The phenomenal legacy left by triple Group 1 star and prolific champion sire Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) has been felt around the world. In Europe many will immediately identify his sons Galileo and Montjeu as having forged mighty branches of his line, with some of us who have been around for a while also naming In The Wings – the first of the major Sadler's Wells sire sons here – as having had influence too.
In North America, however, it is the former Vincent O'Brien-trained Group 1 National Stakes winner El Prado who achieved lasting fame. The grey came from the fourth crop of Sadler's Wells, he stood at Adena Springs in Kentucky, his 83 stakes winners included eight who won at the highest level, and two of his Grade 1-winning sons have become titans: Medaglia d'Oro and Kitten's Joy.
The latter, a Ramsey Farm homebred who was a Grade 1 winner over 10 and 12 furlongs on turf, commanded a fee of $100,000 from 2014 to 2017 and now, aged 17, is in his first season at Hill 'N Dale Farms in Kentucky, covering for $60,000.
His is not a profile of a horse who would have been expected to make such an impact on that side of the Atlantic, and yet this champion sire has achieved progeny earnings in excess of $10 million every year from 2013 to 2017, gets a high number of individual stakes winners each season, and has a promising stallion son here in Europe.
That horse is Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Bobby's Kitten, a highly effective performer from six furlongs to a mile, who was a runaway winner of a listed sprint at Cork on his only start in Ireland. He stands at Lanwades Stud in Newmarket and has his first foals on the ground.
So far, Kitten's Joy has 11 top-level winners to his name, but there is every reason to believe that Hawkbill will not remain unique among them for much longer. Winner of the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Saturday, in which he beat Poet's Word by three lengths, the Charlie Appleby-trained chestnut has won 10 of his 20 starts to date, earned over £3.4 million, and his tally includes a half-length defeat of The Gurkha in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in 2016.
The stallion's European representatives also include Group 1-placed dual Group 2 scorer Taareef, and Qatar Racing Ltd's exciting grey Roaring Lion, who is among the ante-post market leaders for next month's Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and among the entries for the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
The John Gosden-trained colt made a winning debut over a mile at Newmarket's July course in mid-August, followed that with a six-length score over the same trip on the polytrack at Kempton, and then gamely beat Nelson by a neck in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes. A month later he looked set for victory in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster before veering off a straight course and then losing out by a neck to Saxon Warrior.
Roaring Lion was bred by Ran Jan Racing Inc, he is a $160,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and he is related to a string of high-class performers, most of whom did well at around a mile.
The first foal of Vionnet (by Street Sense), who was a three-quarter-length third in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita, he is a grandson of the prolific Cambiocorsa (by Avenue Of Flags), a dual Grade 3 scorer over six and a half furlongs on the downhill turf course at that same venue.
That mare, who won nine of her 18 starts, has excelled at stud, coming up with five blacktype offspring from six runners, and in addition to Vionnet, they are nine-furlong Grade 2 winner Moulin De Mougin (by Curlin), Grade 2-winning miler Schiaparelli (by Ghostzapper), and mile listed scorers Alexis Tangier (by Tiznow) and Bronson (by Medaglia d'Oro).
Cambiocorsa also has the distinction of being a full-sister to the high-class sprinter California Flag, whose double-digit tally included three editions of the six and a half-furlong Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at Santa Anita.
They, in turn, are out of Ultrafleet (by Afleet), who failed to make the frame in four attempts, and that daughter of multiple stakes-placed six-time winner Social Conduct (by Vigors) is a half-sister to Social Service (by Green Forest), the five-time winning dam of multiple stakes winning filly Princess Deelite (by Afternoon Deelites).
All of this points to Roaring Lion as being a potentially high-class mile to 10-furlong horse who, depending on the amount of stamina he has received from his sire, could stay the Derby distance.