Come the end of this month’s Cheltenham Festival and there will be talking points aplenty among the jumps community, with the week’s major races likely having either paid further tributes to proven sires or highlighted the emergence of various younger names.
At the time of writing, nine stallions had broken through the £1 million barrier by prize-money for 2021-22 led by Coolmore’s Yeats, who is in the midst of one of his best seasons yet.
However, in a reflection of just what a long game jumps breeding can be, only nine of the current top 20 remain in service. This will always be an issue for this side of the industry. However, there are a plethora of younger sires coming through, many of them Group 1 performers, and the appetite by breeders to support such horses remains strong.
The British scene
The sires’ table does not paint the British jumps scene in a particularly fine light given that only four active British-based sires, Nathaniel (who operates in a Flat capacity), Ask, Schiaparelli and Passing Glance, sit within the top 50. But such a snapshot fails to take into account the ambition behind several British-based farms, who between them have managed to secure a number of fresh names.
One such horse is the proven Dink (price on application), sire of top two-mile chaser Nube Negra who joined Alne Park Stud in 2021. By Poliglote, Spanish 2,000 Guineas winner Dink was formerly owned by Spanish show jumper Luis Alvarez Cervera and based in France. Despite covering small numbers at low fees, he has defied the odds by throwing Nube Negra, who claimed the scalp of Altior in last season’s Desert Orchid Chase for Dan Skelton; by the time that horse had run second in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Dink was ensconced at the Skeltons’ Alne Park Stud. Grace Skelton takes up the story.
“It goes without saying that we were well acquainted with Nube Negra and we also have other progeny of Dink’s in the yard which are turning into really nice young horses,” she says. “He’s a lovely looking stallion, 16.1 hands with plenty of bone and a pure-breeding bay. He and his young stock are a pleasure to have around – they all seem to inherit his temperament, which is great as there’ll be plenty of them about at the stud this spring.
“Apart from Nube’s success, Dink has a terrific pedigree in his own right. He is the only son of Poliglote at stud and being out of a Woodman mare, he brings plenty of speed to a market in which most of the mares are stamina-bred.”
She adds: “We really had to hit the ground running with him last season. He arrived at the end of January so we didn’t really have a chance to show him to the ‘market’.
“I was delighted by the way he was received, he was well supported with 51 mares and this season is looking to be even better now that people know he’s here.
“He’s eligible for the TBA’s Elite Mares Incentive Scheme, which is a fantastic asset to the industry, and he has eight of those booked in this season as well as some other really nice black-type mares.”
Ambition also sits behind the roster at Chapel Stud, home to the durable Group 2 winner Bangkok (£3,000), a well-related son of Australia, and Group 2 winner Walzertakt (£2,500), who is off the mark with his first runners in France. Much of Walzertakt’s appeal lies in the fact he is a son of Montjeu and half-brother to German Derby winner Wiener Walzer, the sire of Grade 1-winning hurdler Adagio. They form part of a fresh roster at Chapel Stud that also includes Group 1 winners Indian Haven (£1,500) and Planteur (£4,000). The latter, of course, is the sire of popular stayer Trueshan and was well supported in his first season in Britain last year.
Shade Oak Stud also welcomes a new face in St Leger hero Logician (£4,000). Beautifully bred as a Frankel member of Juddmonte’s Monroe family, his place at Shade Oak has to be regarded as something of a coup for British breeders.
If the early stud career of fellow Shade Oak stallion Telescope (£3,000) is anything to go by, then Logician will be well supported in his new role. Also winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes, Telescope has covered over 150 elite mares in five seasons; his first crop are five-year-olds and include a handful of winners. As for Logician, he already has 54 elite mares booked in at the time of writing.
The combination of pedigree, soundness and talent also sits behind Shade Oak’s Dartmouth, a four-time Pattern scorer who defeated Highland Reel in the Hardwicke Stakes. By Dubawi and from a fine Wildenstein family, his first crop are three-year-olds and it would be no surprise to see him look good value at £2,500 in several years time.
