Bearing in mind that Oasis Dream had been the champion two-year-old of his generation before developing into the champion sprinter of 2003, the exploits of his first few crops of three-year-olds took a lot of breeders by surprise. Here was a horse who had narrowly missed breaking York’s five-furlong record when he led throughout in the Nunthorpe Stakes, yet his second-crop daughter Midday failed by only a head to win a rough edition of the Oaks.
Midday – the daughter of an 11-furlong winner – was to win six other Group 1 events, including the Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille over a mile and a half, and she wasn’t alone in demonstrating stamina. Lady Jane Digby – out of a daughter of the stamina-packed Hernando – eventually became a Group 1 winner over a mile and a quarter; Monitor Closely won the Great Voltigeur Stakes before finishing third in the St Leger, despite being out of a Group-winning miler; and Tuscan Evening – out of a mare by Arc winner Suave Dancer – numbered a Group 2 win over a mile and a quarter among her string of American Graded successes. Other Group winners at around that distance included Sri Putra, Sandbar and Querari.
Oasis Dream has more foals out of daughters of Sadler’s Wells than any other broodmare sire
I’ve heard it suggested that Midday’s prowess over middle-distances was one of the worst things that ever happened to Oasis Dream because it encouraged breeders to send him more and more mares with stamina in their pedigrees. In the process, it was easy to forget that those early crops also contained numerous talented sprinters and milers, such as Aqlaam, Arcano, Prohibit, Approve, Misheer, Main Aim, Captain Gerrard, Starlit Sands and Mullein.
Consequently, Oasis Dream has more foals out of daughters of Sadler’s Wells than any other broodmare sire, with a total of 90. This cross produced Opinion, winner of a Group 1 handicap over a mile and a half in Australia, Approve, winner of the Norfolk and Gimcrack Stakes, and Button Down, a Grade 3 winner in the US, but it doesn’t rank as one of Oasis Dream’s most successful nicks. Nor does his association with Galileo’s daughters. There is just one black-type winner among this cross’s 71 foals of racing age.
In general, his most reliably productive associations have been with daughters of speedier stallions, such as Selkirk, Pivotal, Indian Ridge, Machiavellian and Efisio, but there have been a few middle-distance stallions which have bucked the trend, arguably the most notable being Montjeu, whom you’ll be hearing more of later in this article. From 34 foals by Oasis Dream, Montjeu’s daughters have been represented by nine black-type performers, with eight earning Racing Post Ratings between 100 and 110.
The explanation of why Oasis Dream’s speed has sometimes been overwhelmed by his mates’ stamina lies in the bottom half of his pedigree. His first three dams were daughters of the King George winners Dancing Brave, Mill Reef and Busted and his dam Hope was a sister to Wemyss Bight, who showed top-class form over a mile and a half in winning the Irish Oaks and finishing a close second in the Prix Vermeille.
Kingman is as quick as Oasis Dream, but he gets a mile
Oasis Dream’s second dam Bahamian and third dam Sorbus were also accomplished performers. Bahamian won the Oaks Trial at Lingfield and later finished first in the Prix de l’Esperance over a furlong short of two miles, only to be demoted to third. Sorbus, for her part, was officially second in the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger in Ireland, but she had crossed the line first in the Irish Oaks, only to be demoted. All of this was surely relevant when Oasis Dream was joined at the Banstead Manor stallion unit by Kingman, a horse bred along similar lines.
Whereas Oasis Dream is by Green Desert, Kingman is by Green Desert’s son Invincible Spirit. And whereas Oasis Dream is out of Hope, Kingman is out of Zenda, a Classic-winning daughter of Hope.
John Gosden compared his two champions after Kingman’s impressive victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes: “Kingman has the speed of Oasis Dream; if you wanted to you could step him up in trip, but I don’t see the point. He has an amazing cruising speed. He is as quick as Oasis Dream, but he gets a mile.”
Gosden made it clear that Kingman would have a short break before his next likely target, the Sussex Stakes, but there was still speculation that Kingman could have successfully followed in Oasis Dream’s footsteps had he taken up his engagement in the July Cup. In fact, he never got to tackle six furlongs, with three of his victories coming over seven furlongs and the other four at Group 1 level over a mile.
It was virtually guaranteed that breeders would view Kingman as a prime candidate to inject speed and acceleration into classically-bred mares and this is borne out by the breakdown of his progeny by broodmare sire. Leading the way, with 89 foals of racing age (including around 20 two-year-olds of 2023), is Galileo. Other popular matches include Galileo’s half-brother Sea The Stars, with 25 foals, and Montjeu, with 23 foals.
The six black-type winners out of Galileo’s daughters may not sound like a rich return, but one of them is Commissioning, the unbeaten Fillies’ Mile winner. Also among the six are the American-raced Grade 2 winner Serve The King, Musidora Stakes winner Nausha and the Listed winners Fox Chairman, Save A Forest and Sounds Of Heaven. It is worth pointing out that Serve The King, Nausha, Fox Chairman and Save A Forest were all black-type winners at a mile and a quarter or more.
Invincible Spirit is a very popular destination for Galileo’s daughters
A more positive slant to Kingman’s record with Galileo mares is given by Racing Post Ratings, with 12 of Kingman’s 54 starters out of Galileo mares having attained ratings of 100+ and a further 11 being rated in the 90s. And there is every chance that these figures will improve further, judging by the record of Kingman’s sire Invincible Spirit.
