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Sire Wars: A New Hope

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Pedigree Researcher Sally Wright looks at the four leading first-season sires in Britain and Ireland in 2019.

In the race to land this year's Leading First Season Sire title in Britain and Ireland, the quartet of stallions at the top of the table has seen some expected names come to the fore, though there's also a surprise amongst them.

The very smart and quite lightly-raced Due Diligence (2011, War Front Bema by Pulpit) won three sprints at two and three years in the US and Ireland and was runner-up to Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot. From eighteen European first-crop winners to date (through November 17th, 2019), his best runners are the useful sprinters Streamline (Sirenia Stakes), Good Vibes (Cornwallis Stakes) and Irish six-furlong listed winner Sir Boris, who finished a creditable third in the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte in October. Due Diligence ranks fourth on the First Season British/Irish Sires list, amassing total prize money of £333,152. He holds fourth on the French First Season Sires table and is sixth on overall European earnings with €420,150 in total prize money. Early indications suggest that he nicks well with mares from the bloodlines of Danehill, Indian Ridge and Sadler’s Wells, producing three winners from each line to date. Due Diligence stands at Whitsbury Manor Stud in Hampshire for £8,500 in 2020 (£4,000 in 2019).

Given his breeding and smart form over seven furlongs at two, the high-class dual 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles (2012, Galileo -You'resothrilling by Storm Cat) has not surprisingly got off to a fine start with his first crop. His current twenty-four European winners have won thirty races (twenty-one in Britain/Ireland). Seven of his two-year-olds are already classed as at least useful by Timeform, including his highest earner, the Royal Lodge Stakes winner Royal Dornoch (£105,791). He is also responsible for smart sprinter Royal Lytham (July Stakes), listed five-furlong winner Southern Hills, Chesham Stakes third Highland Chief and Precious Moments, who ran a close second in the six-furlong Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh in June before breaking her duck there in October. With many of his two-year-olds in the hands of top trainers, among them Aidan O’Brien, Gleneagles’ sons and daughters look set to enjoy plenty of opportunities. He currently ranks in third place both on the First Season British/Irish Sires list, with £441,901 in earnings, and on European prize money, with €636,293. Gleneagles appears to nick particularly well with mares from the bloodline of Danehill and his sons, yielding seven winners to date. Gleneagles stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland for €35,000 in 2020 (€30,000 in 2019).

Night of Thunder (2011, Dubawi Forest Storm by Galileo), pictured above winning the 2000 Guineas, is another unsurprising high-ranker on the new sires list. Well bred and very smart, he won at six furlongs to a mile (he won the Lockinge Stakes on his sole start at four, as well as the Guineas). Ranking second on the British/Irish First Crop Sires List by prize money with £482,636, he is in third on the French equivalent list and currently leads in European First Season Sire earnings with €1,004,981, some €250,000 ahead of his nearest rival. From his twenty-seven European winners, twenty-two have won in Britain/Ireland. Night of Thunder's nine at least useful runners include his leading earner Under The Stars (£138,712), winner of the Princess Margaret Stakes in the summer and more recently the Tattersalls October Auction Stakes at Newmarket, and the listed seven-furlong winners Molatham (smart) and Thunderous (unbeaten in three runs). Pocket Square won a mile maiden at Ascot before progressing to win the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs at Deauville over the same trip in October. Night of Thunder’s first crop has produced six and four winners respectively from the Danzig sirelines of Green Desert and Danehill. Previously at Dalham Hall Stud, Night of Thunder will stand at Kildangan Stud in Ireland for €25,000 in 2020 (£15,000 in 2019).

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the domestic list is the current leader, Cable Bay (2011, Invincible Spirit Rose de France by Diktat), his dam descending from the male line of Warning rather than the more commercially popular and prevalent Northern Dancer or Mr Prospector lines. Cable Bay was a smart and tough performer at two to four and had twenty starts (eighteen in stakes races), earning £325,037 in his racing career. His two major successes came in the John of Gaunt Stakes and the Challenge Stakes, both over seven furlongs, the latter his final outing. He also finished runner-up in the Dewhurst Stakes at two. Cable Bay tops the First Season British/Irish Sires list with £588,037 in total prizemoney, while he's second only to Night of Thunder on the European First Season Sire table with €756,567 in prizemoney, approximately €120,000 ahead of Gleneagles.  

