From champions such as St Mark’s Basilica and Starman to the Classic-winning dual-purpose horses Logician and In Swoop, breeders have a host of new names to choose from this season.
Society Rock – Motion Lass (Motivator)
Stands: Newsells Park Stud. Fee: £7,500
A product of Tally-Ho Stud’s high-class production line, A’Ali is a member of the third and final crop of the star-crossed Society Rock, who spent just three seasons at the County Westmeath farm before succumbing to laminitis. His price rose from £35,000 as a yearling to £135,000 at two when sold to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale.
Although narrowly beaten on debut, A’Ali quickly made up into one of the best of his generation with victories in the Norfolk Stakes, Prix Robert Papin and Flying Childers Stakes. He proved he was more than just a smart juvenile by returning at three to record a comfortable success in the Coral Charge and the Sapphire Stakes. Athletic, precocious and possessing an abundance of pace, he looks like a readymade commercial prospect.
“He was tough, consistent and fast,” says the stud’s general manager Julian Dollar. “He’s bloody good-looking too and obviously Society Rock looked like a very exciting young stallion before he was sadly taken away prematurely.
“He’s settled in well and he’s a remarkably chilled character. We’re going to get behind him and the people involved with him are very keen to support him too, including [racing owner] Shaikh Duaij Al Khalifa.”
A’Ali had been due to stand at Meadow Farm Stud but made the switch to Newsells Park after the Hertfordshire farm acquired a significant share.
“We’ve bought a leg in him,” explains Dollar. “We tried to get a bit more but the partners didn’t want to sell, which is fair enough. Graham is keen to stand stallions and to reinvigorate the stallion roster in the future.
“He said he liked the idea of A’Ali and asked me if I thought it would be a positive or a negative for Newsells Park. I said I think it’s a positive as he adds an extra dimension to what we’re offering and gives breeders, especially some of the smaller operators, what they’re looking for.
“We all know it’s difficult if you’re not one of the big guns breeding these horses or don’t have deep pockets, and it’s also hard to compete against the commercial Irish farms who have more mares to support their stallions, but to have a fast and precocious horse for British breeders is a big plus.”
Australia – Tanaghum (Darshaan)
Stands: Chapel Stud. Fee: £3,000
This high-class performer proved tough and talented during the course of four seasons in training with Andrew Balding and King Power Racing. He won four black type races, headed by a victory over Juan Elcano and Mohaafeth in the York Stakes. His race record also includes success in the bet365 Classic Trial, in which he defeated Technician, and a brace of Listed contests at Lingfield.
A yearling price tag of 500,000gns attests to his good looks, while his pedigree does plenty to enhance his appeal too. The son of Australia was bred by Barronstown Stud from Tanaghum, a Listed-placed daughter of Darshaan whose nine winning offspring include top-flight scorer Matterhorn. Another daughter is the dam of Ribchester, while Tanaghum is out of Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Mehthaaf, a descendant of the influential Fall Aspen.
Mount Nelson – Bianca De Medici (Medicean)
Standing: Knockhouse Stud. Fee: on application
The ill-fated Mount Nelson made a significant impact on National Hunt breeding, with his early Flat-bred crops yielding dual Cheltenham Festival hero Penhill and smart performers such as Get In The Queue, Havingagoodtime and Nelson’s Touch. He also covered sizeable books of jumps mares at Boardsmill Stud before his untimely death aged 15.
Breeders will gain access to one of his high-performing sons in 2022, as German Group 2 winner Boscaccio joins the roster at Knockhouse Stud in County Kilkenny. Bred by Gestut Fahrhof from a relative of Treve, Boscaccio won his first four races, including the Grosser Preis der Hannoverschen Volksbank-Derby Trial and the Oppenheim-Union-Rennen, a Group 2 contest won previously by the likes of Network and Sea The Moon. He was sent off a short-priced favourite for the German Derby but unfortunately suffered an injury during the race.
Cape Cross – Salacia (Echo Of Light)
Standing: Norton Grove Stud. Fee: £3,000
A tough and consistent performer, Century Dream won ten races during six seasons in training with Simon and Ed Crisford. Those included five victories at black-type level, including two Listed contests and a pair of Group 3s, while his career highlight came with a four-and-a-half length romp in the Celebration Mile Stakes in 2020.
He was also a close third behind Roaring Lion in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Bred by Rabbah Bloodstock, Century Dream is a sibling to three winners, most notably Queen Elizabeth II Stakes hero King Of Change.
