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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Sea The Stars' new landmark and a freshman in form: five things we learned

Also key results for Kodiac and timely adverts for the September Yearling Sale

Sea The Stars: looks long odds-on to make a significant broodmare sire in time
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Every stallion who delivers more than a handful of offspring will eventually be represented by winners as a broodmare sire, as their earliest daughters' foals reach racing age. So when the milestone is eventually passed it hardly warrants celebration.

That said, Sea The Stars broke his duck in this department in some style when Raakib Alhawa – a Kingman colt out of his winning daughter Starlet – took the often informative Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes at Newbury on Friday as the only newcomer in the field of seven.

It is a safe bet that Raakib Alhawa will be the first of many classy maternal grandchildren of Sea The Stars, whose oldest daughters are seven years old.

Raakib Alhawa: son of Kingman made a striking debut success
The stallion is, after all, a fine source of fillies – see the likes of Sea Of Class and Taghrooda – and is by Cape Cross, damsire of this year's Derby hero Masar and brilliant filly Laurens.

He is of course also a half-brother to Galileo, whose daughters were on the mark this weekend with Australian Group 1 victor The Autumn Sun (by Redoute's Choice) and French Group 3 winners Ghaiyyath (Dubawi) and My Sister Nat (Acclamation).

It might perhaps be a good idea for breeders to secure themselves a Sea The Stars filly or mare at this year's breeding-stock sales, before more and more daughters produce decent winners and everyone wants them.

John and Jake Warren were early on the bandwagon and at Tattersalls last year they happened to purchase Starlet – then in foal to Awtaad – for what Raakib Alhawa looks set to increasingly make look a bargain 160,000gns.

The mare delivered a filly for the Earl of Halifax in March.

First-season sire commanding respect with flurry of winners

Raakib Alhawa was, of course, first and foremost another feather in the cap of Banstead Manor Stud's exciting first-season sire Kingman. But there is another freshman who has hit a rich vein of form.

A week can be a long time in the career path of a young sire, as Coolmore resident War Command has proved with five winners in as many days.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained Elleanthus kicked things off when running out a four-and-a-quarter-length winner of a Galway fillies' maiden on Tuesday. That was followed by Flying Dragon, who recouped some of the £175,000 he cost at the inaugural Goffs UK Goodwood Sale when landing a Sandown novice stakes on Wednesday for Richard Hannon.

On Thursday it was the turn of Archie Watson's Isaan Queen, who doubled her tally with a clear-cut success in a competitive Yarmouth nursery, in which War Command also sired the runner-up Watchmyeverymove.

War Command: firing in winners left, right and centre

A little over 24 hours later the Cedric Boutin-trained Athena Star shed her maiden tag at Chantilly, before the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Sh Boom showed a gutsy attitude to get off the mark at the second time of asking in the fillies' novice stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

With four of those five winners breaking their respective maidens, War Command is now comfortably inside the top four freshman sires by number of winners in Europe, with his tally of 15 successful sons and daughters placing him hot on the heels of highflyers Bungle Inthejungle (22 European winners), No Nay Never (21) and Charm Spirit (16).

Those who have been impressed by War Command's exploits will be interested to see how his second-crop yearlings go down at this week's Tattersalls Ireland September Sale, with 13 lots catalogued in part one and a further five due to come under the hammer during Thursday's part two.

Big races give timely reminders of Tattersalls Ireland treasure

The September Yearling Sale might not always offer the flashiest pedigrees but, with its 30th edition taking place this week, it is firmly established as a rich source of what might be termed 'trainers' horses' – affordable athletic types who will give their connections plenty of fun, some of whom will develop into a top-notcher just as previous graduates Galileo Gold or The Wow Signal did.

Several talented horses in the past week have demonstrated this quality, most obviously perhaps Snazzy Jazzy.

Clive Cox's three-year-old, picked up by the trainer for €65,000 from the Bluegate Stud draft at Fairyhouse in 2016, took the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup at Ayr by clear water on Saturday just over a year after he landed the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

Both victories came on bottomless going and it is not hard to envisage the Red Jazz colt – who has earned more than £170,000 in prize-money – making his mark in black-type company if he gets his favoured conditions.