Cable Bay’s sixty-four European runners have produced twenty-five winners of thirty-eight races. Winning at between five and seven furlongs, twenty of his winners have been in Britain/Ireland, six are already classed as useful by Timeform and include Molecomb Stakes winner Liberty Beach (inbred to Warning), who closed her season with a gallant second to Living In The Past in the Lowther Stakes at York in August. His leading earner, King’s Lynn (£148,560) stepped up on his promising debut to land the valuable Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,00 2-Y-O Stakes at around six furlongs in September. Five-furlong winners Jouska and Separate (also a seven-furlong winner) were placed at Group 3 level and Ropey Guest was placed in four such contests, going down by half a length to Kenzai Warrior in the Horris Hill Stakes at Newmarket in the last of them.  Three of Cable Bay's winners are out of daughters of Pivotal daughters (another is out of a granddaughter, with a further four winners from the Danehill sireline. Cable Bay stands at Highclere Stud in Berkshire for £15,000 in 2020 (£6,500 in 2019).

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CHELTENHAM 13:55

Saturday 14 December
1. CEPAGE (FR) 168
Charlie Deutsch silk Charlie Deutsch horse for course
Venetia Williams
16. NOT THAT FUISSE (FR) 167
Harry Skelton silk Harry Skelton
Dan Skelton
13. GOOD MAN PAT (IRE) 166
Tom Cannon silk Tom Cannon horse in focus
Alan King hot trainer
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LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

20:45 DUNDALK

1st G. P. Halpin silk 1. MAY REMAIN 10/111
2nd D. E. Sheehy silk ½ 12. A LIKELY STORY (IRE) 11/26.5
3rd James J. Doyle silk 7. TICKS THE BOXES (IRE) 4/15
J: G. P. Halpin  
14 ran. NRs: 16  17  3 
FULL RESULT

20:15 DUNDALK

1st William James Lee silk 1. ALFREDO ARCANO (IRE) 6/42.5f
2nd Adam Farragher silk ½ 8. ARCANEARS (IRE) 5/16
3rd N. G. McCullagh silk ½ 6. WAR HERO (IRE) 8/19
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:45 DUNDALK

1st William James Lee silk 13. ROYAL HIGHNESS (IRE) 2/13f
2nd R. P. Whelan silk 3 1. ARNHEM (IRE) 4/15
3rd T. E. Whelan silk 9. ANNIE B (IRE) 12/113
14 ran. NRs: 15  16  17 
FULL RESULT

19:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Jason Hart silk 3. ACCLAIM THE NATION (IRE) 3/14jf
2nd Adam Kirby silk hd 4. SAVALAS (IRE) 3/14jf
3rd S. P. Davis silk 8. GRISONS (FR) 11/112
J: Jason Hart  
T: Eric Alston  
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:15 DUNDALK

1st C. T. Keane silk 1. WHOAREYOUANYWAY (IRE) 11/102.1f
2nd C. D. Hayes silk ½ 3. LAUREL GROVE (IRE) 16/117
3rd James J. Doyle silk 12. LIFE AND STRIFE (IRE) 16/117
J: C. T. Keane  
14 ran. NRs: 15  16 
FULL RESULT

19:00 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Adam Kirby silk 1. GRIGGY (IRE) 15/82.87f
2nd James Sullivan silk 2 10. MESHARDAL (GER) 8/19
3rd Robert Havlin silk nk 7. MADAME RITZ (IRE) 12/113
J: Adam Kirby  
T: Sean Curran  
9 ran. NRs: 13  14  3  4  8 
FULL RESULT

18:45 DUNDALK

1st C. T. Keane silk 3. DISTANT VISTA (IRE) 9/25.5
2nd M. A. Gallagher silk 15. EGLISH 14/115
3rd G. M. Ryan silk 1. VARNA GOLD (IRE) 9/110
J: C. T. Keane  
14 ran. NRs: 11  16 
FULL RESULT

18:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Adam Kirby silk 5. THE KING'S STEED 7/18
2nd Ray Dawson silk 7. AZETS 14/115
3rd Tom Queally silk 6. BATED BEAUTY (IRE) 5/23.5f
J: Adam Kirby  
T: Shaun Lycett  
10 ran. NRs: 2  3 
FULL RESULT

18:15 DUNDALK

1st G. M. Ryan silk 2. ABLE JACK 12/113
2nd C. T. Keane silk nk 11. DARK MAGIC 9/110
3rd James J. Doyle silk ¾ 9. RED AVENGER (USA) 12/113
J: G. M. Ryan (5)  
13 ran. NRs: 10  15  16  17 
FULL RESULT
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