This is the second part of our review of the year, looking back at some of the topics covered by thebreedingshed over the last twelve months, with updates and any developments – there have been some interesting ones – since the articles were first written. Click on any of the links below to read the original pieces.
Back in April, thebreedingshed predicted that ‘another highly successful year looks on the cards’ for Shamardal and Dubawi in this article. Shamardal’s best horse Able Friend (above) disappointed in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot but enjoyed plenty of success back home in Hong Kong where he was named Horse of the Year, while the Cheveley Park Stakes winner Lumiere and the Champagne Stakes winner Emotionless give Shamardal a couple of high-profile three-year-olds with which to start next season.
Dubawi, though, surely surpassed all expectations with a remarkable season which prompted an extraordinary £100,000 hike in his stud fee for 2016 to £225,000. Al Kazeem, Night of Thunder and Postponed were all nominated as potential major earners and all three went on to Group 1 success. However, Dubawi’s three-year-old crop included Arabian Queen, who lowered Golden Horn’s colours in the Juddmonte International, while he was also responsible for the leading French middle-distance colts New Bay and Erupt, winners of the Prix du Jockey Club and Grand Prix de Paris respectively.
Little wonder that Dubawi’s yearlings were in high demand later in the year, with a filly (pictured below, from the family of the latest Pretty Polly Stakes winner Diamondsandrubies) selling to MV Magnier for 2.1m guineas at Tattersalls in October, making her the most expensive yearling of 2015, and a colt for €2.6m being bought by John Ferguson at Arqana in August which was a Deauville record. The latter yearling was consigned by Haras de Monceaux whose success story with that colt’s particular family we covered here. Another record set by Dubawi came at Goffs where a colt out of the Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime sold for €1.1m, an Irish record for a foal.
In the April article, we pointed to the need for Galileo’s classic hopefuls to fulfil their promise in order to keep their sire out in front. While Found duly won the Breeders’ Cup Turf late in the year, it was largely the efforts of Gleneagles, as the winner of the 2000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, that kept Galileo in pole position.
As we mentioned here, Gleneagles is out of Giant’s Causeway’s sister Your’esothrilling (who had already produced the Irish 1000 Guineas winner Marvellous), and the immediate family had another member active at the highest level in the latest season. Storm The Stars, winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes and placed in the Derby, Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris, was out of a half-sister to Giant’s Causeway and Youre’sothrilling, while the latter’s two-year-old filly, bearing the name Coolmore, showed classic potential herself.
Indeed, as Gleneagles waited in vain for firmer ground later on, Galileo’s two-year-olds took up the baton, with the likes of Minding, Ballydoyle and Johannes Vermeer all winning Group 1 races for Aidan O’Brien. However, the contribution of War Front as well to the stable’s success in the autumn was something we also highlighted here. It was not surprising that the Galileo mare Hanky Panky (below), another half-sister to Giant’s Causeway and Your’esothrilling, was the top lot at Tattersalls December Mares Sale when selling for 2.7m guineas – all the more so given that she was in foal to Dubawi, making her another big-money purchase by John Ferguson for Godolphin.
Other sires to enjoy an excellent year were the siblings Invincible Spirit and Kodiac who both enjoyed a particularly good summer, so much so we had to supplement our original article with an update to keep up with the pair’s success. Invincible Spirit, who was responsible for the season’s best sprinting two-year-old Shalaa, Golden Horn’s sire Cape Cross and Oasis Dream, sire of Europe’s champion sprinter Muhaarar (whose ancestry we looked at here), are all sons of Green Desert who died in September at the age of 32 (he was still an active sire up until 2011), showing what a legacy he will leave to the breed.
Green Desert was from the American ‘A4’ family, one which we had cause to investigate here earlier in the year as this is also the family of California Chrome and Bayern, rivals for the 2014 Horse of The Year title in the US which went to the first-named. It is also the family of the Japanese sire Great Journey whose French-bred but Irish-trained son Max Dynamite ran second in the Melbourne Cup after winning the Lonsdale Cup at York in August. Talking of the Melbourne Cup, the trainer synonymous with that race, Bart Cummings, who died in August, and his 1996 Cup winner Saintly (below), was the subject of this article.
Other interesting horses covered during the year were Solow, the champion miler bred to be a stayer, Masochistic, the Grade 1 sprinter whose parents never raced, and Germany’s prolific winner Gamgoom who won his eleventh race of the year after this article was written.
[Images courtesy of Flamelai, http://www.tattersalls.com and Living Legends]