A late addition for 2017, Life Force will stand at Moortown Stud in Co Wexford. He did not race but he is a son of leading international sire Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), a horse who stallion sons include the Group 1 sires Lawman and I Am Invincible.
They also include Vale Of York and that juvenile Grade 1 winner, who stands at Haras Des Faunes in France, is a full-brother to Life Force. His early runners include the juvenile pattern scorers Afandem and Fontanelice as well as two others who have been blacktype-placed and a growing list of those who have won multiple times.
The pair are out of Red Vale (by Halling), their now two-year-old Kodiac (by Danehill) half-brother made 380,000gns in Newmarket in October, and their dam is an unraced half-sister to the US Grade 3 scorer Uraib (by Mark Of Esteem).
Their grandam is Hamsaat (by Sadler's Wells), who is a winning full-sister to the Group 2 Tattersalls Gold Cup and Group 2 Prince of Wales's Stakes star Batshoof, and the next dam is Steel Habit (by Habitat), a winning full-sister to two horses of note.
Her full-brother Ancestral won the Group 3 Railway Stakes, Group 3 McCairns Trial Stakes and Grade 3 San Diego Handicap, and her full-sister Zummerudd is the dam of Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 National Stakes hero and successful sire King Of Kings (by Sadler's Wells).
His Group 2 Prix Robert Papin-winning half-brother General Monash (by Thorn Dance) also sired winners and blacktype horses, his full-sister Lucky won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes, another one, Amethyst, was runner-up in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, and his siblings also include Furajet (by The Minstrel).
Although being by a Derby hero, she was a sprinter and she earned her blacktype when placed in each of the Group 3 Palace House Stakes, Group 3 Queen Mary Stakes and Listed Trafalgar House Sprint Stakes. What makes her notable here, however, is that her star son, the Group 1-placed Group 2-winning miler China Visit (by Red Ransom), went on to be a leading sire in India.
Life Force (IRE) – b.2011 – Invincible Spirit – Red Vale, unraced. Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Martinborough is a late addition to the stallion ranks for 2017 but this dual 10-furlong Japanese Grade 3 scorer, who is to begin his new career at Haras de Grandcamp in France, has a pedigree that makes him an interesting prospect.
He is a son of the brilliant racehorse and outstanding stallion Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence), whose early stallion sons have been showing promise in Japan, he is a full-brother to the Grade 3 scorer Frere Jacques, and a half-brother to Halwa Sweet (by Machiavellian), the winning dam of the multiple classic-placed dual Group 1 mile heroine Verxina (by Deep Impact).
His dam, Halwa Song (by Nureyev), is an unraced half-sister to the listed scorer Emirates To Dubai (by Storm Cat) and to Mezzo Soprano (by Darshaan), the Group 1 Prix Vermeille star whose offspring include the dual Group 2-placed middle-distance pattern winner Claremont (by Sadler's Wells).
Morn Of Song (by Rahy), the grandam of Martinborough, won three times and, in addition to being a full-sister to the Group 1-placed Grade 2 scorer and leading sire Rahy, she is a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 star and major sire Singspiel (by In The Wings).
Her siblings also include Rakeen (by Northern Dancer), who was a Grade 1-placed Grade 2 scorer in South Africa before going on to stallion success in that country, as well the mares who gave us the Group 1 winners Danon Chantilly (by Fuji Kiseki) and Campanologist (by Kingmambo). The former now has four-year-olds in Japan, where he is a blacktype sire, and the latter, who died before his first crop reached the track, had Group 3 scorer Langtang in 2016 among his initial juveniles.
The third dam of Martinborough is the Grade 1 star and champion Glorious Song (by Halo), who was a full-sister to the champion juvenile and successful sire Devil's Bag and also to blacktype scorer and leading sire Saint Ballado.
There are many other notable individuals in the various branches of this famous family, but just those mentioned are more than enough to show that, with the right mares, this new stallion could sire some highly talented offspring.
MARTINBOROUGH (JPN) - b/br.2009 - Deep Impact - Halwa Song, 7 wins inc Niigata Kinen (Gr3), Chunichi Shimbaun Hai (Gr3), 2nd Kokura Kinen (Gr3). Sire in France. First foals in 2018.
High-class stayer Walzertakt begins his new career at Haras de la Hetraie in France. He is a son of outstanding classic sire Montjeu (by Sadler's Wells), who has been having quite an impact on both the flat and National Hunt sectors, and he is a half-brother to the Group 1 Deutsches Derby hero Wiener Walzer (by Dynaformer).
His half-sister Walzertraum (by Rahy) won the Group 3 Bavarian Classic over 10 furlongs at Munich, and half-brother Port Douglas (by Galileo) won the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at two but was last seen in action when fifth behind Harzand in the Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh in June.
