The Tattersalls February Sale signals the start of the new breeding season and whilst there are rumours of spring, Newmarket is still clinging to winter with frosty determination. However, the morning of the sale was quickly heated up with the Annual TBA Stallion Parade which drew a large crowd to fill the sales ring.
The line-up comprised of 15 stallions and the parade was run smoothly and efficiently with commentators Matthew Prior and Gina Bryce offering a wealth of knowledge to assist owners and breeders in making informed decisions on their 2015 covering plans.
Excitement is always stirred by first-season sires: while all have proven their worth on the track little can be known about their future at stud. However, at prices that allow room for budgets both great and small these are the horses that are commercially viable for most and offer breeders the chance to access potentially potent genetic attributes.
Albaasil, a son of the great Dansili, now standing at Longdon Stud, started the show. Having won two races at three over a mile and been runner-up in the Group 2 Al Tayer Motors Al Fahidi Fort Stakes at Meydan, he represents good value for money at £1,750. He was followed by Burwaaz, a son of Exceed And Excel. Trained by Ed Dunlop, who testifies to his speed and brilliant turn of foot, he will be standing at Hedgeholme Stud in County Durham at a fee of £2,500.
Overbury Stud was well represented with three impressive young stallions. Cityscape, the striking son of Selkirk is a carbon copy of his sire and boasts the highest Timeform rating of any of his progeny at 125. He set a new track record when winning the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Meydan and is available at £4,500. Dunaden has been acclaimed by Sheikh Fahad as his “horse of a lifetime” and this tough, tenacious horse proved his grit and determination by winning three Group 1 races in Australia and Hong Kong. His fee is £3,000and breeders using him in his first season can benefit from come lucrative premiums from the Dunaden Breeders’ Club initiative, we well as a £25,000 bonus for anyone to breed a first-crop two- or three-year-old stakes winner by him.
Less well know to European breeders is Kuroshio, a precocious Australian-bred son of Exceed And Excel who is the latest addition to the Overbury roster. He boasts a pedigree which includes the American influences of Gone West and Storm Cat and is standing for £3,500.
Cheveley Park Stud is keeping it in the family with new recruit Garswood who will stand at stud alongside his sire, Dutch Art, grandsire Medicean and damsire Kyllachy for £7,000. This Group 1-winning sprinter is built for speed, with strong hindquarters and a good shoulder.
Bucklands Farm presented newcomer Coach House, whose promising racing career was cut short by injury but who was highly rated by trainer Aidan O’Brien. By Oasis Dream, and the first foal of impressive race mare Lesson in Humility, he won twice as a two-year-old, including the Listed EBF Marble Hill Stakes.
Heeraat was the most expensive son from the first crop of Dark Angel and is out of the Green Desert mare Thawrah, who is a half-sister to Group 1-winning sprinter Malhub. He joins the roster at Mickley Stud for a fee of £4,000.
Sun Central stands at Elusive Bloodstock for £2,000, which seems a steal for this striking chestnut with the pedigree to match. He is a son of the great Galileo and a half-brother to champion two-year-old and Classic winner George Washington.
The National Stud was represented by Dick Turpin and Gregorian. The smart John Gosden-trained Gregorian was recommended by his trainer as being “fine-looking, tough and ultra-genuine” and his six wins include the Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakesat Epsom. The son of Clodovil makes his stud debut at £4,500.
Dick Turpin’s first two-year-olds hot the track this season and he has just returned from a shuttle saeason at Mungrup Stud in Australia. Sire. The champion older horse in Italy, he won nine races, including two Group 1s and three Group 2s, and stands for £4,000.
Newsells Park Stud’s Equiano is the highest-rated son of Acclamation and stands at £8,000. His first crop are now three-year-olds but he already has a Group winner to his name and, as a top sprinter who reached his peak at five, it’s fair to assume that the best is yet to come. Equiano’s stud-mate Mount Nelson, an impressive son of Rock of Gibraltar, is great value for money for value at £6,000 with a tally of 10 group winners and performers to date.
Classic winner Sixties Icon made the trip from Norman Court Stud in Wiltshire and was only of two stallions at the parade to have been bred at Lordship Stud in Newmarket along with Swiss Spirit. A son of Galileo out of the Oaks winner Love Divine, Sixties Icon was the champion three-year-old stayer in Europe in 2006 and is the sire of Group 3 winner Chilworth Icon and listed winners Audacia and Cruck Realta. His fee for 2015 is £6 000.
Finally, Swiss Spirit was another addition to the successful team at Whitsbury Manor Stud last season. This high-class sprinter beat 10 Group 1 winners in his racing days, including Lethal Force and Sole Power. He was well supported in his first season, covering 105 mares, and we look forward to welcoming his first foals this spring. His fee for this season is £4,500.