There was some understandable disappointment when 1989's US champion three-year-old and Horse of the Year was exported to take up stallion duties at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan, after a career where won the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, Grade 1 Super Derby and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic, and earned close to $5 million.
We can only speculate as to how a US stallion career may have turned out for him, but as a big fish in the comparatively smaller pond in Japan, the black son of Halo (by Hail To Reason) transformed that nation's racing and bloodstock industry and forged one of the world's most powerful dynasties.
Sunday Silence's influence as a sire of sires and as a broodmare sire has also ensured that his name will live on for a long time to come, and although he has many excellent stallion sons among a total of 171 stakes winners, one is building up a profile that may some day rival that of his father.
Deep Impact was arguably his most brilliant son and the Timeform 134-rated star, who came from his penultimate crop, quickly took over the mantle as both the chief flag bearer for Shadai Stallion Station and that of the most dominant stallion in the region.
The 16-year-old is currently on a total of 113 stakes winners, with 34 of those having won at least once at the highest level, and awareness of his might has been raised in Europe in the past year, with the Coolmore team making greater use of him for their star mares, and track notables September and Saxon Warrior doing them proud.
The latter gave Deep Impact a second European Group 1 classic winner on Saturday when taking the 2000 Guineas in style at Newmarket, and it was second-crop daughter Beauty Parlour who was his first. She took the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) in 2012 and lost her unbeaten record when chasing home the ill-fated Valyra in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) the following month.
His current three-year-olds also include the Pascal Bary-trained Study Of Man, a Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd homebred who holds entries in both the Group 1 Investec Derby and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club and who put up a visually impressive performance in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on Tuesday.
The ground was good, but the pace steady and the final time for the 2200 metres almost a furlong slow – which may make the form unreliable – yet it is hard not to see the winner as being a colt with Group 1 potential.
Runaway German stakes winner Alounak chased home home – beaten three and a half lengths – there was another two and a half lengths back to third-placed Alhadab, and the only other runner, Assiro, was another half-length away. The latter comes from the first crop of Declaration Of War (by War Front) and the other pair are first-crop sons of Camelot (by Montjeu).
Study Of Man is the best of a few winners out of Second Happiness (by Storm Cat), a placed mare whose siblings feature classic stars East Of The Moon (by Private Account) and Kingmambo (by Mr Prospector) and whose dam is, of course, the brilliant Miesque (by Nureyev).
Also a Niarchos homebred, she was a top filly at two, a Timeform 131-rated classic heroine at three, and retired at the end of her four-year-old season with a Timeform figure of 133 and career total of 10 Group/Grade 1 wins, including two editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Her triple Group 1-winning son Kingmambo, of course, became a leading international sire, with 24 top-level winners among a total of 85 blacktype scorers, and although his sons have met with mixed success at stud – leading sires King Kamehameha and Lemon Drop Kid stand out – his broodmare daughters have excelled.
Kingmambo's Group 3-winning full-brother Miesque's Son has sired the Group/Grade 1 winners Miesque's Approval and Whipper, and his full-sister Monavassia is the dam of juvenile Group 1 star Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill) and so grandam of that filly's classic-placed, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks-winning daughter Tapestry (by Galileo). She is also the grandam of dual classic-placed Group 1 Dubai Turf winner Real Steel (by Deep Impact).
Their stakes-winning three-parts sister Moon Is Up (by Woodman) is the dam of South African mile Grade 1 winner Amanee (by Pivotal) and grandam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile ace Karakontie (by Bernstein), who stands at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky and will have first-crop yearlings at the sales this summer and autumn.
East Of The Moon, of course, completed the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and Group 1 Prix de Diane double in 1994.
Miesque was out of the dual French listed scorer Pasadoble (by Prove Out) and her siblings included seven-furlong Saint-Cloud blacktype winner Massaraat (by Nureyev), a mare who produced only four winners from 11 foals but whose descendants include Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Silkwood (by Singspiel), Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes scorer Silent Honor (by Sunday Silence), and also Permian (by Teofilo).
That tragically ill-fated colt was a notable middle-distance three-year-old in 2017 – Timeform-rated 117 – when he won the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and failed by just a nose to take the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Pasadoble was also the dam of Yogya (by Riverman), the unraced mare who gave us the classic-placed Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Six Perfections (by Celtic Swing). That Timeform 124-rated champion is, in turn, the dam of Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene scorer Planet Five (by Storm Cat), US Grade 3 winner Faufiler (by Galileo), and Group 1-placed Yucatan (by Galileo).
With pedigree connections like these, Study Of Man is clearly bred to achieve anything on the track and, if he earns the opportunity, to make an impact at stud.
He won over a mile on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud on his only start at two, chased home Chilean in the Group 3 Prix La Force over nine furlongs on heavy at ParisLongchamp last month, and so whichever of the middle-distance classics he tackles will come on just his fourth start.
He is not absolutely guaranteed to stay 12 furlongs, given that his dam is a Storm Cat (by Storm Bird) mare out of Miesque, but what we have seen of him so far, combined with being a son of Deep Impact, makes it likely that the distance will be within his range.
The aforementioned Real Steel takes on additional relevance here and strengthens further the prospect of Study Of Man staying the trip, as he too is out of a daughter of Storm Cat and his grandam is a full-sister to Miesque. His Group 1 success came at nine furlongs but one of those classic placings came in the Group 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger), which is over 3000 metres (one mile, seven furlongs).