He is out of Walzerkoenigin (by Kingmambo), who won the Group 2 Euro Cup over 10 furlongs at Frankfurt and the Group 2 Premio Emilio Turati over a mile at San Siro before going on to be runner-up in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park, and his grandam is a half-sister to several horses of note.
Play It Safe (by Red Alert) won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, Providential (by Run The Gantlet) won the Grade 1 Washington DC International, and their siblings also include the Group 2-placed multiple Irish stakes winner Prudent Manner (by Cure The Blues) and Population (by General Assembly), dam of the Group 1 scorer Saratoga Springs (by El Gran Senor).
This is also the family of St Leger winner Hethersett (by Big Game), whose progeny included Derby hero and sire Blakeney, and of the Oaks runner-up Netherton Maid (by Nearco). She was the dam of St James's Palace Stakes winner Pirate King (by Prince Chevalier), of Deep Run's sire Pampered King (by Prince Chevalier), and of classic-placed performer and successful New Zealand sire Chatsworth (by Chanteur), and she is the fifth dam of Walzertakt.
WALZERTAKT (GER) – b.2009 – Montjeu – Walzerkoenigin, 4 wins inc Prix Maurice de Nieuil (Gr2), Prix Gladiateur (Gr3), 3rd Prix Kergorlay (Gr2), Oleander Rennen (Gr3), Silbernes Band (L). Sire in France. First foals in 2018.
Talented middle-distance horse Vif Monsieur (by Doyen) is a grandson of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) and he begins his new career at Haras de Longechaux in France.
For a brief time he had a Group 1 win to his name as, having been third past the post in a rough Preis von Europa at Cologne, the first two were disqualified on the day for interference. After an appeal, the original first past the post, Meandre, was reinstated as the winner and Vif Monsieur was placed second.
He is likely to attract plenty of attention from National Hunt breeders, especially if his full-sister takes to the new phase of her racing career. Vive Ma Fille is a multiple stakes-placed winner on the flat but finished a one-length third in a novice hurdle at Wincanton earlier this week, her jumping debut.
Their dam, Vive Madame (by Big Shuffle), is a half-sister to the pattern-placed stakes winner Viletta (by Doyen) and their fifth dam is Valoris (by Tiziano), the Oaks and Irish 1000 Guineas heroine of 1966.
VIF MONSIEUR (GER) – b/br.2010 – Doyen – Vive Madame, 7 wins inc Niederrhein-Pokal (Gr3-twice), Hubertus-Liebrecht-Gedachtnispreis (Gr3), Fruhjahrs-Preis des Bankhauses Metzler (Gr3), Grand Prix – Aufgalopp (L), Preis Henkel-Trophy (L), 2nd Preis von Europa (Gr1), 3rd International Bosphorus Cup (Gr2), Grand Prix de Vichy (Gr3). Sire in France. First foals in 2018.
Vadamos began his career as a middle-distance horse and was a three-length listed scorer over 12 furlongs at Vichy, but then a crucial decision was made and his profile soared. He dropped back to a mile and a five-length victory in the Group 2 Darley Oettingen-Rennen provided him with his first pattern success.
He kicked off his five-year-old campaign by chasing home Solow over a mile on the polytrack at Chantilly, he finished down the field behind California Chrome in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan, but then bounced back to beat Ervedya by three and a half lengths in the Group 2 Prix du Muguet on turf at Saint-Cloud.
Disappointing on heavy ground behind A Shin Hikari in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan next time, he then took the Group 3 Prix Messidor by three lengths, was a half-length runner-up to Ribchester in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville and beat Spectre to take the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, this year run at Chantilly.
Vadamos then travelled to Australia where he ran twice, finishing fourth behind the brilliant Winx in the Group 1 William Hill Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and then fourth behind Awesome Rock in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington, both over 10 furlongs.
Like fellow new sires Protectionist and Triple Threat, Vadamos is a son of the great German sire Monsun (by Konigsstuhl) and so is by the sire of the multiple Group 1 sires Manduro, Samum and Shirocco.
His stakes-winning dam, Celebre Vadala (by Peintre Celebre), is a half-sister to the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan star and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) third Valixir (by Trempolino), and also to Vadaza (by Zafonic).
That stakes-placed winner has made her name at stud as she is the dam of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary winners Vadawina (by Unfuwain) and Vazira (by Sea The Stars) and also of the dual Group 3 scorer Vadapolina (by Trempolino).
The first named of that trio is the dam of the Group 1-placed middle-distance Group 2 scorer Vadamar (by Dalakhani), while Vadapolina is the dam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) runner-up Veda (by Dansili).
