Pivotal Pensioned From Stud Duties

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Pivotal | racingfotos.com

Pivotal (GB) (Polar Falcon-Fearless Revival {GB}, by Cozzene), the Group 1-winning sprinter who has excelled as both a sire and broodmare sire, has been pensioned from stud duty at Cheveley Park Stud at the age of 28. The chestnut had remained in service at his birthplace up until last year, covering reduced numbers of mares in recent years, and will live out his remaining life at the Newmarket nursery.

Bred by David and Patricia Thompson's Cheveley Park Stud, Pivotal was a member of the first crop of the G1 Sprint Cup victor Polar Falon and out of Fearless Revival, whom the Thompsons had bought in utero when they purchased the G1 Premio Lydia Tesio winner Stufida (GB) (Bustino {GB}) for $150,000 at Keeneland November in 1986.

Retained to race by the Thompsons, Pivotal went into training with Sir Mark Prescott and won two of his three starts at two. He made a belated start to his 3-year-old campaign but soon made up for lost time, beating elders in the G2 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot in 1996. He ran just twice more, finishing sixth in the G1 July Cup before going out on a high with a win in the G1 Nunthorpe S., in the process earning champion sprinter honours and becoming Cheveley Park Stud's first homebred Group 1 winner.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, said, “The story associated with the 'Mighty' Pivotal is

truly extraordinary, considering he was the result of the very first covering his sire, Polar Falcon, was given. Thankfully, as a yearling, it was decided to retain him to race rather than offer him for sale, as we did with the other yearling colts by Polar Falcon that year. Whilst in the hands of trainer Sir Mark Prescott, Pivotal truly put Cheveley Park Stud on the map, giving owners David and Patricia Thompson their first Group 1 winner in the stud's famous red, white and blue colours.”

Pivotal debuted at Cheveley Park Stud in 1997 for £6,000, and his first four crops yielded no more than 58 foals apiece. Nonetheless, he had 13 winners from 29 starters in 2000, his first year with runners, including two stakes winners, good enough to be the leading British-based first-season sire of his cohort.

As he had done himself, Pivotal's progeny made it a habit of improving with age, and that first crop only got better, eventually yielding three Group 1 winners and nine stakes winners, headed by the GI Beverly D. S., GI Yellow Ribbon S. and GI Del Mar Oaks scorer Golden Apples (Ire); Kyllachy (GB), who emulated his sire with a win in the Nunthorpe before joining him at Cheveley Park Stud; and the G1 Preis der Diana winner Silvester Lady (GB). Pivotal's subsequent two crops included the G1 Pretty Polly S. victress Chorist (GB), the G1 Sprint Cup, G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and G1 Prix de la Foret scorer Somnus (GB) and the Yellow Ribbon S. and GI John C. Mabee S. winner Megahertz (GB), and thus by the time Pivotal was covering his sixth book in 2003 the secret was well and truly out. He was courted by 100 mares that season and he wouldn't cover less than that again until 2012, although the biggest book he ever covered was 122 in 2007.

Pivotal was twice Britain's leading sire by earnings and eight times the nation's leading sire by individual winners. His first British/Irish Classic win came courtesy of Saoire (GB) in the 2005 G1 Irish 1000 Guineas. Halfway To Heaven (Ire) took that same race in 2008 before going on to a celebrated career as a broodmare, while Sariska (GB) took their sire to the next level with an Epsom/Irish Oaks double in 2009. Falco won the 2008 G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, while Buzzword (GB) took the G1 Deutsches Derby of 2010.

