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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Three hot takes on the breeding significance of recent big races

Martin Stevens looks at the legacy of Society Rock and more

Unfortunately on his way to victory in the Greenlands Stakes
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The past week has brought home once again just how desperately unlucky Tally-Ho Stud and its clients were to lose Society Rock to laminitis in 2016, after only three seasons standing there.

The late son of Rock Of Gibraltar was on the mark with Unfortunately, last year's Prix Morny winner who has bounced back to form after four uninspiring runs in 2018 in spectacular fashion, finishing strongly to land the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

Karl Burke's inmate was subsequently trimmed to 33-1 for the Qipco British Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

Furthermore, Society Rock's daughter The Mackem Bullet was a highly honourable neck second to Fairyland in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Brian Ellison-trained filly has now earned more than £127,000 after also reaching the places in the Lowther Stakes and Princess Margaret Stakes.

The Mackem Bullet (striped cap) ran a massive race in the Cheveley Park

How trainers and owners must miss Society Rock, too: Unfortunately and The Mackem Bullet – both Tally-Ho homebreds – were sourced as yearlings for just €24,000 and £9,000 respectively and will presumably have earned huge profits for connections when they were resold in private deals.

Unfortunately now bears the silks of Cheveley Park Stud, while The Mackem Bullet will eventually be an amusingly down-to-earth name among Katsumi Yoshida's elite broodmare band at Northern Farm in Japan.

Other Society Rock offspring in form include Archie Watson's two-year-old Fognini, who was a close second in a competitive nursery at Chester on Saturday and has now finished in the first three in all his seven starts since July. He was a €12,000 Goresbridge breeze-up buy.

George Scott's two-year-old Concierge is proving a similarly decent stick, having won two of his six starts and finished a head second in a Class 2 nursery at Haydock on Friday.

Johnny Murtagh's two-year-old Winiata might be the next talented representative for Society Rock and, owned by the trainer's wife Orla, might, dare we suggest, be another to one day be sold on for a significant return on investment.

The filly, bought for just 5,000gns at Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, was an eye-catching keeping-on third on debut in a seven-furlong auction maiden at Dundalk on Friday evening.

There are only 42 yearlings from Society Rock's final crop on the ground and they deserve to be in strong demand due to their sire's performance and their scarcity value.

There is one on offer at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale – a colt out of Listed winner Chiara Wells (lot 228) – and two at the following Sportsman's Sale, a colt (487) and filly (591).

Tally-Ho Stud have endured rotten luck with some of their high-achieving sires dying young in recent years – not just Society Rock but also Danetime and Red Clubs – so thank goodness for the operation's flagship sire Kodiac, still going strong at 17.

The remarkable sire – who smashed the record for number of two-year-old winners from a single crop last year, with 61, and is also the source of this season's dual Group 1 hero Best Solution – supplied Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Fairyland and Jash, who pushed Ten Sovereigns all the way to the line when second in the Middle Park Stakes just over half an hour later at Newmarket on Saturday.

Fairyland, bred and sold as a yearling by Tally-Ho Stud for 925,000gns, led home a Group 1 one-two for the operation.

Another exciting juvenile by Kodiac also emerged at Newmarket on Saturday, when the Ed Walker-trained filly Sunday Star shed her maiden tag in some style on her third start in a seven-furlong maiden.

There is an abundance of Kodiac yearlings available at Goffs this week, among them a sister to Flying Childers Stakes winner Ardad (315) and a half-sister to stakes winners Sandiva and Wentworth (407).

Galileo two-year-olds going great guns

There are shades of 2015 about how this year's sire championship has panned out. That summer, it looked as though the unthinkable might happen: that Galileo would relinquish his long reign at the top, after Dubawi fired in Group 1 winner after another – Night Of Thunder, Al Kazeem, Postponed and Arabian Queen – and the season's standout talent was Cape Cross's son Golden Horn.

However, by the autumn, Galileo's two-year-olds came to his rescue, with daughters Minding, Ballydoyle and Alice Springs even finishing first, second and third in the Moyglare Stud Stakes to help give the Coolmore phenomenon his seventh British and Irish leading sire title.

Galileo has had a quieter than usual year again in 2018, although he has never looked in serious danger of being dislodged from the number one spot. But once again he is finishing the season with a flourish thanks to his juveniles.

The mighty stallion posted three new Group-winning two-year-olds over the weekend.

Mohawk, out of the Group 3-winning Encosta De Lago mare Empowering, took the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday with another Galileo colt, Highland Reel's brother Cape Of Good Hope, in third. Splitting the pair was Sydney Opera House, a half-brother to Melbourne Cup hero Rekindling by Galileo's freshman son Australia.

Hermosa - a Galileo sister to Hydrangea - wins the Weld Park Stakes

Then at Naas on Sunday, Hermosa – a sister to Group 1 winners Hydrangea and The United States – scored in the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes and Japan – a Galileo brother to Secret Gesture and Sir Isaac Newton – took the Group 2 Beresford Stakes from paternal half-brother Mount Everest, a son of the exceptional racemare Six Perfections.

In yet another productive weekend for Galileo, he also supplied Loughbrown Stakes winner Cypress Creek, a brother to Capri, and Australian Group 3 scorer Taj Mahal, a brother to Gleneagles, Happily and Marvellous, and also featured as damsire of Diamond Stakes winner Mootasadir and exciting Naas maiden winner Magna Grecia.

The ten progeny of Galileo available at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale should keep the sire in the headlines this week, especially the sister to Group 1 winners Forever Together, Lord Shanakill and Together Forever (318) and the sister to Alice Springs (165).

I Am Invincible important in Europe, too

It is no secret any more that I Am Invincible is one of the premier sires in Australia, and indeed the world, but Yarraman Park Stud's big-hitter has hammered home that fact repeatedly in the last few days.

Viddora posted her second victory at the highest level in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday, while another daughter, I Am A Star, took a Group 2 over a mile on the same card.

A day later at Randwick, two more I Am Invincible fillies – Oohood and Fiesta – finished first and second in the prestigious Group 1 Darley Flight Stakes, with another daughter, Catch Me, having taken the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes at the course earlier.

Stallion masters have never managed to strike the deal to shuttle I Am Invincible to the northern hemisphere – his appeal in Britain and Ireland heightened by being a son of Irish National Stud doyen Invincible Spirit – but his rise through the ranks nevertheless has significance for the yearling sale season in Europe.

Not only will there be the 14th northern hemisphere yearling crop by Invincible Spirit for buyers to get their teeth stuck into, but there will also be the debut offerings of that age by I Am Invincible's dual Group 1-winning son Brazen Beau, who shuttles between Darley's bases in Australia and Britain.

The pick of the Invincible Spirits available to buy at Goffs this week might be the brother to Cable Bay and Indigo Balance (57) and half-brother to Erupt and Marie De Medici (393), while Cable Bay has one in the Sportsman's catalogue on Thursday – a half-sister to two winners out of a Storm Cat half-sister to Raven's Pass (593).


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There is an abundance of Kodiac yearlings available at Goffs this week, among them a sister to Flying Childers Stakes winner Ardad
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