Sole Power- Not solely due to sire power

On Sunday Makfi joined his sire Dubawi and his grandsire Dubai Millenium, on the roll of honour of winners of the Jacques Le Marois. This had people looking through the record books to look for earlier such sequences in Group 1 races. The Derby wins of Mill Reef, Shirley Heights and Slip Anchor came to mind and earlier this year Midas Touch followed Galileo and Sadler’s Wells into the winners enclosure after a Derrinstown Stud Derby trial but that wasn’t a Group 1 contest. Historical sequences such as the incredible five generations of St Leger winners in Touchstone in 1834, Newminster in 1851, Lord Clifden in 1863, Petrarch in 1876 and Throstle in 1894 were obviously prior to the introduction the pattern in 1971.

 We did not have to wait long for another Group 1 sequence, as Sole Power’s victory in Friday’s Nunthorpe was keeping up the family tradition established by his sire Kyllachy and his grandsire Pivotal.

Sole Power-racing record

Sole Power was completely unfancied at 100-1 in the Nunthorpe. In truth it was almost impossible to give him a realistic chance, having only won 2 of his previous 10 races and never having won a Stakes race. Sole Power made his debut on Irish Derby weekend last year, finishing a promising third in a 6 furlong maiden on softish ground. Encouraged by this run he was then pitched into Listed company where he ran well to be second to Arctic over 5 furlongs on heavy ground in late July.  He then made his first trip to York for a valuable sales race over 6 furlongs and was only beaten two necks but picked up almost 30k for his trouble. He was again sent across the Channel when he contested the five furlong Cornwallis Stakes in October but he could finish no better than 8th. He was kept busy and picked up a weak maiden at Dundalk in November before finishing his two year old season on a disappointing note when well beaten at odds on, again at Dundalk.

He made his three year old debut in April when winning well over 5 furlongs at Dundalk from two useful older horses in Luisant and Six of Hearts (both by his grandsire Pivotal). He was then sent to Newmarket for the Palace House Stakes where he ran very well to be fourth behind Equiano and Borderlescott. At that stage it might have been possible to see him continue to progress and become a Group 1 sprinter. However he then seemed to lose his way running poorly at Naas, the Curragh and Tipperary before Friday’s surprise win.

Watching the race there was no apparent fluke about his one and a quarter length victory over Starspanglerbanner and three other Group 1 winners in Equiano, Kingsgate Native and Borderlescott. It will be interesting to see can he build on this performance. It is to be hoped that he doesn’t continue another family sequence in that neither Pivotal nor Kyllachy ever ran again after their Nunthorpe victories.

Pedigree Assessment- sire Kyllachy

Sole Power is from the fourth crop of Kyllachy who stands alongside his sire Pivotal at Cheveley Park. He is the first Group 1 winner in Europe for Kyllachy and his second overall following Dim Sum (Kyllachy ex Heckle by In the Wings) who won at the highest level in Hong Kong. In his 12 starts Kyllachy never once raced beyond 5 furlongs and he is passing on this preference to his progeny who have an average winning distance of just 6.5 furlongs.

 No doubt Cheveley Park hoped he might emulate his sire Pivotal and become more than just a source of cheap speed. In that regard he has failed. He gets lots and lots of winners (plenty of them as two year olds) and he has a respectable winners to runners percentages. However Timeform’s median rating for his runners is 71 (compared to 81 for Pivotal) and his overall tally of stakes winners (10) from 495 foals of racing age is disappointing. He retired to stud at a fee of £7500 and with the rise of Pivotal he was able to maintain that fee and hit a high of £12000 in 2008 (after Group 2 successes from Tariq (ex Tatora by Selkirk) and Arabian Gleam (ex Gleam of Light by Danehill) before settling back to £10000 in the past two years. In my opinion his fee needs to be reduced considerably and a look at the the median price for his yearlings in 2009 (just over 13000 guineas) also highlights this point. Kyllachy was conceived when Pivotal stood for £6000 and not surprisingly his female line isn’t particularly distinguished.  Other early sons of Pivotal such as Captain Rio and Needwood Blade have also failed to make much of an impact to date and it will be interesting to see how the better bred later arrivals such as Excellent Art, Falco and Virtual fare at stud. 

