Few areas of the stallion market come under as much scrutiny as each year’s new retirees. It stands to reason that breeders are keen to unlock a new piece of the pedigree puzzle; as we’ve seen this year, those who identified Havana Grey as a name worth getting behind have invariably been well rewarded, either in the ring or on the racetrack.
Of course, you can only make the right mating plans if you have availed yourself of all the relevant information on all the available options. We have compiled a comprehensive guide to this year’s new stallions, featuring detailed form and pedigree notes, and the occasional physical observation, to help you find the most suitable sire for your mare.
Acclamation line stallions
We will never know what would have happened if connections hadn’t taken the decision to geld Battaash, the highest-rated son of Dark Angel, midway through his two-year-old season. However, given he went on to prove a sprinter of the very highest calibre, winning 13 races and four Group 1s, breeders must’ve longed to produce offspring in his image.
In 2024 they will get the next best thing as The Antarctic, a full-brother to Battaash, is starting out at Coolmore’s Castlehyde Stud at a fee of €6,000.
As well as his eye-catching pedigree, being by Dark Angel and out of the Lawman mare Anna Law, The Antarctic clearly possesses model good looks, having cost Coolmore’s MV Magnier 750,000gns at Book 1. The pedigree might not be done improving too as breeder Paul McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud sold a Blue Point half-brother to Godolphin for 1,500,000gns in October.
The Antarctic won four races during his time at Ballydoyle, three of which were gained at two. He broke his maiden at Tipperary in April before following up a few weeks later at Naas. Next came the step up into stakes company. His biggest win at two came in the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg, a race won by the likes of Earthlight and Ervedya in the past. He twice reached the podium in Group 1s won by Blackbeard, finishing third in the Prix Morny and then runner-up in the Middle Park Stakes.
He added a fourth win to his record when he fought off Ocean Quest and Ocean Jewel to land the Group 3 Lacken Stakes at three.
Dark Angel is not the only name who has shown Acclamation’s prowess as a sire of sires; think Mehmas, Equiano and Aclaim. Acclamation has spent 20 seasons at the Cashman family’s Rathbarry Stud and in 2024 he will be joined by his son Bouttemont, who becomes the first son of Acclamation to retire to Ireland since Mehmas in 2017. Bouttemont will stand for €5,000.
He ran 26 times for trainer Yann Baberot, winning six races between the ages of two and five. He ran over a range of trips during the early stages of his career but really began to progress when connections settled on a sprinting campaign.
He beat the subsequent Group 3 scorer Spycatcher when he won a valuable conditions race at Newcastle in 2022 and took the step up to stakes company later in the season when he won the Group 3 Prix de Meautry. His sixth victory came in the Listed Prix Hampton over five furlongs at Chantilly, a race he won in a time of 56.18 seconds.
He was bred by Elisabeth Fabre’s Ecurie Peregrine from the Fastnet Rock mare Basilia, a winner over sprint trips herself and a half-sister to the Sha Tin Group 3 scorer Joyful Trinity.
Having retired to Tally-Ho Stud in 2007, Kodiac quickly established himself as a linchpin of the leading farm’s roster. His status continues on the rise with sons Ardad, Coulsty and Prince Of Lir having all sired top-level winners of their own in recent seasons. Now one of Kodiac’s seven Group 1-winning progeny is joining him at Tally-Ho with Good Guess being introduced at a fee of €17,500.
He was bought for owner Hisaaki Saito by Sebastien Desmontils’ Chauvigny Global Equine for 420,000gns at Book 1 and duly sent into training in Chantilly with Fabrice Chappet. Good Guess won his first two starts at two and ended his juvenile campaign by running third in the Listed Prix Zeddaan.
He continued his upward trajectory by winning the Group 3 Prix Djebel on his three-year-old reappearance. Good Guess produced his career-best performance in a hot renewal of the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, which he won by three lengths. Subsequent Prix du Moulin heroine Sauterne filled the runner-up spot, while Chaldean and Belbek were among those in behind.
Good Guess was bred by Cheveley Park Stud and is one of three black-type performers out of Zykina. His pedigree goes back to Cheveley Park Stud’s top-notch miler Russian Rhythm. Zykina is also by Pivotal, meaning Good Guess is bred on the same cross as dual Group 1-winning sprinter Fairyland.
The other new Danehill line option available to breeders is Capital Stud’s Castle Star. The son of Starspangledbanner was a high-performing two-year-old for Fozzy Stack, winning the Listed First Flier Stakes and the Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes. He ended a busy juvenile campaign by finishing second to Perfect Power in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes. He will stand his first season in County Kilkenny at a fee of €5,000.
There are no new sons of Galileo being added to the Flat stallion ranks in 2024, although the 12-time champion is still heavily represented by a whole host of male line descendants.
European breeders have access to four new stallions by Galileo’s best son, Frankel, including Chaldean, who retires to stand alongside his sire at Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud at a fee of £25,000.
Although the Andrew Balding-trained Chaldean ran in the Juddmonte silks and is now among the select few to have occupied a berth in the Banstead Manor stallion boxes, he was in fact bred by Whitsbury Manor Stud.
