Climate, handling, racing and training styles are all factors that contribute to a somewhat different lifestyle for racehorses and breeding stock in the northern and southern hemispheres and there is no guarantee that a stallion will click in both regions, no matter how outstanding he is in one.
Coolmore Stud's Fastnet Rock is one of the success stories, an Australian sprint star and champion sire who, despite an initially slower than expected start in Europe, has seen his profile here soar over the past two years.
Fascinating Rock, Diamondsandrubies and Qualify all won for him at the highest level in 2015 and, in 2016, the juveniles Intricately and Rivet have added their name to his roll of honour.
His overall global tally stands at 25 Group/Grade 1 winners and, as you might expect of a son of Danehill (by Danzig) and grandson of Royal Academy (by Nijinsky), many of his best progeny represent broodmare sires with strong European and North American connections.
Matching up the Danehill and Sadler's Wells lines is a hugely popular strategy that has produced a lot of success and the Group 1-winning Fastnet Rocks who represent that broad cross are Diamondsandrubies, First Seal, Intricately, Magicool, and Qualify, while those whose broodmare sire represents the Nureyev line (Sadler's Wells's three-parts brother) are Fascinating Rock, Mosheen, Nechita and Rock Classic.
Qualify gave him a European classic success when springing a 50/1 shock in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom last year and, like her, his current juvenile stars are out of daughters of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells). Intricately won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes last month and Rivet advertised his classic potential when beating Yucatan by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday.
The latter, a William Haggas-trained bay, was bred by Des Scott, he carries the colours of The Starship Partnership, and he has won three of his five starts. Runner-up over six furlongs at Ascot in July, he impressed over seven furlongs at York the following month and then narrowly beat Thunder Snow in the Group 2 At The Races Champagne Stakes over the the same trip at Doncaster in September.
He moved up to a rating of 114 after that success, the colt who finished five lengths further back in third – D'bai – has won a listed contest since – but Rivet disappointed next time when only fifth behind Churchill in the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
His Group 1 success at Doncaster was achieved on ground that was at least good, if not a bit faster (according to the time analysts), the strength of the competition was some way below what he faced at Newmarket, but he did it well, and with his pedigree this victory greatly increases the likelihood that he will join the stallion ranks whenever his racing days come to an end.
Not only is he by a leading international classic sire, but Rivet is a half-brother to the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes winner and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes third Alexander Pope, his dam, Starship (by Galileo), is a winning half-sister to juvenile champion Superstar Leo (by College Chapel), and there are two mile classic heroes in his family, both of whom are blacktype sires.
Superstar Leo won the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes and Group 3 Norfolk Stakes, she was runner-up in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, and it was her performance in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp that sealed her championship title. She chased home Namid that day and had the previous month's Group 1 Sprint Cup star Pipalong three lengths behind in third.
Superstar Leo is the dam of the listed scorer and Group 3 Jersey Stakes runner-up Sentaril (by Danehill Dancer) and of the Group 3 King George Stakes and Group 3 Molecomb Stakes heroine Enticing (by Pivotal), and in addition to Starship, her siblings include New York (by Danzero), a non-winner whose son December Draw (by Medecis) won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes over 10 furlongs at Flemington five years ago.
Like that latter relation, Rivet should stay a mile and a quarter next season and given how he won over the mile at two, the record of his half-brother and being a representative of the Fastnet Rock-Galileo cross, one might presume that he will stay the Derby distance too.
But will he?
His triple-winning dam was well-beaten the twice she ran beyond eight and a half furlongs, his sire was a star sprinter, and the best horses in his family were mostly either sprinters or milers, or both.
So what of his other notable relations?
The two classic winners were speed horses, which was not entirely a surprise given the records of their sires, and it should be noted that one of the pair did not run again after his top-level success.
The third dam of Rivet is Dancing Rocks (by Green Dancer), the Group 2 Nassau Stakes heroine who finished third in the Group 2 Coronation Stakes at Ascot and fourth in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks before going on to make an impact at stud and, in addition to the non-winning Council Rock – dam of Superstar Leo and Starship - she is best known as being the dam of Glatisant (by Rainbow Quest).
That filly won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood as a juvenile, she was runner-up in the Listed Joel Stakes at three, and she is the dam of the lightly-raced and undefeated Group 1 2000 Guineas hero Footstepsinthesand (by Giant's Causeway) and his Group 1 Phoenix Stakes-winning half-brother Pedro The Great (by Henrythenavigator).
The latter is at stud in France and had some of his first yearlings on offer this year, and Footstepsinthesand is the internationally successful Group 1 sire whose progeny include Chachamaidee, Shamalgan, Steinbeck (aka Pure Champion) and 2016 group/graded winners Heshem, Kaspersky, Living The Life, and juvenile colt Larchmont Lad, whose Newmarket Group 3-winning form has been working out quite well.