Dee Ex Bee
Farhh – Dubai Sunrise (Seeking The Gold)
Standing: Arctic Tack Stud. Fee: €3,500
The Godolphin-bred son of Farhh won four races while under the care of Mark Johnston, including a brace of Group 3s in the Henry II and Sagaro Stakes. However, he will arguably be best remembered for his runner-up effort at Epsom in June 2018, when giving best only to Masar in the Derby.
At four, Dee Ex Bee developed into a high-class stayer, and connections can consider themselves a little unlucky to have been around at the same time as Stradivarius, to whom he was second in the Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup.
Although Farhh has had limited opportunities to make his mark in the National Hunt sphere, confidence can be taken from his strong German pedigree, which he shares with Fame And Glory, while he rates an important outcross option for many jumps mares.
Eagles By Day
Sea The Stars – Missunited (Golan)
Standing: Glenview Stud. Fee: poa
This high-class and well-bred stayer joins the National Hunt arm of the Cashman family’s Rathbarry and Glenview Studs. The 125,000gns yearling was bred by Vanessa Hutch from the owner’s popular dual purpose performer Missunited, whose 12 career victories included wins in the Lillie Langtry Stakes and Galway Hurdle.
Eagles By Day plainly inherited a good deal of his dam’s stamina, along with the class of his sire, as his career-best effort came when winning the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes over 14 furlongs at York. He was also third behind Japan in the King Edward VII Stakes and fourth to Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup.
Sea The Stars – Swizzle Stick (Sadler’s Wells)
Standing: Sunnyhill Stud. Fee: €3,000
The latest stallion to stand under the banner of Jack Cantillon’s Bloodstock.Racing rates a quite unique prospect as a Group 1-winning Flat performer whose siblings include a top-flight scorer from the National Hunt sphere. The 110,000gns Book 2 yearling won five Group races in Australia, headed by the Group 1 Australian Cup and three Group 2s.
He is out of Swizzle Stick, meaning he is not only bred on the fruitful Sea The Stars – Sadler’s Wells cross responsible for Taghrooda, but is a half-brother to Whiskey Sour, winner of the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle for Willie Mullins.
Adlerflug – Iota (Tiger Hill)
Standing: Coolmore National Hunt. Fee: TBC
The Gestut Schlenderhan homebred is the latest high-class Flat performer to join the Coolmore National Hunt roster, following the likes of Crystal Ocean, Maxios and Order Of St George. He won four races for Francis-Henri Graffard, most notably the German Derby, in which he beat Arc hero Torquator Tasso by a ready three-quarters of a length.
He also finished runner-up to Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris before a career-best effort on ratings when a fast-finishing second, beaten just a neck, by Sottsass in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
He is by the late German champion sire Adlerflug, whose influence appeared to be on the rise when he died unexpectedly at the age of 17 in April 2021. Moreover, In Swoop is out of Iota, a four-length winner of the Preis der Diana, and a brother to Ito, who defeated Prince Gibraltar to land the Grosser Preis von Bayern.
Free Eagle – Thermopylae (Tenby)
Standing: Lacken Stud. Fee: €2,000
High Chaparral’s influence on the National Hunt sphere has been showcased to outstanding effect by the ten-time Grade 1 winner Altior, and breeders now have access to a grandson in Lacken Stud’s Khalifa Sat. The son of Free Eagle, who has also caught the imagination of jumps breeders from his berth at the Irish National Stud, is best remembered for finishing second to Serpentine in the 2020 Derby, while he also landed the Cocked Hat Stakes. He is closely related to St Leger runner-up Unsung Heroine.
Frankel – Scuffle (Daylami)
Standing: Shade Oak Stud: Fee: £4,000
The first Group 1 winner by Frankel to sport Prince Khalid Abdullah’s silks, Logician hails from a typically deep Juddmonte family. He is one of four black-type performers out of his stakes-placed dam, who in turn is a half-sister to talented runners and useful stallions Bated Breath and Cityscape.
Although Logician did not debut until the May of his three-year-old season, he rapidly made up for lost time by going undefeated that campaign. This run included a victory the Great Voltigeur Stakes on just his fourth outing before he claimed the St Leger less than four months after his debut.
That Classic-winning performance saw him readily dismiss Sir Ron Priestly, Nayef Road and Sir Dragonet with a classy display of resolute galloping that will doubtless have endeared him to plenty of National Hunt breeders. A life-threatening attack of peritonitis heavily impacted what he would later achieve as a mature horse.
