Value Sires Series: First 2-Year-Olds


Muhaarar | Shadwell


In the fourth installment of our value sires series, today we will look at stallions with their first 2-year-olds in 2019.

Over the past two years, these young horses have already been exposed to the tumultuous rigors of the commercial marketplace, their progeny having been either embraced or already written off at the foal and yearling sales. While many of the early supporters of these sires have already had their fates determined in the ring, those with yearlings or foals to sell this year will hold their collective breaths and hope their faith is rewarded with early results.

All the same, while a clutch of early winners is likely to help boost figures at this year’s sales, it is far from a guarantee of long-term success. In another year’s time we will be reflecting on who looks like a flash in the pan and who has provided runners that look like training on. But for now, let’s run through the crop and try to pull out some value and, at the end, we’ll select a gold, silver and bronze value sire.

The ‘big guns’ of this group have always been Muhaarar (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), Gleneagles (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Golden Horn (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}), and interestingly they bring top Group 1 form respectively as a sprinter, a miler and a middle-distance horse. They were the top three first-season sires in 2017 at the foal sales by average and median and the only horses from the sire crop to break six figures in those categories, and they repeated that feat last year at the yearling sales.

Muhaarar, the Cartier champion sprinter of 2015 at three, appears to have been well-priced by Shadwell, having been able to hold his fee of £30,000 over his first four years. He has maintained strong books, the past two years covering 128 and 133 mares, respectively. His 55 yearlings sold (66 offered) last year averaged £177,628/€197,050. Shadwell heavily supported the horse at the sales, buying a 925,000gns half-sister to G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Fairyland (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and a 500,000gns colt out of Alexander Goldrun (Ire), among others, and others to support the horse included Blandford Bloodstock, Peter and Ross Doyle, Roger Varian, Stephen Hillen and Kevin Ryan and Jamie McCalmont. With top-class middle distance influence Linamix (Fr) as his damsire, there should be plenty of hope that the four-time Group 1-winning sprinter and G2 Gimcrack S. winner-who is the highest-rated son of Oasis Dream-can provide sharp horses that last.

Gleneagles, out of that dream mare You’resothrilling-producer of two Classic winners and five stakes winners from her first five foals and a full-sister to Giant’s Causeway-started out at €60,000 and is available for €30,000 this year at Coolmore after his first yearlings averaged £119,495/€132,455. That was for 52 sold (67 offered), and supporters at the sales last year included MV Magnier, Blandford Bloodstock, Klaravich Stables, Stroud Coleman and David Redvers. The fee cut should keep his support up in a crucial year after his numbers dipped to 119 last year from 136 in 2017. If there is a safe bet on both pedigree and performance, you’d think it would have to be the three-time Group 1-winning miler-and Group 1-winning 2-year-old–out of a blue hen full-sister to Giant’s Causeway.

In the same year that Muhaarar was dominating the sprinting ranks and Gleneagles the miling, Golden Horn was busy taking out Europe’s top middle-distance prizes. His Group 1 haul counted the Derby, Coral-Eclipse, Irish Champion S. and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. After standing his first three seasons at £60,000 at Darley’s Dalham Hall, Golden Horn is trimmed to £50,000 this year after covering 107 mares in 2018 (down from 126 in 2017). Golden Horn’s unraced dam Fleche d’Or (Dubai Destination) has also produced the stakes-winning Eastern Belle (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}), and she is a half-sister to the G1 Coronation S. winner Rebecca Sharp (GB) (Machiavellian). Golden Horn had 36 yearlings sold (41 offered) for an average of £152,775/€169,467, and his median of £147,957/€164,318 suggests his progeny were of a consistent quality. Golden Horn raced just once at two, winning a maiden over Storm The Stars (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in October, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his progeny follow suit and start to make their mark later in the season.

A pair of Group 1 winners sit behind the leading trio by yearling averages: 2000 Guineas and Lockinge S. winner Night Of Thunder (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), and G1 Prince of Wales’s S. winner Free Eagle (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}). Night Of Thunder won the Listed Doncaster S. at two before defeating Kingman (GB) and Australia (GB) in one of the deepest Guineas in memory. He would place in three more Group 1s before taking the Lockinge at four. He opened at €30,000 at Kildangan Stud and is now down to £15,000 at Dalham Hall. His 56 yearlings sold (71 offered) averaged £62,352/€69,184 and he was able to maintain good support in years two and three, covering 103 and 111 mares. At Kildangan for €4,000 are the Listed Woodcote S. and G2 Challenge S. winner Fulbright (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}), who packed 30 starts into four seasons and was rated 119 by Timeform, and French Navy (GB), who won four Group 3s from a mile to a mile and a quarter from ages two to seven.

