Curiouser and curiouser! Neglected Kuroshio bags another bright prospect
Four winners now from only 22 European foals for the former shuttler
Kurious, who made a pleasing impression by winning on debut in a 5f fillies' novice stakes at Sandown on Thursday, was well named considering the bright start made by her commercially neglected sire Kuroshio against the odds.
A Group 2-winning son of Exceed And Excel, Kuroshio shuttled from Darley Australia to Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire in 2015, standing at a fee of just £3,500.
Despite being a precocious and speedy son of a fashionable sire, and being a brother to the dam of Group 1-winning sprinter Bounding, northern hemisphere breeders sent the stallion only 33 mares who produced a crop of just 22 foals. He has not shuttled from Australia again.
However that small first crop, now two-year-olds, has yielded four winners from 11 runners. Besides Kurious, they are Daphinia, who later finished second in the Listed Marygate Stakes at York for Henry Spiller; Kapono, a wide-margin winner at Goodwood last time out for Amy Murphy; and Big Ace, who scored at Hamilton for Tim Easterby last month.
Breeders might just be kicking themselves now, considering they did not use Kuroshio in sufficient numbers to encourage Darley to shuttle the stallion north of the equator again.
Agents and trainers might also have cause for regret, as the sire's first yearlings sold for an average of around just 11,000gns last year.
One breeder who did not turn down the chance to use Kuroshio in 2015 was Marie Matthews, who sent her fine mare Easy To Imagine to the stallion to produce Kurious.
Easy To Imagine, an unraced daughter of Cozzene and the Grade 1-placed Danzig mare Zarani Sidi Anna, was bought as a two-year-old by Matthews for just 5,200gns in 2002.
The dam has now produced five winners, headed by Prix de l'Abbaye winner Tangerine Trees and the Listed-winning and Group 2-placed sprinter Alpha Delphini.
Kurious, trained by Henry Candy and carrying the silks of the Hot to Trot Racing Club, made all the running and held off the late challenge of fellow debutante and Hot to Trot Racing colourbearer Heartwarming – a Showcasing half-sister to last season's Queen Mary Stakes and Flying Childers Stakes winner Heartache bred by Whitsbury Manor Stud.
Kuroshio's tally of four winners is beaten among this year's first-season sires in Europe only by Bungle Inthejungle, who is on nine, and it is matched by No Nay Never. Both sires produced much larger debut crops.