When it comes to sons of Sadler’s Wells, High Chaparral never assumed the same standing as either Galileo or Montjeu. Yet that’s not to say his influence is fading in anyway. Although far more potent in the southern hemisphere, where he sired 16 Group 1 winners, he remains a force through his sons, as we were reminded of again during the Christmas period.

In New Zealand, son Contributer was responsible for Campionessa, winner of the Group 1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic at Pukekohe Park on Boxing Day. Meanwhile, the jumps action on that same day in Britain and Ireland propelled the French-based Karaktar further into the spotlight. Already regarded as a young jumps sire of importance, he is now more than likely a buzzword with trainers and agents following the impressive Graded race double of Il Est Francais, who put in a breathtaking display of jumping to win the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton for Noel George and Amanda Zetterholm, and Kala Conti, who struck in the Grade 2 novice hurdle at Leopardstown for Gordon Elliott.

It was a day that illustrated the class and versatility of the line in addition to how it is placed in today’s world; while several high-profile sons of High Chaparral have disappointed at stud in Europe, leaving a smattering of jumps-based representatives to carry the flag, it is thriving in Australasia, where sons So You Think, Dundeel, Toronado, Redwood and Tivaci are each proven Group 1 sires alongside Contributer.

There were high expectations for So You Think, the winner of no fewer than ten Group 1 races across both hemispheres, and champion Dundeel from the start of their stud careers at their respective bases of Coolmore and Arrowfield Stud.

So You Think was underwhelming in the northern hemisphere but he’s been a different proposition in Australia, where his stud record currently comprises 55 stakes winners, ten at Group 1 level, that in turn underpins a stud fee of A$99,000.

Dundeel, for his part, got off to a swift start as the sire of Group 1 winners Atyaab and Truly Great in his first crop and Castelvecchio, Yourdeel and Super Seth in his second. Currently, he is represented by leading three-year-old colt Militarize, a dual Group 1 winner at two.

Contributer has been more of a slow burner. Bred in Ireland by Lady O’Reilly’s Petra Bloodstock Agency, he won a pair of Listed races including the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot for Ed Dunlop before changing hands to Godolphin, for whom he became an accomplished performer in Australia. John O’Shea took over the handling of the horse and within the year had sent him out to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes over a mile and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes over 1m2f.

Contributer was later retired to stand at Mapperley Stud in New Zealand, a country where High Chaparral himself had fared so well. Darley retained an interest and half of the horse was syndicated among prominent New Zealand breeders.

Perhaps the path is clear now for Contributer to produce greater numbers and consolidate his place as one of New Zealand’s most upwardly mobile stallions

Contributer stood his first season for NZ$15,000 (£7,500) and it is out of that 69-strong first crop that Group 1 winners Campionessa and Lion’s Roar, who completed a major Christmas Group race double for the stallion by winning the Group 3 Summer Cup at Randwick, have emerged. Unfortunately, injury subsequently restricted his numbers to the point that he doesn’t have more than 110 foals across his three next crops. His troubles are now reportedly behind him, so perhaps the path is clear now for him to produce greater numbers and consolidate his place as one of New Zealand’s most upwardly mobile stallions at a fee of NZ$18,000 (£9,000).

Over in France, Karaktar has rapidly become a star of the French jumps stallion scene at Haras de Cercy, his home since his sale to Winning Bloodstock Agency for €110,000 at the 2016 Arqana Summer Sale. Karaktar had won a pair of Group 3 races, the Prix Noailles and Prix du Prince d’Orange, for the Aga Khan and hailed from a typically deep line belonging to his breeder. Installed at just €2,000, he wound up with just over 50 foals in his first crop, a group that has ultimately wasted little time in advertising his merit. Il Est Francais, whose previous wins included the prestigious Prix Renaud du Vivier 4yo Hurdle at Auteuil, is very much the star of the show but there is also Incollable, winner of the Grade 3 Prix Heros VII Chase, and Moka De Vassy, a Grade 2-placed juvenile hurdler for Jane Williams.

That momentum carried on over into his second crop, which is headlined by Grade 3 Prix General Saint-Didier winner Janeiro Verde, and into his third; despite just only turning four, that group already contains Kala Conti, currently a 12/1 shot for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and the filly Karakta, who emulated Janeiro Verde by taking the Prix General Saint-Didier at Compiegne in November.

Unsurprisingly, Karaktar’s fee is on the ascent – he will stand for €12,000 this year – while if the chat is anything to go by, various British and Irish stallion operations are looking to pounce. However, for now he remains very much the pride and joy of Haras de Cercy, who are marketing him quite simply as ‘The Revelation’.

Il Est Francais and James Reveley soar over the last to win the Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. Photo – Bill Selwyn