Ger Lyons is an Irish trainer who’s married to Lynne Lyons — who I had the pleasure of meeting on Twitter, along with Ger – and he trains the 3-year-old filly Berg Bahn, a daughter of Big Bad Bob — who stands privately in Ireland. Big Bad Bob’s first crop is 3, and Berg Bahn is one of his leading runners. A few weeks ago, she ran a terrific third in the UAE Guineas at Meydan, and she returns in the UAE Oaks over 1900 meters on the all weather Thursday.
“She’s a lean, slight filly,” Ger said the other day by phone, “But she absolutely thrives. She won a good maiden last year, and I thought she’d be a genuine stakes filly, an Irish Listed or Group 3 winner. She proved it in good company in the Guineas.”
Via Twitter, Ger also described her: “@sidfernando about 16 hands, tall angular filly, 450 kgs, bay, real feminine great temperment,June /July before she should be running!!”
He clarified: “@sidfernando I am, just saying how honest she is that she ran so well in Gns.Will be much better in summer!”
Ger said Berg Bahn was 459 kilos leading up to the UAE Guineas, was 444 kilos before the race, and 436 kilos after the running. “After she ran, I didn’t think she’d be back in the Oaks, but you know some get knocked out and others thrive and she has. It’s asking a lot, but she came out of the Guineas great but there’s not a pick on her.”
Ger said that Berg Bahn races for her breeder, “a Mrs. Patino, a lovely woman based in London.” Ger said that Patrick Cooper of BBA is her racing manager, and that Mrs. Patino also raced Big Bad Bob and “likes to breed to her own stallions and race the offspring.”
Mrs. Patina races as Annamoine Ltd. and/or Windflower Overseas Holdings Inc., and her current stable star is J. Dunlop’s Elusive Pimpernel, a US-bred Elusive Quality 3-year-old who won 2 of 3 last season and was second to St. Nicholas Abbey in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
Big Bad Bob won 8 of 22 starts, including three stakes: the Group 3 Furstenberg-Rennen in Germany over 2000 meters, the Listed Prix Ridgway in France at 2000 meters, and the Listed Tom McGee Autumn Stakes in England at 2 over a mile. He stood at Islanmore Stud in Ireland until this year, when the stud was sold. The former secretary of the stud, Sasha Smith, emailed me the photos of the stallion and said, “He is not open to the public at present but the best person to talk to about mares, covers, etc., is the Anamoine racing manager – Patrick Cooper.”
Dunlop trained Big Bad Bob, but Ger has had several in the barn and said they could all run. “Everything I’ve raced by him has been in the money! Could be a good sire.” If you’d read one of Bill Oppenheim’s stallion previews in TDN this year, you’d remember that he actually touted the sire as one to watch as a dark horse.
Ger and Lynne Lyons are young and tuned into the new technologies of communication, which means that aside from Twitter they have a website and a blog like this one! Click here to read it. They also like to race in Dubai during the winter months and speak highly of its horse culture. “Horses come first here,” Ger said, “and it’s not about the names — the owners or trainers — but the horse. It’s a great place for the horse, too, with the weather. It’s a vacation for them, even if they end up not running. A lot of the lads go there for the beer, you know, but I’m there to promote the horse.”
Lynne likes the beaches in Dubai, too, as she told me on Twitter: “@sidfernando should have come to Dubai for the racing carnival, free wifi on beach here!!”
Free wifi on the beach? Now you’re talkin’!