Lope Y Fernandez
Lope De Vega – Black Dahlia (Dansili)
Standing: The National Stud. Fee: £8,500
The first son of Lope De Vega to stand in Britain is residing at the National Stud, who has joined forces with Whitsbury Manor Stud and Nick Bradley Racing to launch its latest recruit. If price is any guide then Lope Y Fernandez possesses some serious good looks as he cost Coolmore’s MV Magnier €900,000 as an Arqana yearling.
The half-brother to Vintage Stakes winner Dark Vision was sent into training with Aidan O’Brien and highlighted his talent at two by running second to Pinatubo in the Chesham Stakes before winning the Round Tower Stakes.
While he would have to wait until his four-year-old reappearance to get his head in front again in the Heritage Stakes, he was placed at the top level four times at three behind Siskin, Pinatubo, Space Blues and Order Of Australia in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, Prix Jean Prat, Prix Maurice de Gheest and Breeders’ Cup Mile respectively, and was also second to Palace Pier in the Queen Anne the following year.
Lope De Vega – Queen Of Carthage (Cape Cross)
Standing: Irish National Stud. Fee: €15,000
Another son of Lope De Vega new for 2022 is Lucky Vega, a €175,000 buy by BBA Ireland with Yulong Investments who is out of a daughter of Prix de l’Opera heroine Satwa Queen. Five races at two highlighted that Lucky Vega was a high-class talent. He won the Phoenix Stakes by three-and-a-half lengths on just his third outing and finished runner-up to Supremacy in the Middle Park Stakes.
He reached the frame in three Group 1s at three, when third and fourth in the Anglo-Irish 2,000 Guineas respectively before signing off with a runner-up effort to Poetic Flare in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Although new to the Irish National Stud, Lucky Vega already has a covering season under his belt, having shuttled to his owner’s Yulong Stud in Australia.
Breeders can be confident that Yusheng is firmly behind the horse, as he has been busy sourcing mares for his 2022 book, including the €825,000 Goffs November Sale top lot Plying, dam of Alcohol Free.
“Mr Zhang needed a stallion to go down to Australia so he took the hard decision to take the horse out of training midway through his three-year-old season,” says Donohoe. “Mr Zhang is very much of the belief that we didn’t see the best of Lucky Vega and he’s willing to back his belief by supporting the horse at stud.
“Certainly the likes of Plying and the precocious Pivotal and Siyouni types we’ve bought will go to him, and there’s some choice Galileo mares we’ve bought too. The cream of those will all be going to Lucky Vega. Mr Zhang is going to support the breeders who send mares to the horse too, be that the yearling sales or the foal sales.”
Although Lucky Vega shuttled to Australia shortly after he placed in the Anglo-Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes, Donohoe says the horse has plainly remained fresh in breeders’ minds.
“It’s always a concern when you take a horse away in the middle of their racing career but he certainly wasn’t forgotten about. The reaction has been amazing, all the top breeders are supporting him and they’re not just sending him any old mares, it’s looking like a very nice book.”
Donohoe adds: “He always showed a lot of speed in his work and when he won the Phoenix, but a lot of it was his guts and determination, that’s what I think saw him stay the mile. I think he’ll be more of a speed influence at stud though.”
Teofilo – Belle Josephine (Dubawi)
Standing: Groomsbridge Stud. Fee: £1,500
A typically hardy Mark Johnston-trained runner, Mildenberger won seven times from 24 starts during a career that spanned five seasons in training. He won twice over seven furlongs at two and took the Stonehenge Stakes when upped to a mile. He claimed his second Listed contest in the Feilden Stakes at three and ultimately stayed as far as an extended two miles later in his career. He is a son of Teofilo, who is responsible for stallion sons such as the Group 1 sire Havana Gold.
Frankel – Heat Haze (Green Desert)
Standing: Castlefield Stud. Fee: €3,500
The first son of Frankel to stand in Ireland offers National Hunt breeders plenty of bang for their buck, boasting pedigree, performance and physique. Mirage Dancer hails from one of Juddmonte’s best families, being one of four black-type performers out of Matriarch and Beverly D Stakes heroine Heat Haze, whose siblings include fellow Group/Grade 1 winners Banks Hill, Cacique, Champs Elysees and Intercontinental, as well as leading sire Dansili, who in turn are out of the blue hen Hasili.
The strapping dark bay was a high-class performer for Sir Michael Stoute, winning a Doncaster maiden at two before finding his niche over a mile and a half. He won two Listed contests at Goodwood and also landed the Glorious Stakes at the same course. He switched to the Australian stable of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young midway through his four-year-old season and went on to claim the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick.
