Thursday, May 25, 2017

Keeping It In the Family: International Bloodlines in Irish 2,000 Guineas

War Front
After a classic-heavy month around the world, Ireland takes its place in the spotlight this weekend with the Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas. The 2,000 Guineas attracted a small field of six for Saturday’s race but Galileo isn’t the man in charge with multiple runners here. U.S. sire War Front has the most runners with two in the field with four other stallions also having entries.

Galileo – Galileo only has one runner here but it’s a good one with his son Churchill winning the Qipco 2,000 Guineas three weeks ago and now going for the Irish equivalent. He also has one grandson in the race, sired by Teofilo. Galileo has had a decent amount of representation in classics as a broodmare sire the last few years but neither he or his sire, Sadler’s Wells, have any daughters with runners here.

War Front – War Front (Danzig) has been a huge hit in Europe and this year has sired the most Irish 2,000 Guineas runners of any sires. Not surprisingly, both War Fronts are owned by Coolmore and partners with that global powerhouse heavily supporting the stallion the last few years. This is arguably the best crop of 3-year-olds to date for War Front and they could go extremely far in helping erase the reputation he has in Europe of only being a 2-year-old sire if they perform well in races like this.

The Next Generation – The sire power of the newer sires around the world has been a large topic of conversation on this blog lately and the Irish 2,000 Guineas in another race where the young guns in the breeding shed are represented. Of the five different sires with horses in the race, two are stallions with their first 3-year-olds (Casamento and Helmet) and two others are still fairly young with their first crop hitting the ground in 2009 (Teofilo and War Front). Galileo has six years on all of them with that stallion entering the shed in 2002, the year War Front was born.

Stud Fees – Last week when looking at how stud fees had risen with the sires who had runners in the Preakness, it looked like there was a big fee increase for multiple U.S.-based stallions between 2013, when this crop was conceived, and 2017. Kentucky-based War Front follows that U.S. theme with a jump from $80,000 (approx. €71,190 today) in 2013 to $250,000 (approx. €222,469) in 2017. Stud farms in Europe seem to be a bit more conservative when raising fees and this group of stallions shows that. Galileo has been private for years, so it’s hard to know exactly how his fee has moved (odds are very good that it has risen steadily) but Casamento has pretty much stayed the same with his stud fee just changing from euros to pounds (5,000 in both denominations, though moving to pounds raised his fee by a few Euros in today’s exchange rate) and Helmet doing the same in the €10,000 fee range. The only European stallion to make a fee jump was Teofilo, who moved from €35,000 in 2015 to €40,000 this year.

Because of War Front’s large stud fee jump, the average stud fee of the four stallions with advertised fees jumped from €30,297 in 2013 to €69,950 this year.

U.S. Damsires – Six different stallions sired the broodmares who produced this year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas runners. The U.S. holds a few bragging rights here with three of the six runners out of mares by U.S.-based stallions. Of those stallions, two are still standing with More Than Ready (Southern Halo) at a fee of €53,392 in 2017 and Grindstone at a fee of €1,334. Race favorite Churchill is out of a mare by the legendary U.S. stallion Storm Cat (Storm Bird), who obviously has a few European connections outside this horse through his own sire Storm Bird and his son Giant’s Causeway. Giant’s Causeway also gives Storm Cat some representation through the male line of runners with Giant’s Causeway grandson Casamento siring Glastonbury Song.

More Than Ready
Auctions – After looking at the Preakness field last week where all but one of the horses had been sold at public auction at least once, it’s interesting to note that according to Equineline, only two horses in this field have sold at auction. There are a few who are running under names other than their breeders, making it look like they were probably sold privately but only $850,000 (€756,396) Keeneland November weanling purchase Spirit of Valor (War Front) and €31,0000 Goffs Sportsman’s Sale yearling Glastonbury Song (Casamento) have sold in the ring.

With every runner in the race coming from the Northern Dancer sire line in this race, the chart below shows the broodmare sire line of each runner.


Horse (Sire)
Broodmare Sire
Broodmare Sire Line
Churchill (Galileo)
Storm Cat
Northern Dancer
Glastonbury Song (Casamento)
More Than Ready
Irishcorrespondent (Teofilo)
Mark of Esteem
Shirley Heights
Lancaster Bomber (War Front)
Indian Ridge
Orderofthegarter (War Front)
Northern Dancer
Pipes of Peace (Galileo)
Northern Dancer
Spirit of Valor (War Front)
Mr. Prospector
Thunder Snow (Helmet)
Dubai Destination
Mr. Prospector
War Decree (War Front)
Street Cry
Mr. Prospector

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