Former Premier League striker Kevin Doyle has landed himself a whopping quarter of a million pounds after selling a racehorse who is a half-brother of the iconic Altior.
Doyle netted 67 goals in England’s top-flight during spells with Reading, Wolves and Crystal Palace, but despite a commendable career within the beautiful game, his most eye-catching achievement appears to have come away from the pitch. The 36-time Republic of Ireland international hung up his boots back in 2017, before embarking on a journey into the world of horses.
And it’s a decision which has more than 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.
Back then, Doyle couldn’t help but hide his excitement at having purchased the specimen given its genetic ties to Altior – the legendary thoroughbred which would twice go on to win the Champion Chase in both 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.
“For a June foal he was quite big so I’m delighted to get him, he’s a lovely looking foal. Things like this don’t come on the market too often. There was a few people interested in him and I’m just delighted to get 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 was a ten-time Grade 1 winner for Nicky Henderson who also set a world record following a mightily impressive 19 wins over jumps in a row. 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. Opening up on his move into the world of horses following retirement from football, Doyle told Sun Racing last year: “I always planned on moving home when I finished.
“It’s not my full-time job but it is more than a hobby as it’s a bit of work every day and it’s been fantastic for me coming home and getting stuck in. It gives me a buzz. My dad has bred National Hunt horses for years and it is my day today.
“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.
“He didn’t win the big one but hopefully there are plenty more to come from us. Football is over now and I got what I wanted from it.
“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!”