Few topics attract more discussion than the prospects of young sires with their first crops on the ground.
The 2019 intake of stallions was typically strong, with the brilliant champion Roaring Lion heading a list that also included 2,000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior, a Breeders’ Cup Mile winner in Expert Eye and dual Qipco Champion Stakes hero Cracksman.
Below are those stallions with representation at the upcoming Goffs November and Tattersalls December Foal Sales.
Frankel – Rhadegunda (Pivotal)
Stands: Dalham Hall Stud
2019 fee: £25,000
The first son of Frankel to stud in Europe, this powerful galloper shared the 2018 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Award with Winx following his easy six-length win in that year’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. Cracksman was winning the race for the second time, having triumphed by seven lengths over Poet’s Word the year before.
Also successful in the Coronation Cup and Prix Ganay, Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred was unsurprisingly well received in his first season at stud, covering close to 150 mares including 1,000 Guineas heroine Speciosa and the Group 1 producers Kazeem and Posteritas.
Acclamation – Exemplify (Dansili)
Banstead Manor Stud.
2019 fee: £20,000
A member of Juddmonte’s Viviana family also responsible for 1,000 Guineas winner Special Duty, Expert Eye served early notice that he would live up to that illustrious heritage by winning his first two juvenile starts including the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood by almost five lengths.
He went on to justify Group 1 ambitions when closing his career with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile although he arguably also put up a performance of a similar calibre when scything through the field for a wide margin success in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Expert Eye, who shares his sire with Dark Angel, covered a full book of 140 mares in 2019, among them a dozen owned by Juddmonte. In all, his book consisted of 30 stakes winners and 73 black-type performers and/or producers.
Galileo – Massarra (Danehill)
2019 fee: €7,500
This quick son of Galileo enjoyed his finest moment when overcoming trouble in running to win the Superlative Stakes as a two-year-old, and also ran well in defeat when Group 1-placed on multiple occasions.
Crucially, however, he is a grandson of the exceptional producer Rafha and therefore related to leading sires Invincible Spirit and Kodiac. Another relation, Pride Of Dubai, has also made a bright start with his first runners in both hemispheres.
Dark Angel – Beatrix Potter (Cadeaux Genereux)
Stands: Dalham Hall Stud
2019 fee: £20,000
The champion three-year-old European sprinter of 2017, Harry Angel possessed blistering pace, which he put to good use when the dominant winner of the July Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup – the latter by four lengths. He was also high- class at two, when successful in the Mill Reef Stakes on only his second start.
By the ever popular Dark Angel, Harry Angel hails from a quick, live family as a half-brother to last year’s Mill Reef winner Pierre Lapin and relation to this season’s Middle Park Stakes scorer Supremacy.
Havana Gold – Blanc De Chine (Dark Angel)
Stands: Whitsbury Manor Stud
2019 fee: £8,000
A fast representative of the Galileo sire line, Havana Grey was precocious enough to win the Molecomb Stakes and run second in the Prix Morny at two yet trained on to win the Flying Five Stakes at three.
A tough horse who won six races in all for Karl Burke, he has benefitted from the support of Whitsbury Manor Stud, who sent him over 30 of their own mares to enhance his 145-strong first book. They included the stakes producers Copy-Cat and Satsuma, whose foals are both catalogued to the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.
Kitten’s Joy – Trensa (Giant’s Causeway)
Stood: Dalham Hall Stud
2019 fee: £7,500
Hawkbill stood his first season in Britain under the Darley banner at Dalham Hall Stud following a globe-trotting career highlighted by victories in the Eclipse Stakes and Dubai Sheema Classic.
A ten-time winner overall, the well- related son of Kitten’s Joy was switched to Darley Japan for the 2020 season.
Exceed And Excel – Whazzat (Daylami)
Stands: Rathbarry Stud
2019 fee: €7,000
Another high-profile relation to leading sires Invincible Spirit and Kodiac, James Garfield came to hand early for George Scott, for whom he progressed through a busy juvenile campaign to win the Mill Reef Stakes. He also showed Group 1 form at three when second in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, having previously taken the Greenham Stakes.
