French-based freshman a dab hand at producing early winners
Flying start to Dabirsim's stud career not gone unnoticed
It should be no shock to see first-season sire Dabirsim do so well with his early runners. He was, after all, unbeaten at two and rated Europe's joint-champion with Camelot after winning the Prix Morny and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Nevertheless, his flying start at stud has been striking. He has a popular Royal Ascot winner in the shape of Different League; eight winners from 14 runners for a superb strike-rate of 57 per cent; and the highest progeny earnings of any freshman this year.
The reason the success is somewhat surprising is that he covered his first mares at Gestut Karlshof in Germany and although a debut crop of 78 two-year-olds gives him a fair-sized representation this year, the number is a long way behind some of his peers who started their careers in Britain and Ireland.
It is only July and still too early to make a call on the future success of such a young stallion, but the early signs are encouraging indeed. And he must be doing something right, as Eric Lhermite, who now stands the horse at his Haras de Grandcamp in Normandy, reported his phone has been ringing hot with offers to purchase.
“We've had many people been in contact trying to buy him – that's understandable,” said Lhermite during Thursday's session of the Arqana Summer Sale, during which bidding for two mares in foal to Dabirsim reached €42,000. “But he's not on the market. His owner Simon Springer does not want to sell.”
Lhermite admitted that Dabirsim's early exploits had surprised even him.
“Of course he was a champion two-year-old and we knew he was an excellent prospect, but we also appreciate how hard it is to hit upon a successful stallion,” he said. “I can't remember such a good start for a French stallion.”
Dabirsim's transfer to France for the 2016 breeding season was decided on the basis he would have better chances with the higher quantity and quality of mares in France - although he seems to have clicked with those he received in Germany.
“But the best products are 'FR',” Lhermite joked.
The master of Grandcamp reported Dabirsim covered 190 mares this year, with many booked after his first winner, All This Time, gave a taste of what was to come by trotting up by four lengths on his debut at Lion d'Angers in April.
“He's also popular because he's a grandson of Sunday Silence and an outcross for Sadler's Wells and Danehill, so it's new blood in France and very interesting,” added Lhermite, who introduced to the market another sire from the same line this year in Japanese Grade 3 winner Martinborough, a son of Deep Impact out of a well-related Nureyev mare who covered around 70 mares in his debut season.
Dabirsim is not the only champion two-year-old on the Grandcamp roster, either, as Dream Ahead joined from Ballylinch Stud this year and also received a book of around 70. “I'm very lucky,” Lhermite said with some understatement.
There is every reason to believe Dabirsim's hot streak can continue, as well, with his haul of winners containing several interesting prospects. One in particular has Lhermite excited.
“Criquette Head-Maarek has a filly [High Dream Milena, who beat subsequent wide-margin Deauville maiden winner Tantheem at Chantilly last month] who she really likes,” he said. “She's said she's one of the better two-year-olds for sprint races that she has, and the horse is going for the Prix Robert Papin in a few weeks.”
What with Different League having already advertised her sire's ability on the biggest stage in racing and High Dream Milena looking a potential crackerjack – not to mention all the unraced juveniles who have yet to show their hands – it is safe to say Dabirsim looks on course for a fee increase next year.