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Team Valor's Irwin Wants Distance Restriction For Ebony Flyer
With breeding plans for leading South African 5YO mare Ebony Flyer (Jet Master-Sunshine Lover, by Badger Land) put on hold for the moment, part owner Barry Irwin of Team Valour shared his angst with goldcircle.co.za as to why he had wanted to send her to stud this season, saying: "I feel fairly comfortable that this is a good decision although I for one was more anxious to start getting foals from the mare. My breeding theories run something like this: the two most important attributes for being a good producer are youth and health. Young mares are the most healthy and they produce their best offspring, by and large, early in their careers. So the earlier they enter production, the better their chances for success." Displaying great candour, Irwin confessed, "The other thing is that I wanted to avoid my partners, and their advisors and friends, from trying to run Ebony Flyer in races like the J & B Met and the Durban July. When one has a horse with this much talent, regardless of how impaired they may be in their wind, the natural inclination is to want to run them over ground. I have always considered this to be potentially disastrous for Ebony Flyer because of her breathing issues... [and] it is with a clear understanding that we [continue to race her] in the common agreement that this magnificent mare will race at distances that won't be too much of a challenge for her respiratory system."