There is no question that European racing would benefit from a good sire son of Deep Impact. After all Deep Impact’s influence in his native Japan has been nothing short of profound. And he’s had plenty of success in Europe too, with Auguste Rodin, Snowfall, Saxon Warrior, Study Of Man, Fancy Blue and Beauty Parlour all winning Classics. There was also the Prix d’Ispahan winner A Shin Hikari, who made it seven European Group 1 winners for Deep Impact, whose European stakes winner strike-rate from runners stands at an amazing 30 per cent.

Last month in this column, I noted that Study Of Man was among that group of sires where expectations would rise this year as their first three-year-olds took the stage, even though the Lanwades Stud stallion had already opened his Group winner account with his first two-year-olds when Deepone won the Group 2 Beresford last October. We can now see that his three-year-olds are on the march, with 13 winners from his 34 runners this term (at the time of writing), providing a strike-rate of 38.2 per cent, the best of any second-season sire and an impressive number for so early in the season. He joins an elite group of fellow retirees also consisting of Too Darn Hot, Blue Point and Calyx that now have two of more Group winners from their first crop of runners, Deepone having been joined by the Group 2 Prix Saint-Alary heroine Birthe, who had shown plenty of promise when winning at Listed level on her previous start.

Furthermore, Study Of Man’s three-year-old daughter Francophone finished a good second in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes for her owner-breeder Kirsten Rausing, while Sons And Lovers, third in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, and Ghorgan are also Group placed.

Birthe is also a fine advertisement for Lope De Vega in his role as a broodmare sire, his first 184 runners providing 15 stakes winners at an excellent rate of 8.2 per cent. Had it not lost its Group 1 status this year, the Prix Saint-Alary would have marked the first Group 1 winner for both Study Of Man and Lope De Vega in his role as broodmare sire. Still, it looks only a matter of time for both before they post their first Group 1 winners in these respective departments.

Study Of Man ran only once at two but showed smart form posting a Timeform mark of 96+ when winning from 12 opponents over 1,600 metres at Saint-Cloud in September. Given his obvious stamina, he was firmly on the French Derby trail the following spring and had no trouble dispatching his 15 rivals in the Chantilly feature after warming up with a comfortable victory in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe.

The Deep Impact colt showed even better form later that year when he got within four-and-a-half lengths of the brilliant Enable in a star-studded Arc. Back at Longchamp for the Group 1 Prix Ganay at four, he separated top-class runners Waldgeist and Ghaiyyath and also filled the same position in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan. As a Timeform 122-rated Prix du Jockey Club winner by the great Deep Impact and from a Storm Cat daughter of the great Miesque and thus a half-sister to Kingmambo, a sire of international renown, Study Of Man had plenty to recommend him as a potential sire of note. Allied to that, the Deep Impact/Storm Cat cross has proved one of the most potent in the business, with no fewer than nine Group/Grade 1 winners (12.9 per cent) from just 70 runners, including Loves Only You and Real Steel from Study Of Man’s own female line. As such, is it any surprise that his first-crop three-year-olds are putting their hands up to be counted?

Deep Impact’s other major European Group 1-winning sire son Saxon Warrior opened his Group 1 account when his son Victoria Road won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf two years ago, but it’s worth remembering that at the same stage of their Classic year, his first three-year-olds featured 15 winners from 70 runners, a strike rate of 21.4 per cent, considerably lower than Study Of Man’s 38.2 and his runners featured four stakes winners, the best being Group 3 scorer Greenland. And just to provide some context here, Saxon Warrior’s first book contained 161 mares, including 51 that could be classed as elite, while Study Of Man’s first book had only 70 mares, of which 21 were elite.

I wonder if Study Of Man makes the breakthrough at Group 1 level this year, will he be rewarded for his early success next spring as Saxon Warrior justifiably was last year when he covered 248 mares and 71 top-class mares? You can make the case that Study Of Man already deserves considerably more mares than the 78 he covered last year.