Vadlamixa (by Linamix), grandam of Vadamos, is a stakes-winning half-sister to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile hero and classic sire Val Royal (by Royal Academy) and her siblings also include the mare from whom Group 2 scorer and young Irish-based stallion Valirann (by Nayef) and also ill-fated Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) star Valyra (by Azamour) descend.
If you go back to the fourth generation of the family then you will find a branch that leads to the incredibly lucky racehorse Vahorimix (by Linamix) – he was awarded both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois in the stewards' room, but good fortune did not follow him to the breeding shed – and also to the Group 1 Irish St Leger heroine Voleuse De Coeurs (by Teofilo).
Vadamos is by a stallion who has several sons that have a few Group/Grade 1 winners already to their names at stud, and he comes from the family of a Grade 1 star who died young but left us a dual Guineas winner. He promises to become a source of high-class milers and middle-distance horses and he looks likely to be a popular addition to the team at Tally-Ho Stud.
VADAMOS (FR) – b.2011 – Monsun – Celebre Vadala, 8 wins inc Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1), Prix du Muguet (Gr2), Oettingen Rennen (Gr2), Prix Messidor (Gr3), Prix Frederic de Lagrange (L), 2nd Prix Jacques le Marois (Gr1). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile, Twilight Son extended his winning run to five when short-heading Strath Burn in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock several weeks before he chased home champion Muhaarar in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
Timeform rated him 125, he stayed in training as a four-year-old and added the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes to his tally. He is among the early stallion sons of sprint champion Kyllachy (by Pivotal) and the handful of others include successful 2016 freshman sire Dragon Pulse.
Twilight Son is the best among a string of multiple winners out of triple scorer Twilight Mistress (by Bin Ajwaad) and those siblings include Throckmorton Court Stud stallion Music Master (by Piccolo) whose first foals will be arriving in the coming weeks and months.
Rated 122 by Timeform, Music Master won the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury and the string of blacktype events in which he was placed included the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, in which he finished third to G Force and Gordon Lord Byron, with Sole Power a half-length behind him in fourth.
These high-class brothers represent a big step forward for their branch of the family as you have to go back to the fourth generation to find the next stakes winner, the Group 3 Queen Mary Stakes heroine On Tiptoes (by Shareef Dancer).
That precocious filly was a half-sister to Twilight Son's third dam Penny Candle (by Be My Guest) and she is the mare from whom the talented fillies Violette (by Observatory), Silca's Gift (by Cadeaux Genereux) and Virginia Hall (by Medicean) descend.
It will be fascinating to compare the stallion careers of the two half-brothers, and despite the lack of fashion in the distaff side of the family, it would be no surprise to see Twilight Son become the latest success story for Cheveley Park Stud, where he joins his sire and grandsire on the roster and from where his great-grandsire Polar Falcon also enjoyed success as a sire.
TWILIGHT SON (GB) – b.2012 – Kyllachy – Twilight Mistress, 6 wins inc Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Gr1), Sprint Cup (Gr1), 2nd Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Gr1). Sire in England. First foals in 2018.
A Group 2 winner in France before going on to become a Grade 1-placed Grade 2 scorer across the Atlantic, Triple Theat has returned to his native land to take up stallion duties at Haras du Mont Goubert, also the new home of the runaway Group 1 winner Morandi.
He is a son of the great German stallion Monsun (by Konigsstuhl) and so is by the sire of notable stallions such as Manduro, Shirocco and Samum as well as established National Hunt sire Network, rising star Getaway, and fellow new recruits Protectionist and Vadamos.
Triple Threat is a half-brother to the Grade 2-placed listed scorer Pina Colada (by Sabrehill) and also to Mrs Marsh (by Marju), the unraced dam of multiple Group 1 star and successful blacktype sire Canford Cliffs (by Tagula).
His grandam is the prolific Triple Tipple (by Raise A Cup), a 10-time scorer who won the Grade 2 Wilshire Handicap and was runner-up in the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap. Her siblings included the Matriarch Stakes heroine Pale Purple (by Verbatim).
His fourth dam was also prolific and she, multiple blacktype winner Amerigos Fancy (by Amerigo), also features in the ancestry of triple Group 1 Melbourne Cup heroine Makybe Diva (by Desert King) and of prolific pattern winner and successful 2016 freshman sire Famous Name (by Dansili), although she is the fifth dam of both those stars.
TRIPLE THREAT (FR) – bl/br.2010 – Monsun – Drei, 5 wins inc Monmouth Stakes (Gr2), Prix Eugene Adam (Gr2), Prix la Force (Gr3), 2nd Prix de Boulogne (L), 3rd Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Gr1), Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2), Prix de Guiche (Gr3). Sire in France. First foals in 2018.
Europe's juvenile champion in 2013, when Timeform rated him 121p, this grandson of Nureyev joins the team at Dalham Hall Stud.
