Kevin Doyle, a former Premier League striker, has been awarded a staggering quarter of a billion pounds for selling a racehorse that is half-brother to the legendary Altior.
Doyle scored 67 goals in England’s top flight during spells with Reading Wolves, Crystal Palace and Crystal Palace. But, despite his admirable career within the beautiful sport, his most memorable achievement seems to have been away from the pitch. In 2017, the 36-year-old Republic of Ireland international quit his job and embarked on a journey into horse racing.
It’s a wise decision that has paid off. Doyle has just raked in quite the profit after selling a horse he paid £140,000 for as a foal back in 2019 for a staggering £252,000 at the Goffs Land Rover Sale in his native Ireland.
Doyle couldn’t hide his excitement over having bought the specimen, given its genetic ties with Altior – a legendary thoroughbred that would go on to win twice the Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019. He declared: “He’s Altior’s half-brother and he’s by Camelot so there’s nothing not to like about him.
“He was very large for a June foal, so I was thrilled to get him. He is a gorgeous foal. These kinds of things are rare. He was wanted by a few people and I am delighted to have him.”
And it’s no wonder he was so enthused at the time – the horse has proven to be quite the investment. The resale saw Mags O’Toole splash the cash to land Doyle’s discovery with a view to the horse replicating the success of his famous half-brother, with whom he shares the same sire in Camelot.
Altior won ten Grade 1 races for Nicky Henderson. He also held a world record with 19 victories over jumps. In addition to being a double Champion Chase winner, the horse owned by art historian Patricia Pugh won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle as he amassed a mammoth £1.3m in prize money before being retired last September.
Doyle, who helped Reading to Premier League promotion after joining the Royals for £78,000 in 2015 and then moved to Wolves in a club-record £6.5m deal four years later, now runs the Slaney River Stud in County Wexford with dad Paddy and regular attends auctions alongside close friend and leading consignor Peter Nolan. Doyle shared his thoughts on his transition into horse racing after he retired from football. Sun RacingLast year: “I always planned on moving home when I finished.
“While it’s not my full time job, it’s more than a hobby. There’s some work every day. It’s great for me to come home and get involved. It gives me a rush. It is the day I can finally enjoy my dad’s years of experience with National Hunt horses.
“I have always been interested in it and that is what I turn my time to now. I have done some coaching with Ireland’s U17s too… but right now, I think I prefer working with horses to footballers! The family has done it for years and my dad bred a horse called Hollywell, which was favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, and he won a good few times there too.
“Although he didn’t win, he is hopeful that there will be many more. Football is over, and I got everything I wanted.
“I don’t wake up every morning pining to put my boots on and train – 5-a-side once a week is enough to feed that habit. I had a pony when I was growing up and for a year or two I was keen on riding him, but then soccer took over – and thankfully so!”