Friday, April 14, 2017

Sires to Watch: Europe's First Crop Stallions

With multiple European classic winners retiring to stud in 2014, it was an interesting year for freshman sires on the continent. From a few who were high in demand their first year in the shed and some who covered a smaller group of mares, here are a few first crop sires in Europe that look interesting this year.

One of the most anticipated new sires of the year is Camelot (Montjeu), who was only three quarters of a length from winning the British Triple Crown in 2012. Reports about his first 2-year-olds have been good since they started hitting the ground in 2015 and photos show that quite a few look like him, which isn’t a bad sign. He was given a fee raise to €35,000 this year from the €25,000 he was at his first three years, something you don’t see too often when stallions are about to have their first 2-year-olds which is another positive sign for him. According to Weatherby’s Stallion Book, Camelot has 151 foals of racing this year.

Camelot (Coolmore Photo)

Juddmonte Farms born and raced, Overbury Stud resident Cityscape (Selkirk) looks like an interesting sire to watch with this year’s freshmen. As you would expect from a Juddmonte-bred, Cityscape has a heck of a family behind him as a half-brother to Bated Breath (Dansili) and grandson of successful broodmare Didina (Nashwan). Bated Breath was lost a bit in the shadow of studmate Frankel (Galileo) last year as a first crop sire but had a fair amount of success with three group placed horses, which looks well for his half-brother who was arguably a better racehorse. Cityscape only stands for £4,500, a fee that could look a real valuable at the end of this year. Cityscape has 62 foals of racing age.

Two-year-old champion Dawn Approach (New Approach) has the pedigree and race record to be a real threat in the first crop rankings and there’s no doubt he has gotten top notch support as a Darley stallion. A five length winner of the Group 1 QIPCO 2,000 Guineas in his first race at a mile, he confirmed that he was a top class horse at that distance with a win a month and a half later in the Group 1 St. James Palace over Toronado (High Chaparral) and losing by just half a length to that rival in the Group 1 QIPCO Sussex Stakes. In all, it looks like he and Camelot will be battling it out ahead of everyone else for the first-crop title in 2017. Dawn Approach has 113 2-year-olds.

Dawn Approach (Darley Photo)
French sire Intello (Galileo) was a classic winner in 2013 and ended his career with a third in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to Treve that year. A son of Galileo, who is looking to carry on his sireline’s sire-of-sires reputation, Intello seemed to be a versatile middle distance horse with group stakes wins from a mile to 10 ½ furlongs. Intello’s second dam, Occupandiste (Kaldoun), was the 1997 champion older mare in France and dam of three group stakes winners and two dams behind her is Elle Seule (Exclusive Native), is the dam or granddam of four champions. Intello has 100 2-year-olds looking to hit the track this year.

Italy’s 2010 champion 3-year-old, Worthadd (Dubawi) was a classic winner in the country and won nine of 19 starts with five other placings. While based in that country, Worthadd also traveled to win a Group 3 at five in Germany and was second in the Group 1 JLT Lockinge Stakes to Canford Cliffs in England at four. The first son of Dubawi to stand at stud in Ireland when he retired in 2014, he’s an Irish National Stud resident from the family of German champion Dai Jin (Peintre Celebre) with his third dam being three time U.S. Grade 1 winner White Star Line (Northern Dancer). Worthadd only has 19 foals of racing age this year, making it nearly impossible for him to compete in the First-Crop Sire battle but don’t be surprised if his name pops up a few times in winner stories.

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