He is the best of five black-type performers out of the Harpers’ budding blue hen Suelita, the daughter of Dutch Art whose roll of honour includes speedy and precocious talents such as Mill Reef Stakes scorer Alkumait and his Listed-winning and Group 1-placed sibling Get Ahead, who sold to British breeding syndicate First Bloodstock for 2,500,000gns during the Tattersalls December Mares Sale.
Get Ahead is not the only member of the family to have changed hands for a significant sum, as Chaldean joined the Juddmonte fold at a cost of 550,000gns at the 2020 December Foal Sale. Two years later, Juddmonte went to 1,000,000gns to secure his Kingman half-sister.
Although Chaldean is a slightly different type physically, his race record bears some notable similarities to his sire as they are the only father-son duo to complete the Dewhurst Stakes and 2,000 Guineas double. Chaldean’s Dewhurst strike capped a productive juvenile campaign in which he also won the Group 3 Acomb Stakes and Group 2 Champagne Stakes. The smooth-walking chestnut is the only Group 1-winning two-year-old son of Frankel at stud in Europe.
Shadwell have relocated their British stallion roster to the historic Beech House Stud in Newmarket, where Frankel’s dual Group 1-winning son Mostahdaf joins Baaeed and Mohaather. On his race record alone Mostahdaf has strong claims of being one of the best value new sires in 2024 as the 128-rated newcomer has been introduced at just £15,000.
Mostahdaf didn’t debut until three but quickly made up for lost time by winning five races that season, with a Listed brace followed by a score in the Group 3 Darley Stakes. A steady but sustained rate of progress saw him claim two more Group 3 prizes at four, namely the Gordon Richards and September Stakes.
Mostahdaf, who was masterfully trained by John and Thady Gosden, returned at five and showed the full benefit of connections’ patient approach by winning two of the season’s most prestigious races. First he ran away with the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot to defeat the likes of Luxembourg and Adayar before he put Nashwa and Paddington in their place in the Juddmonte International.
His impressive racing CV is underpinned by striking good looks and a solid Shadwell pedigree. He is out of the Listed-winning Dubawi mare Handassa, making him a half-brother to the dual Group 1-winning miler Nazeef. His pedigree also features a pair of Group 1-winning sprinters in Goodricke and Pastoral Pursuits.
Triple Time may have been campaigned sparingly during his three- and four-year-old seasons but when he made the racecourse he showed himself to be a high-class talent.
He belatedly kicked his Classic term off with a comfortable success in the Group 3 Superior Mile Stakes and returned at four with a career-best victory. A deep field assembled for the 2023 Queen Anne Stakes, including the likes of Inspiral, Modern Games and Native Trail, but Triple Time had their measure and prevailed by a hard-fought neck. He gained the first two of his four career victories for Kevin Ryan at two, including the Listed Ascendant Stakes.
He is out of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s superb producer Reem Three, making him a sibling to no less than six black-type performers. These include the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet scorer Ajman Princess, Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein winner Ostilio and the Group 3-winning Cape Byron. An unraced sibling, Rosaline, hit the headlines this year as the dam of Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère winner Rosallion. The homebred son of Frankel joins Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud roster at £10,000.
The Irish National Stud will allow breeders to tap into a different branch of the Galileo sire line with the introduction of Mac Swiney, a dual Group 1-winning son of New Approach, who will stand at €8,000.
The Jim Bolger homebred was out by the June of his juvenile season and concluded that campaign by winning the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes. He may have been the lesser fancied of the Bolger pair in the following year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas but he kept on well to deny Poetic Flare, now a resident at the Shadai Stallion Station, by a short head.
He is out of the Teofilo mare Halla Na Saoire, which means he boasts Galileo on the top and bottom line of his pedigree, being inbred 2×3 to the breed-shaping son of Sadler’s Wells. His dam is closely related to 2011 Dewhurst winner Parish Hall, being a half-sister to that Group 1-winning two-year-old’s dam.
The Galileo sire line has taken root to such an extent that he already appears back in the third generation of El Caballo’s pedigree. The Karl Burke-trained Group 2 winner descends from Galileo through Teofilo and Havana Gold. He is the second son of Havana Gold to retire to stud, with the first being Whitsbury Manor’s rising star Havana Grey, and the first stallion to stand at Sophie Buckley’s Culworth Grounds Farm.
He was bred by Whitsbury Manor out of the useful Showcasing mare Showstoppa, making El Caballo a sibling to the black-type two-year-old performers Avengers Queen and Symbology. In turn, Showstoppa is a sibling to the Mill Reef Stakes scorer Temple Meads.
El Caballo followed the theme of his family by showing good form at two, but he proved even better at three when his four victories included a determined success in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes. He will stand for a fee of £6,000 in 2024.
Coolagown Stud’s latest recruit Kenway offers breeders access to one of the hottest crosses under either code.
He is by Galiway and out of a Kendargent mare, meaning he is bred on the same lines as the two-year-old Group 1-winning siblings Sealiway and Sunway, as well as Willie Mullins’ top-class hurdlers Vauban and Gala Marceau.
Kenway was precocious and speedy enough to win over six and a half furlongs at two and later stayed ten furlongs in stakes company. His biggest victory came at two when he defeated Wooded to land the Group 3 Prix la Rochette.
Although he is a grandson of Galileo, there is speed in his pedigree too as his dam won a Group 3 over six furlongs. He is standing in partnership with the Chehboub family of Haras de Beaumont and his fee has been set at €3,000.
