Mangan Jimmy after Spillanes Tower (Walk In The Park) won at Punchestown

Walk In The Park Crowned Champion NH Sire in Britain and Ireland 2023/2024

Walk In The Park (Montjeu) has been crowned Champion NH Sire in Britain and Ireland of 2023-24 for the first time, ending the two-year reign of prolific rival and fellow Coolmore sire Yeats(Sadler’s Wells). Walk In The Park’s premiership is a particularly remarkable achievement considering his first Irish conceived crop are only seven year-olds.

In a stud career traversing two countries, the newly minted champion is in his ninth season at Grange Stud, having been repatriated from France in 2016, sired 17 individual black-type winners in 2023-24, the only stallion in the table to achieve a double figure tally. Walk In The Park’s progeny earnings totalled €3,810,127 (£3,282,090), exceeding his nearest pursuer, the late Fame And Glory by more than €1,000,000.

Progeny highlights this season included Grade 1 winners Jonbon, Spillane’s Tower and Inothewayurthinkin. All three are owned by JP McManus with the latter two named homebreds for the leading owner. The Jimmy Mangan trained Spillane’s Tower returned to the winner’s enclosure twice at the top level, namely in the Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1) at Punchestown and the Gold Cup (Grade 1) at Fairyhouse while Inothewayurthinkin landed a maiden top-flight win in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) at Aintree. Gavin Cromwell’s charge also carried top weight to victory in the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival the day before his full-sister Limerick Lace conquered the Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) for the same owner-trainer combination. Another to carry the famed emerald green and gold hoops to Grade 1 glory this season was Jonbon, bred by Lotfi Kohli. The first of those triumphs came in the Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) at Sandown in December before he captured the Melling Chase (Grade 1) at Aintree en route to winning his second consecutive Celebration Chase (Grade 1) at Sandown last month, becoming a seven-time Grade 1 winner for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Walk in the Park continued his sales ring dominance last year with 22 foals realising €50,000 or more at the National Hunt foal sales, topping the Tattersalls Ireland NH Foal Sale with a €100,000 colt taking principle honours while another colt sold for €110,000 at the Goffs December NH Sale. Additionally, stores by the sire realised up to £205,000, while his average progeny sales prices are the best of the active stallions based in Ireland and Britain.