Winning Machine: Big Week Could Be In Store For Mehmas At Royal Ascot

Mehmas | Tally-Ho Stud

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Is there any stallion out there who is better represented in the juvenile division than Mehmas (Ire)? He seems to be banging in a winner every other day in Britain and Ireland but it's his statistics with two-year-olds that are really off the charts. 

This year alone, with the season still in its infancy, Mehmas has sired 17 individual two-year-old winners in Europe and enjoyed 19 successes overall. For context, fellow Tally-Ho Stud resident Kodiac (GB) is on 12 individual juvenile winners while No Nay Never has eight, Soldier's Call (GB) seven and first-season sire Sergei Prokofiev, who many have been showering with praise, is on that same number. 

So Mehmas is off to a flyer. But is anyone surprised? This year's crop of juveniles were covered at a fee of €25,000, which was the July and Richmond Stakes winner's most expensive book of mares at the time. Not only was the quality up for that covering in 2021, but so, too, were the numbers. 

Following a record-breaking first crop, where he recorded 56 individual winners, breeders flocked to Mehmas, who covered 292 mares in 2021. That number was up from 118 on a €7,500 fee in 2020.  

From that first crop, Minzaal (Ire) went on to score at the highest level when landing the Sprint Cup at Haydock, as did Supremacy (Ire), who won the Middle Park. Both of those horses are now standing at stud in Ireland for €15,000 and €10,000 respectively.

Given what he has achieved to date, producing stallion sons and 22 horses rated in excess of 100 from lesser books, one can only imagine that things are set to get even better for Mehmas. And who knows, next week could be the beginning of that next chapter at Royal Ascot where he is likely to have a number of big chances. 

Aesterius (Ire) could well be the most exciting of the juvenile runners. Bought by Blandford Bloodstock's Richard Brown for £380,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale from Willie Browne of Mocklershill, the colt made a impressive start to his career at Bath and has the option of the Norfolk or Windsor Castle.

The Archie Watson-trained runner is the most expensive progeny of Mehmas ever sold at the breeze-up sales but Perfect Part (Ire) did her bit to illustrate what a punch her sire packs. 

Offered at the same sale by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud, Perfect Part was sold for just £10,000 after putting in a solid breeze without doing anything fancy. 

Perhaps it was that inauspicious price tag that allowed her to be sent off at odds of 125-1 for the Hilary Needler S. on debut at Beverley, but there was nothing ordinary about how she slalomed through the field to win going away at the line for trainer Brian Ellison. 

When you add The Man (Ire), an impressive debut winner for trainer Richard Spencer and owner Phil Cunningham, Kempton scorer Tales Of The Heart (Ire), Leicester winner Blinky (Ire) and then the Windsor Castle-bound Sir Yoshi (Ire), it becomes evident that few stallions will be better-represented in the juvenile division at the royal meeting. 

And that's not to mention those who haven't got off the mark as of yet. It's understood that those closest to California Dreamer (GB), last seen finishing an honourable third to Fairy Godmother (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) in a Group 3 contest at Naas, are confident that you will see a big performance from the Adrian Murray-trained filly at Ascot. 

With so much quality to look forward to this season, it might seem odd that Tally-Ho Stud decided to drop the covering fee for Mehmas this year to €50,000, down from €60,000 last year. However, this was in line with a number of other studs trimming their stallion fees in response to a tougher year for many breeders at the yearling sales. Stiff competition from Havana Grey (GB) and others is also understood to have been behind the idea at the time.

However, if the O'Callaghan family at Tally-Ho Stud felt they had to sit on their hands somewhat until the 2021 crop came through the ranks, better can be expected from this year and beyond given that Mehmas has stood for €50,000, €60,000 and now €50,000 again since 2022. 

Indeed, plenty of shrewd breeders clearly backed Mehmas to make a splash this season, with one person close to the camp revealing that the stallion already has 170 mares in foal. 

Some will argue that, given the numbers that Mehmas has running for him, he should be achieving everything that he is. But nothing should be taken away from what Mehmas has recorded to date and is on track to achieve this season. Royal Ascot promises to be a big week for him.

 

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