Giant’s Causeway line
Another farm standing its first stallion in 2024 is Diamond Stud Bellewstown, which opens for business with Marie’s Diamond. The son of Footstepsinthesand is a hardy and clean-limbed individual who ran 65 times and won seven races during his time with Mark Johnston.
His biggest victory came at two when he won the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes by half a length from subsequent Grade 1 winner Viadera. He retired with two Listed victories to his name, including an all-the-way win in the Paradise Stakes by over four lengths. He also has a Group 1 placing on his record having finished third to Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne Stakes.
Marie’s Diamond, a €35,000 yearling, is a half-brother to Australian Listed winner Sikandarabad and from the family of Sinndar.
Green Desert line
Green Desert’s potency was first witnessed in 1990 when he was crowned champion first-season sire, and his influence has only deepened since as he has established his own branch of the Danzig line. Breeders have a whole host of new routes into this prolific source of winners.
Leading the line-up is Cartier champion sprinter Shaquille, the first new retiree to Steve Parkin’s up-and-coming operation at Dullingham Park on the edge of Newmarket. The dual Group 1 winner has been introduced at a very fair-looking £15,000.
The Julie Camacho-trained talent actually debuted with a victory over seven furlongs at two before dropping back to sprinting to register another two wins before his juvenile campaign was out.
At three he showed accelerated progression, going from high-end handicap winner on his seasonal reappearance to the Listed Carnarvon Stakes before being pitched in at the deep end in Group 1 company at Royal Ascot. As well as a monstrous talent, Shaquille had plenty of character too and developed a habit of fluffing his lines at the start. This was never more evident than in the Commonwealth Cup, when he reared as the stalls opened and seemingly lost all chance.
However, he not only recovered but worked his way into contention two furlongs out before showing turbo-charged acceleration to run down Little Big Bear for a popular length-and-a-quarter success. He repeated the trick when he took on his elders in the July Cup on his next outing.
He again missed the start and then proceeded to pull hard, with Rossa Ryan electing to let Shaquille use his natural exuberance. They were in front not long after halfway and never looked back as Shaquille stuck his head down and ran only strongly to leave Run To Freedom, Kinross, Art Power and Khaadem trailing in his wake.
Although there are clear influences for speed in Shaquille’s lineage it would be fair to say he possesses something of a mixed pedigree, as well as more physical scope than the typical sprinter. He is a son of the Invincible Spirit stallion Charm Spirit, who was at his best over a mile, and out of the Galileo mare Magic.
The dam is a sibling to the 12 furlong Listed winner Birch Grove but out of the prolific sprinter Danehurst, winner of the Group 2 Flying Five Stakes and three Group 3s.
Few stallions have done as much for the Green Desert line as Oasis Dream has, and few, if any, runners by Oasis Dream reached the heights that Native Trail did. Darley’s Kildangan Stud newcomer is the highest-rated juvenile colt descended from Danzig having gone unbeaten through four races at two.
This run culminated with impressive victories in the Group 1 National Stakes, beating Point Lonsdale by three and a half lengths, and the Dewhurst Stakes, in which he showed Dubawi Legend and Bayside Boy a clean pair of heels. These performances showcased different attributes, with the Dewhurst in particular testing balance and tactical speed, but the common theme was the strength Native Trail showed in the finish.
Further than seven furlongs always promised to suit and he duly completed the transition from champion two-year-old to Classic-winning three-year-old by clearing away with the Irish 2,000 Guineas. That season he also ran second to Coroebus in the 2,000 Guineas and was a close third to Vadeni over ten furlongs in the Eclipse Stakes.
Native Trail’s ability to run early was first seen at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, where he went the way of Godolphin at 210,000gns.
Native Trail was bred in France by José Delmotte’s Haras D’Haspel. He is not the only high-class juvenile in his immediate family as he is the second foal out of the Juddmonte-bred Needleleaf, an Observatory sister to Sprint Cup scorer African Rose and the Group 3-winning Helleborine, better known as the dam of Coventry winner Calyx. Native Trail will stand for €17,500.
At the centre of Oasis Dream’s record as a sire of sires stands Showcasing, who will have six sons of his own standing at stud in 2024. The new addition to the line-up is Asymmetric who joins the roster at Joe Foley’s Ballyhane Stud at a fee of €7,000. Bred by Redpender Stud, Asymmetric is out of Swirral Edge, a winning sprinter by Hellvelyn. Asymmetric is her first foal and her second is Mill Stream, winner of the Group 3 Prix de Meautry.
That means the mare is two Pattern winners from two runners, as Asymmetric developed into one of the top juveniles of his generation during his time with Alan King. He won his first two starts over six furlongs before running Lusail to within a head in the July Stakes.
He gained his biggest racecourse achievement on his next outing in the Richmond Stakes. Having travelled smoothly in behind runners, he quickened through a gap approaching the final furlong and quickly assumed the lead. He only really did enough once hitting the front, so the margin of half a length possibly underplays his superiority on the day.
The form of that race received some notable boosts as the fourth, Ebro River, won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes on his next start, while the fifth, Perfect Power, landed the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes on his next two outings. Asymmetric added a Group 1 placing to his record when third to Perfect Power in the Morny.