His half-brother Estidhkaar (by Dark Angel), who was also a leading juvenile and high-class miler, begins his career at Tara Stud and it will be interesting to see how the stallion careers of the brothers compares.
Toormore extended his unbeaten record to four when beating The Grey Gatsby by two lengths in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket but then finished unplaced in both the Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes.
He was odds-on when beaten a neck by Es Que Love in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes that July, was 1/5 when only third in a Group 2 contest in Turkey, but put up a much better effort when finishing a one-length third to Charm Spirit in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on his final start that season. Timeform rated him 125.
Toormore was a neck runner-up to Night Of Thunder in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes on his return to action at four, finished fourth to Solow in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and then beat Dutch Connection by three-parts of a length in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.
Two months later he added the Group 2 Topkapi International Trophy over a mile at Veliefendi, in Turkey, and then finished third to Make Believe in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, ending the year on a Timeform rating of 122.
He only made the frame once from seven starts as a five-year-old, when beating old rival Dutch Connection by a neck in the Group 2 bet365 mile at Sandown, but he was not disgraced when fourth to Tepin in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot or when filling the same position behind The Gurkha in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
As noted above, Toormore is a half-brother to talented Estidhkaar. The pair are out of the unraced mare Danetime Out (by Danetime), who is a half-sister to the Group 3-placed Easaar (by Machiavellian), and their grandam, Matila (by Persian Bold), is a winning daughter of the Group 3 Curragh Stakes winner Peace Girl (by Dominion).
That mare, who was the joint champion juvenile filly in Ireland in 1987, is the grandam of the Group 3 Jockey Club Cup scorer Hawridge Prince (by Polar Falcon), of Listed Heron Stakes winner Hero's Journey (by Halling), and of several who have been blacktype placed, and she was a half-sister to the Group 3 Norfolk Stakes runner-up and prolific winner Runaway (by Godswalk).
There are plenty of other talented horses to be found in the family, including the Group 2-placed stakes-winning juvenile Pool Music (by Forzando), Grade 2-winning miler Mr Napper Tandy (by Bahamian Bounty), Group 2 winner and Group 1 Champion Stakes runner-up Insatiable (by Don't Forget Me), and Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Seazun (by Zieten), but those horses are remotely connected to Toormore.
He should prove popular in his new role and he looks a likely sort to get some smart juveniles, high-class milers and, with the right mares, also the occasional talented sprinter or middle-distance horse.
TOORMORE (IRE) – b.2011 – Arakan – Danetime Out, 7 wins inc National Stakes (Gr1), Lennox Stakes (Gr2), bet365 Mile (Gr2), Vintage Stakes (Gr2), International Topkapi Trophy (Gr2), Craven Stakes (Gr3), 2nd Lockinge Stakes (Gr1), Lennox Stakes (Gr2), 3rd Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1), Prix de la Foret (Gr1), International Topkapi Trophy (Gr2). Sire in England. First foals in 2018.
Never out of the frame in 10 starts, The Last Lion began his racing career with victory in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster in early April and finished it just under six months later with a surprise three-quarter length defeat of Blue Point in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
I reviewed his pedigree in detail after that win, noting the presence of Group 1 winner and successful sire Myboycharlie (by Danetime) in a branch of the fourth generation of the family and arguing that as his pedigree gave him a chance of staying a mile next year, what would there be to lose to give it a go? It was something of a rhetorical question but I guess the answer is this: stallion fees.
He would, no doubt, have been a popular addition to the stallion ranks in 2018 regardless of how his three-year-old campaign turned out, but while his cohorts will be going the Commonweath Cup route or perhaps the Guineas route, he'll be working his way through his first book of mares at Kildangan Stud.
The son of Choisir (by Danehill Dancer) is by the sire of Group 1 star and Group 1 sire Starspangledbanner, he is a half-brother to the stakes-winning sprinters Contest (by Danehill Dancer) and Russian Rock (by Rock of Gibraltar), and he is out of Mala Mala (by Brief Truce).
That one-time scorer finished third in both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, she is out of the four-time scorer Breyani (by Commanche Run), who stayed two miles, and so is a half-sister to the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Tarascon (by Tirol) and to the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano winner Mister Monet (by Peintre Celebre).
THE LAST LION (IRE) – b.2014 – Choisir – Mala Mala, 4 wins inc Middle Park Stakes (Gr1), Sirenia Stakes (Gr3), Dragon Stakes (L), 2nd Flying Childers Stakes (Gr2), Norfolk Stakes (Gr2), Molecomb Stakes (Gr3), 3rd Gimcrack Stakes (Gr2). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Cima De Triomphe, Frankel, Heliostatic, New Approach, Rip Van Winkle, Roderic O'Connor, Sixties Icon, Soldier Of Fortune, and Teofilo all have something in common besides being sons of the prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells). Each is the sire of at least one Group/Grade 1 winner, on the flat, in a country that is listed in Part I of the International Cataloguing Standards.