Glatisant, who is also the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes-winning filly Belle D'Or (by Medaglia d'Oro), is a half-sister to the Listed Cheshire Oaks winner and Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks third Rockerlong (by Deploy), to the dual stakes-placed Charlotte Corday (by Kris), and to three others who deserve mention because of what they achieved at stud.
In the case of Pippas Song (by Reference Point), she is the dam of the listed race winners Edinburgh Knight (by Selkirk) and Nightbird (by Night Shift) but it is her grand-daughter who makes her more significant as that talented filly is the US mile Grade 2 scorer Lady Lara (by Excellent Art). Rainbow Goddess, on the other hand, is a full-sister to Glatisant and she is the dam of the Group 3 Queen's Vase scorer Mahler (by Galileo), a horse who is quite closely related to Rivet's dam.
He was runner-up in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, finished third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington, and he is a popular member of the team at Beeches Stud with the Grade 2-winning hurdler Sutton Place among his earliest runners. His profile, however, suggests that he got the stamina of both of his parents, whereas Starship's comparable pace suggests that she did not.
The other notable daughter of Dancing Rocks is Frappe (by Inchinor), a juvenile winner whose string of successful offspring includes three of considerable note.
Thakafaat (by Unfuwain), her first foal, won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and has successful progeny that include a multiple chase scorer, and that mare's one-time winning half-sister Applauded (by Royal Applause) has produced US listed scorers by the outstanding Green Desert (by Danzig) stallions Oasis Dream and Invincible Spirit.
More notable, however, are the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes-winning half-sister and Group 1 Irish Oaks third Curvy (by Galileo) and the young Coolmore Stud stallion Power (by Oasis Dream). He won Listed Marble Hill Stakes, Group 2 Coventry Stakes and Group 1 National Stakes as a juvenile, added the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas at three, and is a leading freshman sire whose first crop contains four European stakes winners.
His Group 1-placed pattern-winning son Peace Envoy was reviewed here earlier in the year and that colt has been joined by the pattern-placed Italian stakes winner Biz Power, Saturday's Newbury listed scorer Cristal Fizz, and the Group 3 Worthington's Horris Hill Stakes scorer Pleaseletmewin, who was sold for 450,000gns during today's session of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale in Newmarket. The stallion also has a listed scorer in New Zealand and a daughter who has been listed-placed in Italy and in California.
Rivet is the latest Group 1 winner for leading international sire Fastnet Rock and he is the latest in a long line of top-level winners for the distaff side of his family.
His relations include the classic winners and successful stallions Footstepsinthesand and Power, and although further improvement looks necessary if he too is to win a Group 1 classic, he is a talented colt who should stay 10 furlongs and whose ability to get beyond that will depend likely on whether he has got the speed or stamina contributions from his parents' genetic make-up.
The distance of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes was increased from six furlongs to seven furlongs in 1992 and, since then, its roll of honour includes an array of stars.
Leading miler Sayyedati won it that year and Tarascon (1997), Again (2008), Misty For Me (2010), Sky Lantern (2012) and Minding (2015) have joined her on the list of subsequent classic heroines.
Group 1 Coronation Stakes scorer Rizeena won it in 2013, the 1993 winner Lemon Souffle went on to take the Group 2 Falmouth Stakes, a race that carries Group 1 status nowadays, and each of Quarter Moon (2001), Saoirse Abu (2007) and Maybe (2011) went on to be placed in at least one classic after their Curragh juvenile success.
Time will tell if Intricately can add her name to that notable collection of top fillies, or if she will join those for whom the race remained a career highlight, but with her pedigree and connections there is every reason to hope that she can take her place among the best of her class in 2017.
The story of Intricately's big win is one of almost fairytale quality, not that this makes an upward progression by the horse any more or less likely, but it was remarkable family success.
She is a first major winner for the 23-year-old former champion jockey and now rookie trainer Joseph O'Brien, she was ridden by his 18-year-old brother Donnacha, and she was bred by their mother, Annemarie, under the hugely successful name of Whisperview Trading Ltd. And, for good measure, the filly she short-headed was Hydrangea, trained their father, Aidan.
Intricately, who carries the well-known colours of Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, sprang a 33/1 surprise in a Gowran Park maiden in mid-June, beating Sir Edwin Landseer by one and a quarter lengths on ground described as yielding-to-soft.
A month later she finished third in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes on fast ground at Leopardstown, beaten one and a quarter lengths and a nose by Promise To Be True and Take A Deep Breath, and then finished that same distance behind Hydrangea when the pair were second and third to Rhododendron in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August.
All of her races have been over seven furlongs, she is very closely related to a famous miler, but is by Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) and out of a Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) mare, which would suggest that she may have prospects of staying 10 furlongs, and possibly the Oaks distance.
Fastnet Rock shuttles to Coolmore Stud, his eldest European offspring are five years old, and those northern hemisphere-born runners include the Group 1 stars Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock and Qualify as well as Group 2 scorers Cougar Mountain, One Foot In Heaven, Rivet and Turret Rocks.
