With 19 new recruits priced at £4,000/€4,000 or above available to breeders for next season in Britain and Ireland, the 2020 intake might not be the deepest group numerically but it certainly ranks favourably in terms of quality.
Blue Point, Advertise and Ten Sovereigns represent just some of the sprinters on offer. Among the milers, breeders have the option of two Classic winners in Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain as well as Sussex Stakes winner Too Darn Hot, also an exceptional two-year- old.
Derby winner Masar is also available, at the reasonable price of £15,000, and Lanwades Stud welcomes a French Derby hero in Study Of Man. Waldgeist, meanwhile, heads to Ballylinch Stud, where he becomes the first Arc winner to go to stud in Ireland in ten years.
Below is an outline of all those mentioned above alongside others who promise to make the 2020 generation of sires an intriguing crop.
Showcasing – Furbelow (Pivotal)
Stands: The National Stud
The second son of Showcasing to stud in Britain, Advertise represents the potent commercial combination of juvenile talent and speed. He came to hand early for Martyn Meade, winning his first start at two over six furlongs at Newbury before beating all bar Calyx in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
From there, he continued to progress, adding the July and Phoenix Stakes to his resume prior to a creditable runner-up effort to Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst Stakes.
Advertise wasn’t all about juvenile speed, however, as he developed into one of the best sprinters of 2020, when he captured the Commonwealth Cup as well as the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
Shamardal – Scarlett Rose (Royal Applause)
Stands: Kildangan Stud
Cartier Champion Sprinter Blue Point provided one of the defining moments of the 2019 season when sweeping the King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes within days of each other at Royal Ascot.
Those victories marked the culmination of a lengthy career for Godolphin’s popular sprinter that had begun with a two-year- old season highlighted by a win in the Gimcrack Stakes and placings in the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes.
His 11 victories also included the 2018 renewal of the King’s Stand Stakes and 2019 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan.
It also won’t have passed breeders by that Blue Point bears a striking resemblance to his sire Shamardal, himself already responsible for a hugely successful sire son in Lope De Vega.
Kingman – Helleborine (Observatory)
In possession of an exceptional turn of foot, Juddmonte homebred Calyx made quite the impression during his career for John Gosden. Impressive when Kingman’s first winner on debut at Newmarket, he showed a devastating change of gear to capture the Coventry Stakes on his next start, shooting clear of Advertise to win unchallenged despite racing alone on the stands’ side.
A similarly impressive win in the Pavilion Stakes followed on his seasonal debut at three.
A member of Juddmonte’s Populi family also responsible for champion two- year-old Distant Music, Calyx is the first son of the wildly successful Kingman to retire to stud.
Galileo – Dialafara (Anabaa)
Stands: Grange Stud
A Group 2-winning two-year-old, Capri had Cracksman, Wings Of Eagles and Waldgeist behind him when taking the 2017 Irish Derby. That was followed by a further Classic success in the St Leger, in which he defeated another strong field that included Crystal Ocean, Stradivarius and Rekindling.
By Galileo, six-time winner Capri is out of a winning mare from the noted Aga Khan and Jean-Luc Lagardere family of Diamonaka.
Sea The Stars – Crystal Star (Mark Of Esteem)
Stands: The Beeches
Crystal Ocean is a new recruit to Coolmore’s jumps division but hopefully some Flat breeders will also consider this popular performer, who never ran out of the first three in 17 starts.
A high-class three-year-old who won the Gordon Stakes and ran second in the St Leger, Crystal Ocean later rewarded the management of his connections to gain a deserved Group 1 success when defeating Magical in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Along the way, there were several agonisingly close Group 1 losses – that battle with Enable in the King George will live long in the mind, while he fell only a head short of Japan in the Juddmonte International.
Tough and genuine, Crystal Ocean is a half-brother to Group 1 winner Hillstar and out of a stakes-winning two-year-old.
Invincible Spirit – Madany (Acclamation)
Stands: Nunnery Stud
Eqtidaar had a host of Group 1 winners, among them Sands Of Mali, Sioux Nation and Unfortunately, behind him when successful in a deep edition of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
That was the crowning moment of a career for Sir Michael Stoute that also included a juvenile debut victory at Nottingham and runner-up effort to Invincible Army in the Pavilion Stakes.
