Irish National Stud stallion Dragon Pulse became the third freshman sire of 2016 to get his first stakes winner when the Richard Hannon-trained Legendary Lunch (dam by Hansel) held on by a nose to take the Listed Investec Woodcote Stakes over six furlongs at Epsom today.
That colt, who made £78,000 in Doncaster as a yearling, was bred by G Johnston King. He made a winning debut over five furlongs at Windsor in late April, was 1/5 favourite when runner-up in a novice event over that course and distance three weeks later, and he is now a potential Royal Ascot contender.
Dragon Pulse's early runners also include the Newmarket debut winner Fiery Character (dam by Aptitude) and Maisons-Laffitte five-furlong scorer Decapulse (dam by Singspiel), and he has several others who have been placed. This represents a promising start.
Dragon Pulse is a son of the sprint champion Kyllachy (by Pivotal) and he made his racecourse debut in early June of his two-year-old season, failing by just a head to take a six-furlong Curragh maiden. He won on soft ground at Leopardstown the following month, beat Parish Hall by nearly two lengths in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes over seven at the Curragh, and was then a half-length runner-up to Power in the Group 1 National Stakes, his final outing of the year.
He moved to France for his three-year-old campaign and began well with a short-head defeat of the previously unbeaten dual Group 1 star Dabirsim in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over a mile at Longchamp. The pair met again in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), but both disappointed, coming home unplaced behind the shock winner Lucayan. It was a blanket finish where 10 horses were within three lengths of each other at the line.
He finished about the same distance behind Lucayan in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as he did in that classic, but the pair were unplaced behind Most Improved. Dragon Pulse did not run again.
His first two crops, both conceived at an advertised fee of €6,000, have been popular at the sales, with yearlings making up to 100,000gns in Newmarket and up to €120,000 at Goffs in 2015, and juveniles headed by a filly who fetched 150,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale in April. He had a top price of €95,000 among his foals in 2014 and a €50,000 one last year.
Dragon Pulse is by the sire of the Group 1 sprint stars Krypton Factor, Sole Power and Twilight Son – two geldings and a colt who is still in training – and he is one of Kyllachy's first stallion sons. He is the first foal out of the pattern-placed mare Poetical (by Croco Rouge) and his grandam has two Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winners among her immediate relations.
She, Abyat (by Shadeed), did not race, she is the third dam of the Listed Roses Stakes winner and Group 2 Norfolk Stakes runner-up Mind Of Madness (by Azamour), and she is out of the Listed Doncaster Stakes runner-up Futuh (by Diesis). That makes her a half-sister to Hayil (by Dayjur) who won the Middle Park Stakes in 1997.
His six blacktype-placed siblings include Ghurra (by War Chant), who was Grade 3-placed in the USA, and she is the dam of last year's juvenile star Shalaa (by Invincible Spirit) whose Group 1 win at Newmarket came after a Group 1 Prix Morny victory at Deauville.
The John Gosden-trained colt was seen as the outstanding candidate for the upcoming Group 1 Commonwealth Cup until a pelvic injury ruled him out of the first half of the season. In addition to his Group 1 double in 2015, the Mogeely Stud-bred bay won the Group 2 July Stakes and the Group 2 Richmond Stakes. Hopefully he will make it back to the track.
Futuh is out of the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes third Hardship (by Drone) and related to plenty of blacktype horses, but although some of the better ones among them are only distantly related, the standout individual in their midst is also the one who was successful at stud.
Wild Rush (by Wild Again) won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, he is out of Futuh's stakes-winning half-sister Rose Park (by Plugged Nickle), and his progeny feature the multiple Group/Grade 1 winners Transcend, Stellar Jayne and Hollywood Story.
Dragon Pulse's relationship to Wild Rush is also distant, but when there is a successful stallion within the first three or four generations of a pedigree then it offers promise that the younger individual could also do well in that role.
It is far too early to have any idea of the long-term prospects of Dragon Pulse, but he is off to a good start and is among the first few members of his freshman class to get that important first stakes winner to his name.
DRAGON PULSE (IRE) – ch.2009 – Kyllachy – Poetical, 3 wins inc Futurity Stakes (Gr2), Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3), 2nd National Stakes (Gr1). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2014. 1 SW viz. LEGENDARY LUNCH, etc.