Those looking for Dubawi blood in Britain also have the option of Overbury Stud’s Frontiersman. A fee of £1,000 grants breeders access to a Group 1- placed son of champion Ouija Board, making him a half-brother to Australia. Breeders obviously liked what they saw from his first foals given that he covered 103 mares in 2020, up from 69 in 2019, and he was again busy in 2021 as the recipient of around 80, among them the dam of Thyme Hill.
Similarly, Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs (£3,000) unsurprisingly remains popular. His first crop, now three, have sold for up to £50,000 at the jumps sales while there is also a potentially useful Flat performer to look forward to in The Gadget Man, who was beaten only a neck in a Newmarket maiden for Ralph Beckett
Overbury stalwart Schiaparelli (£2,000) also continues to serve breeders well, notably as the sire of current Grade 2-winning hurdlers Ronald Pump and Indefatigable. He offers access into the popular Monsun sire line as do several of the roster at Yorton Farm Stud.
The 19-year-old Gentlewave (£3,500) is well proven as the sire of Poker Party, Easysland and Gentlemansgame among others while the younger Masterstroke (£3,000) is worthy of close attention as a relation to Galileo and Sea The Stars who was placed in an Arc. He has made a bright start from his early French-bred runners, notably as the sire of Group 2 winner Miss Extra on the Flat and Grade 3 Auteuil scorer Floridee over jumps. Another representative, Fontainebleau winner Invictus Smart, realised £200,000 at last year’s Goffs UK December Yorton P2P Sale.
Yorton also bolstered its roster last year with the addition of Group 2 winner Arrigo (£2,000), a Shirocco half-brother to the late German champion sire Adlerflug from the same Anatevka line as Masterstroke. His first crop are five-year-olds. Of course, German bloodlines are renowned for their durability and in Scalo (£2,000) Yorton offers another such horse and one who is already proven under both codes, notably as the sire of German Derby hero Laccario.
The Yorton roster is rounded out by Coronation Cup winner Pether’s Moon (£2,000), whose early representatives include the stakes-placed Anneloralas, and Linda’s Lad (£2,500), a Group 1- winning son of Sadler’s Wells whose progeny include Grade 1 jumpers Cash Back and Draconien.
Other sons of Sadler’s Wells at stud in Britain include dual Group 1 winner Ask (Willow Wood Farm: £2,000), the sire of eight black-type jumpers.
In addition to Telescope and Bangkok, the Sadler’s Wells sire line is also on show via Galileo through Irish St Leger winners Flag Of Honour (The National Stud: £2,500), a high-class two-year-old whose first crop of yearlings include the relations to Walk In The Park and Vintage Clouds, and Sans Frontieres (Vauterhill Stud: poa), sire of the high-class hurdler Jason The Militant.
Galileo’s son Teofilo is also the sire of Listed scorer Mildenberger (Groomsbridge Stud: £1,500) and Diplomat (LM Stallions: £1,500), a Group 2 winner on the Flat and winner over jumps at Auteuil. LM Stallions also offers the tough Group 3 winner Master Carpenter (£1,000).
There is also affordable access to Galileo via Forever Now (£1,000), a Listed winner with a fine pedigree who stands alongside seven-time winner Marmelo (£2,000) at Norton Grove Stud. The latter was an excellent stayer whose lengthy career included wins in two renewals of the Prix Kergorlay. By Duke Of Marmalade, he is a welcome addition to Britain following two seasons in France.
Duke Of Marmalade is also sire of Nutan (poa), the 2015 Germany Derby hero who transfers from Germany to stand alongside Sans Frontieres and Group 2 winner Top Trip (poa) at Vauterhill Stud.
Also new on these shores is champion Leading Light (£2,500), the St Leger and Ascot Gold Cup hero who switches to Dunraven Stud in Wales. An exceptional stayer, he is bred for the job as a son of Montjeu; indeed recent weeks have seen him represented by the Grade 1-placed novice hurdler Three Stripe Life and Listed bumper winner Top Dog.