The Irish National Stud’s wonderful veteran, who did all his winning over six furlongs, has also been a very popular destination for Galileo’s daughters, with 87 foals of racing age. A very respectable 11 per cent have become black-type winners, including 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, Al Quoz Sprint winner Danyah and Group 2 winners Babylone and Ancient Spirit. Four of the ten black-type winners won over a mile and a quarter or more, with Babylone taking the mile-and-a-half Prix de Malleret, while another scored over a mile and three-quarters.
Daughters of Sea The Stars have arguably made a better start with Kingman than those of his half-brother Galileo. From just 12 starters they have produced four black-type winners – an impressive 16 per cent. Leading the quartet is the four-time American Graded stakes winner Technical Analysis, the others being the Listed winners Raakib Alhawa, Ready To Venture and Mr Moliere.
Bearing in mind that Oasis Dream has a solid record with mares by Montjeu and that Invincible Spirit sired the top miler Charm Spirit from one, it isn’t too surprising that Kingman has made an eye-catching start with daughters of the 1999 Arc winner. Seventeen of his 23 foals have raced and no fewer than seven of them have achieved a Racing Post Rating between 100 and 115. The first to win at a high level was the American-raced Public Sector, who picked up three Graded stakes at up to nine furlongs in 2021.
Two others have been in fine form this year, with the five-year-old gelding Mashhoor hitting new heights with his wins in the Listed Orby Stakes over a mile and a half and the International Stakes over a quarter mile less. Better still has been the French three-year-old Feed The Flame, who was winning for the third time in four starts when he finished in great style to land the Grand Prix de Paris over a mile and a half. The style of his victory suggested that he may well have a role to play in the Arc.
Incidentally, the 2022 Derby runner-up, Hoo Ya Mal, is another sired by a son of Invincible Spirit from a Montjeu mare, so Montjeu mares are certainly working very well with Invincible Spirit and his sons. I hardly need add that Charm Spirit – a son of Invincible Spirit and a Montjeu mare – is the stallion responsible for that remarkable sprinter Shaquille. Who would have expected to see a July Cup winner inbred 4 x 3 to Sadler’s Wells via Montjeu and Galileo, two stallions whose progeny have an average winning distance in excess of 11 furlongs?
Kingman now has seven northern hemisphere Group 1 winners to his credit. In addition to Galileo and Montjeu, their broodmare sires include Nayef (Palace Pier), Dylan Thomas (Persian King), Street Cry (the American-trained Domestic Spending) and Soldier Hollow (the Japanese miler Schnell Meister). All these broodmare sires shone over a mile and a quarter or more, so Kingman’s stallion career is clearly not being hindered by his being sent so many mares by middle-distance stallions.
Of course there are also plenty of examples of Kingman doing well with mares by speedier stallions, such as the top miler Selkirk. Daughters of Selkirk provided Oasis Dream with as many as nine blacktype winners – 13% – and they are doing even better with Kingman, with their three black-type winners representing 21%. Kingman owes that fine six- and seven-furlong performer Kinross to a Selkirk mare who raced at up to a mile and a half, but another smart son bred this way – the St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up King of Comedy – is out of a winner over seven furlongs and a mile.
Juddmonte owes two of its best winners by Kingman to grand-daughters of Kingmambo. The dual ten-furlong Group 2 winner Headman has a dam by King’s Best, whereas the highly promising Nostrum has a dam by Dubai Destination. Green Desert’s outstanding son Golden Horn is another with a dam by Dubai Destination.
That terrific broodmare sire Pivotal has done consistently well with this male line, with his daughters producing 11% blacktype winners to Oasis Dream, 12% to Invincible Spirit and now 12% to Kingman. Invincible Spirit’s nine black-type winners featured the Group 1 winners Mayson and Pearls Galore, so expect Kingman to add to his three black-type winners, which include Noble Style, winner of the Gimcrack Stakes, and Roseman, who went close to winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
With Kingman being based at Banstead Manor Stud, it was inevitable that he would be given every chance to prove himself with daughters of the high-class miler Dansili and of Dansili’s brother Champs Elysees. Although mares by Dansili had a distinctly moderate record with Oasis Dream, they are faring a good deal better with Kingman, with the Group 3 winners Tempus, Marbling and Cormorant among their four black-type winners.
Champs Elysees’ daughters have done even better, with the Group 3 winners Remarquee and Megallan among their eight foals.
One surprising name among the broodmare sires of Kingman’s black-type winners is none other than his relative Oasis Dream, whose daughter Marketeer produced the German Listed winner Merkur. This colt is inbred 3 x 3 to Green Desert and 3 x 3 to Hope, but it appears that the two lines to the comparatively stoutly-bred Hope has carried more weight. Merkur’s win came over 11 furlongs and he was then tried in the Deutsches Derby.
There’s one son of Kingman, though, who oozed speed. The quick-maturing Calyx never had the chance to tackle a distance longer than six furlongs, despite being the son of two very talented milers, but the early signs are that he is passing on plenty of speed to his progeny. With markedly fewer runners than the likes of Blue Point, Soldier’s Call and Inns Of Court, he is already responsible for Persian Dreamer, winner of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, Malc, runner-up in the Norfolk Stakes, and Classic Flower, third in the Prix Robert Papin.