Fertility issues force Eagle Mountain back into training Mon, 28 Nov 2011

Paul Vettise
Brighthill Farm sire Eagle Moutain will return to the ractrack after fertility issues.
Brighthill Farm sire Eagle Moutain will return to the ractrack after fertility issues.

Fertility issues have presented former international star Eagle Mountain with a second chance to perform on racing’s global stage.

Despite the best efforts of science, the high class son of Rock Of Gibraltar has been withdrawn from stud duty and is back in work with Ardmore trainer Stephen McKee.

“It’s obviously disappointing and the work we did with him in the off-season was encouraging but he regressed in the spring and wasn’t getting them in foal,” Brighthill Farm studmaster Nick King said.

“We had a lot of outside help and advice and we even bred to him in northern hemisphere time in the autumn. We got to the point where we thought we might get 30 mares in foal but science and nature are two different things and you can’t beat nature.”

Eagle Mountain is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who also has a major interest in Brighthill Farm’s champion first season sire Perfectly Ready.

“He’s only a seven-year-old and the Sheikh has decided to put him back into work now and while it might be a bit of a longshot the aim is to try and get him back for the Dubai meeting in March,” King said.

“There’s obviously a long way to go yet but he didn’t turn into a real bull and he was such a good racehorse that it’s worth having a go. Stephen (McKee) was chosen not only because he’s such a fantastic trainer but he’s got his own property and private track and that will suit the horse.”

Eagle Mountain stood two seasons at Brighthill but has only a handful of foals on the ground. “He got six in his first crop and the shame is that they are as good as any on the farm,” King said. “It’s hugely disappointing and the breeders have been very supportive throughout and it’s obviously a bit of an ask of the horse but he’ll get every opportunity.”

The winner of five of his 19 starts from 1200 to 2000 metres, Eagle Mountain raced in six countries with his career highlight a victory in the 2009 Gr.1 Hong Kong Cup. He was also placed in the English and Irish Derbys, the Champion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Additionally, he has the distinction of holding the track record over the famed Rowley Mile course at Newmarket where he clocked 1.34.07 in winning the Gr. 3 Joel Stakes.


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