Batsford Stud would appear to have plenty to look forward to with its St Leger winner Harbour Law (£2,000), whose first crop are two-year-olds. As it is, the stud boasts a popular proven option in Passing Glance (£3,000), the sire of Group 1 winner Side Glance on the Flat and the popular Grade 1 winner Dashel Drasher over jumps; very few sires possess that kind of versatility and it’s no surprise to see that he covered close to 90 mares in 2021. Haafhd (£2,000), whose jumpers include Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame, completes the roster.
The record of Hundred Acre Farm’s Falco (poa) is also underpinned by top-flight performers under both codes, notably Group 1 winner Odeliz on the Flat and Triumph Hurdle winner Peace And Co over jumps. This season’s Tingle Creek Chase runner-up Hitman is also among the current representatives for this Classic-winning miler, whose first British-bred crop are two this year.
Falco shares his sire, Pivotal, with another top miler in Virtual (poa). The Lockinge Stakes winner, who stands at Etheridge Farm in Dorset, has sired winners under both codes.
Millbry House Stud welcomes well-bred Group 3 winner Fountain Of Youth (£2,000) while Wood Cottage Stud is home to Kayf Tara’s Listed-winning relation Media Hype (£900). Group 3 winner Mahsoob (poa), a well-related son of Dansili, stands at Meiklehaugh Stud.
Versatility is a major theme behind the admirable Frammassone (Peel Hall Stud: £2,000), a winner on the Flat who went on to win three times in Grade 1 company over jumps and boasts a winners to runners strike-rate of around 50%.
Yorgunnabelucky (Mickley Stud: £2,000) is another making a fine impression, with his early runners led by Listed bumper scorerer Timeforatune and Gerry Feilden Hurdle winner Onemorefortheroad.
A glance at the leading jumps sires’ list, however, reveals just how much power still lies in the hands of Irish stallion masters.
Coolmore’s four-time Gold Cup hero Yeats (Castle Hyde Stud: €5,000) heads the jumps sires’ table with the earners of almost £1.8 million. He sired four Cheltenham Festival winners last year including Flooring Porter (Stayers’ Hurdle) and Chantry House (Marsh Novices’ Chase), and with those horses alongside recent Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated among his armoury, looks poised to play a major role at this year’s meeting.
Not far behind the late Fame And Glory in third is fellow Coolmore stallion Getaway (Grange Stud: €9,000), best known as the sire of Grade 1 winners Sporting John and Verdana Blue. 24-year-old Milan (Grange Stud: €8,000) is another Coolmore inmate within the top ten alongside Mahler (Beeches Stud: €5,000). All are excellent sires in their own right but none are in the first flush of youth.
Similar comments apply to 23-year-old Westerner (Castle Hyde Stud: €5,000) and 20-year-old Walk In The Park (Grange Stud: private), for whom there has been more than one brilliant representative – think Douvan, Min and currently Jonbon. Hugely popular with breeders as a result, this son of Montjeu remains akin to catnip in the sales ring, where his progeny have sold for up to £300,000 in the past year.
Coolmore’s Galileo tribe
Coolmore invariably has a battalion of young names coming through, however, and understandably it has banked heavily on the Galileo sire line. Headed by the proven Grade 1 sires Mahler and Soldier Of Fortune (Beeches Stud: €8,000), whose French-bred crops are highlighted by Grade 1 winners Early Doors and Mega Fortune, it stands seven jumps-orientated sons ranging from champion stayer Order Of St George (Castle Hyde Stud: €6,500), whose first foals have caught the imagination in the sales ring, to Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger winner Kew Gardens (Castle Hyde Stud: €5,000), who covered 188 mares in his first season last year. Another St Leger hero, Capri (Grange Stud: €4,000), who also landed the Irish Derby, sits on the roster as does Highland Reel’s Group 2-winning brother Idaho (Beeches Stud: €3,500).
