Freshman Sires Set For First Test

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Kingman has his first yearlings in 2017 | Juddmonte

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Arqana’s August Yearling Sale in Deauville is eagerly anticipated by the bloodstock community, and not merely because it tends to be fun and invariably contains some extremely high-class prospects. Its position so early in the autumn sales season means that it can provide a useful barometer, not only of the market in general, but also of how the progeny of various sires are likely to be received over the coming months. Europe’s most vaunted young stallions almost invariably have a few first-season sons and daughters in the catalogue, and the impression made by these youngsters can shape the general perception of how the careers of their sires might be developing.

The proof of the pudding of a stallion’s career, of course, only comes once he has had two or three crops of runners. However, it is surely a hugely promising sign when the yearlings of a first-season stallion are as well received as the stock of, say, Camelot (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) were at Arqana last August. The 2012 Derby winner had 19 yearlings in the 2016 catalogue, with 18 of them changing hands at an average just a tick short of €150,000.

This year Deauville will provide an early testing of the sale-ring waters for two more Derby winners: Ruler Of The World (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Australia (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), successful at Epsom in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Throw in 2014 G1 Deutsches Derby winner Sea The Moon (Ger) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and 2014 G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner and Cartier Horse of the Year Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and one has a very solid contingent of Classic heroes making a first foray into the yearling marketplace.

Of this quartet, Australia and Kingman are best represented, each having 10 yearlings in the sale. Predictably, several of these youngsters appeal as proper Classic prospects. Australia’s offspring include lot 15, a daughter of G2 Rockfel S. winner Kitty Matcham (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) who hails from the immediate family of Classic winners Imagine (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) and Generous (Ire) (Caerleon). Two particularly eye-catching members of Kingman’s troop are lot 101, a half-sister to this year’s Derby hero Wings Of Eagles (Fr) (Pour Moi {Ire}), and lot 47, a daughter of Platonic (GB) (Zafonic) whose close relatives include Oaks heroines Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and Alexandrova (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells).

With young stallions Frankel (GB) and Bated Breath (GB) continuing to make their mark with their first 3-year-old crops, the team at Juddmonte is no less excited by the prospect of Kingman’s first yearlings taking to the ring.

“In his first year, Kingman was essentially fully booked before he had even arrived to Banstead Manor stud, such was the demand,” says Juddmonte Nominations Manager Shane Horan. “He covered 143 mares in his first season at stud, of which more than 80% were black-type winners or producers. The list of noteworthy breeders who supported the stallion is far too long to mention but needless to say it includes the most successful breeders in Europe. In year one he covered 143 mares, 137 mares in year two, and 163 mares in year three.”

He adds, “His reputation is gathering momentum abroad too with great interest from Japanese breeders while Australian and New Zealand breeders are supporting him Southern Hemisphere time in greater numbers than ever before. It was noted quite early on that Kingman was going to feature strongly among a short list of the best yearlings from the current Juddmonte yearling crop. Equally reassuring is the fact that some of the shrewdest judges in the business have spoken very favourably about the stock they have bred or have seen by Kingman.”

Of particular local interest in Deauville will be the fact that two of the most exciting young stallions in Normandy make their first appearances as sires at this sale. In a solid racing career which culminated in his bold second place in the 2014 GI Breeders’ Cup Mile, Anodin (Ire) (Anabaa) established himself as nearly as good an ambassador for French bloodstock as his exalted full-sister Goldikova (Ire) had been previously. Now ensconced back home at Haras du Quesnay, this imposing stallion will be represented by three colts and one filly in Part One of the sale, and his stock look sure to attract plenty of attention.

“Anodin has been very popular with French breeders for his first two seasons,” says Quesnay’s Vincent Rimaud. “His first yearlings look very exciting with good bone–they are good walkers and full of quality. And many breeders have used him again in the second and third seasons being impressed by their quality. We are expecting good returns from his first yearlings at the sales.”

Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager for Wertheimer & Frere, who bred and raced Anodin, added, “Everybody has such high praise for the Anodin yearlings. It’s exciting to have the first ones to be offered. We will try to support him as we do with all of our stallions. A lot of breeders have been back to the horse after they had his first foals, so that’s always a good sign that they like them. They have good physicals, good bones, so let’s hope they will be well received.”

One can make a similar observation about the former Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}), who retired to Haras de Bouquetot in 2015 after a distinguished racing career in which he saluted the judge at Group 1 level at ages two, three and four. Although he started his racing career in the silks of Julie Wood, Olympic Glory ended up bearing the Al Shaqab livery, and he is now at the forefront of Al Shaqab’s burgeoning breeding enterprise. He has been well supported, both by his owners and by outside breeders, and several of his 12 yearlings in Part One of the sale boast mouth-watering pedigrees. One particularly interestingly bred filly is lot 122, a daughter of Blissful Beat (GB) (Beat Hollow {GB}) who has previously produced the multiple stakes winner Home Of The Brave (Ire) to Choisir’s son Starspangledbanner (Aus).

