SF Backing Young French Sires

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Hello Youmzain | Haras d'Etreham

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SF Bloodstock is one of the largest and most successful investors in stallions in the Thoroughbred business worldwide. So when SF throws it support behind a young sire, it's worth taking notice.

SF owns stallions in the U.S., Australia and Europe, and this year the group will find out if its backing of the 2016 champion 3-year-old Almanzor (Fr) will bear fruit, with that three-time Group 1 winner soon set to be represented by his first runners. Meanwhile, SF has continued its patronage of the French breeding business, and in particular the de Chambure family's Haras d'Etreham, by purchasing shares in Etreham's two new flat sires for 2021: Group 1 winners Hello Youmzain (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and Persian King (GB) (Kingman {GB}).

“Our working relationship with Etreham started with Almanzor after [Etreham's Nicolas de Chambure] presented us with an opportunity to purchase an interest whilst he was still in training,” said SF's Tom Ryan. “Nico and his team do a wonderful job at Etreham. He has an energetic, youthful team around him and momentum on his side.”

Hello Youmzain covers his first book this season at an advertised fee of €25,000, and Ryan said of the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup and G1 Diamond Jubilee S. winner, “Hello Youmzain is a particularly beautiful specimen with all the attributes the commercial market looks for in a stallion prospect. His gate speed was electric–that's one of the many invaluable weapons in his arsenal, as demonstrated last summer at Royal Ascot, when he led gate to wire to win the Diamond Jubilee. His looks and sire lines should serve him well. Kodiac and [damsire] Shamardal both continue to leave an indelible mark on the breed.”

Persian King, a Group 3 winner at two who went on to win the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and the G1 Prix d'Ispahan and G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last year at four, is available for €30,000.

“Persian King, on his best day, was simply brilliant,” Ryan said. “His sire Kingman is well on his way to becoming a dominating force amongst the ranks of the leading Europeans sires. Persian King was remarkably versatile and held in the highest regard by Andre Fabre. He will be supported by some of the most influential European breeders.”

SF's European stallion portfolio also includes the Irish National Stud's G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), and Ryan noted that the operation is supporting its young sires in Europe with its select broodmare band based there. Chief among those is Black Dahlia (GB) (Dansili {GB}), whose stock was considerably bolstered in 2020 when her G3 Round Tower S. winner Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) picked up placings in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, G1 Prix Jean Prat, G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Black Dahlia's G2 Vintage S. scorer Dark Vision (Ire) (Dream Ahead) won last year's G2 Oettingen Rennen as well as Royal Ascot's Royal Hunt Cup.

“Black Dahlia is arguably our flagship mare in Europe,” Ryan said. “She is a three-time stakes producer and is coming into this season off the back of a phenomenal 2020. She foaled a beautiful filly by Wootton Bassett this month and will be bred back to Hello Youmzain.”

SF is also supporting Hello Youmzain with the maiden mare Malakeh (GB) (Harbour Watch {Ire}), who was a listed winner and Classic-placed in Germany and third in Woodbine's G2 Nassau S.; and Sumthingtotalkabt (Mutakddim), whose Grade III-winning daughter Lady Shipman (Midshipman) is the dam of last year's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Golden Pal (Uncle Mo).

“Malakeh is a maiden mare for 2021,” Ryan said. “Nicolas de Chambure purchased her at Keeneland in November of 2020 [for $115,000] and we were delighted to partner with him and her racing owner Sol Kumin. She was bred and began her racing career in Europe and then raced and ultimately retired in the U.S. She is in foal to Hello Youmzain.

“Sumthingtotalkabt is a mare that we have owned in the U.S. for a number of years. She is the dam of Lady Shipman, making her the second dam of Golden Pal, the 2020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner who was also second in the G2 Norfolk S. at Royal Ascot. She's a great example of a proven mare that we think can really bolster the book of a young sire so we sent her to France to be bred to Hello Youmzain.”

Persian King, meanwhile, will have the support of Eversmile (Theatrical {Ire}), the dam of four stakes horses including Grade I winners Coil (Point Given) and Chiropractor (Kitten's Joy), and young listed-winning mare Northern Eclipse (Northern Afleet). Eversmile, who is also a half-sister to American champion turf mare Possibly Perfect (Northern Baby) first visited Europe in 2014 to be covered by Galileo (Ire), a mating that resulted in the Grade III-placed Decorating, and she returned last year to visit Almanzor (Fr), to whom she is due to foal soon.

“Eversmile is another anchor broodmare for us in Europe,” Ryan said. “She is a Theatrical mare from a beautiful family and is a four-time stakes-producing mare. She is in-foal to Almanzor and will be bred to Persian King.

“Northern Eclipse is a newer addition to our broodmare band in Europe. She is a stakes-winning mare by Northern Afleet. We purchased her off the track in the U.S. and sent her to Europe to be bred to Phoenix Of Spain. She foaled a big, strong filly by him in January and will be bred back to Persian King.”

With stallion shares and broodmares stationed on three continents, one can imagine SF's matings planning to be something of a jigsaw puzzle. Ryan said key factors taken into consideration include conformation and getting young sires off the ground.

“We try to keep our matings process as straightforward as possible,” he said. “I think it's easy to get lost in the weeds and there is a lot to consider. For us, physicality is a big component; I don't think mating ill-matched physicals is ever a good idea, so we pay attention to previous progeny and what they have taught us. Oftentimes, though, we are mating with our stallions in mind and so we come at it not only from the angle of getting the best mating for our mares but also trying to give our stallions some solid support, especially the younger ones.”

Ryan acknowledged the importance of SF supporting its young sires especially during their second, third and fourth years in light of the market's bias towards first-season or proven sires.

“The market certainly is favoring top proven and first-season horses, so for us I think it's important that we support the young sires we're invested in to ensure that they have plenty in the pipeline when their first runners hit the track, and also to make sure that they're well represented at the sales with progeny out of both proven established broodmares and also younger mares that excelled on the track,” he said. “We understand what draws breeders to top proven horses and to first-season stallions, but there are plenty of excellent young stallions like Almanzor in subsequent years at stud that are being well supported and deservedly so. We know that if we want breeder support of our stallions in their second, third, and fourth seasons, we have to show that we believe in them too.”

SF, which typically offers its European stock at public auction, has partnered with de Chambure to race an Almanzor colt bought for 160,000gns at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale in 2019.

“By virtue of our smaller numbers in Europe we haven't typically retained to race, however we did purchase an Almanzor weanling colt in 2019 with Nicolas de Chambure,” Ryan said. “Now a 2-year-old, he is named Faro de San Juan (Ire) and is in training with Francis Graffard. We are very excited about Almanzor; he has all the makings of a top sire and is poised to follow in his sire Wootton Bassett's footsteps.”

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