Breeders have followed that train of confidence, between them sending almost 1,100 mares to such horses in 2021. And now they have another talented son to choose from in the Grand Prix de Paris winner Mogul (Beeches Stud: €4,000), a new addition for 2022.
Galileo blood can also be accessed in Ireland outside of the Coolmore fold through the Bahrain Trophy winners Feel Like Dancing (Whytemount Stud: €2,000) and Shantaram (Coolagown Stud: €1,000); both are well-bred and relatively young horses who have been the subject of positive reports and are off the mark with their early runners.
Similar comments apply to Finsceal Fior (Green Hills Stud: €1,000), a son of Classic winner Finsceal Beo and sire of the Grade 2-placed hurdler Dewcup, El Salvador (Killack Stud: poa), for whom promising hurdler San Salvador heads an early handful of runners, and Group 3 winner Quest For Peace (Knockmullen House Stud: poa). Classy stayer Mizzou (Old Road Stud: poa) has his first four-year-olds this year.
Of the others from this sire line, Frankel’s Group 1-winning son Mirage Dancer retires to Castlefield Stud at a fee of €3,500. He possesses an enticing family to back up his talent as a relation to Dansili and the much-missed dual-purpose influence Champs Elysees.
It helps that this is also the same family as Jet Away (Arctic Tack Stud: poa), one of the hottest young stallions in Ireland by virtue of a fast start highlighted by Grade 2 bumper winner Brandy Love.
Meanwhile, St Leger winner Galileo Chrome (€4,000) remains the only son of Australia at stud in Ireland. He covered a three-figure book in his first season last year at Starfield Stud, which is also home to Group 1 winner My Dream Boat (poa).
As for New Approach, he is the sire of Knockhouse Stud’s promising young horse Libertarian (poa). An imposing individual who ran second in the Derby, his first crop includes the highly-tried pair Holymacapony and Watch House Cross.
Another Derby runner-up, Khalifa Sat (€2,000), represents a vein of High Chaparral via Free Eagle and as such should be popular in his first season at Lacken Stud. Also of interest is the Teofilo horse Austrian School (Clongiffen Stud: €1,500), a multiple-winning half-brother to Tiger Roll.
Mention of Tiger Roll brings us on to the impact left behind by his sire Authorized. Currently represented by the likes of Goshen and Mister Coffey, Authorized now plies his trade in Turkey, something which makes the addition of his Irish Derby-winning son Santiago (€4,500), a relation to Galileo and Sea The Stars, to Castle Hyde Stud all the more welcome.
It will also be interesting to see how Pour Moi’s Derby-winning son Wings Of Eagles (Beeches Stud: €4,000) fares. He has covered books of up to 212 mares since his return from France and has made a bright start on the Flat as the sire of Listed winner Blue Wings out of his first crop of two-year-olds.
The Montjeu influence can also be tapped into via Hunting Horn (Castlefield Stud: €2,000), a tough Group 2-winning Camelot relation to High Chaparral, as well as son Ol’ Man River (Arctic Tack Stud: poa), another out of Classic winner Finsceal Beo – in his case a €2.85 million yearling – who struck in the Beresford Stakes as a two-year-old. His first crop are four-year-olds.
Meanwhile, the Montjeu legacy is being showcased to great effect by Jukebox Jury (Burgage Stud: private), a proven Group 1 sire under both codes. The Group 1-winning son of Montjeu joined Burgage from Germany in 2018. He was quick to reward that decision as the sire of Group 1 winner Princess Zoe on the Flat and Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas.
A snapshot of his potential can be gleaned by the fact that while Farclas was a member of his first crop, this season’s Grade 1-placed novice chaser War Lord hails from his second, the Grade 1-placed Nordano out of his third and the talented juvenile hurdler Il Etait Temps out of his fourth. His first Irish crop are three-year-olds.
“We had Shantou and Bob Back, both horses good enough to sire Group 1 horses on the Flat and this fellow is doing the same,” says Victor Connolly of Burgage Stud. “He had acceleration and when you put that class into jumping mares, the results can be very good. He was covering around 40-60 mares in Germany per year and off that, has eight Group 1 horses. He’s also got a pretty high percentage of winners to runners.”