Another young Al Shaqab stallion represented at Deauville is Toronado (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}), who has spent his stud career to date at the National Stud in England but who will be at Haras de Bouquetot in 2018. A contemporary of Olympic Glory in Richard Hannon’s stable, Toronado too was recruited into Qatari ownership after proving his merit in other colours. He too was a terrific racehorse. An unbeaten group-winning juvenile in 2012, he scored at Group 1 level over a mile at Royal Ascot in each of the next two years, taking the G1 St James’s Palace S. at three and the G1 Queen Anne S. at four. His seven yearlings in the catalogue include lot 272, whose stakes-winning dam Tocopilla (Fr) (Medaaly {GB}) has already bred the stakes winner Duke Derby (Ire) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}).

The final of Toronado’s many top-class performances came when he finished second in the G1 Prix du Moulin behind Charm Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). The latter’s six yearlings in the sale were conceived in 2015 at Tweenhills Stud in England, but the basis of his stud career so far has been that he has been alternating between Tweenhills (where he stood in 2015 and 2017) and Haras de Bonneval in Normandy, where he stood in 2016. His representatives in the sale should attract plenty of interest, not least because the first of them go through the ring will be lot 10, a half-brother to the dual Group 1 winner and dual Royal Ascot heroine Qemah (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}).

Haras du Cadran is the proud consignor of this colt and Pierre Talvard has been pleased with the sire’s produce so far. He says, “I have two yearlings and two foals by Charm Spirit and they are gorgeous. Qemah’s brother is a real standout. Charm Spirit is a stallion that I like a lot and hold in high esteem. I used him again this year and will go back to him next year.”

Eric Puerari of Haras des Capucines is another fan. “Charm Spirit’s yearlings have a lot of substance, they are serious horses who have a lot of presence, strength and are very correct. They have made a very good impression. My filly out of Nantes (lot 215) is a lovely yearling, she’s an absolute beauty,” he says.

Five more Group/Grade 1 winners have their first yearlings in Part One of Arqana’s sale. Three of these stand on the Coolmore roster. War Command (War Front) and No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) both stand at Coolmore in Ireland, while Verrazano (More Than Ready) holds court at Ashford in Kentucky. The two young Irish-based sires each struck at the top level as juveniles in Europe in 2013, the former landing the G1 Dewhurst S. at Newmarket and the latter taking the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville. Verrazano was one of the best 3-year-olds in the U.S. the same year, taking the GI Wood Memorial S. at Aqueduct and the GI Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth Park.

Verrazano ended his racing career in Europe after switching from Todd Pletcher to Aidan O’Brien in 2014. He ran a couple of very good races when placed behind Olympic Glory in the Lockinge S. and behind Toronado in the Queen Anne S. before ending his career on a lower note when unplaced in the G1 Eclipse S. at Sandown. That race was taken by the admirable Mukhadram (GB) (Shamardal), who retired to Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud in England the following year. He was pitched in at the appealing fee of only £7,000 and consequently proved extremely popular, with plenty of nice mares in his first book in 2015. One of them, Out Of Thanks (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells), produced the only Mukhadram yearling in Part One: lot 224, a half-sister to G3 Sirenia S. winner Love Lockdown (Ire) (Verglas {Ire}).

Another young stallion with just one first-crop yearling in Part One is the former top-class sprinter Slade Power (Ire) (Dutch Art {GB}) who completed the prestigious G1 Diamond Jubilee S./G1 July Cup double in 2014 before joining the Darley roster at Kildangan Stud in Ireland the following year. His sole yearling at Arqana (lot 74) is bred to be both precocious and fast, being a son of 2009 G3 Prix d’Arenberg winner Sorciere (Ire) (Orpen) and a half-brother to 2014 Criterium des Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage winner Medley Chic (Ire) (Medicean {GB}).

A further seven young stallions make their first foray into the yearling-sale market in Part Two. This septet includes two French-based sires: the Haras de Grandcamp-based American Devil (Fr) (American Post {GB}) and the Haras de Thenney incumbent Waldpark (Ger) (Dubawi {Ire}). The former was an admirably tough sprinter whose career highlight came in the G3 Prix du Palais-Royal at Longchamp in 2014, while the latter returned to Europe for stud duties having ended up racing in Australia following the European phase of his racing career, where the highlight was his victory in the G1 Deutsches Derby in 2011.

Of the remaining five young sires kicking off in Part Two, two have been English-based: Garswood (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) and Gregorian (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}). The yearlings by the other three were conceived in Ireland: Alhebayeb (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), Bungle Inthejungle (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) and Frankel’s three-time-winning half-brother Morpheus (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

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