Value Sires: Second-Crop Sires

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Night of Thunder | racingfotos.com

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When all was said and done in the first-season sires' race in Europe in 2019, it was undoubtedly the year of Night of Thunder (Ire). Darley's G1 2000 Guineas and G1 Lockinge S. winner was out in front on his own not only in terms of quantity-he sired the winners of the most races (44), stakes winners (seven), stakes horses (11) and group winners (three) and had the highest earnings (£879,457/€1,034,567) of any sire in his intake-but also quality. As detailed by John Boyce at the tail-end of the season, Night of Thunder's seven stakes winners last year marked the first time that Fasliyev's 19-year-old record had been matched in Europe, and outpointed the early results posted by the likes of Frankel (GB) (five first-crop stakes winners), Kingman (GB) (five) and No Nay Never (six). He was the Northern Hemisphere's leading first-season sire in 2019 by stakes winners-clear of America's Constitution with five and the trio of American Pharoah, Competitive Edge and Race Day with four apiece-and his percentage of black-type winners to starters was a dazzling 14.3%; again, Frankel's at the same stage was 12.8% and No Nay Never's 10.3%. And he has already gotten 2020 off to a fast start with Dubai Love (GB) becoming his eighth stakes winner in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas last week over the Meydan dirt. A Beautiful Night (Aus) became his first Australian stakes winner-and ninth overall-from his first crop sired Down Under in Saturday's G3 Blue Diamond Preview. He currently sits third on Australia's first-season sires' table.

Night of Thunder was last year responsible for seven 2-year-olds with an official rating of 100 or higher, and 12 rated 90+. His 10 highest-rated runners averaged an official rating of 101. Those included the G2 Premio Dormello winner Night Colours (Ire), G3 Prix des Reservoirs winner Pocket Square (GB) and G3 Princess Margaret Keeneland S. victress Under The Stars (Ire) as well as four listed winners and five listed-placed horses.

After two years at Dalham Hall Stud alongside his sire, Night of Thunder returns to the place he started, Kildangan Stud in Ireland, for 2020, with Darley generously maintaining a reasonable fee of €25,000 off of £15,000 the past two seasons. Given the way Dubawis tend to improve with age across all spectrums and the fact that Night of Thunder is out of a Galileo (Ire) mare descending from the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Forest Flower (Green Forest), there is every reason to believe that Night of Thunder's success will long continue.

On his numbers thus far Night of Thunder is the value sire of this intake, but there are a few stalking the pace in behind that could make things interesting this year. Please note that numbers supplied reflect only 2019 figures; most of these sires have added another winner or two since the turn of the calendar.

Highclere Stud's Cable Bay (Ire) was runner-up on the European first-season sires' table by earnings (£672,529/€791,320), was the joint leader with Gleneagles (Ire) by number of group horses (four) and sired 24 winners in the calendar year. His flagbearer was the G3 Molecomb S. winner and G2 Lowther S. second Liberty Beach (GB), while Ropey Guest (GB) was possibly the best juvenile in Britain last year to not win a race while picking up placings in the G3 Horris Hill S., G3 Autumn S., G3 Somerville Tattersall S. and G3 Acomb S. Jouska (GB) and Separate (GB) were also Group 3-placed, and Cable Bay had three listed-placed runners. His highest earner was King's Lynn (GB) courtesy of his win in the £300,000 Weatherbys Racing Bank 2YO S., and the fact that one is a homebred for The Queen shows the kind of support Cable Bay has received.

Cable Bay's 10 best 2-year-olds averaged an official rating of 95.3, while three were rated 100+ and seven 90+, and he is the latest success story for sire of sires Invincible Spirit (Ire). He was a precocious juvenile who trained on to win a pair of group sprints at four and his family further backs up the notion that he should sire progeny who likewise train on. Cable Bay jumps up to £15,000 this season, having stood for £6,500 in 2019.

The dual Guineas winner Gleneagles (Ire), as previously stated, was the joint leader of this class last year on group horses with four, with the G2 Royal Lodge S. winner Royal Dornoch (Ire) and the G2 July S. victor and G1 Phoenix S. third Royal Lytham (Fr)-the only Group 1 horse for a first-crop sire last year–leading his three stakes winners. The other, Southern Hills (Ire), won the Listed Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot, so the quality among his juveniles was there for all to see. He had four runners rated 100+ and seven rated 90+, and Royal Lytham at 111 received the highest official rating of any 2-year-old by a first-season sire last year. Gleneagles is perhaps the epitome of what a future leading sire should be-a Group 1-winning 2-year-old and dual Classic and Royal Ascot winner at three by Galileo and out of a blue hen full-sister to champion sire Giant's Causeway.

