The opportunity to buy a wide selection of the progeny of the best stallions standing in Australia and New Zealand is one of the big attractions each January for those attending the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
In 2020 there will be an exciting extra dimension to the catalogue which includes the stock of no fewer than 34 first crop stallions, the largest group of newcomers in my memory.
More importantly, the racing performance standard and the pedigree quality of this crop of first season sires is truly exceptional.Some 23 of them are Group 1 winners in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, France, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States and they represent a diverse range of the world’s most successful bloodlines, many already well proven in Australia and New Zealand.
While some of these new sires have only small numbers catalogued, many have good sized drafts on offer.
Leading a very strong group of 10 new shuttle sires is Coolmore’s champion US two- and three-year-old American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile), a horse which created history in 2015 by becoming the first in 37 years to capture the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes), a feat which called upon his rare blend of speed, stamina and toughness.
Buyers of his progeny at Magic Millions have a huge advantage compared to taking a punt on yearlings by most of the other new sires as American Pharoah’s first Kentucky-sired crop two-year-olds racing in 2019 have already shown he can get top class winners and are likely to see him crowned as America’s leading first crop sire.
At time of writing, American Pharoah had 23 first crop winners in the United States,Europe and Japan, four of them stakes winners on turf and led by his son Four Wheel Drive, winner of the rich Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and his daughter Sweet Melania, a stakes winner and placegetter in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
While some owners and trainers prefer to buy the stock of horses they have seen race in Australia we should always remember that record-breaking, nine times champion sire Danehill (Danzig) was the supreme shuttler and internationally is one of the greatest stallions of the past 50 years.
Remember, too, that a number of other shuttle sires have been responsible for many of the finest racehorses and sires seen here over the past 40 years and as recently as early November former Coolmore shuttler Declaration of War supplied both the 2019 Victoria Derby winner Warning and Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare.Declaration of War is a multiple, Group 1-winning son of War Front, father of another of first crop shuttler, champion European juvenile Air Force Blue.
Another champion European two-year-old, Shalaa (Invincible Spirit), Japanese stars Maurice (Screen Hero) and Mikki Isle (Deep Impact) and top American performer Frosted (Tapit) are among other highly performed shuttlers with first crop yearlings in the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast January catalogue.
It is difficult to single out any one horse amongst an outstanding selection of new Australian-bred first crop stallions but from a Magic Millions viewpoint what better prospect can there be than Magic Millions graduate Capitalist (Written Tycoon), not only winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic but also of the coveted Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) and the ATC Breeders’ Plate (1000m) which makes him the ultimate juvenile performer.
Also among the exciting new group of Australasian-bred racing stars are Astern (Medaglia d’Oro), Divine Prophet (Choisir), Extreme Choice (Not a Single Doubt), Flying Artie (Artie Schiller), Palentino (Teofilo), Stratum Star (Stratum) and Xtravagant (Pentire).
Following is a short pen portrait of each of the first crop sires, listed alphabetically, with youngsters in Magic Millions January auction:
AIR FORCE BLUE (USA) (War Front- Chatham, by Maria’s Mon).
Highly rated, champion 2YO colt in Europe in 2015 when winner of three Group 1 events, the Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes (7f), Curragh National Stakes (7f) and Curragh Phoenix Stakes (6f)
His stakes placed dam Chatham won three sprint races and is closely related to Flanders and Surfside, both champion fillies in the United States.
AMERICAN PHAROAH (USA). (Pioneer of the Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman).
Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year in the USA in 2015, winner of nine of his 11 starts.
Son of the outstanding Mr. Prospector-line sire Pioneer of the Nile and half-brother to Grade 1 winner Chasing Yesterday .His maternal grandsire is a son of the great Storm Cat and his dam is a half-sister to two stakes winners from the stakes winner Exclusive Rosette.
ASTERN (AUS). (Medaglia d’Oro – Essaouira, by Exceed and Excel).
A striking type, Astern was a leading two-year-old, taking the ATC Silver Slipper Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) and the Kindergarten Stakes (Gr. 3, 1100m) before at three years recording stunning victories in the ATC Golden Rose (Gr. 1, 1400m) and the Run to the Rose (Gr. 2, 1200m) and finishing second in the VRC Coolmore Stud (Ascot Vale) Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m).
By former shuttler Medaglia d’Oro, one of the leading sires in the United States, Astern is a half-brother to outstanding mare Alizee (Sepoy) and other good winners from the strongest of black type families .
AWESOME ROCK (AUS). (Fastnet Rock – Awesome Planet, by Giant’s Causeway).