Asymmetric switched to the US and the care of Wesley Ward for his three-year-old campaign, although things did not quite go to plan and he didn’t return to the winners’ enclosure until he returned to Europe at four, when he won the Group 3 Prix du Cercle for trainer Maurizio Guarnieri.
The likes of I Am Invincible, Kingman and Lawman have helped Invincible Spirit establish his own branch of the Green Desert line, and the National Stud have tapped into the noted sire of sires with new recruit Mutasaabeq.
Shadwell’s homebred is a particularly blue-blooded son of Invincible Spirit, being the sixth foal out of Ghanaati, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway who landed the 2009 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes in comfortable fashion.
Ghanaati, a descendant of Height Of Fashion whose family has produced the likes of Baaeed, Deep Impact and Nashwan, has also bred the Group 3-winning Wafy.
Mutasaabeq was trained by Charlie Hills and won races at two, three, four and five. Three of his seven victories came in Group 2 company over a mile, namely back-to-back renewals of the Joel Stakes and bet365 Mile, beating Native Trail in the latter contest. His fee has been set at £6,500.
Whitsbury Manor Stud stallions Havana Grey and Showcasing are on a real roll at the moment, and the operation will look to apply its midas touch to newcomer Dragon Symbol, who descends from Invincible Spirit via Cable Bay. The colt, who was bred at Whitsbury Manor from the winning Arcano mare Arcamist, didn’t make the track until three but quickly made up for lost time by winning his first four races for Archie Watson. His first venture into Pattern company saw Dragon Symbol beaten a nose by Rohaan in the Sandy Lane Stakes.
Dragon Symbol rates a Group 1 winner in all but name as he finished first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup, only to be demoted to second behind Campanelle having bumped that rival in the closing stages. He proved he belonged at the top table when runner-up to the year-older Starman in the July Cup on his next start, while he also finished third in the Nunthorpe Stakes.
The powerfully built grey will stand alongside Havana Grey and Showcasing at a fee of £8,000.
The Kitten’s Joy line
When Roaring Lion died aged just four after suffering an untreatable bout of colic during a shuttle trip to New Zealand, breeders lost a valuable entry point into the El Prado line. However, there is still hope for Roaring Lion’s legacy as his solitary crop contained Dubai Mile, who is standing at Manton Park at £7,500.
The grandson of Kitten’s Joy is a well-bred sort being out of Lady O’Reilly’s Beach Bunny, a daughter of High Chaparral who was beaten a short head by Too Darn Hot’s dam Dar Re Mi in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes.
Dubai Mile is the highest achieving of the mare’s three black-type performers, a trio that includes the Listed winners Beach Belle and Naadirr.
Dubai Mile was a typically savvy Mark Johnston yearling purchase having cost €20,000 at Goffs in 2021. Ahmad Al Shaikh took ownership of the colt who won three times at two. The last of those victories came in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud, in which he was headed late on but battled back bravely to deny Arrest by a head.
He failed to recapture that form at three and had moved to Martyn and Freddie Meade when he suffered a career-ending injury in routine training.
The Mr Prospector line
Dubawi’s standing as a sire of sires continues to rise, with sons New Bay, Night Of Thunder and, more recently, Too Darn Hot each siring Group 1-winning progeny of their own. Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud introduces a new route into the line in the shape of Modern Games, Dubawi’s most prolific top-level winner with five Group/Grade 1 victories.
The Godolphin homebred was among the best of his generation at two, with his four victories including the Group 3 Somerville Tattersalls Stakes and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Three further elite-level successes followed for the Charlie Appleby-trained Modern Games at three, including a French Classic in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
He stepped up in trip for the Prix du Jockey Club and although he finished a creditable third to Vadeni, that effort confirmed his optimum trip as a mile. He travelled back across the Atlantic later that year to claim the Woodbine Mile and a second Breeders’ Cup contest in the Mile.
His eighth career success, and fifth at the highest level, came at four when he showed his usual mix of class and gritty determination to claim the Lockinge Stakes by a length and a half from Chindit.
Being by Dubawi is not the only thing Modern Games has going for him on pedigree. He is out of Modern Ideals, a New Approach half-sister to French champion juvenile Ultra. Moreover, this lineage makes Modern Games a sibling to 1,000 Guineas heroine Mawj. Modern Games will stand for £30,000.
Speightstown, who hails from a different branch of the Mr Prospector line, has a new son standing in Britain with Midnight Sands joining the Norton Grove Stud roster at £2,500.
The €90,000 Brown Island Stables breeze-up graduate won six races at Meydan over six seasons in training, most notably the Group 3 Burj Nahaar over a mile on dirt while with Doug Watson. He was bred by the Niarchos’s Flaxman Holdings from It’s Midnight, a daughter of Shamardal who won a Listed event over a mile.
The Pivotal line
The mighty Pivotal continues to exert his influence on modern days, not least through the Aga Khan’s Siyouni, whose 153 black type performers include ten Group/Grade 1 winners. Coolmore certainly seem to have immense confidence in the Haras de Bonneval resident developing into an important stallion himself as they have three sons standing on their latest roster. Arc hero Sottsass will have his first runners in 2024, while the first crop of five-time Group 1 winner St Mark’s Basilica will be yearlings.
