Judging by the results achieved by his small first crop, South Africa lost a potentially outstanding stallion with the death of Drakenstein Stud’s Kingsbarns in 2018.
Only eight at the time of his death, Kingsbarns left behind a very small first crop, due to well documented fertility issues, but he has made a considerable impact with that first crop. One can but wonder what he may have achieved, had fate been kinder.
When his son King Of Gems won the Gr2 Concorde Cup on Saturday he became his sire’s second graded stakes winner from his first South African crop following Gr1 Thekwini Stakes winner, and Equus Champion, Gabor.
Remarkably, King Of Gems and Gabor are two of just ten runners to have emerged from Kingsbarns’ first local crop – consisting of a mere 14 registered foals in total. Of Kingsbarns’ first ten local runners, six have won, with his tally including not only the mentioned duo but also the smart filly Casino Queen and the useful Sir Michael. Of his first ten local runners, only three have failed to win or finish in the placings thus far.
Both King Of Gems and Gabor are out of daughters of Trippi, with the former champion sire showing increasing signs of becoming a top-class broodmare sire.
Kingsbarns, an unbeaten Gr1 winner at two by Galileo – like such top sires as Frankel and Teofilo, has another small crop of two-year-olds set to represent him this season, with his juveniles including a filly out of a mare of Rock Of Gibraltar – the sire of Kingsbarns’ talented half-sister Sweeter Still.
Hopefully, Kingsbarns’ success can be continued through his next crop which will race in 2019-2020 and it is hard not to believe that his daughters won’t make their mark as broodmares when they retire to stud.
His promising start also gives hope to the increasing band of young Galileo sire sons at stud in South Africa, with this rank including the likes of Flying The Flag, Global View and The United States. Both Flying The Flag and Global View are set to have their first runners this season.
Kingsbarns’ own pedigree continues to go from strength to strength, with his sire Galileo recently responsible for a remarkable 84th individual Gr1 winner. Unquestionably the world’s premier sire today, Galileo has had another extraordinary year in 2019, with his progeny winning all of the Gr1 Investec Derby, Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, 1000 Guineas, Gr1 Irish Derby, Gr1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes, Gr1 Juddmonte International, G1 Grand Prix de Paris, Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes, G1 Prix du Moulin, Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes, Gr1 Champion Stakes, Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Gr1 Prix Ganay, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 Irish St Leger and Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes this year.
Kingsbarns’ half-sister, Gr3 Senorita Stakes victress Sweeter Still (Rock Of Gibraltar) made news in 2019 with her promising two-year-old son Kameko (Kitten’s Joy) capturing the Gr1 Vertem Futurity Trophy (a race Kingsbarns won under the name of the Gr1 Racing Post Trophy in 2012) in very impressive fashion.
Hailing from both the same male and female line as Kingsbarns, Kameko looks a leading classic hope for 2020.
Kingsbarns, whose dam Beltisaal was a daughter of Gr1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Belmez (a son of the subfertile El Gran Senor), traced back to a very influential taproot mare in the form of Irish Oaks winner Agar’s Plough (Combat).
The latter produced Irish champion Mesopotamia (Zarathustra) and also numbers the likes of Gr1 Middle Park Stakes winner and hugely successful sire, Dark Angel (Acclamation), champion and successful sire/broodmare sire Halling (Diesis), and Gr1 winners Balla Cove (Ballad Rock), Cherokee Rose (Dancing Brave), Danish (Danehill), Galaxy Libra (Wolver Hollow), and San Sebastian (Niniski) among her numerous high-class descendants.
This female line also enjoyed success in South Africa through Agar’s Plough’s descendant Noordhoek Flyer (Pivotal) who won the Gr1 Cape Guineas and Gr2 KRA Guineas during his career before retiring to a somewhat disappointing stud career, while Restructure (who traces back to Agar’s Plough through Mesopotamia) is broodmare sire of former South African Horse Of The Year, and four time Gr1 winner, Legislate (Dynasty). Interestingly, Legislate is from the immediate family of Gabor.
Kingsbarns is also very closely related to the Galileo sired triple Gr1 winner Rip Van Winkle – the latter’s fourth dam House Tie (Be Friendly) is also third dam of Kingsbarns.
While Rip Van Winkle, a former Coolmore resident, may not have lived up to the high expectations when he retired to stud, the Windsor Park Stud resident is currently responsible for 29 black type performers headed by Gr1 Phoenix Stakes hero Dick Whittington and current classy galloper Te Akau Shark. The latter was beaten a short head into second place in the 2019 Gr1 TAB Epsom Handicap at Flemington racecourse.