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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Royal Ascot 2017 - the leading sires, damsires and breeders

A look at the stallions who shone over a memorable five days

Caravaggio: one of four winners for the late Scat Daddy this week
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Stallion  (Sire, location)  Winners-2nds-3rds

Scat Daddy (Johannesburg, dead) 4-0-2

Galileo (Sadler’s Wells, Coolmore, Ire) 3-4-4

Dubawi (Dubai Millennium, Dalham Hall Stud, UK) 3-2-1

Sea The Stars (Cape Cross, Gilltown Stud, Ire) 2-1-3

Exceed And Excel (Danehill, Kildangan Stud, Ire) 2-0-1

Frankel (Galileo, Banstead Manor Stud, UK) 1-2-1

Halling (Diesis, dead) 1-1-0

Scat Daddy was the leading sire at Royal Ascot by number of winners, with four – Caravaggio (Commonwealth Cup), Con Te Partiro (Sandringham Handicap), Lady Aurelia (King's Stand Stakes) and Sioux Nation (Norfolk Stakes).

What makes the late son of Johannesburg’s feat all the more admirable is the fact he fielded just eight runners at the meeting and another two, Murillo and Take Me With You, finished third in the key two-year-old contests the Coventry Stakes and Albany Stakes. 

Galileo and Dubawi, totemic sires for the rival camps of Coolmore and Godolphin, also emerge from the week with credit – three winners apiece with Galileo getting the edge on his rival with two more runners-up.

Galileo also did better in terms of class of winner. His three who finished first past the post were Winter in the Coronation Stakes and Highland Reel in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, both Group 1s, and Highland Reel's brother Idaho in the Hardwicke Stakes, a Group 2.

He also supplied the first three home in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, with Decorated Knight and Ulysses filling the places behind Highland Reel, and his son Order Of St George lost no caste in defeat when a thrilling short-head second to Big Orange in the Gold Cup.

Dubawi's three winners were Coronet in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes; Benbatl in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes; and Rare Rhythm in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap.

Galileo’s half-brother and fellow Derby winner Sea The Stars also deserves a big shout for notching two winners - Stradivarius in the Group 2 Queen's Vase and Bless Him in the Britannia Handicap - and another four place-getters, including Queen Anne Stakes second Mutakayyef.

Exceed And Excel also notched two winners at the royal meeting - Sound And Silence in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes and Out Do in the Wokingham Handicap - and his profile was further enhanced by his stallion sons Excelebration and Helmet supplying the first and third home in the St James's Palace Stakes, Barney Roy and Thunder Snow.

Two sires descended in the male line from game-changing Japanese stallion Sunday Silence struck at Ascot this week.

Deep Impact, a champion sire son of Sunday Silence, is responsible for Chesham Stakes winner and next year's 1,000 Guineas favourite September; while Dabirsim, by Sunday Silence's son Hat Trick, produced Albany Stakes scorer Different League from his first crop.

Dabirsim was the only freshman to get on the board with a winner but Havana Gold came agonisingly close when Headway was beaten just a head into second in the Coventry Stakes.

Kudos, too, to War Front at Royal Ascot this week: the Claiborne Farm sire had two Group 1 runners-up, Lancaster Bomber in the St James's Palace Stakes and Roly Poly in the Coronation Stakes, and another second-place finisher when Spirit Of Valor found only Le Brivido too good in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes.


Danehill 3 (Highland Reel-G1, Idaho-G2, September-LR)

Danehill Dancer 2 (Different League-G3, Thomas Hobson-H’cap)

Danehill was the leading damsire at Royal Ascot, thanks mainly to his daughter Hveger being on the mark with Highland Reel and Idaho.

The other winner for Danehill in this department was September, who is out of his outstanding daughter Peeping Fawn.

Other Danehill daughters produced this week's Queen Anne Stakes third Deauville (by Galileo, so bred on the same cross as Highland Reel and Idaho) and Norfolk Stakes third Cardsharp (by Lonhro).

Danehill's son Danehill Dancer was next best among the damsires this week, with two winners out of his daughters - Different League in the Albany Stakes and Thomas Hobson in the Ascot Stakes Handicap.

Again, Danehill Dancer was strongly represented on the podium finishes as a damsire as well. His maternal granddaughters Aljazzi (by Shamardal) and Rain Goddess (by Galileo) were second in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes and Sandringham Handicap.

Royal Ascot also cast Cadeaux Genereux in a good light as a damsire.

His daughters produced Wokingham Handicap winner Out Do, Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up Tasleet and Commonwealth Cup runner-up Harry Angel.

Pivotal also excelled in this discipline this week.

He is the damsire of Wolferton Handicap winner Snoano; Queen Anne Stakes second Mutakayyef; Hampton Court Stakes second Orderofthegarter; Gold Cup third Harbour Law; and Coronation Stakes third Hydrangea.


IRE 12 winners (3 at Group 1)

GB 11 (3)

USA 4 (2)

FR 2 (-)

GER 1 (-)

Irish-breds held the upper hand when it came to suffixes, with 12 winners at the meeting carrying the ‘IRE’ marque.

Britain was not far behind, though, with 11. That was a far better result than last year, when the score was 19-6 in favour of Ireland.

Both countries had three Group 1 scorers each.

The four scorers for Scat Daddy were the only horses to grace the winner's enclosure with a 'USA' suffix.

Last year there were five US-bred winners when, besides Scat Daddy, sires Bernstein, Kitten's Joy and War Front were also on the mark with Tepin, Hawkbill and Brave Anna.


Coolmore partners 5 (Highland Reel-G1, Winter-G1, Idaho-G2, Sioux Nation-G2, September-LR)

Godolphin/Darley 3 (Permian-G2, Benbatl-G3, Sound And Silence-LR)

Bjorn Nielsen 2  (Stradivarius-G2, Atty Persse-H’cap)

Various Coolmore partners and syndicates bred five winners at Royal Ascot this year.

Brothers Highland Reel and Idaho and the filly Winter were bred by entities named after the horses' dams - so the Hveger Syndicate and the Laddies Poker Two syndicate.

Norfolk Stakes winner Sioux Nation, one of the successful Scat Daddy offspring, was bred by Coolmore vet John Halley's Fethard Bloodstock.

September was bred by Orpendale and Chelston, names attached to Coolmore-bred Group 1 winners such as Minding and Rhododendron.

Sheikh Mohammed's operations bred three winners, but the greatest praise must be reserved for Bjorn Nielsen, who bred two winners at Royal Ascot with a broodmare band a fraction of the size of those of Coolmore and Darley.

Nielsen bred his own Queen's Vase Stakes winner Stradivarius from Sea The Stars and King George V Stakes Handicap scorer Atty Persse, a son of Frankel who formerly carried his silks.

Nielsen has a fine record of royal meeting success, having also bred Ribblesdale Stakes winner Punctilious, Queen's Vase runner-up Amerigo and Hardwicke Stakes third Almodovar.

Stradivarius: son of Sea The Stars carries his breeder Bjorn Nielsen's silks to victory in the Queen's Vase

The greatest praise must be reserved for Bjorn Nielsen, who bred two winners at Royal Ascot
E.W. Terms
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