Gutaifan (Ire) was the crop leader by winners, edging Night of Thunder by one with 29. Those 29 came out running like their sire, who-like his own sire Dark Angel (Ire)-was retired at two after winning the G2 Prix Robert Papin and the G2 Flying Childers S. and finishing second to Shalaa (Ire) in the G1 Prix Morny. Gutaifan clearly stems from precocity, with a half-brother and the progeny of two half-sisters all doing their best running at two when picking up stakes placings. His dam won at three, however, and it is also the immediate family of stouter performers like the dual G2 Hardwicke S. winner Maraahel (Ire) (Alzao), and further down the G1 Lockinge S. victor Mustashry (GB) (Tamayuz {GB}) and the G1 Premio Jockey Club victor Ventura Storm (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}). Gutaifan provided one stakes horse in his first crop, the G3 Firth of Clyde S. second Graceful Magic (GB). He dips to €6,000 at Yeomanstown Stud after standing for €10,000 the past three seasons.

Rathasker Stud's Anjaal (GB) took fifth in the first-season sire standings thanks in large part to Bettys Hope (GB)'s victory in the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint. He also had Above (Fr), Group 3-placed in Germany, and the Italian listed-placed Sicilian Focus (Ire) among his 18 winners, with three winners already in January. Anjaal won the G2 July S. at two in the Sheikh Hamdan silks and picked up a group placing at three in the G2 Lennox S. over seven furlongs. As a son of Bahamian Bounty (GB) out of a Peintre Celebre mare, Anjaal is a complete outcross to the likes of Sadler's Wells and Danzig. He stays at €5,000 this year.

Two others in this sire crop join Gleneagles in joint second by stakes winners with three: Whitsbury Manor Stud's Due Diligence (War Front) and Ballylinch's Make Believe (GB) (Makfi {GB}).

Expatriated to Ireland to join the Ballydoyle brigade at three, Due Diligence won a listed stake as Naas before finishing runner-up in Royal Ascot's G1 Diamond Jubilee S. His three first-crop stakes winners are headed by the G3 Cornwallis S. winner (and G2 Lowther S. third) Good Vibes (GB) and the G3 Sirenia S. winner Streamline (GB)-both bred by Whitsbury Manor out of daughters of its former resident sire Compton Place (GB)–and also include the Irish listed victor and French Group 2-placed Sir Boris (Ire). Due Diligence-who had 18 winners–had three first-crop runners officially rated 100+ and four 90+, and his 10 highest-rated runners averaged an official rating of 90.8. The breeders who supported him at £4,000 last year could be in for a stellar couple years at the sales should Due Diligence's progeny train on as indicated. He is up to £8,500 for 2020.

Make Believe was just shaded by Due Diligence on the sires' table, winding up seventh, and indeed their numbers nearly mirror one another. Make Believe had two runners surpass an official rating of 100 and four 90 with an average top 10 rating of 89.6. His chief earner was the classy filly Rose Of Kildare (Ire), who closed out a 12-race (yes, 12) juvenile season with back-to-back Group 3 victories in the Firth of Clyde S. and Oh So Sharp S. Rose Of Kildare is surpassed on ratings, however, by the smart Tammani (GB), who won the Listed Prix Isonomy in October by four lengths. Make Believe also has one of the favourites for the German fillies' Classics next year in the G3 Preis Der Winterkonigin winner Ocean Fantasy (Fr). The G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and G1 Prix de la Foret winner certainly made a good account of himself last year and Ballylinch keeps him at €12,000.

As the leading first-crop sire of sales weanlings and yearlings in 2017 and 2018, Shadwell's Muhaarar (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) had a lot riding on his shoulders in 2019. He wound up with 16 first-crop winners but no black-type winners.

There is reason to be optimistic heading into 2020, however. While Muhaarar was a good 2-year-old himself, winning the G2 Gimcrack S. and finishing third in the G1 Middle Park S., he absolutely blossomed at three to win four consecutive Group 1 sprints. His 2-year-olds were headed by the G3 Silver Flash S. second Unforgetable (Ire) as well as good maiden winners like Enemy (GB) and Custodian (Ire), and he has roughly 50 unraced 3-year-olds still to be unveiled. Those are in addition to a second crop that includes siblings to the likes of Calyx (GB), Eqtidaar (Ire), Estidhkaar (Ire) and Harbour Watch (Ire). And let's not forget that Muhaarar is out of a daughter of Linamix, whose progeny had a habit of doing their best work at three and older. Muhaarar is down to £20,000 for 2020, with plenty of upside still possible.