This $ 2 million earner won in Melbourne as a two-year -old when second in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) and raced consistently well for four seasons, his finest performances being his victory in the VRC Emirates (LKS Mackinnon) Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m) and his second in the VRC Australian Cup (Gr. 1, 2000m).
By twice champion Australian sire,international stud success and sire-of-sires Fastnet Rock, Awesome Rock is out of three-time stakes winner and classic placegetter Awesome Planet and comes from the international family of stars Dr Devious, good sire Archway and new Coolmore sire Saxon Warrior.
BELARDO (IRE). (Lope de Vega – Danaskaya, by Danehill).
New Zealand-based shuttler Belardo was ranked as the champion 2YO colt in Europe in 2014, winning three of his five starts including the Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes (Gr. 1, 7f).
He is a son of champion and leading sire Lope de Vega and is a half-brother to stakes winner Berling (Montjeu) from juvenile winner Danaskaya who placed in the Newmarket Cheveley Park Stakes (Gr. 1, 6f).
BOBBY’S KITTEN (USA).(Kitten’s Joy – Celestial Woods, by Forestry).
Among the best and fastest sons of champion US sire Kitten’s Joy, Bobby’s Kitten won four stakes events in the United States and Ireland, most notably the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Gr. 1, 6.5f) in which he defeated boom European sire No Nay Never.
Bobby’s Kitten is a brother to stakes winners Camelot Kitten and Major Magic from the strong family of champion Theatrical, an influential stallion.
CABLE BAY (IRE). (Invincible Spirit –Rose de France, by Diktat).
The leading first crop sire in Britain and Ireland in 2019 with 23 winners at last count, Cable Bay won the Newmarket Challenge Stakes (Gr. 2, 6f) and the John of Gaunt Stakes (Gr. 3, 7f) and was seven times stakes placed including when second in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr. 1, 7f) at two years.
He is by I Am Invincible’s sire Invincible Spirit , a brother to a stakes winner and a half-brother to Australian Group winner Mister Sea Wolf .Their dam Rose de France is a daughter of multiple Group 1 winner and stakes producer Cherokee Rose, by champion Dancing Brave.
CAPITALIST (AUS). (Written Tycoon – Kitalpha, by Fusaichi Pegasus).
Australia’s champion 2YO colt of 2015/16, Capitalist won four races and placed twice in only seven starts, taking the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Wyong Magic Millions Classic and the ATC Breeders’ Plate to earn more than $3.45 million.
By leading sire Written Tycoon, Capitalist is out of a winning half-sister to stakes winner Brayroan (Zabeel) from stakes winning two-year-old Compulsion (Danehill), a sister to Golden Slipper winner Merlene, while his third dam is Bold Promise (Luskin Star), best 2YO filly of her generation.
DEFCON (AUS). (Choisir – Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago).
In only eight starts Defcon won two stakes events, the Canberra Black Opal Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) at two years and the MRC HDF McNeil Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) and twice placed in Group events.
As a son of international stud success Choisir from the incomparable Danehill male line, Defcon appeals as a prospective sire.His dam was a good winner in Melbourne by multiple champion sire and broodmare sire Encosta de Lago and comes from the family of dual classic winner Rom’s Stiletto.
DIVINE PROPHET (AUS). (Choisir –Prophet Jewel, by Encosta de Lago).
Ultra handsome Divine Prophet won over 1200m as a two-year-old when he showed his class to place third to Prized Icon in the ATC Champagne Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) then at three years he captured the sire-making MRC Caulfield Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and the ATC Up and Coming Stakes (Gr. 3, 1300m).
He is a brother to promising New Zealand-based stallion Proisir (Newcastle Spring Stakes winner) from the outstanding New Zealand family of Group 1 – winning stayers Straight Draw,General Command and Ilumquh.
EXTREME CHOICE (AUS). (Not a Single Doubt —Extremely, by Hussonet).
One of the best and fastest juveniles of his generation, Extreme Choice won three of his four starts at that age including the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) in which he defeated Flying Artie.Highlight of his three-year-old season was his victory in the MVRC AJ Moir Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000m) defeating Heatherly.
This grandson of Redoute’s Choice comes from the distinguished American family of Going To Extremes (his second dam) and should get speedy, early two-year-olds.
FLYING ARTIE (AUS). (Artie Schiller – Flying Ruby, by Rubiton).
Winner at two years of the MRC Blue Diamond Prelude (c.and g.) (Gr. 3, 1100m) before finishing second to Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) and third in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr.1,1200m) Flying Artie had his most important victory as a spring three-year-old in the sire-making VRC Coolmore Stud (Ascot Vale) Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), beating Astern and Star Turn.He was then rated Australia’s champion of his age in 2016/17.