Pedigree Assessment- dam Demerger

Demerger the dam of Sole Power was an unraced daughter of Sussex Stakes winner Distant View. She has three foals and produced a very decent sort in Cornus (2002 by Inchinor) who was runner-up in the Cornwallis Stakes at two ( a race Sole Power also contested). He is an incredibly durable sort and he has now run 130 times and counting, with 15 wins so far to his credit. Her other offspring was Polish Precedent filly called Be My Charm who ran 17 times but failed to get her head in front. Sole Power’s second dam Merida won two races at three and four in France and the USA and was the dam of four minor winners including Como (by Cozzene who is incidentally Pivotal’s broodmare sire) and who went on to be dam of the decent two year old Pencil Hill (by Acclamation). Pencil Hill won a Listed race and was a close fourth to HenrytheNavigator in the Coventry Stakes.  Sole Power’s third dam Metair has some classy connections. She herself won seven races and became the dam of 9 winners including Grade 2 winner Tychonic (by Last Tycoon) and Fine Edge (by Sharpen Up) who gives another connection with the Nunthorpe (or William Hill Sprint Championship as it was then known) having finished runner-up in the race in the early 80’s. One of Metair’s unraced daughters Fast Flow (by Riverman) became the dam of Champagne Stakes winner and Dewhurst runner-up Auction House (by Exbourne).

Broodmare sire-Distant View

Distant View is starting to show considerable promise as a broodmare sire with many of them bred by Juddmonte. These include dual Guineas winner Special Duty (by Hennessy), Celebration mile winner Zacinto (by Dansili), promising 3 year old Emulous (also by Dansili). Those interested in nicks might note that is broodmare sire of  Australian Group 1 winner Speed Gifted (by Montjeu) and Listed placed two year old Cochabamba (by Montjeu’s son Hurricane Run). In addition he has shown a strong affinity with Selkirk. The four foals of racing age bred on this cross include  Group 3 winner Tranquil Tiger and Royal Lodge runner up Cityscape.


Sole Power comes from a reasonable female line and his price of £32000 at the 2008 August Doncaster sales almost exactly equals the average for all Kyllachy’s sold that year. Demerger has already produced a fast stakes horse and she can take equal credit for Sole Power’s talents. I don’t wish to seem dismissive of Kyllachy, and he is a useful option for breeders; siring lots of winners and capable of getting a top horse but his fee needs to be reduced to reflect the realities of the marketplace and his level of attainment to date. 

SOLE POWER (GB) 2007 c b

(GB) 1998
(GB) 1993
Falcon (USA) 1987
(USA) 1977
D’argonne (FR) 1981
Revival (GB) 1987
(USA) 1980
(GB) 1981
Poppy (GB) 1988
(GB) 1966
Sing (GB) 1957
(GB) 1952
Serenade (GB) 1978
(GB) 1966
Moonlight (GB) 1960
(USA) 1997
View (USA) 1991
Prospector (USA) 1970
A Native (USA) 1961
Digger (USA) 1962
Springs (USA) 1982
River (FR) 1976
Trinite (FR) 1976
(GB) 1991
(GB) 1985
Fact (USA) 1977
Dangerous (USA) 1979
(GB) 1974
Light (GB) 1966
(GB) 1965

10 days that changed the world (of bloodstock)

The last 2 weeks have seen huge amounts of top level action in the UK, Ireland and France. It would be easy to simply write about one top level winner but I aim to please so here are ten items of interest from the past two weeks…….

1.Sea the Stars- His greatness is unquestioned, but is he the greatest ever?

The answer is no. Sea the Stars is undoubtedly a fantastic horse whose consistency and versatility has to admired but some of the praise has been vastly overdone. I believe that I have seen better individual performances over a mile, 10 furlongs and 12 furlongs. It is interesting to compare his level of form with that of last year’s winner Zarkava. She also won an Arc by two lengths beating Youmzain, over a mile she trounced Goldikova in the French Guineas and she was both a Group 1 winner at two and unbeaten throughout her career. However would anyone seriously suggest that she might be the greatest horse of all time,as has been mentioned in the case of Sea the Stars?

2. Mighty Mighty Montjeu.

We have learned that when Montjeu sires a good two year old, that horse becomes a top class three year old. Thus far his only Group One winning two year olds have all become Derby winners namely Authorized, Motivator and Fame and Glory. For good measure Jukebox Jury who won last years Royal Lodge has now become a Group 1 winner after narrowly triumphing in the Preis Von Europa.  On Saturday 26th September at Ascot in the Royal Lodge Joshua Tree won well. The next day in the Curragh’s Beresford Stakes,St Nicholas Abbey was even more impressive and become ante post favourite for next year’s Derby. For good measure Bikini Babe was runner up in the CL Weld Stakes.  As if to remind everyone that he still sires the odd decent older horse he had an Australian Group 1 winner Speed Gifted to complement Jukebox Jury’s success at the highest level. With Fame & Glory likely to stay in training it would be no surprise if he is champion sire in 2010.

