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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Frankel's first stallion sons settle into exotic climes

Straight Shooter and Tango Fire given stud roles in far-flung locations

Tango Fire enjoys a pick of the grass at his new home in Pakistan
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Frankel's first stallion sons are settling into their stud careers in some far-flung exotic locations.

Straight Shooter, who set pulses racing with a seven-length victory on debut for Andre Fabre at Saint-Cloud last May but never graced the track again due to injury, will enjoy the sun on his back in Cyprus.

Meanwhile Tango Fire, who failed to trouble the judge in three starts but hails from a fine family, has been sold to Pakistan.

Straight Shooter, who carried the silks of embattled South African tycoon Markus Jooste, had been catalogued for the recent Arqana February Sale but was bought in a private deal brokered by agent Oliver St Lawrence.

Petros Pantelides, a long-time owner and breeder in Cyprus, and Nicholas Hadjiyiannis, who at the age of 101 boasts 70 years in racing and bloodstock, are the new owners of Straight Shooter.

The horse – a half-brother to Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Naaqoos bred by Serge Boucheron – will stand alongside former Racing Post Trophy third Medicine Path at Hadjiyiannis Stud in Akaki, a village 15 miles from Nicosia. He will reportedly cover mainly the stud's own boarders, but also a limited number of outside mares for a private fee.

“We strongly believe Straight Shooter will upgrade the racing industry in Cyprus, and I would like to thank Mr Hadjiyiannis for his contribution to buying this horse, and also Oliver St Lawrence – nothing would have been possible without him,” said Pantelides, who explained that the Frankel factor figured highly in Straight Shooter's stallion appeal.

“He has an unquestionably excellent pedigree,” he said. “His sire was the best racehorse of at least recent history, and he is also descended from Gaily, meaning he is related to the great Pilsudski and Group 1 winners Youmzain and Creachadoir, and there is also Naaqoos too of course.

“Many of Straight Shooter's half-brothers and sisters have been sold for lots of money at different sales over the years.”

But Pantelides added that his new charge's credentials are not confined to his pedigree.

“He's a nice horse with good bone structure and muscular and physical proportions. And although he raced only once, the hype around that easy victory was self-explanatory.

“The way he travelled and his turn of foot in the final stages of the race showed that if he hadn't had any problems he could easily have become a Group winner. He got a Racing Post Rating of 94 for that run, which is the second highest of all Frankel's first-time runners in Europe.”

All racing in Cyprus is held at the Nicosia Race Club, a left-handed all-weather track of six and a half furlongs. There are around 100 Flat meetings a year held twice a week, with eight or nine heats on each card.

Since 2012 the Nicosia Race Club has accepted bets on British, Irish and South African racing and since last year it has offered its racing product for betting to international customers.

There are 30 stallions standing in Cyprus this breeding season, with around 300 active mares in the country and 1,000 horses in training.

“The racing standards in Cyprus are much lower than the likes of Britain or Ireland, but we're trying to close that gap by buying promising stallions and mares from those other advanced racing industries,” said Pantelides.

For the past decade the leading sire in Cyprus has been the late Takkatamm, a son of Forty Niner who finished fourth in Pennekamp's Dewhurst Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute. He was also owned by Hadjiyiannis.

Straight Shooter arrived in Cyprus on Thursday and Pantelides added: “He seems to enjoy the Mediterranean weather. We'll give him some time to settle and adapt to the new environment but I'm pretty sure he'll love his new home.”

Tango Fire has had longer to acclimatise to higher temperatures, having arrived at Alias Warriach Stud near Sargodha in Pakistan last November.

The colt, bred by Newsells Park Stud out of the Grade 2-placed Danehill Dancer mare Latin Love, was bought for just 4,000gns at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale last October – signed for by St Lawrence, co-incidentally – after being well-beaten in all three starts for Richard Hannon.

What he lacks in performance he makes up for in pedigree, as Latin Love is out of a half-sister to the top-class mares Cerulean Sky, L'Ancresse and Moonstone. Irish Oaks heroine Moonstone is the dam of last season's Group 3 winner and narrowly beaten Royal Lodge Stakes second Nelson, also by Frankel.

Frankel: has stallion sons in Cyprus and Pakistan

Tango Fire's new owner, veterinary lecturer Hassan Mahmood Warriach, said: “Alias Warriach Stud Farm is a newly established stud farm in Pakistan. We have imported the horses from Britain, Ireland, Dubai and Qatar. At the moment we have eight broodmares and two stallions.

“We feel proud to have imported the first ever son of Frankel to Pakistan. Our whole thoroughbred industry is very excited about the news. We've received an overwhelming response from breeders and the horse has already very successfully started breeding.

“This year we are looking to breed around 30 to 50 mares to him. He quickly adjusted to the new environment in Pakistan, where the stabling and feeding pattern are quite different from Britain.”

Bloodlines cultivated by Frankel's owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah would be held in high esteem in Pakistan, as the country's reigning horse of the year Big Bravo is by Dunhill Star – a son of Frankel's damsire Danehill – and is out of a mare by Abdullah's brilliant miler Warning.

The first sons of Frankel to retire to stud in more established racing nations in Europe and North America can be expected from next year onwards, with the likes of Cracksman and Eminent having already earned their chance and set to enhance their claims this year, while younger talents such as Elarqam, Nelson and Rostropovich promise to rise through the ranks.


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The racing standards in Cyprus are much lower than the likes of Britain or Ireland, but we're trying to close that gap
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