A look at Covert Love

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Superstar Filly, Covert Love, was a huge success story for Avenue Bloodstock’s Mark McStay as both an owner and breeder. McStay was one of the partners in Sommerville Bloodtsock who bred Covert Love in Ireland. One of the last crop of foals to be sired by Azamour and out of Hawk Wing mare, Wing Stealth. Covert Love went on to be a prolific winner and dual Group 1 Champion.

In 2013 Covert Love was sent to the Goffs Orby sale as a yearling where she was purchased by agent Hugo Merry. Who, along with McStay, formed the FOMO Syndicate who owned Covert Love throughout her racing career. 

Covert Love was sent into training in Newmarket with up and coming trainer Hugo Palmer.  Her two year old career was a quiet one with just one run at the backend of the season, finishing 5th over a mile on the polytrack at Lingfield.

The following season Covert Love’s career took off impressively, when she won her first race as a 3 year old with ease under jockey William Buick at Chelmsford.  Just a few weeks later she went on to win, equally stylishly, with her first start on turf in a Handicap at York.

In her next run, Covert Love picked up her first bit of black type when she made all in a Listed race at Newcastle. Her following run was in the Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh, where she gave all her connections a memorable day when staying on well to win. Providing trainer, Hugo Palmer, with his first Classic. She was ridden that day by nine times Irish Champion Jockey, Pat Smullen, who would ride her in all her remaining starts.

Covert Love went on to run in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, where she put up an incredibly game performance to finish second, beaten only a neck having had to make all her own running.  She was soon back to her winning ways when Palmer sent her to France for the Prix de L’Opera at Longchamp.  She was hugely impressive when winning her second Group 1, her trainer was full of praise for her after the race saying “Three times I thought Covert Love was done in the straight but she found, found, found. I can’t say much more!” 

Covert Love’s final start came at Ascot on Champions Day when finishing 4th on ground that she hated at the end of a long season. Sadly when she came back in to training as a 4 year old she picked up an injury and it was decided that as a Classic winning broodmare prospect she would be retired.  She was later sold privately to Northern Farm and sent to Japan as broodmare.

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