Group 1-winning sprinter Society Rock (by Rock Of Gibraltar) was among the most popular new additions to the stallion ranks in 2014 and the Tally-Ho Stud-based horse sired 111 foals in his first crop. Sadly, he died in May of last year.
Those first progeny are two-year-olds and, although there is still a long way to go yet before the end of their first season, the late stallion already has a likely future stallion son in action. That colt is the Karl Burke-trained Unfortunately, winner of the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday.
This was his third win from six starts, it came a month after his half-length defeat of Frozen Angel in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin over a half-furlong less at Maisons-Laffitte, and his three loses feature a head second to Ardenode in the Prix La Fleche over five at that same venue in June.
His margin of victory on Sunday, over Group 3-winning stable companion Havana Grey, was a length and a quarter, with the previously undefeated pattern-winning fillies Different League and Zonza a short-head and short-neck back in third and fourth.
Unfortunately was bred by Tally-Ho Stud, he is a €24,000 graduate of the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale in Fairyhouse, and his entries include the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes and Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.
Timeform now rate him 117, which is a world away from what his dam achieved on the track. She was a plater who won two sellers – one of them at 40/1 – from 22 starts, achieving a peak official handicap mark of 53 and finishing her career with a well-beaten fourth over seven furlongs at Wolverhampton, off a mark of 43.
Despite this limited talent, Unfortunate (by Komaite) has done well as a broodmare and, in addition to her star son, she is the dam of the prolific fillies Red Roar (by Chineur; 5 wins), The City Kid (by Danetime; 8 wins), and Look Busy (by Danetime).
The last-named won a dozen times, including the Group 2 Temple Stakes, Group 3 Flying Five Stakes, and three listed contests, and her two-year-old Looks A Million (by Kyllachy) has been a winner from four starts this year.
Neither Honour And Glory (by Hotfoot) nor Cheb's Honour (by Cheb's Lad) – the second and third dams of Unfortunately – showed much either. Unfortunate is the only winner among seven foals for the former, but Cheb's Honour came up with six winners from 13 foals, one of whom was a talented sprinter.
Singing Steven (by Balliol) won the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes and Listed Harry Rosebery Challenge Trophy as a juvenile, went on to add the Group 3 King George Stakes at Goodwood, and sired some winners from somewhat limited opportunities at stud.
Unfortunately, however, looks likely to receive large books whenever he takes up stallion duties. Before then, of course, it is to be hoped that he can go on to become a high-class sprinter and, at this stage, he would have to be considered as a potential Group 1 Commonwealth Cup contender for 2018.
As for Society Rock, he has three crops to represent him and, although no longer with us, he has gone into the record books as the first freshman sire of 2017 to supply a Group 1 winner.