Kodiac – Chibola (Roy)
Standing: Irish National Stud. Fee: €6,000
Kodiac’s emergence as a sire of sires continues apace, with Ardad, Coulsty, Kodi Bear and Prince Of Lir all siring a slew of significant stakes winners and Group 1 performers. Those exploits will doubtless help Nando Parrado prove popular with breeders, and there is more than just the identity of his sire to recommend him.
Pinhooked by Ballyphilip Stud at 165,000gns, Nando Parrado was retained to race by Paul and Marie McCartan and repaid their faith – and investment – by shedding his maiden tag in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although that proved to be his sole victory from ten starts, he was also runner-up in the Prix Morny, behind Campanelle, and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, behind Sealiway.
His first three dams are all Group 1 performers or producers, including the Argentinian-bred Chibola, who has produced three black type performers and is a sister to South American Group 1 winner Chollo.
Kingman – Beach Frolic (Nayef)
Standing: Dalham Hall Stud. Fee: £55,000
This outstanding miler rates one of the most exciting recruits to stud anywhere in the world in 2022. He is the highest-rated son of sire sensation Kingman, having won nine of his 11 starts for John Gosden, who purchased Palace Pier as a yearling for 600,000gns.
Bred by Highclere Stud and the Duke of Roxburghe’s Floors Farming, Palace Pier is the third foal out of Beach Frolic, a half-sister to Group 2 winners Bonfire and Joviality who topped the December Mares Sale in 2020 when sold to Coolmore for 2,200,000gns.
Palace Pier went unbeaten through his first five starts, a run that culminated with victories in the St James’s Palace Stakes over Pinatubo and the Prix Jacques le Marois, in which he defeated Alpine Star, Circus Maximus and Persian King.
He returned at four and added three further Group 1 victories to his record, with consummate performances in the Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes alongside a second Prix Jacques le Marois. He signed off with a game second to the unbeaten Baaeed in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Kingman – Go Lovely Rose (Pivotal)
Standing: March Hare Stud. Fee: £5,500
A €650,000 yearling buy by Roger Varian, Roseman did not debut until the April of his three-year-old season but went on to record a facile Nottingham novice victory before running second to King Of Comedy in the Heron Stakes. He rounded off his campaign with an impressive defeat of Century Dream and Accidental Agent in the Ben Marshall Stakes at Newmarket.
He returned at four to be beaten just a head by The Revenant in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Not only is he a son of the hugely promising Kingman, but is out of a Pivotal sister to champion three-year-old filly Immortal Verse, whose owner daughter Tenebrism landed the Cheveley Park Stakes. The pedigree traces back to Kilfrush Stud celebrities such as Last Tycoon and the Beauty Is Truth clan of Hermosa, Hydrangea and The United States.
Authorized – Wadyhatta (Cape Cross)
Standing: Castlehyde Stud. Fee: TBC
Authorized has shown himself to be a real force in the National Hunt sphere, not least through dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll and the high-class pair Nichols Canyon and Goshen. Although the Derby winner has relocated to Turkey to continue his stallion career, breeders now have access to a Derby-winning son from a champion, stallion-making family.
Santiago’s fifth dam is Allegretta, meaning the likes of Urban Sea, Galileo, Sea The Stars and King’s Best appear on his page. Moreover, he is out of Wadyhatta, a half-sister to three black type performers who in turn is out of a half-sister to Tamayuz.
Bred by Lynch Bages, Santiago went into training with Aidan O’Brien and broke his maiden over a mile at two. He kicked off his Classic season by winning the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, then dropped back to 12 furlongs to claim the Irish Derby. He proved he stayed two miles when third to Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup.
Dubawi – Miss Lucifer (Noverre)
Standing: Kildangan Stud. Fee: €17,500
A hardy, versatile and most progressiver performer, Space Blues developed into a thoroughly likeable sort during his 19-race career with Charlie Appleby, with his smooth-travelling style and decisive turn of foot carrying him to 11 victories, including three at the highest level.
He beat Private Secretary and Technician to win his sole start at two and won an Epsom Listed contest at three, when he also placed behind Too Darn Hot and Advertise in French Group 1s. His upward trajectory was maintained at four when he readily landed the Lennox Stakes and his first Group 1, the Prix Maurice de Gheest, in which he beat Hello Youmzain, Lope Y Fernandez and Earthlight.
