Acclamation sire-line scales new heights with Chantilly double
Aclaim and Battaash strike for a popular stallion dynasty
There been few bigger surprises in the bloodstock industry in the last ten years than how fruitfully the Acclamation sire-line has flourished.
A decade ago this year Acclamation was the champion freshman sire in Britain and Ireland – turning the tables on peers such as Dubai Destination, Hawk Wing and Oasis Dream, who had been his superior on the track – with Middle Park Stakes hero Dark Angel the pick of his first two-year-old runners.
It was a bright start but it would have still been unimaginable that he would so quickly establish himself at the head of a powerful dynasty of sires.
However, because Dark Angel was retired to stud after his productive juvenile season and also got off to a flying start with his early runners, the father and son have been in strong demand ever since and their sons are accumulating in the stallion ranks.
The Acclamation and Dark Angel story scaled new heights on Sunday when their progeny won on one of the most prestigious race days of the year, Sunday's Chantilly card that hosted the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Battaash, a son of Dark Angel, was an electric four-length winner of the Prix de l'Abbaye from Acclamation's daughter Marsha, who won the Abbaye in 2016 and had added the Palace House Stakes and Nunthorpe to her record this year.
Then, in the following race, the Acclamation colt Aclaim gilded his stallion credentials with a convincing victory in the Prix de la Foret.
Battaash was bred by Paul McCartan's Ballyphilip Stud – also breeders of Dark Angel's other Group 1-winning sprinter this year, Harry Angel – and is the first foal out of Anna Law, a Lawman half-sister to Champagne Stakes winner Etlaala who was well beaten in all her four starts and bought by McCartan for just 14,000gns at the end of her two-year-old season.
Shadwell bought Battaash for 200,000gns at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2015.
Aclaim, meanwhile, was bred by Dermot Farrington and Canning Downs and is also a first foal. He is out of Aris, a 7f maiden-winning half-sister to Moyglare Stud Stakes and Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Again – the dam of recent Beresford Stakes runner-up Delano Roosevelt. Aris and Again are out of Cumbres, a half-sister to the great Montjeu.
Aclaim was knocked down to Stephen Hillen for €130,000 at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale in 2014, though is now trained by Martyn Meade for Canning Downs and partners.
Acclamation, who has stood at Rathbarry Stud for 14 seasons, is now the sire of four Group 1 winners – Equiano making up the quartet alongside Aclaim, Dark Angel and Marsha.
Besides Dark Angel, his other sons at stud include Equiano, sire of this year's Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner The Tin Man, and Mehmas, the busiest new recruit to the stallion ranks in Britain and Ireland this year with 187 mares covered.
Dark Angel, who stands at Yeomanstown Stud, has his own clutch of sire sons, including Lethal Force, who has a double-figure tally of first-crop two-year-old winners this year.
He now has four Group 1 winners to his name – Battaash, Harry Angel, Lethal Force and Mecca's Angel – but unfortunately Battaash will not be able to provide another offshoot of this burgeoning branch of sires as he is a gelding.