By Emma Berry
In the first of a series, we ask key industry players for their verdict on the 2019 champion first-season sire. First in line is breeze-up consignor Roger Marley.
TDN: Who do you think will be leading first-season sire?
RM: From what I saw at the yearling sales and from what we’ve had through our hands so far, I can see it being decided between the top two in the betting, Muhaarar (GB) and Gleneagles (Ire). Going round the sales last year it was their stock that stood out among this group though most of them were out of our price range, so I’m pleased to have bought one of each. They should do well on prize-money but I can see Gutaifan (Ire) doing well numerically, and I think Night Of Thunder (Ire) could have a bit of a chance.
TDN: Did you see/buy many by first-season sires at the yearling sales?
RM: I’ve broken in three Muhaarars for Kevin Ryan and we bought a Muhaarar half-sister to Donjuan Triumphant at the Orby Sale who will be going to the Arqana Sale. All four were good movers and look like 2-year-olds. I also broke in a really strong Hot Streak (GB) filly for Kevin. We have a Gleneagles colt who is tough and strong and pretty sharp-looking; he does everything he’s been asked very easily but we’re only cantering at the moment. He heads to Doncaster. We also have a tall Outstrip (GB) colt who looks more of a middle-distance type but is a lovely mover. We also bought a Brazen Beau (Aus) colt who was on the small side but has developed well. He wasn’t a great walker but he’s a lovely mover at trot and canter and we like him.
TDN: Which first-season sire do you think will go on to be the best of this intake?
RM: You’d have to think that Golden Horn (GB) will have a good chance. I can’t see him getting many 2-year-old winners until towards the end of the season but he had some nice stock and he’s bound to have had some quality mares.