He was kept in training at five and rewarded connections with four more successes, including in a heavy-ground Prix de la Foret and the Breeders’ Cup Mile, which was run on firm Del Mar turf.
He is arguably Dubawi’s fastest son, which should make him popular with breeders considering the sireline has supplied promising types such as Night Of Thunder and New Bay in recent years. He is a half-brother to Group 2 winner Shuruq and out of Miss Lucifer, who shares her page with Zomaradah, dam of Dubawi. He is inbred 5×4 to Sunbittern and 4×4 to Shirley Heights.
Dutch Art – Northern Star (Montjeu)
Standing: Tally-Ho Stud. Fee: €17,500
The O’Callaghan family’s Tally-Ho Stud has applied its midas touch to the stallion careers of rags-to-riches stars such as Kodiac and Mehmas in recent times, and 2022 sees the operation launch arguably its best credentialed new recruit yet.
David Ward’s homebred may not be as precocious as his stud-mates Cotai Glory or Mehmas, but when he reached the racecourse in the July of his three-year-old season he wasted little time showcasing his talent, with three straight victories capped by the Garrowby Stakes.
At four, he won the Duke of York Stakes before his finest hour came in a competitive renewal of the July Cup, which he won impressively by a length and a quarter. That was his fifth and final victory, although he was also placed in the Prix Maurice de Gheest and, when beaten just a short head, the Haydock Sprint Cup. He is out of the useful Montjeu mare Northern Star, whose first foal is the Group 3-placed Sunday Star.
St Mark’s Basilica
Siyouni – Cabaret (Galileo)
Standing: Coolmore. Fee: €65,000
Coolmore added just one new name to their Flat roster for 2022, but the addition is an important one in the blue-blooded, five-time Group 1 winner St Mark’s Basilica. Bred by Bob Scarborough, he cost MV Magnier 1,300,000gns as a Book 1 yearling, and with good reason.
Not only is he a superb model by the increasingly influential Siyouni, but he is out of the Galileo mare Cabaret, which makes him a half-brother to Vertem Futurity Trophy and 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia.
A five-race juvenile campaign ended with St Mark’s Basilica being crowned champion two-year-old after he ran out a decisive winner of the Dewhurst Stakes. That performance promised plenty for his Classic campaign and he delivered in spades, going unbeaten in four Group 1 contests in three different countries.
His record includes two French Classics, namely the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Prix du Jockey Club, while he readily defeated his elders Addeybb and Mishriff in the Coral-Eclipse. He brought the curtain down on his racing days with victory in the Irish Champion Stakes, when he repelled Tarnawa and Poetic Flare with a potent turn of foot and a teak-tough attitude.
Mehmas – Triggers Broom (Arcano)
Standing: Yeomanstown Stud. Fee: €12,500
Yeomanstown Stud has achieved big things with one Middle Park Stakes winner from the Acclamation sire line, with the operation’s linchpin stallion Dark Angel having sired nine Group/Grade 1 winners among 149 stakes performers.
Now another horse with that profile joins the County Kildare farm for 2022 in Supremacy. A typically shrewd Clive Cox purchase at £65,000, the Group 1-winning two-year-old is a son of Tally-Ho’s sire sensation Mehmas and hails from a family the trainer has done well with before too as dam is a sibling to Group 1 winner Xtension and the dam of champion sprinter Harry Angel.
As well as his game defeat of Lucky Vega in the Middle Park Stakes, Supremacy also landed the Richmond Stakes, a race he won by no less than four lengths.
Kodiac – Ladylishandra (Mujadil)
Standing: Mickley Stud. Fee: £5,000
Another precocious son of Kodiac joining the stallion ranks for 2022 is Ubettabelieveit, who gamely held off Sacred to win the 2020 Flying Childers Stakes. His victory in the Doncaster Group 2 was one of three two-year-old successes for the Nigel Tinkler-trained colt, who also won a novice on Town Moor before he comfortably claimed the Listed National Stakes.
He was bred by Ringfort Stud from the Mujadil mare Ladylishandra, making him a sibling to three black type performers, including the Group 3 scorers Harlem Shake and Tropical Paradise, as well as the Listed-winning Shenanigans. Although Covid-related disruption meant he never made the two-year-old sales, Ubettabelieveit is a product of the Church Farm and Horse Park Stud breeze-up academy, who purchased the youngster for 50,000gns as a Book 1 yearling.
