Great lineup of new sire talent at NSW studs this spring
by Les Young
Few if any areas of the world have a better credentialed group of thoroughbred stallions than are found in New South Wales and the lineup will be strengthened greatly in 2017 with the retirements of 20 newcomers including some of the best racehorses seen in recent seasons in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Europe and Japan.
The pedigree quality of the newcomers is just as impressive as their race records with no fewer than 15 of the 20 we know of to date being Group 1 winners.
Leading stallion farms Arrowfield, Coolmore, Darley, Newgate and Widden are all adding exciting new sires to their rosters for this season and a newly established farm, Olly Tait’s Twin Hills at Cootamundra, will be introducing two sires, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner Bobby’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) and Snitzel’s son Odyssey Moon, a stakes winner and runner up to Pride of Dubai in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m).
Arrowfield Stud, Scone, is launching Japanese stars Maurice (Screen Hero) and Mikki Isle (Deep Impact) as well as Shalaa (Invincible Spirit), champion two-year-old in France in 2015 and a multiple Group 1 winner at that age in the Middle Park Stakes (1200m) in Britain and in the Prix Morny (1200m) in France.Importantly, Shalaa is by the same sire as the sensational I Am Invincible.
Maurice, a magnificent type, was a champion miler, a Japanese Horse of the Year with 11 career victories, six at Group 1 level.
Mikki Isle was the champion sprinter and miler in Japan in 2016, winning eight races, among them two Group 1 events at 1600m, on the way to earning more than $A 6 million in prizemoney.As a son of Japan’s great sire Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) Mikki Isle has much to offer Australian breeders.
Coolmore Australia is adding two truly exciting newcomers to its 2017 roster of sires, legendary US Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile) and champion European two-year-old Air Force Blue (War Front) whose performances as a juvenile in 2015 earned him the exceptionally high annual Timeform rating of 128p.
Timeform rated American Pharoah, whose $66,000 fee makes him the most expensive of this year’s new sires, at 138 after he was made US Horse of the Year as well as champion three-year-old colt after a stunning series of wins which included the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Haskell Invitational Stakes.He also won the Del Mar Futurity (Gr. 1, 1400m) as a two-year-old and retired after seven successes at the highest level and with earnings of $US 8.65 million.
From the dynamic Danzig male line of Danehill, Air Force Blue captured three Group 1s as a juvenile, the Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes (1400m), the National Stakes (1400m) at Curragh and the Phoenix Stakes (1200m).
Darley’s three new sires at Kelvinside, Aberdeen, are home grown star Astern (Medaglia d’Oro), winner of the ATC Golden Rose Stakes, British Group 1 two-year-old winner The Last Lion (Choisir) and the superbly related Territories (Invincible Spirit)
Although we probably never saw the best of Astern in only nine appearances on the racecourse, this exceptionally handsome horse won more than $1.1 million in stakes.His dam is by Exceed and Excel and his second dam by Rory’s Jester so he should get his share of juvenile winners.
The Last Lion raced only at two years but proved himself both tough and consistent as he started 10 times, winning the first juvenile event of the British season then wound up the season with a rousing triumph in the Middle Park Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m).As a son of Australia’s Choisir from a female family which has produced notable Australian winners like Snowland and Fravashi, The Last Lion looks perfectly suited to Australian conditions.
Darley’s third new sire in NSW, Territories, also has much to recommend him on performance and pedigree.A winner at two years and a Group 1-winning miler in the Prix Jean Prat (1600m) in France at three years, Territories was also runner up to Gleneagles in the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket.
By I Am Invincible’s father Invincible Spirit (Green Desert), Territories is out of the stakes placed Machiavellian mare Taranto from the family of champion international sire Street Cry, renowned as the sire of champions Winx and Zenyatta.
Fast growing Newgate Farm, just down the road from Darley at Aberdeen, is adding another four Australian racing stars to its already formidable band of stallions.
These are Golden Slipper and Magic Millions winner Capitalist (Written Tycoon), Blue Diamond Stakes winner Extreme Choice (Not a Single Doubt), VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Flying Artie (Artie Schiller) and Winning Rupert (Written Tycoon) whose five wins from six starts labelled him as a sprinter of exceptional talent.
Many stallions are these days retired to stud without being fully tested on the racecourse but this certainly does not apply to Widden Stud’s new horse Stratum Star (Stratum – Purely Spectacular, by Pins) who raced 37 times for eight wins and 15 placings, captured six feature events, two at Group 1 level,and earned more than $2.45 million.Bred by Widden, Stratum Star traces back to champion mare Emancipation so he has pedigree as well as a fine racing record.
Other new sires in NSW for 2017 are Kiss and Make Up and Divine Prophet, both standing at Emirates Park Stud under the Aquis Farm banner, Sooboog (Kitchwin Hills), Star Turn (Vinery Stud) and Xtravagant (Newhaven Park Stud).
Kiss and Make Up (More Than Ready –Fashions Afield, by Redoute’s Choice) raced only three times as a two-year-old but looked something special when he defeated Capitalist in the ATC Todman Stakes.
Divine Prophet (Choisir – Prophet Jewel, by Encosta de Lago) is a Caulfield Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner and a brother to the very talented Proisir, now at stud in New Zealand, and he descends from the wonderful Sunbride family.
Sooboog (Snitzel – Monte Rosa, by Fraar) is a stakes winning brother to the flying filly Snitzerland and is a powerful, attractive type.
Vinery Stud’s new recruit Star Turn (Star Witness – Golden Delicious, by Made of Gold) is another big, imposing individual.He earned more than $877,000 on the track, was a leading two-year-old and at three years went on to win two black type races, the ATC San Domenico Stakes (Gr. 3, 1100m) and the weight-for-age MRC Schillaci Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) and was placed four times in Group 1 sprints.
New Zealand-bred Xtravagant (Pentire – Axiom, by Zabeel) should prove a great gain for Newhaven Park Stud, Boorowa, this season as he has race performance and some valuable and diverse bloodlines as well as good looks.
Xtravagant recorded some sensational, big margin wins across the Tasman in races like the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and the Waikato Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m) and his versatile sire Pentire (Be My Guest) has left a host of other Group 1 winners, among them Prince of Penzance,King Mufhasa, Xcellent, Zarita, Rangirangdo, Ferlax, Penny Gem and Art Success.Another plus for Xtravagant is his second dam Arletty (Centaine), a high class racemare.