3. John Oxx- You can’t get away from his influence!

Back in 2000 Sinndar gave John Oxx the best day he could ever have hoped for when winning the Arc on the same day as Namid won the Prix de’lAbbaye. In 2009 apart from Sea the Stars he won the Prix de Cadran with Alandi who spoilt Yeats farewell to racing. This was Alandi’s second major victory in three weeks following on from his Irish St Leger victory. The weekend also gave plenty of reminders of that memorable day in 2000 as Namid sired Total Victory who followed his sire in triumphing in the Abbaye and Sinndar was responsible for Youmzain who again had to settle for the runner-up spot for the 3rd successive Arc. For good measure Sinndar sired Rosanara who was quite impressive in retaining her unbeaten record in the Prix Marcel Boussac. I wrote in one of my first posts that Sinndar was badly overlooked by Irish breeders. He is now resident in France where I hope he gets the big books that he deserves as he is more than capable of siring a top horse. Total Gallery became Namid’s first Group 1 winner but he has probably arrived too late to make much of a difference to Namid’s reputation and his lack of major success saw the median for his yearlings slip to €5600 in 2008.

4.The Aga Khan- as good as it gets.

The Aga Khan had an incredible weekend. Group 1 successes for Shalanaya, Alandi, Siyouni, Rosanara, Varenar represent an incredible return and a vindication of his breeding policy.The sires involved Lomitas,Galileo, Pivotal, Sinndar and Rock of Gibraltar, are a decidedly mixed bunch but such success highlights the strength of his female lines.His non-conformist approach to stallion selection often sees him responsible for breeding the best offspring of many overlooked stallions. For good measure Daryakana (by Selkirk) and Manighar (by Linamix) picked up Group 2 races. Looking at some of the pedigrees involved familiar names quickly appear. The third dam of Shalanaya is Sharmeen the dam of Shergar, the dam of Alandi is a full sister to Oaks winner Aliysa, the grand-dam of Siyouni is Slipstream Queen who was dam of Slickly and was presumably purchased as part of the Lagardere purchase so it is fitting that he won the race commemorating Jean Luc Lagardere. Rosanara is out of a Linamix mare so again it can be taken that she was part of the Lagardere acquisition. Varenar is a half brother to Visindar who started favourite for the 2006 Derby on the back of an impressive win in the Prix Greffulhe and Daryakana is out Daryaba who won the French Oaks and Prix Vermeille in 1999.

5. Pivotal- another gap on the cv filled

I am a huge admirer of Pivotal and it is interesting to monitor the impact of the better mares on his results. The Prix Jean-Luc de Lagedare say a first and third for Cheveley Parks finest, comprising Siyouni and Buzzword. Interestingly both are our of Danehill mares and this is a cross that has been tried repeatedly since the success of Saoire in the Irish Guineas. Kitty Kiernan is another representative of this cross. Surprisingly it was the first time that Pivotal had sired a Group 1 winning two year old although he did have Group 2 winners previously in Captain Rio and Excellent Art.

6. Sahm- a loss

Sahm was impeccably bred being by Mr Prospector out of Salsabail. However I always felt he was at stud on the wrong continent. He has had relatively few runners in Europe and most of them were with Kevin Prendergast, who never seemed to train a bad one eg Mustameet, Adaala, Red Moloney. He also sired Maram who won last years Breeders Cup Fillies Turf.  Now he has had a Group 1 winner in surprise Sun Chariot winner Sahpreasa. Sahm died in 2007 aged only 13 and before he really got to capitalise on his better than expected results.

7. Sales races- distorting the truth

There were a number of sales races over the past 8 days with the Tattersalls races at Newmarket and the Goffs races at the Curragh.  Amazingly for the second year running Hawk Wing sired the winner of one of these sales races (Lucky General) to put him near the top of the two year old rankings again. This is a travesty of justice if it means that someone in the distant future comes to the conclusion that it was a mistake to banish this great racehorse but dreadful sire to Korea. Shamardal sired another Shakespearen the winner of the Goffs Million Mile and along with Arctic who was somewhat disappointing in the Middle Park he ensures that Shamardal will feature near the top of the first season sires listing. At Newmarket in the Tattersalls races Danehill Dancer sired Lilly Langtry the winner of the fillies races which means that he will now win the Anglo-Irish championship at the expense of Cape Cross. 

