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Lennie’s lasting legacy: Charlie Nelson reflects on the latest big stage success for late aunt Lenore ‘Lennie’ Peacock of Manor House Stud

British-bred BELVOIR BAY (GB), who goes under the hammer today at Fasig-Tipton’s November Sale, delivered connections a fairy-tale result on Saturday when overcoming the trauma she suffered in the 2017 San Luis Rey fires to land the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, breaking the track record in the process.

This remarkable mare, who was the only one of her sex in the Turf Sprint line-up, has now won three Group 3s, a Group 2 and a Group 1 stateside.

While the daughter of Newsells Park Stud’s EQUIANO has made a name for herself in the US, her roots are instead found this side of the pond.

Previously under the tutelage of Richard Hannon as a two-year-old, Belvoir Bay was bred at Manor House Stud in Middleham, Yorkshire. Her victory on Saturday represented a second international success story at the top level in as many years for a family nurtured over generations by the late Lenore ‘Lennie’ Peacock, who died last year aged 97.

On Sunday, GBRI discussed the stud’s success, and specifically the family of Belvoir Bay, with Lennie’s nephew, Charlie Nelson, who is now at the helm of the stud, having gradually taken over the running of it in Lennie’s old age.

Lenore ‘Lennie’ Peacock (photo credit: Racing Post)

“The stud had already been established by [Lennie’s husband] Dick Peacock’s grandfather Dobson Peacock in the late 1800s, so it’s been going for 130 years plus,” Nelson explained.

“This is a family we’ve had for generations. The third dam was the dam of BOLD ARRANGEMENT (GB), who was 2nd just beaten in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Hollywood Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes, so there’s a history of America in the family.

“Out of that same family is REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB), who was Champion Sprinter in Australia. He won three Group 1 races out there.

“The family all seem to throw good horses right the way through; as I said, this family has now had Group 1 winners in Australia and America.”

On the subject of the progeny of Belvoir Bay’s dam, PATH OF PEACE (GB), Nelson continued:

“She’s had a decent filly called PEACE TRAIL (GB) by KYLLACHY (GB) and we sold a yearling this year by MUHAARAR (GB), who Sheikh Hamdan luckily bought [for 100,000gns at Tattersalls Book 2]… He has gone into training with Owen Burrows.

“We got her in foal to KINGMAN (GB) but she absorbed the foal, so she’s got no yearling for this year, but the likelihood is now she’ll go back to him this covering season.

“The mare’s actually in foal to Equiano, so we’ll have a full brother or sister to Belvoir Bay.”

Although Nelson explained that the stud is “in the stages of winding down”, he admitted to being partial to the idea of retaining the foal, should it be a filly.

“If it’s a filly, it may well be that we end up making an exception, that could easily happen. We’re half hoping for a filly actually… We sell the colts come what may.”

Indeed, this course of action would represent a continuation of the loose policy that Lennie herself had in place when she was alive. Nelson went on:

“Traditionally, they’ve always been bred to sell, but if there was a nice filly she may have said ‘oh well we’ll hang on to that, or if it doesn’t make enough money at the sales we’ll keep it in training’, with a view to continuing the line and breeding on from it. Fundamentally, if something didn’t make its reserve, she’d keep it back for the family.”

Should Path Of Peace’s next foal be a colt, it will be the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale that will benefit:

“Typically, we always sell as yearlings and have done so historically. We’re typically Book 2 Book 3, but we’ve had Book 1 horses and I daresay there’ll probably be another one if it’s a nice individual. We live in hope that it becomes a Book 1 horse.”

As well as delving into the family of current star Belvoir Bay, Nelson went on to explain a little more about the other stock currently residing at Manor House Stud:

“There’s never been more than about ten mares of our own at the stud, but it’s always punched well above its weight. We’re down now to a handful of mares, including a mare that’s coming quite good that’s a half sister to Path of Peace called ARAMINTE (GB). We went to LETHAL FORCE and bought the yearling [foaled in 2017] back in at 50,000gns, because we liked her so much, and she’s won as a two-year-old and we’re hoping she’s going to be a fairly decent three-year-old.

“Needless to say, after Lennie she’s called LASTING LEGACY (GB)”.

Of course, a lasting legacy results from years of hard work, and Nelson is quick to credit Lennie’s endeavours, as well as those of the team at Manor House Stud:

“She’d have been working on the nominations right now! The stud very much goes back to the Peacock family and Lennie Peacock herself establishing these lines decades ago, so the families go back a very long time.

“She would be very pleased having had as close as a 2nd in the family to winning a Grade 1 in America with Bold Arrangement to have cracked the track record and won a Grade 1 especially at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, I think she was probably there giving it a bit of a roar from upstairs!

“The credit is very much to her and the Peacock family generally, and the people who work at Manor House Stud who have my highest regard and credits for a really well deserved success.”