Those names are being joined by Paddington who, at €55,000, is standing for the highest fee of any new stallion in 2024, and arguably with good reason given he seems to have all bases covered. His yearling price of €420,000 attests to his good looks, while both sides of his pedigree make plenty of appeal.
Not only is he by one of the hottest sires on the planet in Siyouni, he is from a deep Wildenstein family being out of Modern Eagle, a Listed-winning daughter of Montjeu, who in turn is out of Prix de Diane runner-up Millionaia. Paddington’s third dam is Prix Saint-Alary winner Moonlight Dance, a daughter of champion racemare Madelia whose unbeaten record featured wins in the French 1,000 Guineas, Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Paddington ran out a five-length winner of his second start at two and absolutely took off once he returned at three. Bloodless wins in the Madrid Handicap and Listed Tetrarch Stakes were swiftly followed by a step up into Group 1 company. Paddington proceeded to thrash Cairo and Hi Royal in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and then Chaldean in the St James’s Palace Stakes before he comfortably kept Emily Upjohn at bay in the Eclipse Stakes over ten furlongs.
A sensational run was completed when he coped with testing conditions and a drop back to a mile to make all the running in the Sussex Stakes, notching his fourth Group 1 in just 68 days and making Paddington the most prolific winner of elite-level races in Europe this season.
The Scat Daddy line
The Scat Daddy sire line continues to prove a rich source of juvenile talent, as evidenced on the world stage by Justify supplying unbeaten Dewhurst hero City Of Troy, Prix Marcel Boussac scorer Opera Singer and the Breeders’ Cup juvenile winners Hard To Justify (Fillies Turf) and Just F Y I (Fillies). The No Nay Never branch has also kept Scat Daddy’s name in lights, and Coolmore have added that stallion’s highest-rated two-year-old Little Big Bear to their 2024 line-up.
Bred by Camas Park Stud and Summerhill, Little Big Bear joined the Coolmore fold at a cost of €320,000 at the Arqana August Yearling Sale and he debuted on the racetrack in early April the following year. A wide-margin win at Naas was followed by a Royal Ascot victory in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes. Next came the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes, which he won by nearly five lengths, and then his most impressive performance in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes.
The imposing sprinter towered over the field physically and, having made most of the running, impressively quickened away from the likes of Persian Force and Bradsell to score by a yawning seven lengths.
His imposing physique always gave hope that Little Big Bear would train on and, after a wash-out in the 2,000 Guineas, he proved he retained all his ability to claim the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes, beating subsequent Sprint Cup runner-up Shouldvebeenaring and Bradsell, who landed the King’s Stand Stakes on his next outing. That proved Little Big Bear’s final success, although he ran with great credit when second to Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup.
He is out of the Wildenstein-bred Adventure Seeker, a daughter of Bering who won the Listed Prix De Liancourt at Longchamp. His great granddam is the champion All Along. This lineage means Little Big Bear has a true outcross pedigree that is free of Danehill and Sadler’s Wells.
Chaldean earning rave reviews
New stallions tend to generate a broad range of opinions. However, during the week of the December Sales in Newmarket, one name seemed to receive exclusively positive reviews. Not that that is any great surprise when the stallion in question is a Dewhurst Stakes and 2,000 Guineas winner, and not to mention a son of champion sire Frankel.
“Chaldean has been getting rave reviews since he arrived at the stud,” says Juddmonte’s European nominations manager Shane Horan. “If you were to write the perfect CV for a stallion prospect, he’s got everything you’d want. And, to be honest, he’s sold himself when people have been to see him. The response has been phenomenal. One noted breeder told me that he reminded him of Galileo the day he went to stud. He’s been going down a storm.”
Chaldean is the first non-homebred to stand under the Juddmonte banner in Europe since Generous, albeit the dual Derby winner ran in the colours of Prince Fahd Salman, whereas Chaldean carried the operation’s famous green, pink and white silks.
“The plan has always been, in time, to have a son of both Frankel and Kingman at Banstead Manor Stud,” says Horan. “Chaldean isn’t actually a homebred but it’s well documented he was a smashing foal and we had to pay 550,000gns to get him.
“Whitsbury Manor Stud are excellent breeders and Suelita is a very good mare. When she visited Frankel she really had been punching above her weight, plus she’s a Machiavellian line mare, which works extremely well with Frankel. I remember when we first saw Chaldean at the farm and he was an easy horse to like, always had that rock-solid temperament. A lot of Irish commercial breeders are interested in him as they remember what he was like as a foal, and that’s basically what every commercial breeder is trying to produce.”
Horan also gave an insight into the type of mares likely to be visiting Chaldean, as well as the level of support he will receive from Juddmonte’s own broodmare band.
“Physically he’s more like the dam’s side, and she’s a producer of very good two-year-olds and sprinters, so I think it makes sense to try Chaldean with some fast families,” he says. “At the same time Frankel brings that great versatility in that he can get top-class milers and very good middle distance horses, so we want to give him a chance with some Classic aptitude pedigrees too. Final plans are still being decided but Juddmonte will be sending around 15 mares and the aim is for Chaldean to cover 150 in total. He’s already heavily oversubscribed.”