Eqtidaar offers British breeders access to the Invincible Spirit sire line at an affordable fee. In addition, he is a half-brother to 2,000 Guineas runner-up Massaat and out of a dual-winning two- year-old.
FLAG OF HONOUR
Galileo – Hawala (Warning)
Stands: The National Stud
Trevor Hemmings’ purchase of Flag Of Honour has provided the National Stud with an interesting dual-purpose option for 2020.
Flag of Honour enjoyed his finest moment when defeating Latrobe to win the Irish St Leger, but lest we forget that he was also a high-class two-year-old whose two wins included the Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown.
As you would expect from a son of Galileo, five-time winner Flag Of Honour is well connected, being a half-brother to the Group 1-placed pair Air Chief Marshal and Foxtrot Romeo.
INNS OF COURT
Invincible Spirit – Learned Friend (Seeking The Gold)
Stands: Tally-Ho Stud
In a career that spanned four seasons, Inns Of Court retires as the winner of seven races from two to five years.
The son of Invincible Spirit was an extremely fast horse, as he demonstrated when running out the easy winner of last year’s Prix du Gros-Chene over five furlongs.
Yet he was also versatile for Andre Fabre, winning the Prix de Ris-Orangis over six furlongs and the Prix de la Porte Maillot and Prix du Palais-Royale over seven, the same distance over which he ran a close second in the Prix de la Foret. He was also only a short head adrift of winning the Prix Jacques le Marois.
Invincible Spirit – Rajeem (Diktat)
Stands: Yeomanstown Stud
By Invincible Spirit and out of Group 1 winner Rajeem, and therefore bred on the same cross as Cable Bay, Invincible Army lived up to those illustrious connections by developing into a high-class and hardy sprinter for James Tate.
In 19 starts, he won or was placed on 14 occasions, notably when taking the Sirenia Stakes at two, Pavilion Stakes at three and Duke of York and Chipchase Stakes at four. A lengthy resume also includes placings in the Gimcrack, Mill Reef, Molecomb, Sandy Lane and Flying Five Stakes.
No Nay Never – Theann (Rock Of Gibraltar)
Stands: Highclere Stud
Precocious, fast and tough – Land Force was an early flagbearer for No Nay Never, packing in eight starts during his juvenile season for Aidan O’Brien. He was out early, winning his second start over six furlongs before running third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
From there, he went on to win the Tipperary Stakes before turning in an excellent performance to take the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
The first son of No Nay Never to stud, Land Force is a member of Trevor Stewart’s Cassandra Go family also responsible for Magical. Further back, it is the family of successful sire Verglas.
All the pro breeders inspecting FSS LAND FORCE (No Nay Never) at Crockfords, showing every day through Dec Sales. New for 2020! #trickledown #cheveleypark #johnokelly #davidpowell #stringston pic.twitter.com/AsgmcAOLQN
— Highclere Stud (@JakeJWarren) December 1, 2019
Siyouni – La Bugatty (Dr Fong)
Stands: Overbury Stud
British breeders will have access to one of the most upwardly mobile sire lines in 2020 with the addition of Le Brivido, a Group 1-placed son of the hot French stallion Siyouni.
Le Brivido is one of his highest rated sons, having struck in a 20-runner Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and fallen only a short head of Classic success in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains for Andre Fabre. This breeze-up graduate also had subsequent multiple Grade 1 winner Uni behind him when winning his sole start at two.
Invincible Spirit – Cabaret (Galileo)
In Magna Grecia, breeders have access to a top notch miler from the increasingly powerful Invincible Spirit sire line.
Out of a Group 3-winning two-year- old, Magna Grecia capped his own productive juvenile season with a victory over Phoenix Of Spain in the Vertem Futurity having previously run a close second to Persian King in the Autumn Stakes.
As a result, Magna Grecia headed into winter quarters as a major Classic hope and didn’t disappoint, returning on his seasonal debut to run out the wide- margin winner of the 2,000 Guineas at the expense of King Of Change.
Injury unfortunately compromised the rest of his career but, as that Classic victory proved, on his day this 340,000gns foal purchase was a rare miling talent.