This early success augurs well for the prospects of the younger Galileo horses at stud and, as a classic-winning miler from the family of a Derby hero and Group 1 sire, there will be expectations that Coolmore Stud's new recruit The Gurkha can add his name to that list some time in the not too distant future.
Unraced at two, he was third in a mile maiden at Leopardstown on his debut in April, ran away with a Navan maiden over the same trip 11 days later and then took the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) by five and a half lengths at Deauville in May.
He was odds-on when runner-up to Galileo Gold in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and when a half-length second to Hawkbill in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes, and his final start saw him beat his Ascot conqueror by a neck in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. Timeform rate him 127.
The Gurkha is a full-brother to the pattern-placed Queen Nefertiti and his dam, Chintz (by Danehill Dancer), who won the Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes as a two-year-old, is a half-sister to the dam of the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas runner-up Savile Row (by Makfi).
His grandam is Gold Dodger (by Slew O' Gold) and that stakes-winning daughter of Group 3 Prix Cleopatre scorer Brooklyn's Dance (by Shirley Heights) is a half-sister to five stakes winners and also to a broodmare of note.
Best of the stakes quintet is 2012's surprise Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Solemia (by Poliglote). Her three-parts brothers Prospect Wells (by Sadler's Wells) and Prospect Park (by Sadler's Wells) are Group 1-placed pattern winners, while Brooklyn's Gold (by Seeking The Gold) and Never Green (by Halling) won listed races.
The other noteworthy sibling is Brooklyn's Storm (by Storm) and it is her stakes-winning daughter Stormina (by Gulch) who gave us the classic-placed Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary heroine Silsaol (by Monsun), the joint-champion juvenile filly in France in 2012.
Brooklyn's Dance is a half-sister to the dam of Group 1 Grand Criterium scorer Okawango (by Kingmambo), to the grandam of triple Group 1 star and German champion Quijano (by Acatenango), and also to the mare who gave us 2007's Derby and Juddmonte International Stakes hero Authorized (by Montjeu).
That star has four Group 1 winners to his name, including the recent dual Australian top-level star Hartnell, and his success is no surprise given that his grandam (fourth dam of The Gurkha) is Vallee Dansante (by Lyphard), a half-sister to classic hero and leading sire Green Dancer (by Nijinsky) and also to Irish Valley (by Irish River), the dam of juvenile champion and classic sire Alhaarth (by Unfuwain) and grandam of classic hero and classic sire Makfi (by Dubawi).
This is a family with an established history of producing stallions capable of siring Group 1 winners and so there is every reason to hope that classic-winning miler The Gurkha can add his name that roll of honour too.
THE GURKHA (IRE) – b.2013 – Galileo – Chintz, 3 wins inc Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Gr1), Sussex Stakes (Gr1), 2nd Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Gr1), St James's Palace Stakes (Gr1). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
A first-crop son of Derby hero and classic sire New Approach (by Galileo), Tha'Ir won the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot as a juvenile, two listed races at the age of five, achieved a peak Timeform rating of 115, and begins his new career at Lilling Hall Farm Stud near Yorkshire.
His sire's 28 other stakes winners include the classic stars Dawn Approach and Talent, Derby runner-up Libertarian, and 2016 Group 1 scorers Elliptique and Potemkin, as well as Beautiful Romance, Messi and Nearly Caught who won at Group/Grade 2 level this past year.
Tha'Ir is a half-brother to the pattern-placed stakes winner Flashing Colour (by Pivotal) and his winning dam Flashing Green (by Green Desert) is a grand-daughter of the Group 1-placed dual middle-distance pattern scorer and hugely influential broodmare Reprocolor (by Jimmy Reppin).
His dam's siblings include the classic-placed stakes winner Mona Lisa (by Giant's Causeway) and the listed scorers Croeso Cariad (by Most Welcome) and Photogenic (by Midyan), and his grandam's siblings feature the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes winner Cezanne (by Ajdal) and Group 1 Irish Oaks heroine Colorspin (by High Top).
The latter is, of course, the dam of the Group 1 stars Opera House (by Sadler's Wells), Kayf Tara (by Sadler's Wells) and Zee Zee Top (by Zafonic), she is the grandam of the Group 1 winning fillies Izzi Top (by Pivotal) and Necklace (by Darshaan) and also of the Group 1-placed Group 2 scorer Jazzi Top (by Danehill Dancer).
