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.
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 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.
The early stallion sons of Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert) include the Group 1 sires Lawman and I Am Invincible and also 2016 leading freshman sire Mayson, and that augurs well for the future prospects of the younger representatives of the Irish National Stud's flag bearer. New Rathbarry Stud recruit Ajaya is one of them.
He was among the leading sprint juveniles of 2015, rated 117 by Timeform and winner of the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York, beating subsequent mile star Ribchester by one and a quarter lengths. That victory came a month after he failed by just a head to beat Gutaifan in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte and a month before he finished fourth to Shalaa in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Ajaya ran only twice as a three-year-old, finishing unplaced behind Quiet Reflection in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes and behind Take Cover in the Group 2 King George Stakes, which was disappointing given the promise he showed as a juvenile.
The first foal of his dam, Ajaya is out of Nessina (by Hennessy), who is an unraced daughter of the Grade 1-placed Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap scorer Didina (by Nashwan). That mare is the dam of two stakes winners and the better of that pair was Tantina (by Distant View), a pattern-placed dual stakes winner in England.
She won the Listed Oak Tree Stakes and the Listed Sceptre Stakes, she was third in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes, and she has done even better at stud as she is the dam of Cityscape (by Selkirk) and Bated Breath (by Dansili) and grandam of the Grade 1-placed Grade 3 scorer Suffused (by Champs Elysees).
Cityscape won the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, was placed in a string of Group 1 contests, and will have his first runners in 2017. Bated Breath won the Group 2 Temple Stakes, he was runner-up in the Group 1 July Cup, Group 1 King's Stand Stakes and Group 1 Sprint Cup, and he was among the leading freshman sires of 2016.
Didicoy (by Danzig), who is the third dam of Ajaya, was a speedy blacktype-placed triple winner, she was out of the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes winner and Group 1 Phoenix Stakes runner-up Monroe (by Sir Ivor), and that made her a half-sister to the Group 1 star and juvenile champion Xaar (by Zafonic). Her sisters' descendants include the US Grade 1 stars Close Hatches (by First Defense) and Senure (by Nureyev).
This is, of course, the famous Best In Show (by Traffic Judge) family from which leading sires such as El Gran Senor and Redoute's Choice have emerged. Their relationship to Ajaya is remote, and it is his high-class juvenile form combined with being an Invincible Spirit relation to Bated Breath that is likely to attract a considerable amount of attention to him in his early years at stud. He is inbred 3x4 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer).
AJAYA (GB) – b.2013 – Invincible Spirit – Nessina, 2 wins inc Gimcrack Stakes (Gr2), 2nd Prix Robert Papin (Gr2). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Sire of Stallions