Rathbarry Stud stallion Acclamation (by Royal Applause) has had a tremendous season, a top-10 position in the combined Ireland and Great Britain sires' championship title race and a string of stakes winners headed by the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp heroine Marsha.
It has also been a notable year for his sons with Dark Angel and Equiano represented by Group 1-winning progeny on the track and Harbour Watch being among the current cohort of freshmen with at least one pattern winner to their name from among their first juveniles.
His list of stallion sons will be bolstered in 2017 when the Group 1-placed dual juvenile Group 2 scorer Mehmas covers his first book at Tally-Ho Stud, and those for whom a stallion career may also await include Aclaim.
The Martyn Meade-trained three-year-old won the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup over seven furlongs at Newbury last month and he added the Group 2 Challenge Stakes over the same trip at Newmarket 10 days ago.
He won his only start at two, a six-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Kempton in December, made a successful reappearance in a Newmarket handicap over the same trip on soft ground in April, and lost his unbeaten record when finishing third to Only Mine in the Group 3 Lackan Stakes at Naas in late May, also over six.
He could be candidate for the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and the Group 1 Prix de la Foret next year, if he stays in training and continues to progress, but it also possible that he could become a notable player in the milers' division too. He won a mile handicap on fast ground at Ascot in early September, his only attempt at the distance.
Acclamation was a leading sprinter, among the best of his generation not to win at the highest level, and it is true that most of his leading progeny are sprinters and/or effective at seven furlongs. Some do stay a mile, we already know that this young son of his does, and with the distaff family that the colt represents there is no surprise in that.
Aclaim is owned and bred by Dermot Farrington and Canning Downs and he is the first foal out of Aris (by Danroad). The €130,000 Goffs Orby Sale graduate has a two-year-old half-brother named Bere Island (by Dark Angel), his yearling Dawn Approach (by New Approach) half-brother made €125,000 in Goffs as a foal, and the mare had a first-crop Slade Power (by Dutch Art) filly at the end of March.
Her sire got some good results in his native Australia but did not make any impact with his handful of European-born crops. Add to this the fact that the grandam of Aclaim is an unraced daughter of Kahyasi (by Ile de Bourbon), and this might not particularly promising. Aclaim, however, actually represents what has become one of the premier classic families in Europe.
Not only that, but his grandam is a half-sister to a stallion of major significance and the family's latest Group 1 star is likely to be among the most popular new recruits whenever his time comes to go to stud.
Aris was listed-placed over a mile as a two-year-old, her sole win was a half-length defeat of Gordon Lord Byron over seven furlongs in very soft ground at Listowel on her final start. She is out of Cumbres, and that makes her a slightly closer than half-sister to the classic heroine Again (by Danehill Dancer) and to Arkadina (by Danehill), the pattern-placed dam of listed scorer Iltemas (by Galileo).
Again was the joint-champion juvenile filly in Ireland in 2008, when she won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 2 Debutante Stakes, and she added the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas the following spring. She was third in the Group 1 Matron Stakes three and a half months later, and she is the dam of the juvenile listed scorer Indian Maharaja (by Galileo).
Cumbres is out of the talented stayer Floripedes (by Top Ville) and hers is a name that will be instantly recognised by many because she is the dam of Montjeu (by Sadler's Wells). He won the Irish Derby, Prix du Jockey Club, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Tattersalls Gold Cup, and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud – all Group 1 – and was Europe's three-year-old champion and leading older male before going on to become one of the world's leading sires of Derby-type horses.
Montjeu's premature death was a huge loss to the bloodstock industry, but his sons and daughters are carrying on his name. The Derby heroes Authorized and Motivator are among the former, and those of note from his daughters include the multiple Group 1-winning standouts Charm Spirit (by Invincible Spirit) and Legatissimo (by Danehill Dancer).
Floripedes is also responsible for the Grade 1-placed stakes winner Le Paillard (by Sanglamore), for the pattern-placed Le Fou (by Polish Precedent), and for Cuixmala (by Highest Honor), an unraced filly whose descendants have made quite an impact on the track.
Her multiple stakes-winning son Mont Rocher (by Caerleon) was placed in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville and Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly, her unraced daughter Clizia (by Machiavellian) is the dam of the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp and Group 1 King's Stand Stakes star Goldream (by Oasis Dream), and that gelding's unraced half-sister Galicuix (by Galileo) is the dam of Galileo Gold.
A second-crop son of the top-class miler Paco Boy (by Desert Style), the chestnut won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes and was third in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a juvenile, and this year he has won both the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot.
He was runner-up to Awtaad in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and to his classic-winning Ascot victim The Gurkha in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, he finished fifth behind Minding in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, and it was good news to hear that he is to stay in training as a four-year-old.
With family connections like these, there is every reason to hope that Aclaim could make the necessary progress to be able to win at the highest level, and with how the Acclamation stallions have been doing at stud, this relation to Montjeu looks sure to attract plenty of attention from breeders whenever his racing days come to an end.