’m still learning from them!”
The success of Wigmore Hall ensured that Love And Laughter always got their money’s worth.
Cullen continued, “We sold [Ocean Road] as a foal it was actually our first time to the foal sale at Tattersalls but my sister Evelyn looked at it in the field in the middle of summer and said she thought we should try and see how it goes.
“She was loved by everyone who saw her and sold for 140,000gns which was a very good price.
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Ocean Road’s late half-brother Wigmore Hall was a great globetrotter for Michael Bell
“She has a Saxon Warrior foal which we sold last year for 60,000 gns and she actually has another Australian filly born this year. We don’t have a daughter of hers yet, she gave us one this year and I think the signs are there that we should probably keep this one!”
Founded by Kevin and Meta nearly half a century ago, Middlelane has typically only had half a dozen broodmares and appears to be in good family hands.
Jennifer added: “It was always small, but mum and dad always punched above their weight. They bred Bachir, who won two Guineas, Speciosa, who won the 1,000 Guineas, and Irish Rookie, who finished second to the French Guineas. They did a very good job.”