If he lives up to his potential then Study Of Man could become one of the leading stars of 2018.
Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence) was one of the most brilliant racehorses ever to be trained in Japan and the Timeform 134-rated, seven-time Group 1 ace, who stands at Shadai Stallion Station, has followed in the hoofprints of his dynasty-making sire by becoming one of the greatest stallions of the modern era.
His triple-digit tally of stakes winners consists mostly of horses who have won at Group 3 level or above, 33 of them have won at the highest level and, in addition to standouts such as Gentildonna, Kizuna, Real Steel, Tosen Stardom and Vivlos – to name just a few – they include A Shin Hikari (Prix d'Ispahan), Beauty Parlour (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches) and Saxon Warrior, each of whom has achieved the feat in Europe.
The latter is trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien and the unbeaten colt is one of the leading classic and Group 1 prospects for 2018.
So far, all of his races have been over a mile, starting with an easy debut success at the Curragh in late August. He followed that with a two-and-a-half-length defeat of Delano Roosevelt in the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes on soft ground at Naas and then, a month later, fought well to beat Roaring Lion by a neck in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy.
The pair finished two and a half lengths clear of The Pentagon, with Group 1 National Stakes winner Verbal Dexterity another three-parts of a length back in fourth, and Chilean, who won the Group 3 Prix La Force at ParisLongchamp this afternoon, another two and a half lengths farther behind in sixth.
Saxon Warrior finished his first season on an official rating of 119, just 3lbs below champion U S Navy Flag. Timeform placed the pair on 120p and 123 respectively.
Yet another top-level winner bred by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt, the late-January-born colt is a full-brother to the stakes-placed filly Pavlenko and he is the second foal of Maybe (by Galileo), a filly who finished a three and three-quarter-length fifth to Was in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom on her only attempt beyond a mile.
She had been a 10-length third to Homecoming Queen in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her previous start – her first defeat – and won both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 2 Debutante Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh as a juvenile.
Maybe has the potential to produce both high-class milers and middle-distance horses, and given that he's a son of Deep Impact, there is every chance that Saxon Warrior will be the latter, or both. And should he win the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom in June then he would be the latest member of his family to take a classic at that venue.
Promise To Be True, a full-sister to Maybe, was never asked to try beyond a mile, but then she only ran once as a three-year-old. At two she won the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown, chased home Wuheida in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile at Chantilly, and then took third behind Thunder Snow in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, over seven furlongs on soft ground.
There was no guarantee that she or Maybe would stay the Oaks distance, despite being Galileo and out of a stakes-winning three-parts sister to Oaks heroine Dancing Rain (by Danehill Dancer), and that's because their dam, Sumora (by Danehill), was a sprinter whose blacktype success came over five furlongs and as a two-year-old.
The odds were very good, of course, but likely to be dependant on which attribute Sumora had passed on to them. Maybe's Oaks fifth suggests that she may have got the stamina assist, and that would boost her prospects of producing offspring who can stay that trip.
Sumora and Dancing Rain are out of the unraced Indian Ridge (by Ahonoora) mare Rain Flower and, in addition to her three-quarter-length defeat of Wonder Of Wonders at Epsom in 2011, Dancing Rain also took the Group 1 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) over a furlong less on soft ground at Dusseldorf before adding victory in the Group 2 British Champions Fillies' and Mares Stakes' at Ascot.
Originally a €200,000 Goffs Orby Sale graduate, Dancing Rain made 4,000,000gns when sold at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in Newmarket four years later, and her second foal is Godolphin's exciting Magic Lily (by New Approach). That eight-length Newmarket debut winner was only beaten by three-quarters of a length when third to Laurens and September in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in October.
It may seem surprising that a pair of three-part sisters could show such different aptitudes – one a five-furlong filly and the other an Oaks star – but it is not really so when you consider the mixed potential of their pedigrees.
Their dam is by a leading source of sprinter and miler speed, and she is a half-sister to two horses of particular note, one of whom is the high-class sprinter Archway (by Thatching).
He won the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes and Listed Waterford Testimonal Stakes when trained by Vincent O'Brien and the brightest stars among his offspring are Roman Arch, Grand Archway, Rose Archway, and Group 1 Melbourne Cup runner-up She's Archie – the latter trio all Group 1 winners over 12 furlongs. Roman Arch got his top-level wins at eight and 10 furlongs.
Strange? No, not when you consider that Archway was a half-brother to Group 1 Derby and Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes star Dr Devious (by Ahonoora) – a three-parts brother to Rain Flower – and that their dam, Rose Of Jericho, was a daughter of dual Arc hero and noted stamina influence Alleged (by Hoist The Flag).
Former Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained ace Dr Devious died recently, at the age of 29, and although his overall record as a stallion was disappointing for a horse of his calibre and pedigree, he did leave us the Group 1 winners Kinnaird (Prix de l'Opera) and Collier Hill (Irish St Leger, Canadian International, Hong Kong Vase).
Clearly, Saxon Warrior is bred for stardom on the track and with the potential to excel at anywhere in the mile to 12-furlong range. There is every reason to hope that his victory at Doncaster will be seen as just his first top-level win whenever the time comes for him to go to stud.