A recent breeding success story has been the setting of a record for individual two-year-old winners in a stallion’s crop, with the tally of juvenile winners this season for Irish-based sire Kodiac reaching 43 last weekend.
Kodiac reached this milestone in a very low-key manner, debutant Cry No More becoming his 43rd individual two-year-old winner of 2014 by taking a low-grade mid-winter juvenile race on the dirt at Taby in Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city. However, a winner is a winner, and Kodiac is now a record-breaker, as his tally of 43 has passed the previous best total for either Europe or North America, posted in 2010 by Invincible Spirit and in 2012 by another Irish-based sire, Kheleyf.
Remarkably, Invincible Spirit and Kodiac are three-quarter brothers. Each is a son of the 1990 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) winner Rafha, and both are by Danzig stallions, Invincible Spirit being by Green Desert and Kodiac by Danehill.
Invincible Spirit is now fully established as a stallion, and could soon be established as a sire of sires, with (as of 2015) his sons at stud including Lawman, Zebedee, Mayson, Kingman, Charm Spirit and his excellent Australian son I Am Invincible. He was an obvious stallion prospect from the outset, having been a Group 1-winning sprinter in his younger days courtesy of his victory in the Haydock Park Sprint Cup (which was, incidentally, the only Group 1 race won by Danehill).
Kodiac, by contrast, never won a Group or Listed race, with one of his victories coming in a maiden race and the other three being registered in handicap company. He did, admittedly, show some stakes race form, finishing second in a Group 3 sprint at Newbury and fourth of 17 behind Marchand D’Or in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over 1300m at Deauville in 2006.
Overall, though, Kodiac found his place at Tally Ho Stud in Ireland thanks largely to his pedigree. His first-season stud fee in 2007 was €5,000, dropping to €4,000 after a couple of years. However, it began to rise once he had started to have some runners, and by 2014 it had hit €10,000, courtesy of having a glut of winners (mainly in juvenile races) in 2013.
This year, though, has seen Kodiac’s success going through the roof. As the fact that he has been represented in 2014 by 43 individual juvenile winners implies, he has been prolifically successful – but his success has not been merely numerical, because he is responsible for Europe’s champion two-year-old filly, the Richard Hannon-trained Tiggy Wiggy, plus the Listed juvenile winners Kodi Bear (who also finished runner-up in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes) and Patience Alexander.
Kodiac’s tally of 43 individual winners is, as stated above, a record for Europe or North America, but it is not a world record: that is held by Sunday Silence, who was represented by 51 individual Japanese-conceived juvenile winners in 2004. Sunday Silence, of course, had died in August 2002, so those winners came from his penultimate crop.