A Fresh Look With Matt Coleman

Matt Coleman | Tattersalls/Laura Green

Agent Matt Coleman of Stroud Coleman Bloodstock has had plenty of success buying decent 2-year-olds from the breeze-up sales, such as G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint S. winner Sands Of Mali (Fr) (Panis) and G2 Norfolk S. winner Prince Of Lir (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}). He gave us his view on what we might expect from the first runners for this year's freshman sires.

Coleman said, “I guess Churchill (Ire) is the headline act of the first-season sires and I have heard some good words on his stock from Ireland. He has obviously covered a good book of mares and was well supported by Coolmore. He has covered large books of mares ever since he went to stud and, from what I hear, even this year people are giving him plenty of support.

“Also at Coomore I think Highland Reel (Ire) has a chance. He obviously wouldn't have covered anything like the book that Churchill covered. I bought one yearling by him and I liked his stock. I would expect his horses to be a little more backward though he won the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood in his 2-year-old year. I think he's still the highest-earning European racehorse of all time and in every country, on every ground, he was just a really adaptable and consistent horse. If he breeds stock that were as tough and hardy as he was then he'll have a chance.”

He continued, “Of the English-based sires I thought Time Test (GB) and Ulysses (Ire) both produced quite nice stock. Again they probably wouldn't have had the greatest books but they had nice stock. The British breeders are probably keeping more of their mares at home this year and they are two of the unproven sires in Newmarket that breeders are gravitating towards to take a bit of a chance with.

“Time Test produces a very nice-looking horse and he is himself well bred, from one of the best Juddmonte families. He's a son of Dubawi (Ire) and he was talented so I think he has a bit of a chance.

“Of the speedier horses I think Ardad (Ire) is interesting. I liked his stock, they looked sharp and I tried to buy a couple. He produced a nice type of horse and they looked like they would be fast and early. I actually underbid Ardad at the breeze-up sales. I bought Prince Of Lir (Ire) and underbid Ardad within 10 minutes of each other and they both won at Royal Ascot that year.

“It would be great for the British breeding industry if a few more of these British stallions did well because I think that at the moment, for the 'working' breeder', there's not that many proven sires in the mid-division market in the UK.

“I felt last year that Mehmas (Ire) had a very good chance to be champion first-season sire but this year it looks wide open.”


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