GROUP 1 TALENT ON SHOW ACROSS EUROPE
Victor Ludorum, winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at two and Poule d’Essai des Poulains at three, rates the most expensive new recruit to the French stallion ranks for 2022, with the dual Group 1 winner introduced at Haras du Logis at a fee of €15,000. The son of Shamardal, who is inbred 3×3 to Helen Street, defeated Alson to win the Lagardere, and that son of German stalwart sire Areion joins the roster at Gestut Fahrhof (€6,000).
Alson, who is being stood in partnership between Fahrhof and his breeder’s Gestut Schlenderhan, rounded out his two-year-old campaign with a 20-length defeat of Armory in the Criterium International.
Another new name among the German ranks is Juddmonte International and Grand Prix de Paris hero Japan, who will stand at Gestut Etzean (€11,000). The son of Galileo was a 1,300,000gns yearling and is a sibling to fellow Group 1 winner Mogul and high-class talents Secret Gesture and Sir Isaac Newton.
While Alson and Japan’s biggest successes came on the international stage, Windstoss, a newcomer to Gestut Rottgen (€4,000), plied his trade much closer to his new home having won the German Derby and Preis von Europa in 2017. The son of Scirocco is a half-brother to another German Derby winner in Weltstar.
Back in France, Haras de Colleville welcomes dual-purpose prospect Soft Light (€5,000), a Listed-winning and Group 2-placed son of Authorized whose siblings include talented sprinter City Light.
Around an hour south of Colleville is Haras de Montaigu, where Technician (€3,000) will begin his stud career. The son of Mastercraftsman developed into a high-class stayer at three, as evidenced by his length and a quarter victory in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak.
Armor’s racing career did not reach his three-year-old season, as the son of No Nay Never was retired to Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot at the conclusion of a juvenile campaign that included victory in the Molecomb Stakes and a close third in the Middle Park (€5,000).
Another high-achieving two-year-old joining the French ranks in 2022 is Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Mkfancy (€4,000), who is new to Haras de Saint Arnoult. The latest addition to Larissa Kneip’s operation has dual-purpose appeal, as he is by Makfi and out of a daughter of Muhtathir, who has made a significant impact on the National Hunt sphere through son Envoi Allen and sire son Doctor Dino.
STRONG EUROPEAN INFLUENCES AMONG KENTUCKY INTAKE
In terms of raw speed and talent, few retirees of recent years can match Knicks Go, who will stand at Taylor Made Farm for $30,000, writes Nancy Sexton.
One of six new horses to stand in Kentucky at $20,000 or above for 2022, the swift grey was a Grade 1-winning two-year-old but really came into his own at four and five for Brad Cox when rattling off wide-margin victories in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Whitney Stakes, Pegasus World Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic. Nor is the story over since the son of Paynter remains in training for the first few weeks of 2022 with an eye on another Pegasus World Cup.
Knicks Go has lost only one race on home soil since November 2019, that being last year’s Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap won by Claiborne Farm’s new recruit Silver State ($20,000), a son of the versatile Hard Spun.
Darley’s Jonabell Farm welcomes a pair of heavyweight homebreds in Essential Quality ($75,000) and Maxfield ($40,000), both winners of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland at two. Essential Quality, a son of noted sires of sires Tapit, went on to add the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to seal a championship two-year-old season and returned this year to capture the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes.
As for Maxfield, who stands alongside his sire Street Sense, he returned from injury to perform at the top level, with a recent win in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap the highlight.
The brilliantly fast Charlatan ($50,000), by Speightstown, retires to Hill ’n’ Dale Farm having made a deep impression thanks to wide-margin wins in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Malibu Stakes. As ever, Spendthrift Farm hosts an array of new horses, among them Grade 1 winners Basin ($7,500), Known Agenda ($10,000), Rock Your World ($10,000) and Yaupon ($30,000).
The most expensive is Yaupon by virtue of his victory in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes, which he won despite being savaged by Firenze Fire in the closing stages.
From an European perspective, the addition of Raging Bull ($10,000), a top miling son of Dark Angel, to Gainesway Farm should be worthy of attention. The Irish-bred was a tough horse, winning the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile, Hollywood Derby and Shoemaker Mile and filling the frame in another nine Grade 1 races. He retires to a farm that has traditionally fared well with turf milers – think Blushing Groom, Riverman and current incumbent Karakontie – and also boasts the powerful backing of owner Peter Brant.
Similarly, the connections behind Grade 1 Travers Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Code Of Honor ($10,000) have signalled their intent to support the horse, having spent $2.55 million on potential mates at the recent Keeneland November Sale. A son of Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, he stands at Lane’s End Farm.