Blue Point Blasts His Way To Champion First-Season Sire Honours

Big Evs: flew the flag for Blue Point | Racingfotos.com

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There will be a lot of I-told-you-sos when looking back on the first-season sires' championship with Blue Point (Ire) living up to his lofty billing by amassing 50 individual winners in Europe including two Group 1 scorers in what can only be described as a dream debut season. 

The pledge of support behind Blue Point from a very early stage, in what was viewed by many as the most competitive first-season sires' championship in a long time, was telling. 

Perhaps one of the most accurate predictions came from trainer Richard Hannon in his TDN two-year-old tour back in April. He said, “I don't think I will be able to afford many of these Blue Points next year–he could have a big year which will make them very expensive.” 

Little did Hannon know at the time but it was the stable's Rosallion (Ire) who would go on to add to that growing reputation for the stallion in running out an impressive winner of the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.

Add that to the exploits of Big Evs (Ire), winner of the Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot before signing off on a brilliant campaign by scorching to GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint honours at Santa Anita, Blue Point didn't just live up to expectations in 2023; he smashed it. 

So, how does he compare to previous champion first-season sires and is his fee jump to €60,000 justified?

The answer is that Blue Point compares favourably with each of the past five leading first-season sires–Havana Grey (GB), Cotai Glory (GB), Mehmas (Ire), Gutaifan (Ire) and No Nay Never–on almost every metric. 

In terms of prize-money amassed, only Havana Grey has managed to better Blue Point's debut season haul of €1,235,165 in Britain and Ireland, albeit by just €21,747. Standing on 41 individual winners in Britain and Ireland, Blue Point has bettered each of the previous five leading first crop sires bar Mehmas, who ended his respective campaign with 46. 

Meanwhile, 57 wins all told in Britain and Ireland is just eight shy of what Mehmas recorded in 2020 but is on a par with what Havana Grey achieved last year. 

These are the sort of statistics that led Con Marnane, one of the titans of the game, to label Blue Point as 'pound for pound the best stallion in Europe' while top pinhooker Paul McCartan is another man to have been heard singing the praises of the young stallion on the sales circuit this year. 

It is one thing having a clatter of winners but something altogether different to produce quality performers and this is another area where Blue Point excelled this season. Along with top-notchers Rosallion and Big Evs, Blue Point was responsible for another 100-plus rated juvenile in Action Point (Ire), who scored at listed level and reached an official rating of 101 for Archie Watson. 

It is clear that Blue Point, a tremendous racehorse in his own right who recorded an amazing Royal Ascot double when landing the King's Stand S. and the Diamond Jubilee S. in the same week, is injecting a lot of class into his offspring with 17 of his two-year-olds ending the campaign on an official rating of 90 or above. 

Too Darn Hot (GB) put the cherry on top of what was a memorable year for the Darley roster by ending the campaign strongly with a host of high-class winners, including G1 Moyglare Stud S. winner Fallen Angel (GB). 

A genuine 1,000 Guineas contender for Karl Burke to look forward to next season, Fallen Angel was one of five juveniles by Too Darn Hot to achieve official ratings of 100 or more.

Too Darn Hot ended the year with 22 individual winners in Britain and Ireland, which was the same number that Soldier's Call (GB) managed. However, the latter amassed 29 total winners, which was just one more than Too Darn Hot managed. 

Too Darn Hot is set to stand for £65,000 in 2024 while Soldier's Call, who has recently switched from Joe Foley's Ballyhane Stud in Ireland, where he has stood since 2020, to Dullingham Park, will command a fee of £8,500. 

The move makes sense. For all that Soldier's Call lived up to what was expected from him in 2023, and in many ways hardened his reputation as a rock-solid producer of sprinting talent, he might stand out a little better in the British market compared to in Ireland, where there are plenty of options at a similar level. 

Calyx (GB) may not have racked up the numbers Soldier's Call managed but he was represented by a number of talented juveniles, not least the Dewhurst third Eben Shaddad and the unexposed Purple Lily (Ire), who justified her €155,000 price tag at the breeze-ups when winning on debut at Galway for Paddy Twomey. She rates an exciting filly going forward for the stallion next season and featured among the 19 individual winners and 26 total wins recorded by Calyx in 2023. 

Advertise (GB) [19 individual winners in Britain and Ireland], Phoenix Of Spain (Ire) [17], Inns Of Court (Ire) [16], Land Force (Ire) [14], Ten Sovereigns (Ire) [14] and Invincible Army (Ire) [12] were others who managed to get into double figures this year.

Perhaps Phoenix Of Spain is deserving of most credit out of that group for what he achieved with his first crop two-year-olds as his progeny are almost certain to improve at three and beyond. 

Study Of Man (Ire) could fit into that category as well. Nobody would have predicted that the G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner would have blasted out a host of two-year-old winners with his debut crop and he probably exceeded expectations through the exploits of Deepone (GB). Winner of the G2 Beresford S., historically a good guide for future Derby contenders, Deepone would appear to have leading Classic claims in 2024 for Twomey and his owner Vimal Khosla. 

Like Study Of Man, Magna Grecia (Ire) ended the year with six individual winners in Britain and Ireland while Masar (Ire) was just two behind that pair on four. Given Magna Grecia is out of a Galileo (Ire) mare, it will be wise to judge him properly at the end of 2024 while Derby winner Masar is another deserving of more time. 

It should also be noted that City Light (Fr) enjoyed a banner year in France and ended the campaign as the clear leading first-crop sire with 15 individual winners and 19 total wins. A son of Siyouni, City Light also had a winner in Britain and Ireland is shaping up to be an interesting stallion in his own right. 

 

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