Burgage’s roster has been bolstered this season by the addition of Group 1 winner Fascinating Rock (poa), a stakes sire on the Flat, while it has also reason to be positive over the prospects of Sea Moon (poa). By Beat Hollow, sire of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo, Sea Moon won the Great Voltigeur and Hardwicke Stakes before striking at Group 2 level in Australia.
“He’s a big, well-balanced horse out of an Alleged mare,” says Connolly. “He was the third highest-rated horse on Racing Post ratings to retire in 2016 – he showed great acceleration in the Voltigeur, when he beat Al Kazeem by eight lengths.
“His stock averaged €44,250 at last year’s Goffs Land Rover Sale and there has been encouraging reports over his young stock, and that has translated into winners [a handful of first-crop runners includes the Listed-placed bumper mare Hi Stranger].”
Lest we forget that in addition to Yeats, there remain several various sons of Sadler’s Wells himself available, among them the older proven Grade 1 sires Sholokhov (Glenview Stud: poa), Doyen (Sunnyhill Stud: poa), Chacun Pour Soi’s sire Policy Maker (Blackrath Stud: poa) and Saddex (Blackrath Stud: €2,000).
Woodfield Farm Stud also hosts one of his younger sons in Bullet Train (poa), Frankel’s stakes-winning half-brother. Repatriated from Kentucky in 2018, he has been represented on the Flat by Group 1 performer Chapada. While his first Irish crop are three-year-olds, his stud-mate Curtain Time (poa), also by Sadler’s Wells, is proven; current runners include Irish Grand National winner Freewheelin Dylan.
Galileo’s dam Urban Sea is never far from the action, whether on the Flat and over jumps, and now the matriarch is making her presence felt within the winter game via her other champion son Sea The Stars.
Various stallion masters are banking on the fact that Sea The Stars will become an effective sire of jumps stallions and a number of the horses in question have been extremely well supported, notably Whytemount Stud’s Affinisea (poa), a winning half-brother to Soldier Of Fortune who covered 315 mares in 2021. He has first four-year-olds this year.
Also deservedly popular is Crystal Ocean (Beeches Stud: €8,000), an excellent performer who won the 2019 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and ran second in two King Georges. He has covered over 500 mares in two seasons to date and was the subject of positive reviews at the National Hunt foal sales, where his progeny sold for up to €120,000.
There are also two news sons to choose from in Fifty Stars and Eagles By Day.
Fifty Stars (Sunnyhill Stud: €3,000) was quick enough to win a Group 2 over an extended seven furlongs in Australia yet stayed a mile and a quarter well enough to win the Group 1 Australian Cup. A half-brother to Grade 1-winning hurdler Whiskey Sour, he can be expected to be well supported by connections.
Glenview Stud is another to have dipped into the Sea The Stars movement, in its case by securing Group 3 winner Eagles By Day (poa).
“He has a lovely pedigree being by Sea The Stars out of Missunited, a Group 3 winner on the Flat who also won the Galway Hurdle,” says the stud’s Catherine Cashman. “He has a solid race record, winning a Group 3 at York and running placed at Group 1 and Group 2 level, and he’s an attractive individual, standing 16.1 1/2 hands high. He’s very similar in looks to his sire and has a great temperament with a loose, athletic walk.”
Glenview Stud is currently riding on the crest of a wave; Blue Bresil, Shirocco and Sholokhov, all of whom stand for private fees, are enjoying excellent seasons while there is buzz surrounding the prospects of Youmzain (poa), a Group 1 sire on the Flat whose first Irish-bred crop are three, and Old Persian (poa), a Group 1-winning son of Dubawi who covered 158 mares in his first season last year.
“In the present climate, when every breeder is looking for a proven stallion for his mare, we were very pleased with the popularity of Old Persian,” said Cashman. “Breeders seemed to really like his imposing presence, pedigree and race record and he offers a great outcross for the large number of the Sadler’s Wells line mares in the country.”