Other standouts by Pivotal have included the dual Group 1-winning mares Izzi Top (GB), Immortal Verse (Ire) and Peeress (GB); G1 Dubai World Cup scorer African Story (GB); G1 Champion S. and G1 Lockinge S. winner and popular sire Farhh (GB); G1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere victor Siyouni (Fr), who is also keeping Pivotal's line safe with an excellent start at stud; triple Australian Group 1 winner Avilius (GB); dual Group 1-winning sprinter Regal Parade (GB); and G1 St James's Palace S. winner and sire Excellent Art (GB). Pivotal proved a rare ability to throw runners of the highest class from five furlongs all the way up to a mile and a half, and his progeny have become known for their longevity, too. Nowhere was this more apparent than last year on British Champions Day, when Pivotal scored a Group 1 double in his 20th season with runners courtesy of Addeybb (Ire) in the Champion S. and Glen Shiel (GB) in the British Champions Sprint S. Both are six, and Addeybb was earning his third win at the highest level, having taken two Group 1s in Australia earlier in the year. He stays in training as a 7-year-old with plans to defend his titles in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. and G1 Ranvet S. Down Under should Covid protocols allow it. And while Addeybb and Glen Shiel are both geldings, there is plenty of sire power within the Pivotal line, led by Siyouni and also including Kyllachy, Farhh, Excellent Art (GB) and Falco. Kyllachy stood alongside his sire for 15 years before preceding him in retirement in 2017, and today his dual Group 1-winning son Twilight Son (GB) holds the mantle. Pivotal's G1 Sussex S.-winning son Lightning Spear (GB) has his first yearlings this year.

Pivotal has thus far left behind 32 Group 1 winners, but it could still be that his greatest legacy comes through his daughters, who have provided 23 Group 1 winners. The aforementioned Halfway To Heaven is responsible for two of those, both daughters of Galileo (Ire): Magical (Ire), the winner of seven Group 1s including the Champion and Irish Champion S. (twice) and the highest earner out of a Pivotal mare with over £4.9-million in the bank; and the G1 Fillies' Mile, G1 Lockinge S. and G1 Prix de l'Opera scorer Rhododendron (Ire). Other products of the Galileo/Pivotal cross include last year's champion 3-year-old filly Love (Ire) and full siblings Hermosa (Ire), Hydrangea (Ire) and The United States (Ire).

Pivotal's daughters have likewise developed an affinity with Galileo's best son Frankel (GB), the best from that cross being the dual Champion S. and four-time Group 1 winner Cracksman (GB), one of the highest-rated horses of the past decade. The Frankel/Pivotal cross has also been responsible for Cheveley Park's homebred G1 Falmouth S. winner Veracious (GB). Other standouts out of Pivotal mares include the American champion turf horse Main Sequence (Aldebaran), triple Group 1-winning sprinter Advertise (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), triple G1 Prix de la Foret winner One Master (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), French Classic winners Precieuse (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) and Olmedo (Fr) (Declaration Of War), Group 1-winning sprinters Mayson (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), Mabs Cross (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) and Golden Horde (Ire) (Lethal Force {Ire}), and G1 Cheveley Park S. and G1 Flying Five S. scorer Fairyland (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}).

While wrapping up his 50th season with a license last November, Sir Mark Prescott spoke about Pivotal in an interview with the TDN.

“Pivotal is a much better stallion than I ever thought he would be,” Prescott said. “I suppose his great quality was that he was infinitely faster than his pedigree. The only time we tried him over six [furlongs] was the only time we had a disaster. And I have since watched and believe that all sorts of horses who've been infinitely more successful than one thought have been faster than their pedigrees. Not many have been successful at stud that were slower than their pedigree.”

Prescott admitted that Pivotal didn't make a memorable first impression, but that the chestnut quickly began to make amends.

“He fell off the box when he came here but the first time we worked him, he absolutely flew,” Prescott said. “And it was a complete shock; normally you've got an idea.”

Pivotal's story has truly been an extraordinary one, he having been responsible for so many milestones for his dedicated owner/breeders and having outbattled a four figure fee and modest early numbers to stand for as high as £85,000. He has sired 153 stakes winners worldwide (10.8% of starters) and his daughters have produced 111 stakes winners. And there is more to come: Pivotal has 48 3-year-olds of 2021, 47 2-year-olds and 31 yearlings and covered 28 mares in his final season last year.

Richardson said of Pivotal's legacy at stud, “Having covered a relatively small book of mares in his first year, his resulting progeny excelled and inspired at all levels, which they have continued to do throughout his career, both domestically and internationally. On the world stage, Pivotal has excelled as a sire, a sire of sires and as a broodmare sire, to the highest level and all of us at Cheveley Park Stud have been so blessed to have been part of his life for 28 years. I think Triple Crown winner, Isinglass, whose stable Pivotal occupies, would have been very proud and we all wish Pivotal a well-deserved and happy retirement.”

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