There have been a few noteworthy milestones passed recently concerning three stallions in particular.

Yeomanstown Stud’s Dark Angel sired his 100th stakes winner when his four-year-old daughter Heredia crossed the line nearly four lengths clear of her opposition in the Listed Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock.

On the same afternoon, the young Dubawi stallion Too Darn Hot opened his Group winner account at Newmarket when his juvenile daughter Fallen Angel was no less impressive when taking the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes by three lengths helping Too Darn Hot become the 15th son of Dubawi to sire a Group winner.

And last but not least, Kingmambo continued to make his presence felt as a broodmare sire through the top-class King George winner Hukum.

Dark Angel has been a mainstay among the ranks of speed sires for the past ten years or so. Ever since his daughter Lily’s Angel took the Listed Empress Stakes as a two-year-old back in 2011, he has been on plenty of breeders’ short lists. And when Lethal Force proved top-class by winning both the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and July Cup, even the big owner breeders found it hard to resist getting involved, the likes of Battaash, Harry Angel and Persuasive all representing the big racing operations.

At the ripe old age of 18, the son of Acclamation is still on everyone’s radar as he continues to supply quality racehorses mostly in the sprinting sphere but with a few noteworthy exceptions. 2023 has been another fruitful year for the Yeomanstown veteran, his 14 stakes winners featuring Group 1 winners Khaadem and Alfareeq, while both Alflaila (Timeform 126) and Art Power (TF121) are two highly-rated Group 2 winners with the quality of form to go up a grade. Meanwhile, the Group 3 Princess Margaret heroine Sacred Angel provides ample evidence that the Dark Angel train
is not slowing down to any great degree.

With a stallion as well-bred and classy as Too Darn Hot, expectations will always run high. This son of Dubawi was the first-season stallion in 2020 that got the most blue-blooded support in his first year at Dalham Hall Stud. Keeping pace with the likes of Blue Point on a winner count this year was never on the cards, but breeders still need early evidence that he can deliver the goods, so Fallen Angel is a very welcome first Group winner. Moreover, her ease of victory promises that she could go all the way to the top of the two-year-old filly staying division and there would be nothing better for Too Darn Hot than to have a Group 1 Fillies’ Mile winner on his CV at this early stage of his career.

We can debate as to how many of Dubawi’s 15 sire sons of Group winners have truly made the grade. As things stand there are a handful that breeders have endorsed after seeing their early crops. We are all waiting with bated breath for this current crop of Night Of Thunder two-year-olds to produce some good results this year and next as they are from his best ever book of mares. Given that his stakes winner strike-rate from the elite mares he has covered so far is on a par with Dubawi’s general output, there ought to be a star or two among them.

The same applies to Haras de Bonneval’s Zarak, who is still waiting for his first Group 1 winner. With 11.4% stakes winners and 25% from the few elite mares he has encountered thus far, Zarak’s current yearlings are from mares with more stars among them than he had in his first four years combined. Then we have New Bay, for whom breeders have really gone for in the past three  seasons – plenty will be expected of his 2022 and 2023 crops. The next three years will certainly settle the matter as to which is the best stallion son of Dubawi.

There was always a very keen interest in Kingmambo right from the start of his life as he was the first produce of the brilliant Miesque who needs little introduction, suffice to say that she won 10 Group 1 races, including two renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Prix Jacques le Marois and earned Timeform ratings of 124, 131 and 133 for her exemplary work over three seasons on the racecourse. Kingmambo never approached the brilliance of his dam, but he had developed into a very high-class miler by the end of his three-year-old season, earning a Timeform mark of 125 after victories in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes and a particularly strong renewal of the Group 1 Prix de Moulin.

Kingmambo: seen here winning the St James’s Palace Stakes, he has since exerted a major influence worldwide at stud. Photo – George Selwyn

From his Kentucky base of Lane’s End Farm, Kingmambo sired 85 stakes winners from 738 runners, which produces a fine strike rate of 11.5%. Even more impressive is his tally of 58 stakes-winning colts and geldings which pushes his strike rate up to 14.5% leaving his fillies on eight per cent. However, his fillies did include two 1,000 Guineas winners in Russian Rhythm and Virginia Waters, two French 1,000 Guineas winners in Bluemamba and Divine Proportions, who also won the French Oaks, Prix Marcel Boussac and Prix Morny, plus Oaks heroine Light Shift.

Classic winners were also the order of the day among his colts, with 2,000 Guineas scorers King’s Best and Henrythenavigator leading the way from the Godolphin-owned St Leger-winning duo Rule Of Law and Enke, while Lemon Drop Kid numbered the Belmont Stakes among his five Grade 1 victories in America. Kingmambo has also had a profound impact in Japan. King Kamehameha, his Japanese-bred son out of the Last Tycoon mare Manfath and winner of the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun and Group 1 NHK Mile Cup as a three-year-old,  has enshrined Kingmambo’s name in Japanese pedigrees.

Now as a broodmare sire, Kingmambo has made headlines recently through the brothers Baaeed (TF137) and Hukum (TF131). Moreover, his general body of work is also excellent as his daughters are responsible for 169 stakes winners, 102 Group winners and 28 Group/Grade 1 winners worldwide, the most recent at the top level being Arlington Million hero Set Piece.

To put his  achievements in perspective, the northern hemisphere foaled runners from his daughters feature 6.3% stakes winners, which compares favourably to multiple champion broodmare sire Pivotal’s 6.2%. Has there ever been a sire with a runner as good as El Condor Pasa (TF136) and another produced by his daughters as good as Baaeed (TF137)?