Blue Bresil is currently in the midst of a purple patch while Sholokhov is hitting great heights thanks to the brilliant Shishkin.
“The roster of our proven sires at Glenview Stud has really hit the jackpot since the start of 2021,” says Cashman. “From initially small foal crops, Blue Bresil has produced the likes of Constitution Hill, Blue Lord and Royale Pagaille and with the quality and quantity of his mares increasing since his arrival in Ireland [in 2020], it would appear that his progeny will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.
“Sholokhov’s ascent through the stallion ranks is continuing with Shishkin and Bob Olinger flying the flag at the highest level. Shishkin was bred by our long standing resident clients, Clive Bennett and his late wife Eileen, and therefore Shishkin’s success is all the more special to everyone here.
“The Irish-bred crops by Shirocco are also now making their presence felt. During the second week of February alone he was the sire of 13 winners including Grade 2 bumper winner Lily Du Berlais. Youmzain was also very well received by breeders upon his arrival to us in April 2018, resulting in 93 foals born from that first season.”
Old Persian is proof of the appeal that Dubawi blood can hold for jumps breeders, something that is also in evidence when it comes to the King George and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Poet’s Word (Boardsmill Stud €6,000), a son of Poet’s Voice. Dubawi is also sire of Rich History (€3,500), a winning half-brother to Free Eagle who retires to Kedrah House Stud, and the 102-rated Almighwar (€1,500), a son of champion Taghrooda who retires to Garryrichard Stud. Poet’s Word, a 300,000gns yearling, has been hugely popular since his arrival to Ireland in 2020, and his progeny certainly provoked plenty of positive chat at last year’s foal sales, where they sold for up to €85,000.
A deep roster at Boardsmill Stud also includes Court Cave (€4,000), a proven Grade 1 sire with a notably good record at the Cheltenham Festival, and Group 2 winner Sumbal (€2,500), who represents the appealing combination of Danehill Dancer over Linamix. The latter moved to Boardsmill last year, where an uptick in popularity resulted in a book of 115 mares.
Indeed, the growing popularity of Danehill Dancer – fuelled in part by the success of Jeremy – has been a key trend of recent years.
In that respect, Hillstar (Garryrichard Stud: poa) deserves close attention. A top-class performer who won the Canadian International, this son of Danehill Dancer is a half-brother to Crystal Ocean and already has a black-type performer to his credit in Hillfinch from just a handful of runners.
The success of Jeremy also serves to enhance the appeal of his sons Success Days (Kilbarry Lodge Stud: €2,000), a four-time Pattern winner whose first foals realised up to €70,000 last year, and Kool Kompany (€2,000), a Group 2-winning two-year-old who is new to Clongiffen Stud following a stint in Spain.
Looking further afield into France, Mastercraftsman’s Group 1-winning son Technician (€3,000) is an interesting prospect. A rapidly progressive three-year-old stayer of 2019, he has retired to Haras de Montaigu, which of course developed the stud careers of Martaline and No Risk At All.
Several farms have also been quick to latch on to the potential of Mount Nelson, who died in 2019 just as he was gaining momentum as a jumps sire. Knockhouse Stud welcomes German Group 2 scorer Boscaccio (poa), a tough seven-time winner, while Royal Lodge Stakes victor Berkshire (poa) remains popular at Kedrah House Stud. The latter certainly possesses the firepower to make his presence felt in future years and become another success story for Kedrah House, whose veteran Well Chosen (poa) has overcome limited numbers to gain the respect of various good judges.
In Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Monitor Closely (€2,000), there is also the opportunity to use an actual half-brother to Mount Nelson. Sire of the Grade 2-winning chaser Eclair De Beaufeu from his time in France, he stands at Roveagh Lodge Stud alongside top miler Fuisse (€2,000), the sire of Group/Graded winners under both codes.