Colorsnap's (by Shirley Heights) siblings also include the classic-placed Group 2 Prix de l'Opera winner Bella Colora (by Bellypha), whose blacktype-winning offspring feature the multiple Group 1-placed Group 2 Prince of Wales's Stakes star Stagecraft (by Sadler's Wells) and whose many notable descendants include the classic-placed pattern winner France (by Desert Prince), Australian Group 1 star Pasadena Girl (by Savabeel) and the European Group 2 scorers Caspar Netscher (by Dutch Art) and Alkaadhem (by Green Desert).
Rappa Tap Tap (by Tap On Wood), a stakes-winning daughter of Reprocolor, is the third dam of Group 1 Criterium International scorer Zafisio (by Efisio), and her siblings also include the mares from whom Group 1 Fillies' Mile heroine Lyric Of Light (by Street Cry) and Group 2 winners Leebaz (by Zabeel), Polish Knight (by Encosta De Lago), Torch Rouge (by Warning) and Simonas (by Sternkonig) descend.
With a pedigree like this there was no surprise that Tha'ir could become a Group 2-placed triple stakes winner on the track, and there is no doubt that he is bred to sire some talented offspring, both on the flat and later under National Hunt rules.
THA'IR (IRE) – b.2010 – New Approach – Flashing Green, 7 wins inc Gala Stakes (L), Anatolia Trophy (L), Chesham Stakes (L), 2nd Solario Stakes (Gr3), Fairway Stakes (L), 3rd Champagne Stakes (Gr2), Gala Stakes (L). Sire in England. First foals in 2018.
One of the things that we look at when assessing the future potential of any stallion is the presence or absence of successful sires within the first few generations of his pedigree. If his relations do include one or more horses who have done well as stallions then that does not confer any sort of guarantee on him, of course, but it does boost his prospects.
In Territories we have a classic-placed Group 1 winner who was Timeform 111p-rated at two, 123 at three, and who has two major international sires in the fourth generation of his pedigree.
His fourth dam is the Group 1 Irish Oaks heroine Helen Street (by Troy) and she is both the dam of Australian champion sire Street Cry (by Machiavellian) and grandam of prolific Group 1 sire Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway).
The latter is out of Street Cry's stakes-placed full-sister Helsinki and both she and Street Cry are somewhat closely related to Taranto (by Machiavellian), the stakes-placed dam of Territories.
Their triple-winning half-sister Grecian Slipper (by Sadler's Wells) – the third dam of Territories – is the dam of Group 3 Prix de Conde scorer Graikos (by Rainbow Quest) and of Group 3 Prix de Barbeville winner Magna Graecia (by Warning), and she is the grandam of the Group 1-placed Australian Group 2 scorer Paximadia (by Commands). Magna Graecia is, in turn, Taranto's dam.
In addition to being a high-class racehorse from the family of two major sires, Territories has the attraction of being a son of leading international sire Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), the Irish National Stud flag bearer whose stallion sons include Lawman, I Am Invincible, Captain Marvelous, Zebedee, Vale Of York, Mayson, and Born To Sea.
These are all credentials that give Territories every chance of making the grade as a sire of high-class sprinters, milers and, with the right mares, some middle-distance horses, and Dalham Hall Stud's recruit looks likely to be among the busiest new sires of 2017.
TERRITORIES (IRE) – b.2012 – Invincible Spirit – Taranto, 3 wins inc Prix Jean Prat (Gr1), Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3), 2nd 2000 Guineas (Gr1), Prix Jacques le Marois (Gr1), Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium (Gr1), 3rd Prix Messidor (Gr3), Prix du Palais Royal (Gr3), Prix La Rochette (Gr3). Sire in England. First foals in 2018.
The Group 2-winning sprinter Acclamation (by Royal Applause) has become a surprise source of successful stallion sons and he has a growing number of grandsons who are either beginning stud careers of their own in 2017 or who are already in the early years of their new careers.
The former group includes Strath Burn, who is a first stallion son for the dual Group 1-winning sprinter Equiano. That Newsells Park Stud horse's first crop also includes Group 1 star The Tin Man and his third batch of juveniles featured the Group 1-placed Group 2 scorer Medicine Jack.
Strath Burn was a Timeform 106-rated and Group 2-placed juvenile and at three he followed his Group 3 Hackwood Stakes victory with a short-head defeat by Twilight Son in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, raising his Timeform figure to 123. He begins his new career at Bridge House Stud in Co Westmeath.
He is the best of seven winners out of Irish Light (by Irish River), his siblings include the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes third Polar Force (by Polar Falcon), and his dam is a half-sister both to the Grade 3-placed stakes winner Solar Bound (by Boundary) and to the notable broodmare Bintalreef (by Diesis). She is the dam of the Group 2 Futurity Stakes winner First Cornerstone (by Hurricane Run) and also of the pattern-placed dual listed scorer Buxted (by Dynaformer).