8. Middle Park in decline

THe Middle Park stakes has been in decline for a long period. In the past twenty years only Oasis Dream and Rodrigo de Triano have gone on to Group 1 success as three year olds. This years field was small but select with all the runners having shown a high level of form. In winning Azwaan retained his unbeaten record but he wasn’t overly impressive. Alhaarth throws all sorts and this year he was very unlucky that Mourayan didn’t win thus years St Leger as he got no sort of run. In the past Alhaarth has shown his versatility by siring sprinters (Dominica), milers (Haafhd) and middle distance horses (Bandari).  Accordingly it is hard to say how far Azwaan will stay but it will be a surprise if he wins next years 2000 Guineas.

9. Special Duty- omens are good

Special Duty showed a very impressive turn of foot to win the Cheveley Park. She has already been highly tried taking on colts when beating Siyouni in the Prix Robert Papin and finishing second to Arcano in the Prix Morny. She is from a top class family as her dam is a full sister to Sightseek who won 7 Grade 1’s for Juddmonte. Her sire Hennessy died in 2007 whilst on duty in South America and he is one of those sires that seemed to be around forever yet he was only 14 when he died. In Europe he is known solely for outstanding two year old Johannesburg and it is to be hoped that Special Duty trains on a little better than he did. She will most likely be targetted at the 1000 Guineas and she seems to have a good chance of giving Criquette Head her fourth success in that classic.

10. Singspiel – A value sire

I think that Hibaayeb was fortunate not to be disqualified after winning the Fillies Mile. She clearly impeded Lady Darshaan who is incidentally a half sister to Prix de l’Abbaye winner Total Gallery. However she kept the race and thereby became the 12th Group 1 winner for Singspiel and his third this year after Eastern Anthem and Dar Re Mei. Singspiel saw a significant reduction in his stud fee some years ago and he is value at £15000. Hibaayeb’s fourth dam is Oh So Fair who achieved fame as the dam of Oh So Sharp.



Horse age sex




Race and distance


Dam (broodmare sire)


04/10/09 Total Gallery 3 c Namid Prix de l’Abbaye Gr 1 (5f) Diary (GreenDesert)
04/10/09 Sea the Stars 3 c Cape Cross Prix de l’Arc Gr 1 (12f) Urban Sea (Miswaki)
04/10/09 Shalanaya 3 f Lomitas Prix de l’Opera Gr 1 (10f) Shalamantika (Nashwan)
04/10/09 Alandi 4 c Galileo Prix de Cadran Gr 1 (20f) Aliya (Darshaan)
04/10/09 Siyouni 2 c Pivotal Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (7f) Sichilla (Danehill)
04/10/09 Rosanara 2 f Sinndar Prix Marcel Boussac Gr1 (8f) Rosawa (Linamix)
04/10/10 Varenar 3 c Rock of Gibraltar Prix de la Foret Gr 1 (10f) Visor (Mr Prospector)
03/10/09 Sahpresa 4 f Sahm Sun Chariot Gr 1 (8f) Sorpresa (Pleasant Tap)
03/10/09 Speed Gifted 5 g Montjeu The Metropolitan Gr 1 (12f) Good Standing (Distant View)
02/10/09 Special Duty 2 f Hennessy Cheveley Park Gr 1(6f) Quest to Peak (Distant View)
02/10/09 Awzaan 2 c Alhaarth Middle Park Gr 1 (6f) Nufoos (Zafonic)
27/09/09 St Nicholas Abbey 2 c Montjeu Beresford Stakes Gr 2 (8f) Leaping Water (Sure Blade)


Jukebox Jury 3 c Montjeu Preis Von Europa Gr 1 (12f) Mare Aux Fees (Kenmare)
26/09/09 Hibaayeb 2 f Singspiel Fillies Mile Gr 1 (8f) Lady Zonda (Lion Cavern)
26/09/09 Rip Van Winkle 3c Galileo QEII Gr 1 (8f) Looking Back (Stravinsky)
26/09/09 Joshua Tree 2 c Montjeu Royal Lodge Gr 2 (8f) Madeira Mist (Grand Lodge)

Rain helped this Parade

Last month, I wrote about the phenomenal success that Oasis Dream was enjoying. Not to be outdone, Pivotal has just had his own super Saturday. It was a potent reminder that he has earned the right to be considered the best sire in Britain and he isn’t going to easily relinquish that title to young pretenders Oasis Dream and Dansili.

