The European season is in full swing and many intriguing moves are being made by a number of different stallions. Most of it amounts to very good news for British sires, who seem to have the whip hand compared to their European counterparts.

First thing to note is that it is almost a foregone conclusion that Frankel will regain his title as Champion sire in Britain and Ireland, his second after a one-year break for fellow Newmarket stalwart Dubawi, who could conceivably end up with just one championship to show for his outstanding efforts. The truth is that the average Frankel is much better positioned in terms of aptitude to harvest all the big  early- and mid-summer middle-distance prizes, particularly when we are talking about three-year-olds.

As things stand, Frankel is £2.2 million clear of seventh-placed Dubawi, but a fairer way to compare these two sires and others is their European stakes-winner totals for the year.

Frankel leads that list too, with 21 up to the end of the Newmarket July meeting. He enjoyed a flourish of stakes winners at Royal Ascot, which built on his Classic successes with Chaldean and Soul Sister. And even with three fancied previous Group 1 winners well beaten, the Juddmonte stallion still ended the meeting as the top sire, aided by three brand new top-flight winners in Prince Of Wales’s winner Mostahdaf, Queen Anne hero Triple Time and Gold Cup scorer Courage Mon Ami.

Race to saviour

Moreover, not only did Frankel add three first-time Group 1 winners to his already impressive tally, he also unearthed a couple of potential new stars in the shape of Mostahdaf and Courage Mon Ami, both of whom were rewarded with career-high Timeform ratings of 129 and 128 respectively. Mostahdaf now sits behind only Cracksman (136) and Adayar (131) on his sire’s roll of honour, while Courage Mon Ami has joined Hurricane Lane as his sire’s joint-fourth top-rated horse. A Juddmonte International featuring in in-form Mostahdaf and Paddington is a race to savour later
this summer.

Another of his progeny on the upgrade is his four-year-old daughter Nashwa, whose stunning Group 1 Falmouth Stakes success has seen her overtake Inspiral as one of his best daughters with a new Timeform mark of 125, which also places her among her sire’s top ten offspring.

Adding to and improving his top ten runners is the clearest sign possible that the Banstead Manor Stud sire is at his zenith. It is usually a sire’s inability to do this that precedes a decline in  fortunes. After his Royal Ascot flourish, plus the more recent Group 1 winners Nashwa and Westover, Frankel is now on a strike-rate of 17.2% stakes winners from runners, the best by an active sire anywhere in the world and just ahead of his Newmarket rival Dubawi.

Though they may be rivals, Frankel and Dubawi in partnership as sire and broodmare sire are turning out to be a potent force. Both Mostahdaf and the Prince of Wales’s third home Adayar are excellent examples of a cross that will have plenty of future opportunities. Right now, there are eight stakes winners (25%) and five Group winners (16%), also featuring Group 1 winner Homeless Songs, from just 32 runners with the cross. Who can argue with percentages like that?

Kingman is in hurry-up mode this season.

Dubawi’s current three-year-olds have really fired a shot this term, so it a measure of how well his stock improve with age that sees him in second place with 14 stakes winners. He has only two Group 3 winners this year among his Classic generation. But hot on his heels with 12 stakes winners is Banstead’s other stallion of note Kingman.

Kingman, too, is in hurry-up mode this season. The son of Invincible Spirit has been under the spotlight since this time last year as his current three-year-olds are from his best-ever book of mares, earned after his first crop featuring Persian King and Calyx did so well. And the son of Invincible Spirit is responding with plenty of classy runners despite the obvious setback of losing his star Group 1-winning two-year-old filly Commissioning to the paddocks.

He also may have lost out on the delayed return to action of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dewhurst Stakes third Nostrum, who served notice that he will be a contender for top honours with an impressive Listed victory at the July meeting. Nevertheless, Kingman has already posted 15 stakes winners from his 2020 crop and it is very likely, indeed almost inevitable, that this will  eventually be his most successful one, eclipsing the 18 stakes winners from his first and 17 from his second.

The challenge for Kingman is to find another jewel or two from among the group and there are a few credible candidates. Note the impressive recent outings of Feed The Flame (Timeform 121p) who scored impressively in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris and the aforementioned Nostrum (Timeform 118p).

On a side note, Kingman also became a Group-winning grandsire at the July meeting for the first time, his son Calyx providing the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes winner Persian Dreamer. In doing so, Calyx became one of only three first-season sires alongside Blue Point and Magna Grecia to have sired a single stakes winner so far this year and the first with a Group winner.

The new boys are being outshone by a couple of proven sires and a pair of second-season stallions when it comes to getting stakes winners, although Blue Point is matching all comers with 18  individual winners to July 16. Of particular merit is Wootton Bassett’s ten individual winners from just 19 runners, including Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner River Tiber (TF111p), plus Group 2 Railway Stakes first and second Bucanero Fuerte and Unquestionable both rated 109p. That is three of the top six European two-year-olds on the Timeform scale. The very promising Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes heroine Matrika (TF102p) heads up No Nay Never’s three stakes winners.

Meanwhile, US sire Justify makes it a trifecta of Coolmore sires among the top four by stakes winners, his ultra-impressive son City of Troy landing the Group 2 Superlative Stakes by six-and-a- half lengths to go top of the juvenile Timeform table with a rating of 118p. Moreover, he also has the best filly seen out so far this season in Europe in the shape of the impressive four-length Group 2 Prix Robert Papin winner Ramatuelle, now rated 111p.

The other second-season sire making headlines this year is the irrepressible Havana Grey, who in Elite Status (TF105+) and eye-catching Group 3 July Stakes winner Jasour (TF105p) has two  stakes-winning juveniles to rival any he had in his first crop.