Golden Horn (GB), at £60,000, was the most expensive member of this crop when they retired in 2016 (with Gleneagles at €60,000), and while he didn't blow any doors off with his early results last year he did enough to head into his debut season with 3-year-olds with hopes high. The 2015 G1 Investec Derby, G1 Coral-Eclipse, G1 Irish Champion S. and G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner supplied eight winners, two of which won stakes: the 101-rated West End Girl (GB), who took the G3 Sweet Solera S., and the Italian listed winner Festive Star (GB). The son of Cape Cross was also responsible for the G2 Beresford S. third Gold Maze (GB). Golden Horn himself raced just once at two but put together an almost flawless 3-year-old campaign, winning seven of nine starts with his only defeats coming when second in the G1 Juddmonte International and GI Breeders' Cup Turf. He is down to a career-low £40,000 for 2020, with his runners likely to pick up steam this spring.

Another whose progeny were fully expected to need time was the Irish National Stud's Free Eagle (Ire). The son of High Chaparral (Ire) is out of Moyglare Stud's celebrated mare Polished Gem (Ire) (Danehill), who was a winner herself at two but whose six stakes winners all improved with age.

Free Eagle supplied 12 winners last year including the listed winner and G3 Eyrefield S. third Justifier (Ire) as well as the listed placed Auxilia (Ire). Free Eagle is best remembered for winning the G1 Prince of Wales's S. at four, but digging a bit deeper it isn't entirely surprising his runners showed a bit of early flash. Free Eagle is in fact his dam's only 2-year-old winner, and he won on debut by 5 1/2 lengths before finishing second to Australia (GB) in the G3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial S. His only two starts at three resulted in a seven-length win in the G3 KPMG Enterprise S. off a year-long layoff and a third in the G1 Champion S. over heavy ground, and he built on his promise at four with his Prince of Wales's win and G1 Irish Champion S. third behind Golden Horn. He is available for the second straight year at €12,500, having started at €20,000.

Landing in ninth on the first-season sires' table was Dalham Hall's Outstrip (GB), who remains at £5,000. The son of Exceed and Excel (Aus) outperformed a handful of higher-priced contemporaries on the basis of winners (22) and earnings, and his flagbearers were the listed-winning Flippa The Strippa (Ire) and the German listed-winning La La Land (Ger).

Hot Streak (Ire), winner of the G3 Cornwallis S. and Listed Roses S. at two, lodged 10 winners in 2019 headed by the French listed winner and G3 Prix d'Arenberg third Flaming Princess (Ire), and he has had three winners in January. He had three runners rated 90+ last year and he himself trained on to win the G2 Temple S. at three. Hot Streak stands for £5,000 in 2020.

Cappella Sansevero (GB) (Showcasing {GB})-who moves to Micheal Orlandi's Starfield Stud for 2020 and stands for €7,000-provided six first-crop winners last year from a crop of 31 named foals headed by the G2 Mill Reef S. winner Pierre Lapin (Ire), who at 110 had the second-highest official rating for a first-crop sire last year. Credit must also be paid to Pierre Lapin's dam Beatrix Potter (Ire) (Cadeaux Genereux {GB}), also the dam of the champion sprinter Harry Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), but Cappella Sansevero's 28.5% strike rate of winners to runners is respectable.

From a first crop of 30 named foals, Haras de Colleville's Galiway (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) supplied five winners (45% of starters) including the G3 Prix La Rochette and Listed Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles victor Kenway (Fr) as well as the listed-placed Galova (Fr). Galiway is out of the high-class Danehill mare Danzigaway and a half-brother to Silent Name (Jpn) (Sunday Silence), a leading sire in Canada, with sire Gold Away also in the Wertheimer pedigree. Galiway was himself a winning and Group 3-placed 2-year-old who won a listed race over 1800 metres at three. Should he be able to maintain his percentages, Galiway could be another success story for the stud that produced Kendargent (Fr). After standing his first four seasons for €3,000, he is up to €10,000 for 2020.

After standing his first four seasons at Coolmore, the G2 July S. and G2 Richmond S. winner Ivawood (GB) (Zebedee {GB})-who was also placed in the G1 Middle Park S., G1 2000 Guineas and G1 Irish 2000 Guineas-is on the move to Haras du Mont Goubert for 2020, where he is available for €3,500. Ivawood set a good foundation in 2019, siring 14 winners including the French and Italian listed-winning Chares (Ger) and Sopran Ival (Ire). He also had highly rated maiden winners like Alabama Whitman (GB) and For The Trees (Ire), while Hurricane Ivor (Ire) was a 'TDN Rising Star'.

Value Sire Podium

GoldNight of Thunder (€25,000): he has started out like a great sire.

SilverDue Diligence (£8,500): sire of three first-crop stakes winners available for a four-figure fee.

BronzeMake Believe (€12,000): has three high-class stakes winners in three countries and that Dubawi-line power.

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