Within the space of a few hours Pivotal was responsible for Emerald Commander who won a listed two year old race over a mile, the four year old colt Poet who won a Group 3 over 10 furlongs, Heaven Sent a 6 year old mare who finished runner in the Group one Matron Stakes over a mile and most significantly Regal Parade a five year old gelding who won the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup over 6 furlongs. Regal Parade became Pivotal’s 13th Group one winner and his second winner of the Haydock Sprint Cup after Somnus in 2003 (who in a neat twist defeated Oasis Dream) .

Pivotal’s Stud Career

Expectations were modest when Pivotal retired to his owners Cheveley Park Stud in 1996. After a six race career, he was the winner of a King’s Stand Stakes and a Nunthorpe Stakes (both over five furlongs) but his pedigree was deemed unremarkable. Breeders viewed him as a likely source of cheap speed. He has delivered that speed in abundance but he has also sired plenty of horses who stay much farther.  An interesting aspect of his stud career is the difference in aptitude between his fillies and his colts.  In general the top class fillies by Pivotal will win from a mile to twelve furlongs (Sariska,Chorist, Peeress, Megahertz, Golden Apples,Silvester Lady, Saoire) the top class colts are sprinters (Kyllachy, Somnus, Regal Parade) or milers (Excellent Art, Falco, Virtual).  What is common to his runners is a tendency to improve with age, an ability to handle cut in the ground (although soft ground is not essential as they win on all ground conditions), and what I believe might be called a will to win. It is difficult to prove a ‘will to win’ but it would be interesting to look at the stats for photo finishes involving offspring of Pivotal as I suspect they would have a better than 50% strike rate.

His success has seen his fee rise steeply to a height of £85000, before in a nod to the recession it was reduced to £65000 for the current season. Sheikh Mohammed was also impressed and paid an undisclosed sum for a significant share in the chestnut.  Pivotal is now enjoying the cream of the broodmare crop and he seems sure to capitalise on these chances.  It is still quite early to rate his prospects as a sire of sires as his best bred sons are yet to have runners.  To date Kyllachy has done reasonably well, whereas Captain Rio and Needwood Blade have failed to impress from the limited evidence available to date.  However the likes of Excellent Art, Falco and Windsor Knot are yet to have runners and we can expect plenty of Pivotal’s better sons to be given opportunities at stud over the coming years.

Regal Parade’s Career

Regal Parade has twice passed through the sales ring Tattersalls. As a yearling he fetched a whopping £430,000 to the bid of John Ferguson acting for Sheikh Mohammed. He was his sires top priced yearling of 2005 so clearly he was a good looking yearling.

Unraced at two, it might have seemed that this huge invesment would pay dividends when he won his first three starts as a three year old for Mark Johnston. Like so many from that stable he was kept busy and ran a further eight times that year. However success proved elusive and presumably he was not deemed worthy of a trip to Dubai. Therefore he was sent back to the same Tattersalls sales ring where second time round he fetched a much more modest £16,000 to the bid of Dandy Nicholls.

That money was recouped in the first season for Dandy. From 10 runs who won two major handicaps, the Buckingham at Royal Ascot and the Ayr Gold Cup. This season he has again been busy with 8 runs already. Significant improvement has occurred in the past few months and he ran creditably in the Golden Jubilee before winning Listed event at Chester in July over 7 furlongs. Kept to 7 furlongs he was placed in the Group 2 Betfair Cup and Hungerford Stakes.  Dropped back to six furlongs, there was no fluke about his defeat of Fleeting Spirit and High Standing. It will be interesting to see if he continues to improve and it was reported after the race that his next target is likely to be the 7 furlong Prix de la Foret.

