Today’s international racing is by and large dominated by progeny of top-class racehorses. Stallions like Galileo, Dubawi and Oasis Dream were all tremendous racehorses, who have gone on to be equally prolific in the breeding shed. But are there any modern day leading sires who never won a feature race?
South Africa’s outstanding young sire, Judpot, never raced and thus qualifies. A son of A P Indy, Judpot made a tremendous start to his stud career, when his first crop produced two Grade One winners last season. Talented, but troubled, sire Muhtafal is another local success story, who, despite never winning a stakes race, become a very successful sire in South Africa. To date, Muhtafal is the sire of over 50 local stakes horses (from under 500 SA born foals) – including nine at Grade One level.
Tiger Ridge, who himself never won a race, is another sire success story. The son of Storm Cat, who made 5 starts before retiring, has sired 26 stakes winners to date – who have won over $33 000 000. His winners include US millionaire Leah’s Secret, the record breaking Strike TheTiger and local stars Cherry On The Top and Wagner. Quite a record for a horse who never won a race!
Another stallion who has truly made his name as an exceptional sire, despite having no black type to his name, is A P Indy’s son, Malibu Moon.
Malibu Moon raced only twice, and broke his maiden second time out, but broke down and was retired to stud for an initial fee of $3 000. He began his career in Maryland, but, following his increasing success, was moved to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, where Malibu Moon currently stands for a fee of $70 000.
His progeny includes the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, and 69 other stakes winners. The sire of nine Grade One winners to date, Malibu Moon has already got five sire sons at stud – a total which is bound to grow over the next few seasons. His success is reflected in his sales figures – at the recent Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Malibu Moon was responsible for a pair of fillies which fetched $1 350 000 and $1 000 000 respectively.
Another successful young sire which never won a stakes race is the French based sire Kendargent. A scion of the wonderful Grey Sovereign male line, Kendargent (Kendor – Pax Bella) took six outings to break his maiden, and never won a stakes race during his three seasons on the track. In fact, Kendargent won just twice in 13 outings, and was second in a French Group 3 race.
Given little support at stud, the stallion has, nonetheless, achieved some eye catching statistics. Kendargent has been represented by fewer than 100 registered runners – but of these 97 foals eight are stakes winners. His stakes winners represent an impressive 19% of his starters, and Kendargent should just continue to build on this impressive start with the support of bigger books of better mares.
The superbly bred Easing Along (Storm Cat – Cadillacing), whose son Suggestive Boy was a Grade One winner in the US before his retirement, won just two races in North America. His pedigree ensured his place at stud, though, and Easing Along made the most of his opportunities to become Argentina’s champion sire of 2009. To date, Easing Along, who stood for a season at Claiborne Farm, has sired eight Grade winners, including Horse of the Year Interaction.
New Zealand’s current log leading sire, Zed (Zabeel – Emerald Dream), is another never to have won a black type contest, but who is making his mark off the track. He made just four starts, winning once, but had a strong enough pedigree to make Zed an attractive stud prospect. From scant support, Zed has already produced a G1 winner in the form of Survived, and he is another whose stats will improve with increased support.
The mighty Hussonet (Mr Prospector – Sacahuista) is another example of a horse overcoming an average race record to become a huge success at stud. Currently standing at Cornerstone Stud, Hussonet was champion sire in Chile on seven occasions, before going on to a successful stud career in Australia. To date, Hussonet (who won twice and was third in a pair of Listed races), has sired over 80 stakes winners. His progeny have won at the highest level in Australia, North America, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand, and Hussonet’s offspring include former Australian Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler. Another son of Hussonet, Husson, was a former leading first crop sire in Australia – to ensure his sire’s legacy is a truly global one.
One of North America’s leading first crop sires this year is a non black type winners. While Dunkirk was an extremely classy horse, the son of Unbridled’s Song, who was placed in two Gr1 races, never won a stakes race. He has, however, made a bright start to his stud career, with his early juvenile winners including the Gr3 winner Dunkin Bend.
While there are top-class sires out there, who never won a stakes race, in general the top-class racehorses do dominate the general sires lists. In Britain, eight of the top ten sires are Group One winners, in France the same, while in Germany the 2013 general sires list sees seven of the top ten having previously won at the top level. (Interestingly enough, though, Germany’s current log leader, Areion, was a Group 2 winning sprinter).
– SARAH WHITELAW