Iffraaj – Mike’s Wildcat (Forest Wildcat)
Stood: Kildangan Stud
2019 fee: €8,000
By the same sire as Wootton Bassett, Jungle Cat was a globe-trotting sprinter for Godolphin who won the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Australia. After a single season at Kildangan Stud, he made a permanent switch to New Zealand.
Kodiac – Querulous (Raven’s Pass)
Stands: Tally-Ho Stud
2019 fee: €8,000
The strong inroads made by Kodiac as a sire of sires this season bodes well for the prospects of Kessaar, the first son to stand alongside his sire at Tally-Ho Stud.
Kessaar raced for just a single season at two but packed a fair amount into that campaign as the winner of three of seven starts, including the Mill Reef and Sirenia Stakes.
A good-looker in the mould of his sire, he was well supported in his first season, which is borne out by the presence of 24 entries across the Goffs November and Tattersalls December Foal Sales.
Pivotal – Atlantic Destiny (Royal Academy)
Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud
2019 fee: £8,500
This admirable son of Pivotal gained his finest success for Qatar Racing in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. Tough and durable, he won seven races during a lengthy career that also featured back- to-back wins in the Celebration Mile and placings in the Lockinge Stakes.
Teofilo – Madany (Acclamation)
Stands: Mickley Stud
2019 fee: £5,000
Massaat ran second in both the 2,000 Guineas and Dewhurst Stakes before gaining a deserved Pattern race success in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
As that record suggests, Massaat possessed plenty of pace, as might be expected of an individual who shares his dam, the 6f winner Madany, with Group 1-winning sprinter Eqtidaar.
Mastercraftsman – Fringe (In The Rings)
Stood: GG Bloodstock and Racing
2019 fee: £2,000
Few horses boast such a durable profile as Master Carpenter, who packed in 53 starts over six seasons. Precocious enough to become Mastercraftsman’s first winner as a two-year-old, he won seven races in total including the Prix Daphnis at Chantilly.
He is another member of the prolific Rafha family and after commencing his stud career with GG Bloodstock and Racing, now stands under the LM Stallions banner in Dorset.
Poet’s Voice – Whirly Bird (Nashwan)
Stood: Nunnery Stud
2019 fee: £7,000
Poet’s Word, who is now plying his trade as a dual-purpose stallion at Boardsmill Stud, was an admirable performer for Sir Michael Stoute, winning seven races including the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and King George, in which he showed a fine atttitude to run down Crystal Ocean.
A grandson of Dubawi, he is also a relation to successful sire Inchinor and good-looking to go with it, as his 300,000gns yearling price tag suggests.
Choisir – Bunditten (Soviet Star)
Stands: The National Stud
2019 fee: £5,000
Rajasinghe had the likes of Romanised and U S Navy Flag behind him when winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in a quick time. He also shares his sire, speed influence Choisir, with the successful Starspangledbanner and hails from a fast family.
Kitten’s Joy – Vionnet (Street Sense)
Stood: Tweenhills Farm & Stud
2019 fee: £40,000
A brilliant and versatile performer, the much-missed Roaring Lion captured the hearts of the racing public with wins in the Juddmonte International, Eclipse, Irish Champion and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Sadly, the charismatic grey succumbed to colic during a shuttle trip to New Zealand after just one season at stud. According to early returns received by Weatherbys, there are over 100 foals on the ground from that sole crop, among them the progeny of Group 1 winners such as Giofra, Golden Lilac, Just The Judge and Simple Verse. The latter, a filly, is one of seven entries for the sire to the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.
Deep Impact – Maybe (Galileo)
2019 fee: €30,000
The rivalry between Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion was one of the great themes of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Saxon Warrior had the measure of his old rival on two occasions, namely when capping an unbeaten two-year- old season with a victory in the Racing Post Trophy before landing the 2,000 Guineas at three.
He also ran a neck second to Roaring Lion in both the Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes.
The first son of Deep Impact to retire to stud in Europe, Saxon Warrior is out of a fast Galileo in Maybe, the European champion two-year-old filly of 2011.
He covered 165 mares in his first season, including the Group 1 winners and/or producers Cassandra Go, Gilt Edge Girl, Homecoming Queen and Love And Bubbles, and boasts 20 entries across the Goffs and Tattersalls foal sales.