Free Eagle is a Moyglare Stud homebred out of one of the family’s prized broodmares, Polished Gem (Ire) (Danehill). His second dam is the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Trusted Partner (Affirmed), and his third dam the dual Grade I-winning 2-year-old Talking Picture (Speak John). Free Eagle had a rather stop-start racing career, but when he was in action he was among the best of his generation; he broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths at Leopardstown at first asking at two before finishing second to Australia (GB) in the G3 Juvenile Turf Trial S. Off for a year, he came back to win the G3 KPMG Enterprise S. and finish third to Noble Mission (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) over the heavy going in the G1 Champion S. Going first-up in the G1 Prince of Wales’s S. at four, he finally got his Group 1 and he was later third behind Golden Horn in the Irish Champion. Free Eagle’s yearling average was £50,003/€55,510 off a €20,000 opening fee, and he is down to €12,500 for 2019.

One who well outperformed his fee at the yearling sales was Tweenhills’s Hot Streak (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}), a five furlong group-winning sprinter at two and three who was also placed in the G1 King’s Stand S. at three. He stood for £7,000 in his debut year and dropped to £6,000 the subsequent two, but so good were his yearling sale results that he makes the rare increase (back up to £7,000 in 2019) before having runners. His 51 yearlings sold (61 offered) averaged six times his fee: £43,029/€47,778. Buyers of his yearlings included Shadwell, Australia’s Kingcraft Bloodstock, David Redvers, Rabbah and Phoenix Thoroughbreds. There are plenty of indicators of class in his pedigree, too: Hot Streak’s second dam is a half-sister to sires Nashwan, Nayef and Unfuwain.

Gutaifan (Ire) stands alongside his sire Dark Angel (Ire) at Yeomanstown Stud, and he was the busiest of this sire crop at the yearling sales with 107 sold from 128 offered. His average of £42,512/€47,208 was 3.7x his opening fee of €12,500, and he stands for the third straight season this year at €10,000. Gutaifan was retired to stud after a 2-year-old season that included wins in the G2 Prix Robert Papin and G2 Flying Childers S., so how his class would have carried on we can only speculate about, but he does have a G2 Ribblesdale S. and G2 Lancashire Oaks winner, as well as a dual G2 Hardwicke S. winner, under his second dam. Also there is last year’s G2 Park S. and G2 Joel S. winner Mustashry (GB) (Tamayuz {GB}), as well as G1 Premio del Jockey Club and G2 Moonee Valley S. winner Ventura Storm (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}).

Cable Bay (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire})’s first crop of yearlings returned an average 3.2x the £6,500 fee he commands at Highclere Stud. His 57 sold (72 offered) averaged £21,205/€23,564, and were headed by a pair that made £150,000 and £100,000 at Goffs UK’s Premier Yearling Sale. By Invincible Spirit, who is building an enviable record as a sire of sires, Cable Bay is a grandson of the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and G1 Sprint Cup winner Cherokee Rose (Ire) (Dancing Brave), who is also the second dam of Group 1 winners Mastery (GB) and Kirklees (Ire), and the third dam of Mukhadram (GB). Cable Bay was placed in a handful of the most important 2-year-old races, including the G1 Dewhurst, and at four he recorded a pair of wins over seven furlongs in the G3 John of Gaunt S. and the G2 Challenge S.

Perhaps European buyers are tuned in to the remarkable record Brazen Beau (Aus)‘s sire I Am Invincible (Aus) is compiling Down Under, or perhaps they just appreciate how good a sprinter the horse actually was. Either way, buyers responded to the Dalham Hall shuttler last year, and his yearlings averaged 3.7x his opening £10,000 fee at £37,574/€41,739. Brazen Beau is down to £7,000 this year after covering 95 mares last year, and that looks like pretty good value for a horse that was the second-best 3-year-old sprinter in the world in 2015, behind only Muhaarar. Brazen Beau was a head shy of winning a Group 1 at two, but came roaring back at three to win one of Australia’s most important ‘sire making’ races: the G1 Coolmore Stud S.-that’s the same key race won by Zoustar (Aus), who Brazen Beau was rated four points higher than on the World Thoroughbred Rankings. Brazen Beau beat the elder champion sprinter Chautauqua (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}) in the G1 Newmarket H. four months later before traveling to Royal Ascot and finishing second in the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. After the first half of the racing season in Australia, Brazen Beau sits second on the first season sires’ table with two winners and one stakes winner. Considering Brazen Beau himself didn’t start until Feb. 5, that should bode well for what the second half of the season and beyond holds.

Also making a promising start from Dalham Hall with his first yearlings is the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and G2 Champagne S. winner Outstrip (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}), whose 60 yearlings sold (75 offered) averaged 3.5x his £5,000 fee at £17,804/€19,780). It bodes very well for the son of Grade I winner Asi Siempre (El Prado {Ire}) that, after his first foals hit the market in 2017, Outstrip covered 21 more mares in 2018 than the previous year (145). And, he has held his £5,000 fee through his first four years. Outstrip has certainly passed the first commercial test, now let’s see if he can follow up on the racecourse.

Make Believe (GB) (Makfi {GB}), a grandson of the G1 Cheveley Park S. and G1 Irish 1000 Guineas-placed My Branch (GB) (Distant Relative {Ire}) and himself a dual Group 1 winner, stands at Ballylinch Stud for €12,000 this year, down from an opening €20,000. The winner of both starts at two, Make Believe bested subsequent G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner New Bay (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) to win the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains. Two starts later he beat older horses dropping back a furlong in the G1 Prix de la Foret. Make Believe, who is a three-quarter brother to the dual Grade I-winning mare Dubawi Heights (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), had 46 yearlings (65 offered) average £40,072/€44,508.

