Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sires to Watch: Europe's New Fathers

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.

Golden Horn has his first foals on the ground this year.
An 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.

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.


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.
Another classic winner to retire to stud in 2016, Make Believe (Makfi) won four of his seven starts including two Group 1 races in France. Those victories showcased the stallion well with the now 5-year-old beating New Bay (Dubawi) by an easy three lengths in the Group 1 Poule D’Essai des Poulains in May of his 3-year-old year and Limato (Tagula) in October of that same year by 1 ¼ lengths in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret. Retired to Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, Make Believe covered 120 mares last year. He stands for €17,500 (approx. $18,463 /£14,806) this year.

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).


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