Scat Daddy – Catch The Blues (Oasis Dream)
2019 fee: €12,500
One of the busiest first-crop sires of 2019 as the recipient of 241 mares, Sioux Nation owes much of his popularity to the fact that he is a good-looking son of Scat Daddy who possessed the precocious talent to pull off the Phoenix – Norfolk Stakes double. He was also a Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed at three.
It’s a commercial profile and indeed, there will be no shortage of opportunity to secure a foal by the stallion this winter given he has close to 40 entries across both sales.
Scat Daddy – Prairie Maiden (Badger Land)
Stands: Starfield Stud
2019 fee: €5,000
Another representative of the ever- popular Scat Daddy, himself already well regarded as a sire of sires via the deeds of No Nay Never, Smooth Daddy was a high-class turf runner in his native US where his four victories included the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park. He covered 71 mares in his debut season.
Showcasing – Bird Key (Cadeaux Genereux)
Stands: Nunnery Stud
2019 fee: £6,000
Tasleet was bred to be fast as a Showcasing relation to Battaash and he proved to be exactly that for William Haggas, winning five races over 6 to 7 furlongs.
A tough horse, he won stakes races at two, three and four years, notably the Duke Of York Stakes as a four-year-old; that productive season also included placings in the 32Red Sprint Cup, Diamond Jubilee and British Champions Sprint Stakes.
Tasleet was full for his first season in 2019 with a book that included 17 stakes performers. He is particularly well represented in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale as the sire of 23 entries.
U S Navy Flag
War Front – Misty For Me (Galileo)
2019 fee: €25,000
This regally-bred son of War Front became the first horse since Diesis 35 years before to pull off the Dewhurst – Middle Park Stakes double. Not only that, those performances came at the end of a busy 11-race juvenile season which preceded a three-year-old campaign highlighted by a win in the July Cup.
U S Navy Flag’s terrific pace was utilised to great effect that day as he made all under Ryan Moore, yet he was also versatile enough to finish second in the Irish 2,000 Guineas over a mile.
Out of a dual champion in Misty For Me who also produced multiple Group 1 winner Roly Poly, U S Navy Flag covered 119 mares in his first season, including 22 black-type performers.
Society Rock – Unfortunate (Komaite)
Stood: Cheveley Park Stud
2019 fee: £7,500
The only son of the much-missed Society Rock at stud, champion Unfortunately further emphasised his sire’s loss to the European stallion industry by winning the Prix Morny in the fastest time for a decade.
Also winner of the Renaissance Stakes at three, Unfortunately was well supported in his first season by owners Cheveley Park Stud, whose Tattersalls’ draft includes a relation to Golden Horde. He stood the past season at Oak Lodge Stud in Ireland.
Zoffany – How’s She Cuttin (Shinko Forest)
Stands: Bearstone Stud
2019 fee: £6,000
Precocious enough to break his maiden in April of his juvenile year, Washington DC went on to win the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot to open a career that would ultimately consist of six wins in 32 starts.
Along the way, he also struck in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes and was Group 1-placed in the Prix de l’Abbaye, Commonwealth Cup and Phoenix Stakes.
The sole son of Zoffany at stud in either Britain or Ireland, Washington DC hails from the further family of successful sire Grand Lodge.
Northern Meteor – Zouzou (Redoute’s Choice)
Stands: Tweenhills Farm & Stud
2019 fee: £25,000
Zoustar is not technically a first-crop sire, having begun his stud career in Australia. But such has been his success Down Under, where he was champion first and second-crop sire, that co-owners Qatar Racing took the decision to shuttle the Group 1-winning sprinter in 2019.
To date, Zoustar is the sire of 15 stakes winners headed by Sunlight, who led home a sweep of the top three placings for the stallion when successful in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes at Flemington.
Zoustar covered a full book of 149 mares in his first season at Tweenhills Farm & Stud, including 60 black-type performers, and is represented by 23 entries in the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, among them a half-sister to Golden Horde.
Young stars add spice to French ranks
As a champion son of Sea The Stars from the Classic Niarchos family of Light Shift, Cloth Of Stars (Haras du Logis) offers a significant package against a relatively lowly fee of €7,500. He enjoyed his finest moment when successful in the Prix Ganay yet his lengthy race record also ranges from a Group 1 placing at two to a pair of placed efforts in the Arc.