Home support key to El Caballo
There is a new name to the list of British-based stallion studs this year in Culworth Grounds Farm, which welcomes Group 2-winning sprinter El Caballo as its first recruit for what is hoped will be a long and fruitful stallion venture for the Banbury-based stud, writes Nancy Sexton.
The farm’s Sophie Buckley is under no illusions as to the potential difficulties of launching a stallion venture but in El Caballo, there is a horse who fulfils much of what the commercial market requires – and at an affordable first-year fee of £6,000.
The winner of six straight races early in his three-year-old campaign capped by the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes for Karl Burke, he shares his sire Havana Gold with Havana Grey, the shining young light of the British stallion scene, and is backed by a young and enthusiastic team who plan to support the horse every step of the way.
“I felt like there was a bit of a gap in the UK stallion market for a horse like him,” says Buckley. “I started off as a small breeder and I think like one. I know how tough it can be. Paying £15,000 for a stallion can be very expensive when it comes to selling your foal or yearling. And once you factor everything else on top, the greater returns are harder to make.
“I think the industry in Britain will change a lot in the next ten years. It felt like now is the right time to take that opportunity to stand a stallion, and I think he’s a sensible horse to start off with.”
Precocious enough to win in May of his two-year-old year, El Caballo later switched successfully between turf and the all-weather, with a win in the Listed Spring Cup at Lingfield followed by his victory in the Sandy Lane.
“He won six races in a row, which is hard to do,” says Buckley. “So there’s a consistency there and a soundness of mind and limb. There’s no real weaknesses in his pedigree. He’s a half-brother to two recent stakes horses out of a very good mare in Showstoppa – there’s plenty of depth to his page. His sire Havana Gold was also such a solid stallion for the British market. He was brilliant to get a young mare going, and sadly he’s no longer with us.”
The team behind El Caballo were busy sourcing mares for the stallion at the recent breeding stock sales including at Tattersalls, where the horse himself was stationed to view.
“He has a proper team of young people behind him,” says Buckley. “They’re enthusiastic people who understand the market well and trade at different levels of it. I’ve bought plenty of mares myself to go to him and they have too.
“Some of the people who raced him in the syndicate [Grange Park Racing XVIII and OfO Partners] are also staying in and sending mares. Breeding rights have been sold to plenty of good people, including to several good Irish breeders, and I’m getting phone calls every day from people wanting to use him. So he’ll begin with a good solid foundation of support.”
Classic performers new to the jumps ranks
National Hunt breeders in Britain and Ireland have some high-class names to conjure with in 2024, not least the dual Classic winner Hurricane Lane. The son of Frankel won seven races for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, including over a mile on heavy ground at two. He improved rapidly at three and, after running third in Adayar’s Derby, headed to the Curragh for the Irish equivalent.
Lone Eagle looked to have slipped the field when he put daylight between himself and the rest, but Hurricane Lane had the class and the courage to close the leader down and eventually prevailed by a neck. He put in a dominant display to land the Grand Prix de Paris by six lengths from Wordsworth then rocked up at Doncaster for the St Leger.
He rounded out his three-year-old campaign by finishing third, beaten less than a length, behind Torquator Tasso in the Arc. He returned at four and regained the winning thread when readily claiming the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes.
Hurricane Lane is out of Gale Force, a Listed winner over a mile and seven and a half furlongs in the Prix Denisy. In turn Gale Force is a half-sister to Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes scorer Seal Of Approval.
Hurricane Lane, who reached a peak official rating of 123, will stand under the Coolmore National Hunt banner at Castlehyde Stud. Another of Coolmore’s farms welcomes Pyledriver, with the dual Group 1 winner set to stand at The Beeches Stud.
The son of Harbour Watch won eight races for William Muir, including a seven furlong maiden at the start of a two-year-old campaign that also included a win in the Listed Ascendant Stakes. He proved himself over middle distances at three by winning the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and the Great Voltigeur Stakes before finishing a staying-on third in Galileo Chrome’s St Leger.
He proved better than ever at four as he won the Group 1 Coronation Cup and maintained his rate of progression into his five-year-old season when he blew away the likes of Torquator Tasso, Mishriff and Westover to land the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes. That effort was given a career-best rating of 124. Pyledriver is out of the Le Havre mare La Pyle, a half-sister to the Group 1 scorer Mont Ormel.
The Gold Cup has been a real proving ground for future National Hunt stallion talent, with recent winners who have made a significant impact at stud including Kayf Tara, Westerner and dual champion sire Yeats. It is, therefore, a real boon for British breeders than Dan and Grace Skelton’s Alne Park Stud have secured the services of Subjectivist. His fee has been set at £4,000.
The son of Teofilo and Reckoning, a talented producer by Danehill Dancer, was forward enough to win over seven furlongs at two, but the more his stamina was tested, the more ability he showed. His three-year-old season included victories at Listed and Group 3 level and culminated in a two-length romp in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak.
He resumed at four with a facile win in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup before producing his defining performance at Royal Ascot in 2021. The Mark Johnston-trained Subjectivist travelled strongly throughout, easily moved clear over three furlongs from home and never looked like being caught as the likes of Princess Zoe, Stradivarius, Santiago, Serpentine and Twilight Payment were left trailing in his wake.
Injury rather put a halt on his progress thereafter but he returned at six and showed plenty of his old spark to finish a creditable third to Courage Mon Ami in the most recent running of the Gold Cup.