Solar Star (by Lear Fan), the grandam of Strath Burn, is a winning half-sister to the triple graded-winning sprinter Gold Land (by Gone West) and also to the dams of the speedy stakes winners Resplendent Cee (by Polar Falcon) and Pausanias (by Kyllachy), and she is out of an unraced half-sister to the dual Group 1 Lockinge Stakes hero Soviet Line (by Soviet Star).
His fourth dam is the Group 1 Oaks fourth Shore Line (by High Line), a full-sister to Group 2 Park Hill Stakes winner Quay Line and to Group 2 Premio Dormello scorer Ancholia, but Strath Burn was all about speed and it is likely that it is that quality that he will pass on to his offspring.
STRATH BURN (GB) – b.2012 – Equiano – Irish Light, 2 wins inc Hackwood Stakes (Gr3), 2nd Sprint Cup (Gr1), Prix Robert Papin (Gr2), Cornwallis Stakes (Gr3), 3rd Westow Stakes (L). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
The early Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert) stallions include classic sire Lawman, Group 1 sire I Am Invincible and other blacktype sires such as Zebedee, Captain Marvelous, Vale Of York, Mayson and Born To Sea, which augurs well for the prospects of the increasing number of his sons who are taking up stud roles.
Shalaa was one of the star juveniles of 2015, a dual Group 1 winner over six furlongs, rated 123p by Timeform and looking every inch a potential Group 1 Commonwealth Cup hero of 2016. Sadly, he missed a full year off the track.
His return to action was a winning one, but although he was sent off joint-favourite for the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes on what was to be his final start, that outing came just two weeks later. American commentators talk of a 'bounce' effect, where the second run back after a lengthy absence can be disappointing, and that may have been a factor.
It would have been fun to see Shalaa race as a four-year-old but, instead, he has joined the team at Haras de Bouquetot in France and his first book of mares reportedly includes the dual Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve.
The best of several winners out of Grade 3-placed Ghurra (by War Chant), he is out of a half-sister to the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winner Hayil (by Dayjur), to a string of blacktype earners and also to Abyat (by Shadeed), a mare whose Group 2-winning grandson Dragon Pulse (by Kyllachy) was a leading freshman of 2016.
Shalaa's grandam is the speedy stakes-placed winner Futuh (by Diesis) and that mare is a half-sister to the stakes-winning dam of dual Grade 1 scorer Wild Rush (by Wild Again), sire of the multiple Grade 1 stars Dream Rush, Hollywood Story, Stellar Jayne and Transcend, and of triple Canadian champion Judiths Wild Rush, among others of note.
There are many other stakes and graded winners to be found in the branches of the third generation of the family, but more eye-catching is the inbreeding in his pedigree.
The 3x3 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer) is easily apparent, but the broodmare sires of his parents are the full-brothers Kris and Diesis, thereby making him inbred 4x4 to Sharpen Up (by Atan) and to Doubly Sure (by Reliance). Sir Gaylord (by Turn-To) appears twice in the fifth generation, which is far back and will be off the chart of any of his progeny.
It is not possible to know if that will have any meaningful effect on his prospects as a stallion, although it does make it likely that quite a few of his offspring will also show some inbreeding within the first four generations of their pedigrees.
Shalaa was a dual Group 1 winning juvenile sprinter, a pattern winner from two starts at three, he is by a leading sire who has shown promise with his stallion sons, and he comes from the family of a dual Grade 1 star who sired several multiple top-level scorers. This makes him a highly promising new addition to the stallion ranks and he looks a likely source of high-class sprinters and milers.
SHALAA (IRE) – b.2013 – Invincible Spirit – Ghurra, 6 wins inc Prix Morny (Gr1), Middle Park Stakes (Gr1), July Stakes (Gr2), Richmond Stakes (Gr2), Bengough Stakes (Gr3). Sire in France. First foals in 2018.
Talented Australian sprinter Scissor Kick is a son of champion sire Redoute's Choice (by Danehill) and so is by the sire of leading Australian stallion Snitzel and of successful 2016 European freshman sire Elzaam, among others. He has covered his first book of mares in his native land and will stand at Haras d'Etreham, in France, in 2017.
He is a full-brother to the pattern-placed stakes winner Sharkbite, who has sired some winners and blacktype horses, but more notable is that his dam, Back Pass (by Quest For Fame), is a winning half-sister to Group 1-placed Grade 2 scorer Three Valleys (by Diesis) and so is out of Skiable (by Niniski), the stakes-placed half-sister to the phenomenal broodmare Hasili (by Kahyasi).