Model Queen

Model Queen, the dam of Regal Parade ran six times for Khalid Abdullah and Barry Hills. She ran once at two finishing a promising third.  However it is likely that she showed some promise at home as she made her three year old reappearance in the Fred Darling Stakes, and she started at a mere 11/2.  She never threatened to win that day, but she did win her next race a 7 furlong Beverley maiden. She ran three more times but was deemed surplus to requirements by Juddmonte and was sold at Tattersalls December for £92000. Her price reflects the fact that she was a daughter of ultra fashionable Kingmambo from a top class Juddmonte family. Her dam Model Bride was unraced, but granddam Mofida has appeared in the pedigrees of a host of big winners. Mofida is the dam of Zaizafon who achieved fame as the dam of the brothers Zafonic and Zamindar. Another daughter of Mofida was the unraced Modena who was the dam of Oaks winner Reams of Verse and Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes winner Elmaamul. There are also plenty of other black type horses to help fill the page.

At stud Model Queen’s first mate was Fantastic Light and the outcome was the minor winner Sister Sylvia. Then came Pivotal and Regal Parade followed by a visit to Montjeu and a colt that cost Demi O’ Byrne 600,000 gns,. Subsequently named Mount Helicon he is now running over hurdles but he showed plenty of promise on the flat finishing a close 4th in Group 2 Prix Noailles behind Full of Gold and another 4th in a Group 3 behind Montmartre. More sales success has followed. Her 2006 Danehill Dancer colt named Canyon Ranch fetched 350000 gns and her 2007 Motivator colt name Hot Prospect (a three part brother to Mount Helicon) fetched 230000 gns. Hot Prospect made a promising debut at York in July and looks like he might live up to his name.


Regal Parade combines an outstanding sire with a dam from a celebrated Juddmonte family. His pedigree shows inbreeding to Nureyev 3×4 and he is the second Group winner from 5 foals by Pivotal out of Kingmambo mares. The other Group winner was Brazilian Bride who won the Group 3 Swordlestown Stakes at two and also finished fourth in the Phoenix and Moyglare Stakes. It is a cross that is likely to be tried more often in the coming years. Regal Parade is a typical son of Pivotal. He is best over shorter distances, he has won on a variety of grounds but is probably best with a little cut in the ground. He has improved with age, he takes his racing well and as a gelding we can anticipate watching him compete for some years to come. 


REGAL PARADE (GB) 2004 g ch

(GB) 1993
Falcon (USA) 1987
(USA) 1977
Dancer (CAN) 1961
(USA) 1969
D’argonne (FR) 1981
(GB) 1967
(FR) 1974
Revival (GB) 1987
(USA) 1980
(IRE) 1967
The Trails (USA) 1971
(GB) 1981
(GB) 1971
(GB) 1970
Queen (USA) 1998
(USA) 1990
Prospector (USA) 1970
A Native (USA) 1961
Digger (USA) 1962
(USA) 1984
(USA) 1977
(USA) 1979
Bride (USA) 1985
Groom (FR) 1974
God (USA) 1954
Bride (GB) 1962
(GB) 1974
Tack (GB) 1966
Lass (GB) 1960

Eurovision Sire Contest :)

It’s Eurovision week. All of the countries in Europe (and Israel which hasn’t realised it is in Asia) are sending forth various puppets, freaks, he-males, she-males and the occassional singer to battle for national pride.  I’ll use it as an excuse to review the best sires standing in each country and then see who gets my douze points.

Ireland/ Irlande.- Selection Montjeu

 Possible representatives: Montjeu, Galileo. Very hard to choose between these two as leaving aside the Coolmore hype both are undoubtedly very good stallions. Galileo is the more expensive and Montjeu’s offspring have a reputation as being a bit temperamental. Montjeu has had one more crop to represent him but I think overall that Galileo has had the better quality of mares.  It’s easy to forget just how good Montjeu’s first crop actually was siring the first 2 home in the Epsom and Irish Derby’s with 4 different colts. Authorised’s win last year made it two of out three possible Epsom Derby’s and he has plenty of contenders from Ballydoyle again this year which could lead to an incredible 3 from 4 Epsom Derby’s. Lest you think I’m just being biased given the name of this blog well I’ll rely on the stats on Coolmores website which give the relative percentage of stakes winners to runners which is 9% to 7.4% in favour of Montjeu. Accordingly I nominate Montjeu as the Irish selection

United Kingdom /le Royaume Uni.- Selection Pivotal

Possible representatives: Pivotal & Dansili. Not a lot between them and the future is very bright for both as they are now well established at the top tier of stallions and will enjoy the best of mares. Pivotal is having a great season highlighted by Falco’s impressive win in the French Guineas, but Dansili could match it with Famous Name due to run in the Irish Guineas on Saturday. Dansili has sired an Arc winner something that Pivotal will never do but my preference is for Pivotal as I think he overcome greater obstacles in reaching the top of the tree.