With the likes of Affinisea and Crystal Ocean covering sizeable books of mares, sons of Sea The Stars look set to exert an increasing influence over the National Hunt landscape. Whytemount Stud introduces another son of Sea The Stars in Mojo Star.
The 220,000gns Book 1 yearling finished second to Adayar in the Derby, and later that season he filled the same position behind Hurricane Lane in the St Leger. He came back at four and got within half a length of landing the Gold Cup, disputing the lead over a furlong out but eventually giving best to Kyprios.
Not only is he by Sea The Stars but he is a half-brother to the Listed-winning pair Cape Magic and Portage, while his dam is a Juddmonte-bred daughter of Zamindar from the family of Rail Link. Mojo Star’s fee is €3,000 for a colt or €1,500 for a filly.
Another new retiree who was placed in the Derby is Amhran Na Bhfiann, who ran third to Serpentine in 2020. He enjoyed his biggest success the following year when he made all to land the Group 2 Curragh Cup by seven lengths.
The superbly bred son of Galileo is out of Lodge Park Stud’s Alluring Park, making him a brother to Oaks heroine Was, as well as a close relation to top-class runner and talented sire New Approach. Amhran Na Bhfiann stands at Sean Kinsella’s Knockhouse Stud in County Kilkenny at €1,500.
New names poised to make major impact in France
Rarely have French breeders been afforded the depth of new stallions that is available to the country for 2024, writes Nancy Sexton.
From the unbeaten Arc champion Ace Impact to an Eclipse Stakes winner in Vadeni and unbelievably versatile Mishriff, there is a quality to this year’s intake that has the potential to stand the French industry in very good stead for years to come.
At €40,000, Ace Impact is the most expensive ever first-year horse to retire directly to stud in France. The son of Cracksman joins the Chehboub family’s Haras de Beaumont, a young stallion operation with grand ambitions based on part of the old Haras du Quesnay property, and is likely to be in high demand given the brilliance of his six-race career, which was capped by superb victories in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club and Arc.
The French industry is in the enviable position of having attracted several fresh high-profile investors in recent years, one of whom is Nurlan Bizakov, whose Sumbe operation on the old Haras de la Cauviniere property boasts three new stallions for 2024 to complement its older residents Golden Horde and De Treville.
In the case of £11.8 million earner Mishriff, the farm is having to undergo a relaunch. This time last year, it was all systems go but then the son of Make Believe suffered a foot injury that brought those plans to a shuddering halt. He is being relaunched in a particularly competitive year but he more than holds his own as winner of the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, Juddmonte International, Dubai Sheena Classic and Saudi Cup. Rare are the horses that can win Group 1 races on both turf and dirt while he is also from the family of top sires Invincible Spirit and Kodiac; all in all, it’s an appealing package at €17,500.
Joining Mishriff at Sumbe are two winners of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in Angel Bleu and Belbek.
By Dark Angel from an excellent international family, Angel Bleu (€9,000) was a tough two-year-old for Ralph Beckett, his five victories that season capped by the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Criterium International. He also trained on into an accomplished older horse, with a win in this season’s Group 2 Celebration Mile to his credit.
Belbek (€7,000), meanwhile, holds a special place at Sumbe as the operation’s first homebred Group 1 winner. He was a precocious two-year-old who preceded his Lagardere victory by winning the Group 3 Prix du Bois over 6f and returned this year to land the Group 3 Prix Perth over a mile. By Showcasing, he is a direct descendant of Hasili and therefore related to the proven Group 1 sires Dansili, Cacique and Champs Elysees.
Another operation receiving an double injection of fresh blood to its roster is the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval.
Leading the way at €17,500 is Cartier champion three-year-old colt Vadeni, winner of last year’s Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club and Eclipse Stakes, in which he came out on top in a thrilling finish over Mishriff and Native Trail. Although seemingly best over 1m2f, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt also ran a brave second on bad ground to Alpinista in the Arc. He is the first son of Churchill to stud and hails from the prolific Lagardere ‘Vadlamixa’ family via the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary heroine Vadawina, who appears as his granddam.
Bonneval’s other new stallion, Erevann (€8,000), is also as a Dubawi son of the Aga Khan’s top miler Ervedya. Very talented himself, he won four races including the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein. On paper, he boasts a similar profile to Bonneval’s Zarak, one of the leading lights of France who began his stud career at €12,000.
At Haras d’Etreham, the roster has been bolstered by Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Onesto (€12,500). Also second in last year’s Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and third behind Ace Impact in this year’s Arc, Onesto possesses an interesting pedigree as a son of Frankel out of a Sea The Stars mare – thereby inbred to Urban Sea – to go with a female family that descends from Kerali, dam of the aforementioned blue hen Hasili.
Bay Bridge, who lowered the colours of Baaeed in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes, retires to Haras du Mesnil, the farm that developed Doctor Dino and Kaldounevees into popular stallions of their time. A four-time stakes winner overall who is guaranteed to also receive the support of co-owners Ballylinch Stud and James Wigan, this good-looking son of New Bay could look very good value at €6,000 in several years time.
Haras de Bouquetot’s sizeable roster welcomes another tough customer in Lusail (€6,000), the first son of Mehmas to stud in France. Lusail swept the Group 2 July and Gimcrack Stakes as a two-year-old and ran a close second in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at three.
