Fifth over a mile at Gowran Park on his only start as a juvenile, Harzard burst onto the scene with a 16-length defeat of Sword Fighter over 10 furlongs on heavy ground at Cork in late March. The runner-up went on to win the Listed Queen's Vase and Group 2 Curragh Cup, and Harzard went on to become one of the brightest stars of 2016.
Two weeks after this maiden success, Harzand took on Idaho in the Group 3 P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes over the same trip at Leopardstown and, when the latter took up the running more than a furlong from home, the son of Galileo looked set for victory. But then Harzand made his move, passed Idaho and won by one and a quarter lengths, with that colt finishing seven and a half lengths clear of the third.
I reviewed Harzard's pedigree for The Irish Field after that race, explaining why there was reason to believe that he could become both a classic winner and one of the top Group 1 horses of 2016, and noting too that Idaho's performance was also enough to suggest that he also remained a live classic prospect. Neither colt disappointed.
Harzand went on to beat US Army Ranger and Idaho in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom and then followed-up with by again beating Idaho in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Sadly, his final two starts did not go as smoothly, injured when down the field behind Almanzor in the Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and then unplaced behind Found in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.
Like runaway classic star Sea The Moon, whose first foals caught the eye at the sales in recent weeks, Harzand is an early stallion son for the Timeform 140-rated superstar Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross).
This is the Green Desert branch of the powerful Danzig (by Northern Dancer) sire line, and as Sea The Stars is a half-brother to the great Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) there is every reason to hope that he too will get some top-class sire sons.
Hazariya (by Xaar), the dam of Harzand, won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes and her four previous winners include listed scorer Hazarafa (by Daylami), pattern-placed Haziyna (by Halling), and Group 1-placed Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes winner Harasiya (by Pivotal).
The mare was sold, by H H the Aga Khan's Studs, in Goffs in November 2014, carrying a Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) filly, and when reoffered in Newmarket late last month, this time from Newsells Park Stud and in foal to Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), her price rose from €480,000 to a sale-topping 2,000,000gns. She has joined the Coolmore broodmare band and will reportedly visit Galileo in 2017.
Hazariya is a half-sister to the classic-placed Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes winner Hazarista (by Barathea), to the dam of this year's middle-distance listed scorer Humphrey Bogart (by Tagula), and also to Handaza (by Be My Guest).
That mare is the dam of the Group 3 Concorde Stakes winner Hamairi (by Spectrum), of pattern-placed listed scorer Hanabad (by Cadeaux Genereux), and of Hannda (by Dr Devious), the dam of Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mare Stakes heroine Seal Of Approval (by Authorized).
Their dam, Hazaradjat (by Darshaan), won twice and as she was out of the Prix de Royallieu runner-up and multiple stakes winner Hazy Idea (by Hethersett), she was a half-sister to the Timeform 125-rated juvenile Hittite Glory (by Habitat).
He won the Group 1 Flying Childers Stakes and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes in 1975, and although he failed to make an impact as a stallion that should not reflect negatively on Harzand's prospects. The newly retired classic star represents a notably successful male line, whereas Hittite Glory was by a major sire but one whose stallion sons tended to disappoint at stud.
Being bred to excel on the track is not necessarily the same thing as being bred for success at stud.
Hazy Idea's descendants also include the Australian juvenile champion Decision Time (by Foreplay) – a Group 2 scorer who was runner-up in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes – and also the outstanding filly Streama (by Stratum), whose wins include the Group 1 AJC Oaks, Group 1 Doomben Cup, Group 1 Coolmore Stud Flight Stakes and Group 1 George Main Stakes.
Harzand was indeed one of the top Group 1 horses of 2016 and this dual Derby hero should prove very popular in his new role at his owner-breeder's famous Gilltown Stud.
He is a fascinating prospect and, as we are likely to see with all of the Sea The Stars horses who go to stud, it would be no surprise to see a fair number of his mares representing Galileo, his descendants, and others representing the Sadler's Wells line.
HARZAND (IRE) – br.2013 – Sea The Stars – Hazariya, 4 wins inc Derby (Gr1), Irish Derby (Gr1), Ballysax Stakes (Gr3). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Sire of Stallions