Similarly, the death of Champs Elysees in late 2018 left a major void. With any luck, his Group 1-winning son Way To Paris (€3,500), who covered 109 mares in his first season at Coolagown Stud last year, will maintain his legacy. As a tough and sound horse who held his form over five seasons, during which time he won five stakes races (including the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and placed in another 13, this likeable grey certainly possesses the attributes to be successful.
Coolagown has also welcomed the proven Malinas (€3,500), whose move coincided with the success of his son Master McShee in the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase, to complement a roster that also consists of Carlotamix (€2,000), best known as the sire of Gemix, and Zambezi Sun (€2,000), a Group 1-winning son of Dansili whose talented daughter Zambella continues to hold her own in good company.
Another tough son of Dansili, the 21-time winner Famous Name (poa), is stationed at Anngrove Stud alongside Group 1-winning two-year-old Marcel (poa).
Many of these sires possess the attributes to sire winners under both codes, a path also trodden in recent years by Elusive Pimpernel (Irish National Stud: €2,000), the sire of a pair of Flat Listed winners in addition to jumpers such as Coeur Sublime and Ex Patriot.
As with Britain, Ireland is home to a host of sons of Monsun, including the aforementioned Shirocco.
Coolmore has been among the front-runners of the movement as the host of Group 2 winner Ocovango (Beeches Stud: €2,500), whose first crop includes last year’s Imperial Cup winner Langer Dan, and Group 1-winning miler Maxios (Castle Hyde Stud: €7,000), whose early Flat-bred crops contain Triumph Hurdle winner Quilixios alongside a German Oaks heroine in Diamanta. Vadamos (€6,000) holds a similar profile to Maxios, being a top-class miling son of Monsun, and having been secured from Tally-Ho Stud last year, went on to cover 232 mares at Grange Stud. He’s a stakes sire on the Flat but his first crop of four-year-olds also contain several hurdles winners.
Manatee (€3,000), a Group 2-winning half-brother to Dartmouth, joins Whytemount Stud from France, where he covered over 400 mares in his first four seasons. Whytemount was the driving force behind the success of Stowaway and in addition to Manatee and Affinisea, has another interesting horse on its books in Group 2 winner Valirann (poa), the sire of Grade 2 bumper scorer Knappers Hill out of his first crop.
Away from Monsun, top German connections are boasted by In Swoop (Beeches Stud: €4,500), a son of the much-missed Adlerflug who defeated Torquator Tasso to win the German Derby and also ran second in the Arc.
German Derby winners Lucky Speed (poa), a son of Silvano whose first crop are five, and Kamsin (€3,500), a son of Samum whose runners are led by Auteuil Grade 1 winner On The Go, are based at Sunnyhill Stud and Annshoon Stud respectively. Annshoon Stud heads into 2022 with plenty of firepower behind it given it also recently secured Night Wish (€4,000), a Group 3-winning son of Sholokhov who has produced Listed winner Odiago out of his first crop, and the Saint Des Saints stallion Saintgodrel (€2,500).
Indeed, Classic form is never far away. In addition to Derby runner-up Libertarian, Knockhouse Stud stands a true Flat star in Workforce (poa), the Derby and Arc hero of 2010. Workforce joined Knockhouse from Japan in 2017 and his first Irish-bred crop includes promising Naas hurdles winner Man O Work. A varied roster at Knockhouse also includes Kapgarde’s proven half-brother Kap Rock (poa) and Tirwanako (poa), who has two exciting novice chasers running for him in Adrimel, already a Grade 2 winner over hurdles, and the Grade 1-placed Gabynako.
Another Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee has been installed at Arctic Tack Stud, where is bound to be popular at a fee of €3,500. By Farhh and related to Dubai Millennium, he was a Group 3-winning stayer and placed at Group 1 level on six occasions.