When it comes to jumps options, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jigme draw in breeders from Britain and Ireland. Jigme was brilliant in a six-race career for Marcel Rolland, sweeping the Grade 3 Prix Aguado Hurdle and Grade 2 Prix Georges de Talbot Roy Hurdle en route to an emphatic career finale in the Grade 1 Prix Cambaceres. By Motivator and closely related to Sinndar, he retires to Haras du Hoguenot at a fee of €8,000.
Mage and Cody’s Wish headline an exciting new intake in America – by Nancy Sexton
With seven new stallions priced in excess of $25,000, this year’s new intake of Kentucky stallions is one of the most attractive in recent years, writes Nancy Sexton.
Among them are a Kentucky Derby winner, a Belmont and Travers Stakes winner, a champion two-year-old, two outstanding sons of Curlin and the first son of Justify to stud.
Kentucky Derby winners generally attract the most attention, and understandably so. That in itself makes the $25,000 fee set by Airdrie Stud for this year’s winner Mage something of a value bet. Mage packed a lot in during his three-year-old campaign for trainer Gustavo Delgado, going from maiden winner to Kentucky Derby hero in less than five months. Although he didn’t win again, he wasn’t disgraced when placed in both the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational.
Mage is the first son of Good Magic to head to stud and is out of an emerging blue hen in Puca, whose $2.9 million sale to John Stewart at the Keeneland November Sale preceded the win of her two-year-old, Mage’s brother Dornoch, in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes.
As a son of Good Magic, Mage is a grandson of the increasingly important Curlin. A highly respected influence, especially when it comes to two-turn dirt talent, Curlin is becoming an important sire of sires, an attribute that adds further lustre to the appeal of his sons Cody’s Wish and Elite Power.
At $75,000, Cody’s Wish is the most expensive new Kentucky sire for 2024. At a time when American racing is coming under further scrutiny, the horse’s bond with Cody Dorman became a valuable feel-good story that captured the attention of the wider world. Dorman, who was born with the rare genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, first connected with the horse as a foal on a visit to Darley organised by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and continued to follow him as he rose through the ranks for Bill Mott. Along the way, there were five Grade 1 victories, including two victories in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; sadly Cody Dorman passed away not long after the second of those wins.
Cody’s Wish will always be inextricably linked with Cody Dorman but his body of work by itself also makes him a standout. In all, he won 11 times for $3.1 million in earnings, showcasing plenty of the durability and soundness that we have come to associate with the Curlin sire line. He is also well-bred as the son of a Grade 1 winner in Dance Card, by Tapit.
Tapit himself is also the sire Darley’s other new stallion in Proxy ($25,000), another tough runner whose six wins included the Grade 1 Clark Handicap.
Curlin’s other high-class son to retire to stud is Elite Power, who takes up resident at Juddmonte Farms at a fee of $50,000. A $900,000 yearling purchase by the operation, he developed into a brilliant dirt sprinter, winning nine of 13 starts capped by two renewals of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Out of a mare, Broadway’s Alibi, who was second in a Kentucky Oaks and is related to a successful sire in Dialed In, Elite Power heads the stud with the advantage of having Juddmonte’s backing behind him.
A typically strong intake for Spendthrift Farm is led by champion two-year-old Forte at $50,000. The son of Violence danced every dance at two when sweeping the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, Claiborne Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for Todd Pletcher. He returned at three to land the Grade 1 Florida Derby and would have taken high order in the Kentucky Derby itself had a soundness issue not ruled him out at the 12th hour. As such, he had a sizeable absence to overcome when lining up on his return in the Belmont Stakes, meaning that he did well in the circumstances to finish second to Arcangelo.
Also joining Spendthrift is Justify’s first son to stud, Arabian Lion. A $600,000 two-year-old purchase by Amr Zedan’s Zedan Racing Stables, his finest moment came when successful in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens Stakes. As a descendant of the iconic American champion mare Personal Ensign, he also packs a punch pedigree wise and is available at $30,000.
Fellow Spendthrift retiree Taiba was also an expensive two-year-old purchase for Zedan, in his case at a sale-topping $1.7 million; he lived up to that valuation with wide-margin wins in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, Pennsylvania Derby and Malibu Stakes.
Taiba is one of several sons of the ascendant Gun Runner to stud this season. They include another Grade 1-winning representative in Gunite, who is new to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud at $40,000. Gunite was almost a throwback to another era for Steve Asmussen, winning nine races ranging from the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at two to the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at four. This tough sprinter was also Grade 1-placed on a further four occasions.
Lane’s End Farm also welcomes two high-class yet different horses. Arcangelo ($35,000) was one of the big success stories of the year for American racing, providing trainer Jena Antonucci with a landmark first Classic success when striking in the Belmont Stakes before following up in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes over the likes of Forte and Mage. A son of the missed Arrogate, he belongs to the powerful Best In Show family.
The farm’s other new recruit, Up To The Mark, is a son of the exciting young stallion Not This Time, the best son of Giant’s Causeway at stud in the US. Up To The Mark found his niche on turf to rattle off Grade 1 victories in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic, Manhattan Stakes and Coolmore Turf Mile before running a gallant second to Auguste Rodin in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.