New Approach – Khawlah (Cape Cross)
Stands: Dalham Hall Stud
They don’t come much better bred for the business than Masar, only the second Epsom Derby winner to retire to stud in Britain in the past decade.
Masar is out of a Group 2-winning descendant of the legendary Urban Sea – to whom he is also inbred – and therefore a relation to none other than Galileo and Sea The Stars.
Masar enjoyed his finest moment when denying Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion in the Derby but he was also an excellent two-year-old, one who was precocious enough to break his maiden in May of his juvenile year (when beating Invincible Army at Goodwood) en route to victory in the Solario Stakes.
He was also the nine-length winner of the Craven Stakes, again at the expense of Roaring Lion.
PHOENIX OF SPAIN
Lope De Vega – Lucky Clio (Key Of Luck)
Stands: Irish National Stud
Phoenix Of Spain turned in one of the performances of the season when making all to defeat Too Darn Hot and Magna Grecia to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
It was a display of relentless galloping that followed off the back of a good two- year-old season that featured a win in the Acomb Stakes and runner-up effort in the Vertem Futurity.
A member of the Shamardal sire line, Phoenix Of Spain is a half-brother to three stakes horses including multiple sprint winner Lucky Beggar.
Showcasing – Dijarvo (Iceman)
This brilliantly quick son of Showcasing promises to be a commercial option having been a fast and precocious individual.
He was out early for Archie Watson, winning his second start over five furlongs at Haydock en route to victory over 27 rivals in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
From there he went on to win the Prix d’Arenberg and Flying Childers Stakes before running only a neck short of Mabs Cross in the Prix de l’Abbaye – a terrific performance for a juvenile against his elders.
Soldier’s Call also turned in a number of strong performances as a three-year-old, notably when second to Battaash in the Nunthorpe Stakes and third in the King’s Stand Stakes.
STUDY OF MAN
Deep Impact – Second Happiness (Storm Cat)
Stands: Lanwades Stud
Lanwades Stud continues its successful association with the Niarchos family with the addition of their Prix du Jockey Club hero Study Of Man.
Successful on his only start at two, Study Of Man also captured the Prix Greffulhe at three and ran second in the Prix Ganay and Prix d’Ispahan at four.
The only British-based son of Japanese supersire Deep Impact, Study Of Man is bred on the same Storm Cat cross as Kizuna, the leading first-crop sire in Japan of 2019.
More importantly, however, he is also a grandson of the Niarchos’ outstanding racemare Miesque and therefore related to leading sire Kingmambo in addition to the promising Kentucky stallion Karakontie.
No Nay Never – Seeking Solace (Exceed And Excel)
Ten Sovereigns burst on1to the scene with a seven-length success on debut at the Curragh, a win that marked the start of an unbeaten juvenile campaign that also took in victories in the Middle Park – run in the third ever fastest time for the race – and Round Tower Stakes.
Speed was Ten Sovereigns’ primary asset at three, as was finely illustrated when he made most to land the July Cup from Group 1 winners Advertise and Fairyland.
He is the most accomplished son of the rapidly ascendant No Nay Never to date and therefore a member of the increasingly influential Scat Daddy sire line.
TOO DARN HOT
Dubawi – Dar Re Mi (Singspiel)
Stands: Dalham Hall Stud
Few horses of the recent era have been as exciting as Too Darn Hot. He was brilliant at two, when sweeping the Solario, Champagne and Dewhurst Stakes, the latter at the expense of Advertise and Anthony Van Dyck.
Although he lost his unbeaten record at three, he still ran some excellent races in defeat before bouncing back with victories in the Prix Jean Prat and Sussex Stakes.
Making him particularly exciting is the fact he is a son of Dubawi and multiple Group 1 winner Dar Re Mi. This has been an excellent family for his breeder Watership Down Stud, while it goes back to Delsy, the dam of none other than Darshaan.
Galileo – Waldlerche (Monsun)
Stands: Ballylinch Stud
In Waldgeist, Ballylinch Stud welcomes the first Arc winner to stud in Ireland in ten years.
