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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Scat Daddy's younger brother doing a Grand job of upholding the family name

Nancy Sexton talks to Teresa Solari Falabella about the Chilean sire sensation

Grand Daddy: Scat Daddy's brother has sired 15 stakes winners
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Scat Daddy was already a major force in Chile by the time he started to attract the attention of North America's elite breeders.

The late Coolmore stallion shuttled to Haras Paso Nevado in Chile for three seasons from 2009 to 2011 and the impact was immediate; there were three Group 1 winners in his first Chilean crop, another five in his second and a further five in his third.

His dominance came to be such that several Chilean commentators dubbed him 'the Galileo of Chile' - and little wonder considering that his progeny filled the first three places at Group 1 level on no fewer than five occasions between 2013 and 2015.

Of course, Scat Daddy's reputation in the northern hemisphere has grown immeasurably since then thanks to a series of high-profile and fast performers, among them Caravaggio, No Nay Never and Lady Aurelia, making his death in late 2015 all the more lamentable.

Scat Daddy ceased shuttling in 2013 when a severe bout of dehydration grounded him en route to South America. As a result, any Chilean breeders wishing to use him had to do so while the horse remained in Kentucky. And use him they did; for example in 2014, those breeders in possession of the necessary resources sent a total of 40 mares to be covered to southern hemisphere time while he resided at Ashford Stud.

By that stage, however, those without such resources had access to his younger brother Grand Daddy, then ensconced at Haras Mocito Guapo.

Tough campaigner

Grand Daddy did not retire with the stellar race record of his brother, who was a Grade 1 winner at two and three. But he was a tough campaigner during a long career, logging eight wins from 22 starts capped by a victory in the 2012 Forego Stakes on the all-weather at Turfway Park.

And now the 11-year-old is carving out his own reputation at stud as a source of quality performers.

Grand Daddy has sired 15 stakes winners in his first two crops, which number a total of 105 foals. They include champion Big Daddy, a first-crop star who swept the Triple Crown Hipodromo Chile, and fellow Group 1 winner Gran Carboncillo. His second, meanwhile, contains Group 2 winner No Cacha Na, also Group 1-placed, as well as a trio of Group 3 winners.

Although Grand Daddy is some way off assuming the dominance of Scat Daddy, his record has at times evoked shades of his older sibling, notably on the occasions when Big Daddy and Gran Carboncillo fought out the finishes to the 2016 Group 1 Premio St Leger, Group 1 Gran Criterium Mauricio Serrano Palma and Group 1 Clasico Tanteo de Potrillos, giving their sire a sweep of the top two places in the process.

"He has exceeded expectations for sure," says Teresa Solari Falabella, owner of Haras Mocito Guapo, "because his first two crops weren't very big. He wasn't always popular but at the moment he is among the best stallions in our country. He was the leading first-crop sire and the leading sire of two-year-olds, and his best son Big Daddy was nominated the champion two and three-year-old colt by the Stud Book of Chile."

In good company

Haras Mocito Guapo is well accustomed to being one of the forerunners in Chilean bloodstock, having had a series of good runners through its hands over the past 30 years, among them champions Memo and Dubai World Cup runner-up Malek.

Today, Grand Daddy sits among a stallion roster that also comprises leading sire Tumblebrutus, a Group 2-placed brother to Giant's Causeway formerly trained by Aidan O'Brien, the Kingmambo horse Ecliptic, who was Group 2-placed for Godolphin, and State Of Play, a Grade 2-winning son of War Front.

"After an exhaustive review of about 20 pedigrees, we decided on Grand Daddy," recalls Falabella of the decision to stand him. "To be honest, he is not much like his brother - he is a chestnut - but he's a very strong horse who throws stock with great height and musculature. They have good temperaments."

Grand Daddy currently sits in seventh on the leading Chilean sires' list behind Lookin At Lucky. Fast Company aside - the Darley stallion is another to have made a blistering start in Chile - Grand Daddy is the only horse to make the top 12 with fewer than 80 runners. His leading earner is Group 3 winner Rock Daddy, although the victory of No Cacha Na in the Group 2 Gran Premio Criadores was another highlight of the past year.

The question now is whether we'll see Grand Daddy take up stud duty in the northern hemisphere just as various other good South American sires have before him. Some were more successful than others in that respect - Southern Halo, for example, left behind More Than Ready - but it has to help that demand for Scat Daddy has reached fever pitch following a personal best of a season that featured four Royal Ascot scorers and six winners at the top level worldwide.

His final crop are yearlings and there are only a select number of sons at stud, the most accomplished of which - No Nay Never, Caravaggio and El Kabeir - will stand the 2018 season in Ireland.

However, a shuttle trip for Grand Daddy is far from being confirmed. "We've had several enquiries," says Falabella. "But nothing has materialised since they want him to do double hemisphere, which we don't like. The idea is to fully sell him."

Should Grand Daddy go on to capitalise on his good start with the help of bigger and better books, their wish might just be granted.


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Grand Daddy has sired 15 stakes winners in his first two crops, which number a total of 105 foals
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