Derby winners at stud
Saturday sees the running of one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious races. The Epsom (now Investec) Derby was first run in 1780 and has over time become a sought after race for all owners and breeders to win. Legendary breeder Federico Tesio’s comment “the breed depends on a piece of wood, the winning post of the Epsom Derby.”
However, in recent times, very few Epsom Derby winners have gone on to excel at stud. Since 1980, only one winner, Galileo in 2001, has gone on to be champion sire in Britain. But have all the other Derby winners been failures at stud?
The 1981 winner, Shergar, was famously kidnapped after producing a crop of 35 foals which contained Irish St Leger winner Authaal and classic placed filly Maysoon, whilst 1982 victor Golden Fleece died after one season at stud.
The 1983 winner Teenoso was vanquished to the ranks of National Hunt stallions, whilst a year later Secreto did little at stud apart from siring 2000 Guineas winner Mystiko.
Slip Anchor, who won for Henry Cecil in 1985, was a decent stallion, despite never being particularly fashionable. His 28 stakes winners included multiple classic winning filly User Friendly, as well as G1 winners Posidonas, Morshi and Slicious.
While Shahrastani, successful in the 1986 Derby, was a disappointing stallion, his daughters have done reasonably well, with G1 winners Caradak (Prix de la Foret) and Alamshar (Irish Derby).
The 1987 winner Reference Point died after just one season at stud, whilst the 1988 victor, Kahyasi, became a successful sire, despite never receiving the support his results suggested he deserved. Kahyasi sired five G1 winners (including two Prix de Diane winners), and he has also become a highly successful broodmare sire. His daughters include the wonderful broodmare Hasili, and other top horses produced by Kahyasi mares include the unbeaten Prix de’l Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava.
Nashwan, who won the 1989 Derby, was a great racehorse, and a vastly maligned stallion. The son of Blushing Groom did well at stud, without living up to the high expectations held for him when retiring to stud. His individual G1 winners include international champions Swain, Wandesta and Arc winner Bago.
In 1990, the Derby was won by Quest For Fame. Retiring to stud in Australia, Quest For Fame was another Derby victor to enjoy a reasonably successful stud career without becoming champion sire. Sire of 27 stakes winners, Quest For Fame’s G1 winners included Famous Digger, De Beers and Viscount – the latter now well known as the sire of top sprinter Rocket Man.
The 1991 Epsom Derby, Generous, was one of the best Derby winners in the past fifty years. At stud, Generous has been moved around fairly regularly, but has managed to sire 44 stakes winners include G1 winning fillies Catella and Mystic Lips. He is also the broodmare sire of 2000 Guineas winner Golan, as well as G1 winners We Can Say It Now, Al Shemali and Lion Tamer.
Dr Devious, who landed the 1992 Derby after finishing 7th in the Kentucky Derby, was not a great success at stud, but did manage to sire two G1 winners in the globetrotting Collier Hill and Prix de’L Opera winner Kinnaird respectively.
Commander In Chief, who revenged the defeat suffered by his sire, Dancing Brave, in 1993, retired to stud in Japan. His best runners include Japan Dirt Derby winner Meiner Combat and champion filly Ein Bride.
Both the 1994 and 1995 Derby winners, Erhaab and Lammtarra, failed dismally at stud, while the 1996 winner, Shaamit, sired St Leger winner Bollin Eric, but precious little else.
The winner in 1997, Benny The Dip, spent the first part of his stud career in the USA, but he failed to sire anything of note, and was sent back to the UK, where he died before managing to produce anything special. The next year’s winner, High-Rise, is currently standing as a National Hunt sire, after originally retiring to stud in Japan.
Oath, victorious in 1999, retired to stud in Japan, where he has made little impact. Sinndar, who won the Derby for the Aga Khan in 2000, has a rather erratic record to date, but his offspring include G1 winners Rosanara, Shawanda and triple Arc runner up Youmzain.
Galileo, winner in 2001, has proven one of the best stallions in the world. Without doubt the most successful English Derby winner to stand at stud since the 1970’s, Galileo has been champion sire in the UK twice to date. He is currently well clear on the general sires list in the UK and looks likely to win his third title this year . His 18 individual G1 winners include English classic winners Frankel, New Approach and Sixties Icon. This year alone, Galileo has been represented by three European classic winners.
The 2002 winner, High Chaparral, stands alongside Galileo at Coolmore Stud. High Chaparral, whose Northern Hemisphere runners include G1 winner Redwood and the classic placed runners High Heeled Lady and Golden Sword, has proven more successful in Australia than in Europe. His first Southern Hemisphere crop include international sensation So You Think, and High Chaparral is currently second on the Australian general sires list.
The Epsom Derby winner in 2003 was Kris Kin. Currently a National Hunt sire, Kris Kin has done little at stud so far. The year after, North Light took the spoils. The son of Danehill’s first crop included the St Leger winner Arctic Cosmos, but he has had few other stakes winners.
The 2005 victor Motivator made a promising start with his first crop of 2yos which included the G2 May Hill Stakes winner Pollenator, but he has done little since. The following year, the Derby was won by Sir Percy, whose first runners are 2yos.
Top mare sells at Magic Millions
Former South African champion racemare, Ruby Clipper, was sold for $100,000 (R730 000) at Australia’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. The daughter of Rubiton was knocked down to E Thoroughbred Pty Ltd. Consigned by Strawberry Hill Stud, Ruby Clipper is currently in foal to Kentucky Derby winner and champion Big Brown.
Ruby Clipper, twice a champion in South Africa, is the dam of South African G1 winner and now sire, Seventh Rock (Rock of Gibraltar). She has not, however, enjoyed the best of fortune at stud, with two of her foals dying, and missing three seasons.