Whitsbury Manor Stud, the farm that brought you Showcasing (GB), this year has the G1 Diamond Jubilee-placed Due Diligence (War Front) with his first runners. Due Diligence was a debut winner at Saratoga for Todd Pletcher at two, and for his 3-year-old campaign was transferred to Aidan O’Brien. He won the Listed Lacken S. over six furlongs before finishing second to Slade Power (Ire) (Dutch Art {GB}) in the Diamond Jubilee. Due Diligence’s first-crop yearlings (62 offered, 44 sold) averaged £16,723/€18,582, and he is down to £4,000 this year.

Cappella Sansevero (GB)‘s yearling average of £22,759/€25,271 is distorted by the fact that he had a half-brother to champion sprinter Harry Angel (Ire) sell to Roger Varian for 140,000gns at Tattersalls Book 1, but nonetheless the horse is a son of the in-form sire Showcasing who was a stakes-winner and Royal Ascot and Group 1-placed at two. He is down to €4,000 at Bridge House Stud.

Rathasker Stud last year unveiled Bungle Inthejungle (Ire) to be a leading first-season sire, and this year they bring us Anjaal (Ire) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}). The G2 July S. winner has been held at €5,000, and his first yearlings averaged £14,596/€16,213.

Coolmore has the following year’s July S. winner, Ivawood (Ire) (Zebedee {GB}), with his first juveniles this year. Ivawood also won the G2 Richmond S. and was second by a nose in the G1 Middle Park S., and at three he was third behind Gleneagles (Ire) in both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas. His yearlings averaged £18,963/€21,059, and after starting out at €9,000 he is down to €5,000 in 2019.

Coolmore has already relegated Kingston Hill (GB) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) to its National Hunt ranks, but that doesn’t preclude him from a siring a good horse on the flat, like he himself was. He won the G3 Autumn S. and G1 Racing Post Trophy at two and the G1 St Leger at three, and was second to Australia in the G1 Investec Derby as well as being fourth in both the Coral-Eclipse and the Arc. After covering 74 mares in 2017 he proved much more profitable after switching codes last year, covering 180 mares. Nonetheless, his yearlings were relatively well-received, averaging £14,465/€16,083.

In France, Galileo’s Galiway (GB) certainly made a good impression with his five yearlings to sell. They averaged £24,519/€27,284, with a median of £24,743/€27,362 off a €3,000 stud fee. The Wertheimer-bred stands at Haras de Colleville, which has already brought us the rags-to-riches Kendargent (Fr). He was a winner and group-placed at two before winning a listed race at three. Galiway is a half-brother to Silent Name (Jpn) (Sunday Silence), a leading sire in Canada, and his dam, Danzigaway (Danehill), is a half-sister to multiple group winner and sire Gold Away (Ire) (Goldneyev). Galiway represents the Galileo over Danehill cross of established sires Frankel (GB) and Teofilo (Ire).

The 18-year-old Elvstroem (Aus) (Danehill) relocated to Haras de Petit Tellier in 2016, leaving behind 12 lifetime stakes winners in Australia. It should help his cause that he is from the immediate family of Starspangledbanner (Aus) and Highland Reel (Ire), and his first Northern Hemisphere yearlings had their admirers, realizing up to €100,000 at Arqana’s October yearling sale. He is available for €5,000 in 2019.

While Sidestep (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) did well with his first yearlings averaging 5.5x his stud fee, he has been moved on to Telemon Stud in Australia and does not return to Haras du Logis in 2019. So, the Darley team relies on Hunter’s Light (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) to carry the baton. The chestnut is a triple Group 1 winner-in Italy and Dubai-and is from the family of Darshaan (GB) and that excellent racemare and producer Dar Re Mi (GB), who has given us Too Darn Hot (GB), Lah Ti Dar (GB) and So Mi Dar (GB). His first yearlings averaged £11,859/€13,102 off a €4,000 stud fee.

Another Group 1 winner available at a minuscule price in France is Haras de Montaigu’s Prince Gibraltar (Fr) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}), who stands for €3,000. Winner of the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at two, he won the G2 Prix Greffulhe at three before placing in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club and G1 Grand Prix de Paris. He added the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden at four. His 19 yearlings sold averaged £11,848/€13,102.

Click for parts one, two and three of the value sires series.

Value Sires Podium

Gold – Muhaarar (£30,000): if the hype from the sales is fulfilled on the racecourse, Shadwell will be rewarded for pricing him correctly from the start and he’ll never stand for this little again.

Silver – Free Eagle (€12,500): One of this crop’s best racehorses from a world-class pedigree has dipped to a bargain fee.

Bronze – Brazen Beau (£7,000): a world-class sprinter, from the Invincible Spirit line, rated higher than Zoustar on the track.

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