Waldgeist’s defeat of Enable in that iconic European showpiece, in which Sottsass and Japan filled the minor places, will live long in the memory. However, he was also a top-class two- year-old who defeated four subsequent Group 1 winners in the Criterium de Saint- Cloud, and Classic-placed at three, when denied by only a short head in the Prix du Jockey-Club.
This tough and genuine performer, a member of Gestut Ravensberg’s ‘Waldrun’ family.
The German stallion ranks have been bolstered by the retirement of multiple Group 1 winner Best Solution to Gestut Auenquelle.
A fee of €6,500 provides access to a horse who not only struck twice at Group 1 level in Germany but also in the Caulfield Cup in Australia. This hardy character was also a Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed at two.
France, meanwhile, welcomes two high-class sprinters in City Light and Donjuan Triumphant.
City Light (Haras d’Etreham; €7,000), the first son of Siyouni to stud in France, came close to landing the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot when foiled by only the head of Merchant Navy. A seven-time winner, his most notable successes came in the Prix de Saint-Georges and Prix du Pin.
Donjuan Triumphant (€4,000) retires to Haras de la Barbottiere on a high having captured the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakesg. In all, the son of Dream Ahead won seven races, including at Group 2 level as a juvenile.
Joining Donjuan Triumphant at Haras de la Barbottiere is another tough performer in the Criterium de Saint- Cloud hero Robin Of Navan (€3,000).
Haras de la Haie Neuve’s new recruit is the regally-bred The Taj Mahal (€4,000), a Group 2-winning brother to Gleneagles from the immediate family of Giant’s Causeway.
Among the accomplished jumpers, Grade 1 winner Nirvana Du Berlais (€6,500) is new to Haras de la Hetraie, while Goliath Du Berlais (€7,500), winner of the Prix Ferdinand Dufaure, has retired to stand alongside his sire Saint Des Saints at Haras de la Tuilerie.
SPENDTHRIFT TO THE FORE IN THE US
A mere glance at the American intake of new stallions priced at $12,500 or above is enough to glean the increasing power of the Spendthrift Farm roster.
Spendthrift welcomes five new stallions to the farm this season, including a pair of Breeders’ Cup winners in Vino Rosso and Mitole.
Vino Rosso ($30,000) bowed out on a high, having captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic on his final start. That victory crowned an excellent four-year-old season for the son of Curlin that also featured first place finishes in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita and Jockey Club Gold Cup, in which he was disqualified and placed second.
Meanwhile in Mitole ($25,000), Spendthrift welcomes the only male horse in America to win four Grade 1 races on dirt in 2019 – namely the Churchill Downs Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap, Forego Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Equally effective from six furlongs to a mile, he retires as the winner of ten races.
Spendthrift’s powerful intake also includes Omaha Beach ($40,000), who is due to retire following another start or two early next year.
A War Front member of the influential Take Charge Lady clan, he was made favourite for the Kentucky Derby following his win in the Arkansas Derby only to succumb to an entrapped epiglottis in the days leading up to the race.
He returned in October to win the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes and later ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Outside of Spendthrift, any breeder looking for a versatility at an elite level has the option of Catholic Boy, Yoshida and World Of Trouble, all of whom mixed it effectively on dirt and turf.
Claiborne Farm’s dual Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy ($25,000) was a Graded stakes winner at two on both surfaces and returned at three to take the Belmont Derby on grass en route to victory in the Travers Stakes on dirt.
Hill ’n’ Dale Farm’s World Of Trouble ($15,000) was similarly versatile at the highest level, with his record highlighted by wins in the Jaipur Invitational Stakes (turf) and Carter Handicap (dirt). A fast horse, he retires to stand alongside his ascendant sire Kantharos.
As for Yoshida (WinStar Farm; $20,000), he captured the Old Forester Turf Classic before switching to dirt to take the Woodward Stakes. He becomes the first Kentucky-based son of leading Japanese stallion Heart’s Cry.
WinStar’s roster has also benefited from the addition of Florida Derby winner Audible ($25,000), one of the best sons sired by the hot Into Mischief.
Also likely to be popular is Catalina Cruiser ($20,000), a multiple Grade 2 winner from six furlongs to an extended mile. He has retired to stand alongside his sire Union Rags at Lane’s End Farm.