There was also Intense Romance, a daughter of Intense Focus bought by her trainer Michael Dods for €21,000 at the 2015 auction.

The consistent filly made it eight wins from 20 starts with victory in the Listed Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies' Sprint Stakes at Ayr on Friday and is clearly now worth significantly more as a breeding prospect than her original purchase price.

Elsewhere that day Sir Busker, a Sir Prancealot colt bought by Kern/Lillingston for just €25,000 on behalf of Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds at last year's September Sale, showed admirable determination to win a useful-looking Newbury maiden for William Knight.

Fairyhouse is the place to be from Tuesday to Thursday for bargains like those.

Prolific sire showing he can do quality as well as quantity

Kodiac's two-year-olds of 2018 carried a greater weight of expectation than any of his previous crops, having been conceived the year his fee rose from €10,000 to €25,000.

The Tally-Ho Stud flagbearer may have smashed the world record for the number of juvenile winners sired in a season, with a tally of 61 in 2017, but quality as well as quantity was anticipated this time around.

Results over the last week point to the son of Danehill being on course to meet those expectations, with his two-year-olds landing a noteworthy Group-race double.

Kessaar: son of Kodiac forges clear in the Mill Reef Stakes

First came the Simon Crisford-trained Sporting Chance, who continued his upward curve to run out a decisive winner of the Group 3 Prix Eclipse at Maisons-Laffitte on Monday, in doing so becoming a 22nd Group winner for his sire.

That success was followed by Kessaar, already one of Kodiac's 22 Group winners after landing the Sirenia Stakes last time out, who became a seventh Group 2 winner for his sire when winning the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday by a widening two and three-quarter lengths.

Kodiac's current crop of juveniles now contains three Group winners with Fairyland, the sire's most expensive yearling at 925,000gns, having landed the Lowther Stakes last month.

Moreover, he currently has 39 European two-year-old winners this year. That figure may put him behind the schedule he set during last year's record-breaking run, but with his 2015 book likely to contain a better quality of mare, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could yet supply a significant number of back-end winners.

Kodiac's form could receive a further boost during the coming week, with Fairyland and the unbeaten Jash single-figure prices for Saturday's Cheveley Park Stakes and Middle Park Stakes respectively.

There are 11 Kodiacs for buyers to get their teeth stuck into at Tattersalls Ireland this week.

Haafhd continues to find redemption with his daughters

While Sea The Stars is only just hinting that he might be a broodmare sire of note, another 2,000 Guineas winner continues to do sterling work in this role.

Haafhd, who landed the Newmarket Classic five years before Sea The Stars, did not initially live up to expectations as a stallion in his own right. But he has carved a niche as a solid source of winners for himself after being moved on from Nunnery Stud to Beechwood Grange Stud and then Batsford Stud.

Haafhd has already been represented two elite winners as damsire – Quiet Reflection and Ventura Storm – and his daughters have produced Group-scoring two-year-olds on back-to-back weekends.

Queen Of Bermuda: out of the Haafhd mare Imperialistic Diva

First, Madhmoon remained unbeaten in two starts with a smooth victory in the Group 2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown for Kevin Prendergast.

Hamdan Al Maktoum's homebred colt is by Dawn Approach out of the Group 3-placed Haafhd mare Aaraas.

A week later Queen Of Bermuda – by Exceed And Excel out of Haafhd's Listed-placed daughter Imperialistic Diva – triumphed by two lengths in the William Hill Firth of Clyde Stakes at Ayr.

As with Sea The Stars, it is no surprise that Haafhd mares are excelling at stud as the stallion himself is supremely well bred, being by Alhaarth out of the great Al Bahathri, Classic heroine and ancrestress of Group/Grade 1 winners Big Orange, Gladiatorus, Military Attack and Red Cadeaux.


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Winner machine Kodiac looks set for another blockbuster year

 

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Kodiac could yet supply a significant number of back-end winners
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