Getting to know you….. with Avenue Bloodstock Agent Mark McStay

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Find out more about Avenue Bloodstock Agent Mark McStay as he gives us the low down on a few of his favourite things as well as a horse, trainer and jockey to follow and some sage words from Mark Twain. . .

Who is your favourite racehorse?

Covert Love, I bred her and she won an Irish Oaks in my late grandmother’s colours at my favourite track the Curragh. She fulfilled so many childhood dreams!

Who is your favourite sire?

I love Sea the Stars. He was one of the great racehorses, who has already bred a Derby and Oaks winner.

What’s your earliest racing memory?

Racing at the Phoenix Park in Dublin with my grandfather on St Patrick’s Day which used to be the opening day of the season.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen in the sales ring?

Many years ago Oaks winner Lady Carla was being sold without reserve and Michael Swinburn had to open the bidding at 20,000gns… she went on to make a million!

Give us a horse/trainer/jockey to look out for in 2019?

A filly I purchased for Hugo Palmer called Rachel Zane owned by a 20 strong all ladies syndicate! I think Richard O’Brien is emerging as a young up and coming trainer in Ireland. Fran Berry goes from strength to strength since his move to the UK.

What’s your favourite part of being a Bloodstock Agent?

Buying winners is the most important part but I love meeting new people, listening to new ideas and seeing new places.

What’s your favourite sport outside racing?

I love rugby! I’m a Leinster supporter!

What horse would you loved to have bought?

Dark Vision purchased by Mark Johnston was a very shrewd buy at last year’s yearling sales! Australia was also particularly cheap in hindsight!

Where is your favourite place to eat?

‘Il Piccolo Mondo’ in Bottisham near Newmarket or ‘Gigis’ in Quinta Do Lago (Portugal).

What is your favourite film?

The Godfather Part II. It’s a classic.

What is your favourite sale of the year?

Goffs Orby is a great opportunity for me to go home and see family and friends in Ireland, but Arqana December is really fun, slightly more relaxed than other sales as it has an end of season feel to it!

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

It’s more of a quote from Mark Twain. ‘I’m an old man, I’ve had many troubles, most of them never happened.’

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