Deep Impact Yearlings In The Spotlight

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Deep Impact | Kelsey Riley

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The foal session of the JRHA Select Sale is normally the headline-grabber, but the presence of four yearlings from the final crop of the late, great Deep Impact (Jpn) during Monday's opening session could just steal the show during the two-day sale in Hokkaido.

Deep Impact, the Triple Crown winner and breed-shaping sire, died on July 29, 2019, having missed much of the preceding covering season with the spinal issues that ultimately took his life. His small final crop was expected to contain around 20 foals, four of which will go under the hammer this week and will, in fact, bookend Monday's yearling session. They are lot 1, a colt out of GII Gulfstream Park Oaks and GII Black-Eyed Susan S. winner Go Maggie Go (Ghostzapper); lot 52, a filly out of GI Beverly D. S. winner Watsdachances (Ire) (Diamond Green {Fr}); 130, a filly out of the four-time winner Jewel Maker (Jpn) (Empire Maker); and lot 248, a colt out of champion and three-time Group 1 winner Sweep Tosho (Jpn) (End Sweep), who has produced seven winners from seven runners.

At the first renewal of Japan's market-leading sale following Deep Impact's death last summer, buyers were keen to get their hands on some of his last progeny and indeed he was responsible for the top six yearlings by price and twice during the session his progeny set a new record for high price for a yearling at the sale, topped by a half-brother to GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss) who fetched ¥510-million (£3.77m/€4.19m/$4.75m) from Tetsuhide Kunimoto.

Deep Impact has continued to posthumously justify those buyers' confidence in the 12 months since the 2020 Select Sale; he earned his eighth consecutive champion sire title in 2020, his leading light being Contrail (Jpn), who was his third straight G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner-and sixth overall–and emulated his sire by winning the Japanese Triple Crown. For good measure, Shahryar (Jpn) continued the Deep Impact Tokyo Yushun procession this year.

Deep Impact likewise bolstered a remarkable record in Europe last July with Fancy Blue (Ire), winner of the G1 Prix de Diane and G1 Nassau S., and he notched a fourth European Classic winner in four years-and fifth overall–last month when Snowfall (Jpn) ran away with the G1 Cazoo Oaks by a record 16 lengths. Others to fly his flag over the past year include G1 Mile Championship, G1 Sprinters S. and G1 Victoria Mile winner Gran Alegria (Jpn); G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup scorer Loves Only You (Jpn); G1 Osaka Hai victress Lei Papale (Jpn); G1 Yasuda Kinen winner Danon Kingly (Jpn) and Fierce Impact (Jpn), who became the latest Australian Group 1 winner for his sire in the Makybe Diva S. Last year was, in fact, Deep Impact's best-ever year by stakes winners and calendar-year earnings, with 35 black-type winners notched (for 46 total stakes wins) and $78,145,659 in the bank.

The JRHA Select Sale will, of course, not be all about Deep Impact; leading local sires like Epiphaneia (Jpn), Heart's Cry (Jpn) and Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) are well represented. With the death of Deep Impact and King Kamehameha in 2019 and the more recent retirement of Heart's Cry, Japanese stud masters have made a significant investment in stallion prospects the past few years and those represented by members of their first-crop weanlings or yearlings here include American Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar; G1 Japan Cup winner Cheval Grand (Jpn); champion 3-year-old Satono Diamond (Jpn); multiple Grade/Group 1-winning sprinter Mind Your Biscuits; Deep Impact's G1 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior (Jpn); and the Japanese-bred, American Grade I winner Yoshida (Jpn), who himself graduated from this sale. The catalogue also includes some of the first Japanese-bred progeny of GI Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, and second- and third-crop progeny of American champion sprinter Drefong, who has his first runners this year.

Other highlights from Monday's yearling section of the catalogue include a Heart's Cry colt who is the first foal out of G1 Golden Slipper She Will Reign (Aus) (Manhattan Rain {Aus}) (lot 19); a colt by Satono Diamond out of G2 Oaks d'Italia winner Cherry Collect (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}), a stakes producer and half-sister to G1 Yorkshire Oaks victress Sea Of Class (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) (lot 65); a Daiwa Major (Jpn) colt out of GI Alcibiades S. winner and stakes producer Wickedly Perfect (Congrats) (lot 74); a Lord Kanaloa colt who is the first foal out of G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. winner Queens Ring (Jpn) (Manhattan Cafe {Jpn}) (lot 96); a Lord Kanaloa colt out of American champion female sprinter Finest City (City Zip) (lot 100); a colt from the first crop of American Triple Crown winner Justify who is the second foal out of GI First Lady S. scorer Zipessa (City Zip) (lot 113); a Heart's Cry colt who is the second foal out of triple Grade I winner Curalina (Curlin) (lot 132); a Heart's Cry son of French Classic winner Elusive Wave (Ire) (Elusive City), a stakes producer whose progeny have topped this sale twice (lot 141); and a colt by Just A Way (Jpn) out of Australian Classic winner Absolutely (Aus) (Redoute's Choice {Aus}) (lot 193).

Highlights of the foal section include a filly by Kizuna (Jpn) out of dual Group 1 winner Covert Love (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) (lot 307); a colt by Duramente (Jpn) out of dual Grade I winner Vasilika (Skipshot) (lot 316); a Frankel (GB) colt out of GI Las Virgenes S. winner Callback (Street Sense) (lot 329); a Heart's Cry filly out of American champion 2-year-old She's A Tiger (Tale of the Cat), whose Heart's Cry colt was last year the second-top lot at the foal sale when bringing ¥270-million ($2,451,091/£1,763,058/€2,063,729) (lot 342); a colt by Maurice (Jpn) out of dual Grade I winner Photo Call (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 388); and a Lord Kanaloa colt out of Australian champion Yankee Rose (Aus) (All American {Aus}) (lot 398).

The yearling session of the JRHA Select Sale begins at 10 a.m. local time on Monday, with the foal session following at the same time on Tuesday.

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