First Season Sires
With the season nearing its conclusion, and the breeding season fast approaching, it is a good time to look at, and grade, the various first season sires.
The first crop sires list is headed by the sensational Trippi, who has made a truly exceptional start to his South African stud career.
Trippi, who also heads the juvenile sires list by prize money earned, has made the best start of any young sire in recent memory. He is the first stallion to head the juvenile sires list with his first crop since Jet Master back in 2004-2005. From just 29 runners, Trippi has already come up with three stakes winners – which means his first crop are producing 10 % stakes winners to runners. He has also shown no sex bias, getting good colts and fillies alike.
It will be interesting to see how far the Trippis stay – their sire was best up to 1400 metres, and a number of his first crop have been produced by fast, or speedily bred, mares. His first two stakes winners, Agra and Franny, are both out of mares by speed king, National Assembly.
The two other first crop sires to have made their mark with their first 2yos are Stronghold and Ashaawes.
Stronghold, sadly now deceased, has an impressive strike rate with his runners. From 13 runners, seven, to date, have either won or run into the money. This is a good start for a horse who himself never ran at two. He is currently the second leading first crop sire, but has yet to have a stakes winner.
Stronghold was bred the same way as champion Australian sire Flying Spur – both were by Danehill out of daughters of Mr Prospector.
Ashaawes, like Trippi, is a male line descendant of Mr Prospector. He has only had a handful of runners, but his starters include the impressive debut winner Donnie Brasco and the G3 Langerman runner up, Sanshaawes. On pedigree, Ashaawes’ offspring should improve at three, and there should still be plenty to come from the sire. It is also worth noting that the Ashaawes’ progeny seem to have improved towards the end of the season, which suggests they continue to progress.
It is interesting to note that Ashaawes, currently the country’s third leading first crop sire, is bred on the all conquering Mr Prospector/Seattle Slew nick, which has proved so successful.
How far will Camelot stay?
Camelot, brilliant winner of the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby, has been talked of as a potential challenger for the British Triple Crown. This will mean he will need to win the English St Leger – a race run over slightly further than 2900 metres (a distance he is yet to try).
But will Camelot stay? He is by the stamina influence Montjeu, who has sired two previous Leger winners, but his first two dams (both of whom won stakes races) are by Kingmambo and Danehill.
Camelot’s dam stayed up to 1800. Tarfah’s 5 wins included the G3 Dahlia Stakes. Kingmambo himself sired former Leger winner, Rule of Law.
Tarfah’s dam won twice over 2000 metres, and at stud, threw a range of winners. Her winners won from distances ranging from 1200-2800m.
Interestingly, Camelot is the sole G1 winner in his family for three generations – which further suggests he inherited his class from his sire.
However, Camelot’s fifth dam bred the Oaks winner Seventh Bride.
On paper, Camelot should stay the Leger trip comfortably, and it is to be hoped connections do give him the chance to become the first English Triple Crown winner since 1970.
Oaks winner a boost for Gold Challenge runner up
The recent Investec Oaks win of Was (Galileo) is a considerable boost to the pedigree of the smart local runner, Castlethorpe.
Was and Castlethorpe share the same granddam, G1 winner Park Express (Ahonoora). The latter is really making her name felt in international pedigrees, as her Derby winning son, New Approach (Galileo), has made an excellent start to his stud career.
New Approach is the sire of unbeaten stakes winning 2yo Dawn Approach, who looks likely to be a contender for some of the richer 2yo races later in the season.
Another notable performer from this family is talented US filly Quiet Oasis. Winner of the G3 Wilshire Handicap and second in the G1 Gamely Stakes, Quiet Oasis’ granddam is Park Heiress – the dam of Castlethorpe (Not A Single Doubt).
Ill-fated sire’s lasting legacy
There is a well accepted “fact” that when a sire dies, his progeny take off. One stallion, whose was premature death, was a real setback to the South African industry was Secret Prospector.
In the news as the damsire of Variety Club, Secret Prospector had just six crops prior to his untimely death. From just over 300 foals, Secret Prospector had a winners to foal ratio of 65% which is well above average. His 23 (8%) stakes winners included the G1 winners What A Prospect, Hidden Fortune and Secret Rites.
However, it is as a broodmare sire that Secret Prospector is leaving his mark on the stud book. He is the broodmare sire of top broodmare Trade Enquiry (whose three graded winners include recent G3 Cup Trial runner up Buy And Sell).
He is also damsire of the versatile champion Key of Destiny and Graded winners Announce Speed, Honour and Glory and Elegant Blush.
Secret Prospector is already the broodmare sire of one G1 winner at stud, Elusive Fort, and with Variety Club likely to stand in South Africa, his legacy could will extend further.
It is hard not to wonder what his legacy might have been had he been represented by more foals!