Here And Elsewhere – 23 Dec

Sarah Whitelaw's take on the thoroughbred world

Champion’s flashy first foals
I was recently fortunate enough to see a number of champion Argonaut’s first foals. Argonaut certainly appears to be stamping his foals, and the majority of them are flashy, well made chestnuts, who bare a strong resemblance to their sire. Among the foals who caught the eye was a very nice half-sister to classy sprinter Thunder Key (Muhtafal), recently voted Cape Owned Sprinter of the year.
A former champion 2yo, Argonaut (Western Winter) has again proved popular at stud, but despite the demands made on him last looked in great nick. His sire, Western Winter, featured very prominently in Saturday’s feature races, with his son, Solo Traveller, winning the R1 million Bloodstock SA Cape Guineas, and Western Winter mare Early Thaw producing impressive Gr2 Diadem Stakes victor Past Master (Jet Master).

World Leading sires of 2010 – sons of Kingmambo to the fore!
With the racing year at an end in the Northern Hemisphere having all but ended on the flat, it is a good time to revise the champion sires in the major racing countries.

Galileo heads the UK general sires list for the season past. It will be a second sires’ title for the son of Sadler’s Wells. With the likes of Gr1 winning juveniles Roderic O’Connor, Misty for Me and the sensational Frankel waiting in the wings for Galileo, he could well earn his third title as champion sire next year. Leading sire in the UK by number of stakes winners was Oasis Dream. The son of Green Desert was represented by nine stakes winners in 2010 alone, and understandably his stud fee was increased for the 2011 breeding season. Oasis Dream will stand for no less than 85,000 pounds next year – or R900 000!. Oasis Dream’s first three crops have produced six individual Gr1 winners, and despite being a sprinting son of a sprinter, Oasis Dream has shown his ability to produce mile and a half horses.

In France, the general sires was led by 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best – sire of 2010 Arc winner Workforce. A son of Kingmambo, King’s Best was represented by 10 stakes winners in 2010 alone. He stands for the reasonable fee of 15,000 euros this year.

Runner up on the French list is Goldikova’s sire Anabaa – there are 300,000 euros difference between the first two on the general sires list. The French sires list is almost inevitably headed by the sire of the Arc de Triomphe winner and in 2010 it was no different. Since 2005, France’s champion sire has been the sire of the Arc winner of that particular year. Leading sire in France this year by individual stakes winners, was the astonishing young sire Dubawi. The son of Dubai Millennium was represented by seven individual stakes winners, and finished up 13th on the general sires list.

In Japan, the general sires list is headed up another son of Kingmambo – King Kamehameha.  A former Japanese Derby winner, King Kamehameha, also sire of former fillies Triple Crown winner Apapane, has been represented by eight stakes winners this year alone – include Rose Kingdom, winner of the Japan Cup following the disqualification of Buena Vista.

What is interesting about King Kamehameha’s ascent to the top of the Japanese sires list is that for the first time since 1995 the Japanese sires list was not headed up by Sunday Silence or one of his sons! Nonetheless, four of the top ten on the Japanese general sires list were descendants of the legendary Sunday Silence.

In Italy Blu Air Force emulated his sire Sri Pekan (Red Ransom) by becoming champion sire. Blu Air Force (a grandson of the tap root mare Sex Appeal) himself was a champion at two in Italy. He gained the title of champion sire more on number of individual winners rather than quality, and was represented by a sole stakes winner this year. Blu Air Force’s 45 winners won over 1 million euros in prize money.

Second on the Italian general sires list was Dubawi, one of the finest young sires at stud in the world.  From just two crops to date, Dubawi has been represented by over 22 stakes winners, including Gr1 winners Poet’s Voice, Makfi, Happy Archer and Secret Admirer . His finest representative in Italy was Worthadd, winner of both the Italian 2000 Guineas and Derby.

Irish sires, Intikhab and Invincible Spirit, were the joint leading sires in Italy by individual stakes winners. Both stallions were represented by three apiece.

Sadler’s Wells’ son Sholokhov was champion sire in Germany for the 2010 season. Second to Hawk Wing in the Eclipse Stakes, Sholokhov was represented by 24 winners this year, with his best runner, Night Magic, winning the Gp1 Grosser Preis von Baden.
The very promising young sire, Areion, was second on the German general sires list, ahead of his sire, the late Big Shuffle. Areion was the leading sire in Germany, for 2010, by individual stakes winners – being represented by six stakes winners this year. His best runner this year was the very smart 3yo filly Vanjura.

It maybe worth noting that both Sadler’s Wells and Kingmambo were represented by two champion sire sons in 2010. It is hard to believe now, that Sadler’s Wells was once described as a failed sire of sires!

Local breds have change of fortune in Guineas
The result of Saturday’s Gr1 Bloodstock SA Cape Guineas was a great one for the local breeding industry. The first three colts home are all SAF breds, and runner up Run For It is by a South African sire in Dynasty (Fort Wood).

Over the past few seasons, the Cape’s premier classic has been won by the likes of Noordhoek Flyer (Pivotal), Le Drakkar (Anabaa) and Express Way (Royal Academy)  -none of whom were conceived in South Africa.

The Guineas result was also a feather in the cap of former champion sire Jallad. His daughters produced both the winner and runner up, no mean feat.

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