May 08, 2017

You don't have to wind the clock back too far to remember Al Garhood's two Grand Annual Steeplechase victories in 2010 and 2011. Luckily in 2008, the Maher family had managed to buy his dam Alstomeria for a small sum who was in foal to Pure Theatre. The result? Regina Coeli! 

Regina Coeli made it a real Maher/McKenna family affair on Thursday when leading all the way and romping home in the Grand Annual Steeplechase. She has now emulated her big brother Al Garhood by winning this race twice from three attempts. John Allen gave her a sensational ride, bowling out in front and running the rest of them ragged. John knew that the ground was much better on the outside of the track and although covering extra ground, he used up less energy by doing so and it was a masterful display of horsemanship. Huge credit must go to Declan Maher, Ciaron's younger brother who has been spending every spare moment with Regina to ensure that she would get there in one piece and it was by no means plain sailing!

The story is nowhere near the final chapter. Alstomeria, who is now 27 and living in paradise at Colin and Janice McKenna's farm in Warrnamool, has produced two more foals, one of which is Just Junior. He is shaping into a lovely stayer and it wouldn't be a suprise to see him lining up to race his big sister in the Grand Annual Steeplechase next year! The youngest is a two year old gelding by Street Boss who is currently in pre training....... watch this space!