A stakes winner in France and a full-sister to listed scorer Arrive, Hasili is the dam of the Group/Grade 1 stars Banks Hill (by Danehill), Cacique (by Danehill), Champs Elysees (by Danehill), Heat Haze (by Green Desert) and Intercontinental (by Danehill) and also of the Group 1-placed pattern scorers Deluxe (by Storm Cat) and Dansili (by Danehill), the latter one of Europe's outstanding stallions.
Cacique and Champs Elysees have also enjoyed success at stud, and Banks Hill is the dam of the Group 1 star Romantica (by Galileo) and of Group 2-placed stakes winner and successful South African sire Ideal World (by Kingmambo).
Dissemble (by Ahonoora), a half-sister to Hasili, is the dam of triple Grade 1 winning miler Leroidesanimaux (by Candy Stripes), who is the sire of Grade 1 Kentucky Derby hero and 2017 freshman sire Animal Kingdom. Arrive, of course, is the dam of the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes winner Promising Lead (by Danehill).
There are many other group/graded winners to be found under these first few generations of the family, including Jet Away (by Cape Cross) whose first foals were on offer in 2016. And if you go back another step then you will find Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Sookera (by Roberto), dam of the Group 1-winning sprinter So Factual (by Known Fact) and fourth dam of Scissor Kick.
All of this makes Scissor Kick an intriguing addition to the European stallion ranks and identifies him as a potential source of some smart sprinters and milers.
SCISSOR KICK (AUS) – b.2011 – Redoute's Choice – Back Pass, 4 wins inc Eskimo Prince Stakes (Gr3), Up And Coming Stakes (Gr3), Rosebud Stakes (L), 2nd Golden Rose Stakes (Gr1), Stan Fox Stakes (Gr2). Sire in Australia & France. First northern hemisphere foals in 2018.
Multi-millionaire and dual Group 1 star Protectionist begins his stallion career at Gestut Rottgen in Germany. He was a Group 2-winning stayer in his native land before winning the Group 1 Melbourne Cup over two miles at Flemington.
An extended stay in Australia did not work out for him so he returned to Europe in 2016 and added two more pattern wins to his tally, notably his two and a half length defeat of Nightflower in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin over 12 furlongs at Hoppegarten in August.
Protectionist is a son of the great German stallion Monsun (by Konigsstuhl) and so is by the sire of the successful sires Manduro, Samum and Shirocco, each of whom have sired several Group/Grade 1 winners on the flat.
His dam is out of the listed scorer Parisienne (by Distant Relative) and what is most striking about her is that she is by the runaway Arc hero Peintre Celebre (by Nureyev) and from the female line that produced that star.
Their common ancestor is the stakes winner Plencia (by Le Haar) whose brilliant daughter Pawneese (by Carvin II) was a half-sister to Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes scorer Petroleuse (by Habitat). The latter is the grandam of Peintre Celebre, while the King George, Oaks and Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Pawneese is the fourth dam of Protectionist.
He was pattern placed from just two starts as a juvenile and is standing in a country that has little two-year-old racing, so it is likely that it will be 2021 before we start to see the best of Protectionist's first crop emerge, when they are three-year-olds tackling middle-distances.
PROTECTIONIST (GER) – b.2010 – Monsun – Patineuse, 8 wins inc Melbourne Cup (Gr1), Grosser Preis von Berlin (Gr1), Prix Kergorlay (Gr2), Hansa Preis (Gr2-twice), Derby Trial (L), 2nd Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer Rennen (Gr2), Grosser Preis Herzog von Ratibor Rennen (Gr3), Preis von Dahlwitz (L), 3rd Derby-Trial (L). Sire in Germany. First foals in 2018.
There is a growing trend of retiring horses to stud after just their two-year-old season, so before they have truly proved themselves, and Prince Of Lir, who won a Beverley maiden in May, the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes in June, and then finished unplaced in three starts, is one of the latest.
I reviewed the pedigree of Ballyhane Stud's new recruit after his Ascot success and the big update since then is that Donnerschlag (by Bahamian Bounty) won the Group 2 Goldene Peitsche. That colt, a half-brother to the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes third De Boss Man (by Dandy Man), is out of Dame Hester (by Diktat), a stakes-placed half-sister to the grandam of Prince Of Lir.
His winning dam, Esuvia (by Whipper), is a half-sister to the pattern scorer Resplendent Glory (by Namid) and the blacktype horses who appear under branches of the fourth generation of the family feature the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas heroine Platinum Witness (by California Dane).
Prince Of Lir is one of a growing number of sons of Kodiac (by Danehill) taking up stallion duties – Adaay, Coulsty and Kodi Bear are also new for 2017 – and he looks likely to be very popular in his new role.
PRINCE OF LIR (IRE) – b.2014 – Kodiac – Esuvia, 2 wins inc Norfolk Stakes (Gr2). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Sire of Stallions