Every year hopes and expectations are high in breeding sheds around the world with the biggest weight placed on stallions whose first foals are arriving. While there are 11 months until breeders can first see how the foals are received by buyers at the winter breeding stock sales, how first foals look in the early months of breeding season can affect a sire’s second book.
With multiple classic winners and champions retiring in Europe last year, it was a busy season for breeders. Here are six whose first foals arriving this year should garner attention from breeders and fans.
Australian champion, Brazen Beau (I
Am Invincible) nearly got a Group 1 win in Europe in his second-to-last start
when finishing second to Undrafted (Purim) in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at
Royal Ascot. The stallion won four group stakes in his career including two
Australian Group 1s, all at sprint distance to show he has the speed that has
become increasing popular to breeders around the word. A grandson of Invincible
Spirit (Green Desert) through his sire and a great grandson of Danzig (Northern
Dancer) through his dam, he attracted 109 mares during his first season in
England last year. He stands for £10,000 (approx. $12,468
/€11,819) in 2017.
|Golden Horn has his first foals on the ground this year.|
Brazen Beau has his first northern hemisphere foal on the ground at Kirtlington Stud https://t.co/DPFbwQ0Arc pic.twitter.com/TZutL6vam0— RP Bloodstock (@rpbloodstock) January 21, 2017
Winning or placing in group stakes each of his three years on the track, Free Eagle (High Chaparral) won three of eight starts during his career including a Group 1 win over The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman) in the Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot in 2015. Other horses he finished ahead of in his career included Group 1 winners Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top), Ruler of the World (Galileo), Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi) and Highland Reel (Galileo). His race record, conformation and family combined to attract 112 mares to his book in 2016. He stands for €20,000 (approx. $21,101/£16,921) this year.
Royal Ascot winner Free Eagle's first foal has landed and she's a beauty! #bornintogreatness https://t.co/D6S2yhOAJE pic.twitter.com/8qd4iQoObL— Irish National Stud (@IrishNatStud) January 19, 2017
A well-bred Thoroughbred with the pedigree to match, champion Gleneagles (Galileo) was a two-time classic winner among four Group 1 wins. In all, Gleneagles crossed the finish line first eight times (though in one race he was disqualified to second) in 11 starts. A full brother to classic winner Marvellous (Galileo) and out of a full sister to champion racehorse and sire Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat), Gleneagles lived up to the old adage ‘breed the best to the best and hope for the best’. The 5-year-old bred 150 mares in 2016 and stands for a fee of €40,000 (approx. $42,202/£33,843) this year.
The 2015 Cartier Horse of the Year Golden Horn (Cape Cross) won seven of his nine starts including the Group 1 Investec Derby Stakes and the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe among his four Group 1 victories in nine starts. The only two losses of his career came at the hooves of fillies Arabian Queen (Dubawi) and Found (Galileo) who beat him by a combined three quarters length. Golden Horn was sent 145 mare in 2016, the same year his sire was pensioned from breeding duties. He stands for £60,000 (approx. $74,808 /€70,914) this year.
Golden Horn's first foal is absolutely adorable. This colt was born on 9th January and is o/o La Dorotea who's a full sister to Jemayel. pic.twitter.com/m0QqwebdpI— Dayna (@rockonxruby) January 12, 2017
France’s 2014 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, The Wow Signal (Starspangledbanner) had a brief but impressive career when winning three straight as a 2-year-old. Those victories included a half-length win over subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny (Quality Road) in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny and a win at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. He stands in 2017 for €8,000 (approx. $8,440/£6,768).