Moat’s legacy will long keep her Belle of the ball – By Frank Kieran
DENIS AND FRANCES Fielding’s incredible brood, Moat Belle (F/B February 2008, Multibet-Moat Elsa), arguably the most influential dam and grand-dam of the last decade and twice named Coursing Brood Bitch of the Year, has sadly passed away.
On the field she ran-up the 2009 Gorey Oaks TS and reached the semi-final of the all-age bitch stake at the Tipperary & District meeting in February 2010. Later that year she bagged silver in the all-age bitch stake at Kilflynn, which was her only outing as an all-ager after which she was retired to the breeding sheds. And she set about forging a name for herself from the get-go.
She whelped two litters in 2011 from which she produced five National Meeting qualifiers. The maiden litter, by Bar Time, featured Needham Coin (Westmeath Derby TS) and Moat Missy (Knockgraffon Oaks TS), the latter would follow in her second season with gold in the ladies feature at Crohane & Killenaule; however, it was the second batch by Adios Alonso that would put Moat Belle’s name in lights for it contained a further three Greyhound & Pet World Oaks qualifiers. Adios Belle (Ballymena), who reached the last 16 and subsequently threw 2017 Oaks quarter-finalist, Try Colour (by Thomas The Tank), and the 2019 Dublin Coach Kitty Butler winner, Laurina (by Blades Of Hope); quarter-finalist, Collect Me Now (Co Kerry), and she who would be crowned queen, Smart Ali (Waterford).
Twelve months later and again the National Meeting was turned into the Moat Belle show as Collect Me Now returned to Powerstown Park to bag gold in the Grace Bruton Champion Bitch Stake which was followed moments later with back-to-back Oaks victories courtesy of Somelittlething (by Kingsmill Dynamo). The latter having since added further kudos to her own and Moat Belle’s reputation as a dual Oaks-winning dam, thanks to the victories of Foxhollow Lady (by Razor Ashmore) and Foxhollow Queen (by Adios Alonso), respectively, in the 2018 and 2020 renewals of the ladies’ classic.
Two more daughters of Moat Belle have also left their mark as leading broods. Granard Storm, from the fourth litter, by Musical Time, has produced multiple Cup winners, most notably 2019 Kevin Smith Champion Stakes runner-up, Granard Bolt (by Adios Alonso). And lest we forget from Moat Belle’s fifth litter, a return visit to Adios Alonso, Silent Belle – dam of the incredible four-time all-age winner, Silent Wonder (by Newinn Wonder), and her litter brother, the 2017 Corn Na Feile Derby and 2018 BoyleSports Derby winner, Silent Whisper.
Those mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg but give an insight to the impact that Moat Belle has had on the coursing game over the last ten years. As each generation passes Moat Belle might move further back along the family tree but given the success already achieved by her daughters in the breeding sheds and the likelihood that same will pass from generation to generation she is sure to extend her legacy further as she looks set to figure prominently in the distaff pedigree of future champions for many years to come!
Photo by Yvonne Harrington