Waajib was not a likely candidate to leave a lasting legacy. A Group 2-winning miler among a small number of stakes winning offspring by the regally-related juvenile star Try My Best (by Northern Dancer), his own small number of blacktype-winning progeny featured one true standout, Royal Applause.
A half-brother to the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Lyric Fantasy (by Tate Gallery), who was fondly known by many as 'The Pocket Rocket', his unbeaten juvenile season culminated with a four-length score in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and the final of his stakes wins at the age of four came in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Royal Applause went on to have a highly successful career at The Royal Studs, establishing a reputation as being a source of precocious horses, high-class sprinters and also some who have been effective at a mile and beyond. Acclamation takes high rank among his 47 stakes winners, even though the leading sprinter didn't actually win at the highest level, and it is he who is ensuring that this male line continues to make an impact.
Acclamation stands at Rathbarry Stud, he is currently in the top 10 in the sires' championship title race for the combined Ireland and UK region, his 2016 European runners feature recent pattern scorers Mehmas, Attendu and Queen Catrine, and he is also having a tremendous year with his stallion sons.
Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winner and Yeomanstown Stud stallion Dark Angel heads his roll of honour. The grey is well-established as being one of the leading sires in Europe, his recent pattern stars include the siblings Mecca's Angel and Markaz, and, by Saturday night, had only Galileo, Sea The Stars and Dubawi ahead of him in the aforementioned stallion rankings.
Dual Group 1 King's Stand Stakes winner Equiano, who stands at Newsells Park Stud, is at an earlier stage of his career, but his progeny include recent Group 2 Railway Stakes winner Medicine Jack and the Group/Grade 3 scorers Baciami Piccola and The Tin Man.
This afternoon, at Maisons-Laffitte in France, Harbour Watch became the latest son of Acclamation to sire a pattern winner when the Clive Cox-trained Tis Marvellous (dam by Oasis Dream), who was an eight-length scorer at Windsor on his previous outing, impressed in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin over five and a half furlongs. The horse he beat by two and a half lengths was last month's Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes runner-up Al Johrah, who was four lengths clear of the third, and the colt may be able to do what his sire didn't get the chance to try, to win at the highest level.
Harbour Watch stands at Tweenhills Farm & Stud in Gloucestershire, and although his racing career took place in the span of just a few weeks in June and July of his juvenile season, he won his three starts by aggregate of 10 and a half lengths and earned a Timeform rating of 121p for his victory in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes. That made him that organisation's juvenile champion of 2011.
He is a half-brother to the dual South African Group 1 star Europa Point (by Rock Of Gibraltar), and his dam, Gorband (by Woodman), is a half-sister to the talented Kabool (by Groom Dancer). He won the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano and Group 2 Prix du Rond-Point, he was third in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket, and his winning dam, Sheroog (by Shareef Dancer), is a full-sister to Colorado Dancer.
That Group 2 Prix de Pomone winner and Group 1 Prix Vermeille third is, of course, the mare who gave us the Timeform 140-rated superstar Dubai Millennium (by Seeking The Gold) – sire of Group 1 star and outstanding stallion Dubawi – and so Harbour Watch is a member of the famous Fall Aspen (by Pretense) family.
That Grade 1 Matron Stakes heroine is his third dam and her progeny also feature Group 1 July Cup winner Hamas (by Danzig), US juvenile champion and classic hero Timber Country (by Woodman), Grade 1 Gamely Stakes winner Northern Aspen (by Northern Dancer), Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris scorer and outstanding South African sire Fort Wood (by Sadler's Wells), Group 2 winning-sprinter and successful sire Bianconi (by Danzig), and Elle Seule (by Exclusive Native), the Group 2 Prix d'Astarte heroine who has been a hugely influential broodmare.
Her sprint-champion son Elnadim (by Danzig) won the Group 1 July Cup, Mehthaaf (by Nureyev) won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, and those who descend from Elle Seule include the Group 1 stars Occupandiste (by Kaldoun), Mondialiste (by Galileo) and Intello (by Galileo).
There are many other stakes and pattern winners who descend from Fall Aspen, including Group 1 scorer Medaaly (by Highest Honor), Group 1-placed Group 2-winning miler Charnwood Forest (by Warning), classic-placed Group 2 heroine Impressionnante (by Danehill), and this year's Group 1 2000 Guineas third Ribchester (by Iffraaj), and many of the best colts in the family went on to sire stakes and pattern winners at stud.
With family connections like these, it is no surprise that Harbour Watch yearlings made up to 110,000gns and €130,000 in 2015, that his foals have made up to €120,000, and that his growing number of early first-crop winners includes an impressive Group 2 scorer who could be on his way to the top.
It will be interesting to see how far his best progeny stay, but there is every reason to hope that Harbour Watch could become a valuable source of two-year-olds, of sprinters and even some high-class milers.
HARBOUR WATCH (IRE) – b.2009 – Acclamation – Gorband, 3 wins inc Richmond Stakes (Gr2). Sire in England & Australia. First foals in 2014. 1 SW viz. TIS MARVELLOUS (Gr2), etc.