St Leger winners Scorpion (poa), the sire of Might Bite, and Arctic Cosmos (poa) reside at Old Road Stud while St Leger third Snow Sky (poa), a well-bred Juddmonte-bred son of Nayef who won the Hardwicke Stakes and Yorkshire Cup, stands at Ballycurragh Stud. The latter is off the mark with his first five-year-olds, which also include £110,000 pointer Snowy Evening
Speaking of well-related Juddmonte-bred horses, Kilbarry Lodge Stud is home to Pillar Coral (€1,500), a Zamindar half-brother to Martaline, Coastal Path and Reefscape. His first crop are three-year-olds and breeders obviously liked what they saw given his book rose to over 110 mares last year. Also popular at the same stud is Diamond Boy (poa), who is well represented in these parts by recent Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner L’Homme Presse and talented hurdler Grand Sancy.
With Doctor Dino carrying all before him in France, it will also be interesting to see how Group 3 winner Silas Marner (poa), another son of Muhtathir, fares at Knockmullen House Stud.
Also worthy of attention are Primary (Tullyraine House Stud: poa) following the exploits of his Grade 1-winning son First Flow, and Gamut (Rosshill Farm: poa), the sire of Grade 1 winners Road To Riches and Road To Respect among others.
Exciting season ahead of Nunstainton Stud
Nunstainton Stud in County Durham has long been one of the mainstays of the British jumps scene as the past host of Great Palm and Millenary among others. The family-run operation has received a real shot in the arm, however, with the addition of Classic winner Kingston Hill, who arrives on a two-year lease from Coolmore. The son of Mastercraftsman stands for £2,000 alongside Dragon Dancer, Cannock Chase and Norse Dancer.
“Kingston Hill will be great for us,” says the stud’s Chris Dawson. “We’re a small stud and we had mentioned to Richard Venn that we were looking for another horse but it was quite hard to find one. Then this horse came up and we jumped at the chance.”
Few horses in the dual-purpose sphere offer the kind of race record possessed by Kingston Hill. Trained by Roger Varian, he won the Racing Post Trophy at two and was rated a champion stayer at three when his achievements included a win in the St Leger and second in the Derby.
He has stood for Coolmore since his retirement in 2016 and boasts several promising Flat winners among his early crops including multiple scorer Galador and 95-rated Tashi. He is also off the mark over jumps thanks to the likes of Irish Hill, a hurdles winner for Paul Nicholls, and Keith Dalgleish’s Hear Me Out.
Crucially, he covered big books at Coolmore – 228 mares in 2019 and 184 in 2020 – meaning he has plenty of ammunition in the pipeline.
“He’s a very good-looking horse who should suit our clients because he’s also quite capable of getting a nice Flat horse,” says Dawson. “He’s also got plenty to run for him – the quality and numbers of mares he’s received gives him a real chance.”
Dawson is also looking forward to relaunching Cannock Chase, the Canadian International winner who initially retired to Nunstainton in 2017. The son of Lemon Drop Kid stood for a single season with the stud before heading on his travels but nevertheless made his presence felt at the stud, not only in the stamp of stock he left behind but as the sire of several first-crop winners.
“He got a few two-year-old winners from that crop with us,” says Dawson. “And now he’s starting to get good results over jumps. We like what he produces, he gets very good-looking stock, and when the opportunity arose to stand him again, we were keen to have him back.”
Derby runner-up Dragon Dancer, who is perhaps best known as the sire of multiple hurdles winner Goodbye Dancer, will also continue to benefit from the stud’s support as will Yanworth’s sire Norse Dancer, who joined last season following a spell at Yorton Farm Stud.
“Norse Dancer is an outcross for Sadler’s Wells, which suits us well,” says Dawson of the son of Halling. “I thought when we got him last year that we could cover five to six mares of our own and maybe get a few outside ones, and then that would pay for his keep. But when we got him, the phone never stopped ringing and in the end he covered 34 mares, which was great.
“He’s 22-years-old now but he’s still a beautiful horse. Obviously Yanworth has been his main flag-bearer over jumps but he’s also sired several good horses on the Flat, like Norse King [a Group 2 winner].”
Dragon Dancer stands for £1,500 while Norse Dancer has been priced at £2,000.