His overall career tally of 97 individual stakes winners includes 24 who have won at least once at the highest level, and although he was a champion sprinter, he has sired many who excel at anywhere from a mile to 12 furlongs, including classic stars in England, Australia and in New Zealand.
Intricately is the first foal out of Inner Realm (by Galileo), a mare whose racing career consisted of a pair of unplaced finishes in late-season 10-furlong maidens as a three-year-old, one on heavy ground at the Curragh and the other on soft ground at Navan. She has no yearling, she was bred to Holy Roman Emperor (by Danehill) in 2015, and she is related to two famous individuals.
Inner Realm was the final foal of Offshore Boom (by Be My Guest), produced when the mare was 23 years old and after a gap of three years. She was a June 30th foal, so it's no surprise that her career started much later than that of her daughter.
Her eight successful siblings include the prolific Turkish scorer D'Articleshore (by Definite Article) and the pattern-placed Nell Gwyn (by Danehill), but all of their achievements are dwarfed by those of their star brother, Rock of Gibraltar (by Danehill), who the O'Briens also bred.
A star juvenile who won the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, Group 1 Grand Criterium, Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes and Group 3 Railway Stakes, Rock of Gibraltar extended his run of consecutive Group 1 wins to seven before losing out by three-parts of a length to Domedriver in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington on his final start.
He beat Hawk Wing in the 2000 Guineas, added the Irish 2000 Guineas, the St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. The one who chased him home at Ascot was the ill-fated classic winner and Grade 1 star Landseer, Noverre was the runner-up at Goodwood, and he beat Banks Hill by half a length in France.
Now aged 17, Rock of Gibraltar is a leading member of the stallion team at Coolmore Stud, he has shuttled to Australia and to Chile, he did one season in Japan, and his tally of 113 stakes winners includes 14 who have won at least once at the highest level.
They include Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Samitar, Coral Eclipse Stakes scorer and successful sire Mount Nelson, star sprinter Society Rock (first yearlings in 2016) and the classic-placed Group/Grade 1 winners Eagle Mountain and Prince Gibraltar.
They also include a trio of Chilean-bred horses who, in the past two months, have won at the highest level in their native land. The most recent is 10-furlong Grade 1 success of Brillo De Sol, whose big win came last Sunday, and the others are Admiral and Cascada Surena, who won their country's equivalent of the 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas respectively on 31st July.
No stallion is guaranteed to become a sire of Group 1 winners, but just before Rock of Gibraltar's first foals were due to appear in the sales ring in November 2004 I wrote, in The Irish Field, that “it is hard to envisage him failing to make the grade” and that “he promises to make a considerable impact in his second career.”
The reasoning behind those remarks was that he was by a stallion who already had eight sons with at least one Group 1 winner to their names, his large first book included a string of Group 1-winning mares, Group 1 producers, and those who were related to top horses, and, in addition to all of this, he had the added attraction of being out of a half-sister to the classic and multiple Group 1 star Riverman (by Never Bend), a hugely influential sire.
Riverman won the Prix Yacowlef at two, he added the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), the Prix Jean Prat and the Prix d'Ispahan, finished third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and then rounded off his career with an honourable second in the Champion Stakes, again beaten by the Timeform 144-rated great Brigadier Gerard.
Timeform rated Riverman 131 and had Rock of Gibraltar on 133. In terms of stallion figures, Riverman still leads his younger relation, and although his career total of 22 Group/Grade 1 winners will take a bit of catching, it seems likely that Coolmore's horse will beat Riverman's tally of 125 individual stakes winners before too long.
So, how far beyond a mile might Intricately stay in 2017?
Riverman was Group 1-placed at the trip, Rock of Gibraltar was never asked to go beyond a mile, and both have sired sprinters, milers, middle-distance horses and some who stay farther. Offshore Boom got her blacktype at two and the mare's unbeaten and stakes-winning half-sister Outside Pressure (by Shernazar) got both her wins over 10 furlongs.
Offenbach (by Danehill), out of a Shirley Heights (by Mill Reef) half-sister to Offshore Boom, got his Australian Group 3 success over 10 and a half furlongs, and Deploy Venture (by Deploy) – out of another of her siblings, Tasseled (by Tate Gallery) – won a 12-furlong handicap and finished fifth in the Ebor (14 furlongs) before becoming a Grade 1-placed Grade 3 scorer in the United States.
If Intricately has inherited something of the speed of her sire and dam's pedigrees then she may find 10 furlongs to be at or beyond the boundary of her ideal range. But if she has got the middle-distance factor from either side of the family, then her prospects of getting the Oaks trip are promising.
Her official handicap mark rose from 104 to 110 after her Group 1 success, and although that is some way short of what would be required to win at the highest level next year, hers is a pedigree that suggests improvement from two to three is likely.
It will be fascinating to see how her racing career turns out, and with her relationship to Rock of Gibraltar and Riverman, she could have a very bright future ahead of her at stud in the 2020s.