France/ La France- Selection Sinndar

Possible representatives: Sinndar, Anabaa & Muhtathir. Without Linamix there is a real dearth of quality stallions in France. Anabaa is the most expensive stallion in France, he spent time in Kentucky and has been a consistently good sire but to me he was never outstanding. Muhtathir has sired Doctor Dino and Satwa Queen both group 1 winners from smallish crops of lesser mares. Sinndar was unloved by Irish breeders but for me they have missed out on the chance to use one of the few stallions around capable of siring a superstar which he did with Shawanda and he came within inches of getting an Arc winner with Youmzain. For me Muhtathir is the best value of the three but value doesn’t come into these rankings and Sinndar gets the nod.

Germany/Allemagne-Selection Monsun

No contest here. An outstanding stallion with incredible percentages. It should be very interesting to see how he gets on with the bluebloods he has started to attract in the past couple of years. Also we should see a lot more of his progeny running in Ireland and the UK. Fairly priced at 150k the only quibble you might have is the lack of precocity of his runners.

Italy/l’Italie- Selection Martino Alonso

Not a very competitive national contest. The only contenders were Blu Air Force who did well with his first crop, Munir who produced a few stakes horses from minimal opportunities and a few horses who had failed elsewhere. Martino Alonso was the victor purely on the basis of one very tough and versatile horse in Ramonti which doesn’t say much for the opposition.

Czech Republic/la République tchèque- Selection Relaxed Gesture

I did a quick search to see who was standing there and was surprised to see a few familiar names such as Rainbows for Life, Dandoun and Capri. I selected Relaxed Gesture as the best prospect as he is a Group one winner by Indian Ridge from a nice Moyglare family and I would have thought he was worthy of a place at stud at somewhere more upmarket.

Greece/la Grèce- Selection Lujain

Interesting to see that Lujain ended up here. Never sired anything better than Group 3 from his stint at Dalhalm and unlikely that anybody even noticed he left.

Hungary/la Hongrie: Selection Overseas Transfer

Hungary was the home of Kinscem who was unbeaten in her 54 races and one of the greatest racemares of the 19th century. Alas the country is not currently the repository of much in the way of quality bloodstock. I found two stallions listed for the country Satin Stone a Mr Prospector half brother to our Greek entry Lujain and Overseas Transfer an Mtoto half brother to Rock of Gibraltar. Tough decision -Eenie meenie miney moe

 Russian Federation/ La Russie- Selection Massi Seraf

I never heard of Massi Seraf before but he is by Deputy Minister out of Miss Alleged which is an interesting pedigree. In recent years the only Russian sire of note is Leo Castelli the sire of Indian Charlie who spent a few years there before being repatriated to the States.

Turkey- Selection Sri Pekan

 There is a good range of stallions available in Turkey including familiar names such as Common Grounds (who I thought was dead), Distant Relative(who I thought was dead), Sea Hero the 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, Danehill’s brother Eagle Eyed, and Manila (who I thought was dead) who beat Dancing Brave in the Breeders Cup turf. Divine Light the sire of Natagora is also a new arrival. Sri Pekan never hit the heights when at Coolmore but was well capable of siring a stakes horse such as Alayan, Tropical Lady and Whilly. 

And the voting

Douze PointsPivotal, ok he won’t sire you a middle distance colt, but he will do everything else and his fillies stay quite well. To me he is still good value at £85k and Sheikh Mohammed made a smart move by buying a big chunk of him. He is the Habitat of our times and his record is only going to improve. Terry Wogan would be delighted….

Dix PointsMontjeu. Lost a few points for temperament issues but apart from that he is the real deal and keeps delivering group winners over 10 furlongs plus and dont forget both his Epsom Derby winners were Group one winners at 2

Huit Points- Monsun. His stakes winner statistics are easily the best of any stallion around but I still can’t get away from the impression given by the careers of Manduro, Shirocco and now Getaway that you need to wait until they are 4 or 5 before you get a real racehorse. 

Six Points- Sinndar- A fair bit behind the stallions listed above but he is a good sire of racehorses even if the commercial market don’t appreciate him.

Deux Points- Sri Pekan- Free of Northern Dancer and capable of getting a group performer.

Une Point- Martino Alonso. DId I mention he sired Ramonti?

Null Points-Relaxed Gesture, Lujain, Massi Seraf, Overseas Transfer