Cape Cross legacy hangs on several golden strands
Sea The Stars, Golden Horn and Awtaad his most credible heirs
The continuation of the Cape Cross sire line hangs by only a few threads at the moment, but they are strands of the most finely spun gold.
His world champion son Sea The Stars, famously a half-brother to perennial leading sire Galileo, has made an excellent start to his own stallion career at Gilltown Stud by supplying 34 stakes winners, including Epsom Classic laureates Harzand and Taghrooda and runaway German Derby hero Sea The Moon since his first three-year-olds raced in 2014.
Harzand is standing his first season alongside his sire at Gilltown at a commercially competitive fee of €15,000, while Sea The Moon covered books of 130 and 111 mares in his first two seasons at Lanwades Stud and is standing his third season at a fee of £15,000.
Last year's Prix Jean Prat winner and Prix du Moulin third Zelzal and this month's Prix d'Harcourt winner Cloth Of Stars could be among the next intake of Sea The Stars sons to stud, and the 408 mares the sire covered between 2014 and 2016 – including 125 black-type winners – could be the source of untold riches in seasons to come.
CAPE CROSS SONS AT STUD IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
Awtaad (stands at Derrinstown Stud at a fee of €15,000)
Golden Horn (Dalham Hall Stud, £60,000)
Jet Away (Arctic Tack Stud, €1,600)
Moohaajim (Rathbarry Stud, €4,000)
Native Ruler (Batsford Stud, £1,500)
Recharge (Shade Oak Stud, £1,500)
Sea The Stars (Gilltown Stud, €125,000)
What A Caper (Pastures Barn Stud, on application)
The stallion career of Cape Cross's second Derby-winning son Golden Horn also promises much. He has been enthusiastically supported by breeders at a fee of £60,000 at Dalham Hall Stud and in his first season last year he covered 151 mares, 57 of those black-type winners.
Another son with bright prospects of excelling at stud emerged last year with the victory of Awtaad in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. He was retired to Derrinstown Stud at the end of the year and was reportedly fully booked by December on the strength of his outstanding looks.
Moohaajim, a son of Cape Cross who won the Mill Reef Stakes and was just touched off in the Middle Park, has a harder journey ahead to establish himself as a successful sire.
Despite also being an excellent physical model (Cape Cross seemed to have a knack of throwing horses with film-star looks) with a fee of just €4,000 at Rathbarry Stud, he covered only 74 mares in his first two seasons in 2015 and 2016.
Besides all those horses, Cape Cross also has sons Jet Away (Arctic Tack Stud), Native Ruler (Batsford Stud) and Recharge (Shade Oak Stud) covering mainly jumps mares in the British Isles.
That trio will ensure Cape Cross's name appears in families for only a finite amount of time, but another sire who has a strong chance of ensuring it remains in pedigrees – just not in the top line – is Derby winner Australia.
Out of Cape Cross's talismanic daughter Ouija Board, Australia has been granted strong support in his first years at Coolmore, perhaps with the hope of building him into a credible heir to his sire Galileo. He covered 314 mares in 2015 and 2016, 83 of those black-type winners.
There is still time, as well, for Cape Cross to strengthen his legacy. He produced a crop of 74 two-year-olds, including half-brothers to Cavalryman, Marsha and Usherette, and has yearlings to come before his retirement last year after failing to get any mares in foal.