Sea The Stars is also the sire of Mekhtaal (HarasdeBouquetot:€4,000), the 2017 Prix d’Ispahan winner who is related to Group 1 sires White Muzzle and Almutawakel.
Cloth Of Stars and Mekhtaal sit among an interesting group of stallions with first foals who stood for €4,000 or above in either France or Germany.
Champion miler Recoletos (Haras du Quesnay; €8,000) is another to boast an enticing Group 1 profile. Effective over a mile to 10f, he won the Prix du Moulin and Prix d’Ispahan in a career that consisted of seven wins. Durability was also a theme in the career of Taareef (Haras du Meeray; €6,000), who won consecutive renewals of the Prix Daniel Wildenstein.
Grosser Preis von Berlin winner Dschingis Secret (€4,000) was another to mix it with the best over a long career. The highest-rated son of Germany’s champion sire Soldier Hollow, he was one of two new horses to Haras de Saint Arnoult for the 2019 season alongside Seabhac (€5,000), a Grade 3-winning son of Scat Daddy.
Scat Daddy blood is also represented by Champagne Stakes winner Seahenge (Haras de la Haie Neuve; €5,000). Also third in the Dewhurst Stakes, he covered 104 mares in his first year.
Of the stallions who were available in Germany, Iquitos (Gestut Ammerland: €6,000) brings elite form to the table as a triple Group 1 winner who defeated 22 Group 1 winners during his career. Gestut Hofgut Heymann, meanwhile, stood Prix du Muguet winner Jimmy Two Times (€5,000), prior to his switch to Haras de Montaigu. He shares his sire, Kendargent, with this year’s leading French first-crop sire Goken.
All eyes on Triple Crown hero Justify
All eyes in North America will be on the first crop of Justify (Ashford Stud; $150,000), who has 20 entries catalogued across the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton November Sales. The only undefeated winner of the Triple Crown, breeders can’t get enough of the imposing Justify, as illustrated by a first book that consisted of 252 mares.
Adding further fuel to Justify’s profile is his status as the best son of Scat Daddy. That same blood is also on offer at Ashford via Mendelssohn ($35,000), a $3 million yearling who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and UAE Derby. Not only that, he is a half-brother to Into Mischief, the dominant North American stallion of the current era; little wonder then that Mendelssohn matched Justify’s popularity in his first season as the recipient of 252 mares.
Another major three-year-old player of 2019, Good Magic (Hill ’n’ Dale Farm; $35,000), attracted 164 mares in his debut season. A million dollar yearling, the son of Curlin was crowned the champion North American two- year-old of 2019 and won the Haskell Invitational after running second to Justify in the Kentucky Derby at three.
It also promises to be an important winter sales season for Lane’s End Farm, which launched the stud careers of three high-profile names in 2019.
In $5.6 million earner City Of Light ($40,000), the farm offers a four-time Grade 1 winner over 7f – 9f who is a son of their own excellent stalwart sire Quality Road.
West Coast ($35,000), by Flatter, also won close to $6 million, his championship record fuelled by wins in the Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby.
In terms of earnings, however, no new horse of 2019 could match the farm’s concluding member of the trio, Accelerate ($25,000), the winner of $6.7 million. A tough son of Lookin At Lucky, Acclerate won five Grade 1 races during a golden five-year-old campaign that was capped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Justify wasn’t the only Kentucky Derby winner to retire in 2019 since WinStar Farm welcomed the arrival of Always Dreaming ($25,000), the 2018 victor. With 165 mares in his first book, he was another popular newcomer of 2019, as was Spendthrift Farm’s dual Grade 1-winning two-year-old Bolt d’Oro ($25,000), who covered no less than 214.
From an European standpoint, it could pay to keep an eye on multiple Grade 1 winner Oscar Performance (Mill Ridge Farm; $20,000), a track record-setting miling son of Kitten’s Joy who raced without the assistance of the raceday medication Lasix.
Airdrie Stud’s Collected ($17,500) should also be of international interest given he is the best son of City Zip, a stallion who produces winners on all surfaces, and from the family of Blushing Groom. Grade 1 winners such as Arrogate and Accelerate were among Collected’s victims during a career that was highlighted by a win in the Pacific Classic.