Scat Daddy Still Building on Expansive Legacy

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Van Beethoven| Racing Post photo

By Andrew Caulfield

Having jumped the gun by discussing Camelot’s promise in these pages back on May 1, I can hardly write about him again now that his son Latrobe has emulated Camelot’s victory in the G1 Irish Derby. I will add, though, that Camelot followed Hurricane Run, Frozen Fire and Fame And Glory as the fourth winner of the Irish Derby by Montjeu, who was himself a five-length winner of this Classic in 1999.

The Montjeu clan is therefore vying for supremacy in the Irish Derby with Galileo, the 2001 winner who has been responsible for five winners, thanks to Soldier of Fortune, Cape Blanco, Treausre Beach, Australia and Capri. Another of Galileo’s sons, Teofilo, sired the 2013 winner Trading Leather. In other words, these two sons of Sadler’s Wells have accounted for 13 of the last 20 runnings, and that becomes 14 for the Sadler’s Wells male line when his 2002 winner High Chaparral is added in.

So what to write about? The much-missed Scat Daddy gets the nod, thanks not just to his Group-race double at the Curragh from the 2-year-olds Van Beethoven and So Perfect, but also to the Group 1 victory in Chile by Fallen From Heaven, who I believe is the first Group/Graded winner by a son of Scat Daddy. This son is Daddy Long Legs, who became the first to alert the Anglo-Irish community to Scat Daddy’s potential when he won the 2011 edition of the G2 Royal Lodge S. for Aidan O’Brien.

O’Brien, of course, is also the trainer of Van Beethoven and So Perfect, as well as such talented Scat Daddys as Caravaggio, Mendelssohn, Sioux Nation, Seahenge, Sergei Prokofiev and (briefly) Acapulco. I suspect that No Nay Never won’t be long in following Daddy Long Legs’s example, as he has already been represented by the Listed winner Servalan, the G2-placed Land Force and the useful Cosmic Law.

No Nay Never currently ranks third among the sires of 2-year-olds, with the table being dominated by Scat Daddy. The son of Johannesburg owes his lead over Kodiac to So Perfect (G3 Grangecon Stud S.), Van Beethoven (G2 Railway S.), Sergei Prokofiev (third in the G2 Coventry S.), Gossamer Wings (a narrowly-beaten second in the G2 Queen Mary S.), Skitter Scatter (who chased home So Perfect in the Grangecon Stud S.) and the ‘TDN Rising Star’ Legends of War. These six winners add up to an impressive collection, I’m sure you’ll agree, especially when they were sired at a fee no higher than $35,000.

Success on this scale wasn’t unexpected, though, as the Craven Breeze-Up Sale demonstrated so vividly. Legends of War cost no less than 900,000gns, while an as-yet-unnamed colt out of Alegendinmyownmind made 800,000gns and a colt now named Giottino made 775,000gns. It was a similar story at the American 2-year-old sales, where Scat Daddy youngsters sold for $1,000,000, $875,000 (a filly called Confessing) and $825,000. These followed some impressive prices at last year’s yearling sales, such as the $1,100,000 paid for Sergei Prokofiev and, to a lesser degree, the $400,000 required to buy So Perfect.

The heart-breaking aspect of all this is that Scat Daddy’s death in December 2015 means that he was denied his chance of covering elite mares in 2016, when his fee had been set at $100,000. His fee had never been higher than $35,000 in eight previous seasons, yet these eight crops have so far produced 11 Grade I winners, a dozen Grade II scorers and 14 Grade III winners, with more, surely, still to come.

It is well worth reminding everyone that only one of the five colts among Scat Daddy’s 11 Grade I winners is old enough to have had runners, this being No Nay Never. Next in line are Caravaggio, who was very popular at a fee of €35,000 when he made his debut at Coolmore this year, and El Kabeir, a Grade II winner who embarked on his career at Yeomanstown Stud at a fee of €8,000.

There must be every chance that Caravaggio will eventually be joined under the Coolmore/Ashford banner by Mendelssohn, winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and the G2 UAE Derby, and Sioux Nation, who triumphed last year in the G2 Norfolk S. and G1 Phoenix Stakes as well as in this year’s G3 Lacken S.. All eyes, though, will be on Scat Daddy’s spectacular son Justify. Speculative reports have placed a $75 million estimate on this unbeaten Triple Crown winner’s breeding rights.

An interesting aspect of Scat Daddy’s stallion career is that the 37 Graded/Group winners from his northern hemisphere crops have as many as 36 different broodmare sires, the only one to crop up twice being the Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch. This underlines Scat Daddy’s versatility, which also extends to his progeny’s distance requirements and to the surfaces on which they race.

Although Scat Daddy was inbred 4 x 2 to Mr Prospector, a sizeable amount of his success has come from Mr Prospector line mares. Two of his best daughters–the Grade I winners Lady Aurelia and Hamonize–are respectively inbred 4 x 3 and 4 x 4 to Storm Cat, the great-grandsire of Scat Daddy. So Perfect has three distant lines to Mr Prospector, in addition to 4 x 3 inbreeding to Storm Cat. The filly, who was beaten less than a length when fourth in the G2 Queen Mary S., was well suited by the extra furlong at the Curragh and it will be interesting to see how much further she will stay.

Her dam Hopeoverexperience is by a son of Unbridled’s Song, who also appears in the pedigrees of El Kabeir, the dual Grade II winner Pretty N Cool and the potentially very smart Sergei Prokofiev.

Unlike So Perfect, Van Beethoven has a pedigree free of Mr Prospector and Storm Cat, the only duplication in his first five generations being 5 x 5 to the Wood Memorial winner No Robbery.

With the former Florida stallion Montbrook as his broodmare sire, there is speed in Van Beethoven’s pedigree. Montbrook’s talent was obvious from the moment he won a six-furlong maiden race by more than 13 lengths. He went on to win four stakes races over six or seven furlongs, including a pair of Grade III events, and he ended the year rated just 7lb below the top male sprinter, Cardmania. Despite starting his career at only $3,000, Montbrook proved a more-than-effective stallion, with the Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Big Drama among his Grade I winners.

Montbrook’s speed may be balanced by the fact that Van Beethoven’s next two dams are by Kris S., the sire of a Derby winner, ad Sir Ivor, a winner of the Derby, and I would be confident that seven furlongs will be no problem for this promising colt.

 

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