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First-season sires Caravaggio and Aclaim feature among Curragh entries

Donnacha O'Brien-trained Silver Surfer rates an exciting newcomer

Caravaggio strikes a pose for Coolmore stallion man Tobin Murphy
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First-season sires Caravaggio and Aclaim could kick-start their stallion careers in earnest on Sunday with the pair holding entries in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over five furlongs at the Curragh.

The first two-year-old contest of the Irish Flat season has attracted 11 entries, with Silver Surfer boasting a particularly eyecatching pedigree. The Donnacha O'Brien-trained colt is one of 155 foals from the debut crop of Caravaggio, who covered his first book at a fee of €35,000, and is certainly bred to be an early type.

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His sire was an unbeaten two-year-old who rattled off four victories, a run that began with success at Dundalk in mid-April before he took the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he beat last year's record-breaking first-crop sire Mehmas, and the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes.

He returned at three and saw off Harry Angel and Blue Point to land his second Group 1 in the Commonwealth Cup, and later added the Flying Five Stakes.

Silver Surfer is the fourth foal out of Riskit Fora Biskit, herself a daughter of record-breaking juvenile sire Kodiac, whose five successes are headed by the Listed Prix Du Cercle.

Caravaggio and Tobin Murphy at Coolmore

In turn Riskit Fora Biskit is a sibling to three black type performers, including Gimcrack runner-up Crown Prosecutor (raced as Bullish Champion in Hong Kong), as well as Fox Trotter and Mur Hiba who finished second in the Horris Hill Stakes and Curragh Stakes respectively.

Caravaggio, who switched from Coolmore's Irish base to Ashford Stud in Kentucky for the 2021 season, is the 5-2 favourite with Skybet to be crowned leading first-season sire by number of individual winners in Britain and Ireland up until December 31.

Silver Surfer, who was bred by Ed's Stud and is owned by Atlantic Thoroughbreds, boasts the second-highest price tag of the 11 entries in the contest, having been signed for by Coolmore's MV Magnier at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale at 100,000gns.

The February 11 foal had previously been pinhooked by Glenvale Stud at 78,000gns when offered as a youngster. The most expensive entrant is the Coolmore-owned and Aidan O'Brien-trained Cadamosto, a £130,000 Goffs Orby Sale purchase who is by another of Scat Daddy's sire sons in No Nay Never.

The other first-season sire entry is the Gerard O'Leary-trained Satin Snake, a son of the National Stud's Aclaim who was born on January 31.

Aclaim in his paddock at the National Stud in Newmarket

Satin Snake, who was bred by B & B Equine and was a £33,000 yearling purchase by Avenue Bloodstock, is the eighth foal out of the Golden Snake mare Snake's Head, whose three winners at paddocks are headed by the Listed-placed sprinter Staxton.

Aclaim, whose first book yielded 113 foals bred at a fee of £12,500, made a winning debut at two, albeit in December, and progressed steadily through the following two seasons. He retired at four having landed seven races, including the Group 1 Prix de la Foret and a brace of Group 2s, namely the Park Stakes and the Challenge Stakes.

Aclaim will be looking to enhance Acclamation's already exceptional record as a sire of sires, having been responsible for the likes of Dark Angel, sire of seven Group/Grade 1 winners, and Mehmas, who smashed the world record for number of first-crop winner when represented by 58 successful sons and daughters in 2020.

Jim Bolger is responsible for four of the 11 entries, including the colt I Have A Voice and the filly Missing Matron, both of whom are by Vocalised, and the fillies Freedom Of Speech and Gaire Os Ard, who are by Australia and Teofilo respectively.

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Caravaggio is the 5-2 favourite with Skybet to be crowned leading first-season sire by number of individual winners
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