From the Sadler’s Wells male line, Flying Artie is out of stakes winner Flying Ruby whose dam Parkhill’s Flyer is a half-sister to champion Better Loosen Up (17 wins to 2400m and $ 3.48 million).
FROSTED (USA). (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister).
Outstanding performer in the United States and Dubai, winner of six races including three Grade 1 events, the Metropolitan Handicap (1m), the Whitney Stakes (9f) and the Wood Memorial Stakes (9f) while his placings include a third to champion American Pharoah in the classic Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1, 12f)..
Frosted is the best son of three times champion US sire Tapit from multiple black type winner Fast Cookie, also dam of stakes winner Indulgent.His second dam Fleet Lady was a multiple black type winner of 10 races and dam of three stakes winners, among them Midshipman, champion 2YO colt in the USA in 2008.
KISS AND MAKE UP (AUS). (More Than Ready –Fashions Afield, by Redoute’s Choice).
Winner at two years of the ATC Todman Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) beating Capitalist before injury cut short his track career.
Son of great international sire More Than Ready (199 stakes winners) from Fashions Afield, Australia’s champion two-year-old filly of her generation whose second dam Wrap Around (Bletchingly) was a Group 1 winner of nine races.
MAURICE (JPN). (Screen Hero –Meijiro Frances, by Carnegie).
As we can even better appreciate after both the 2019 Caulfield Cup and W.S. Cox Plate were won by Japanese horses, some of the world’s best racehorses are being bred in Japan.New sire Maurice ranks highly among the finest as a Japanese Horse of the Year, a champion sprinter and champion miler and a six-time Group 1 winner in Japan and Hong Kong, at his best at 1600m so ideally suited in Australia.
From the Roberto/Hail to Reason male line, Maurice is one of six winners from his dam, a daughter of stakes winner Mejiro Monteray from a strong black type family.
MIKKI ISLE (JPN).(Deep Impact –Star Isle, by Rock of Gibraltar).
Champion sprinter and miler in Japan in 2016, Mikki Isle is a dual Group 1 winner at 1600m and a son of global supersire and champion racehorse Deep Impact, by Sunday Silence.
Mikki Isle’s winning dam is a daughter of champion Rock of Gibraltar (Danehill) from Isle de Madrid (Nureyev), a stakes winner in France and the United States and second in a Group 1 in France as a two-year-old.
ODYSSEY MOON (AUS). (Snitzel –Run to the Moon, by Arch).
A very talented two-year-old, Odyssey Moon won the ATC Inglis Nursery (RL, 1000m) and was second in both the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) and the ATC Skyline Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m).He later won three more races in Melbourne, notably the VRC Standish Handicap (Gr. 3, 1200m).
By three times champion sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), Odyssey Moon is linebred to Danehill’s sire Danzig and comes from a strong American female line.
RAGEESE (AUS). (Street Cry – Rabsha, by Dehere).
New Zealand-based Rageese was a smart two-year-old in Australia, placing in both the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) and the Pago Pago Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m).At three years he won the SAJC HC Nitschke Stakes (Listed, 1400m) and registered stakes placings before at four years taking the VRC L’Oreal Paris Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) at Flemington.
By Winx’s sire, Rageese has as his second dam Esubooh (Sunday Silence),dam of UAE Oaks winner Raihana.This is the family of champion Emancipation.
SHALAA (IRE). (Invincible Spirit – Ghurra, by War Chant).
Champion 2YO colt in Britain and France in 2015 when winner of five races, among them the Prix Morny (Gr. 1, 1200m), the Middle Park Stakes (Gr. 1, 6f), the Richmond Stakes (Gr. 2, 6f) and the July Stakes (Gr2, 6f)
By I Am Invincible’s sire Invincible Spirit, Shalaa is linebred to Danzig and comes from a strong black type family.His first yearlings in Europe were much admired and sold well at major auctions in 2019.
SOOBOOG (AUS). (Snitzel –Monte Rosa, by Fraar).
Lightly raced due to an early injury, Sooboog scored his most important win in the VRC Aurie’s Star Handicap (Gr. 3, 1200m) at Flemington and also won twice in Sydney over 1100m while his three stakes placings include a second to champion Vancouver in the ATC Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m).
This big, impressive type is a brother to the brilliant filly Snitzerland (8 wins to 1200m and $ 1.97 million) and is closely related to stakes winner Nina Haraka (dam of Extension in Time).
STAR TURN (AUS). (Star Witness – Golden Delicious, by Made of Gold).
A Randwick 2YO winner and Group placed at that age, Star Turn at three years won the ATC San Domenico Stakes (Gr. 3, 1100m) and the MRC Schillaci Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m), was second to Astern in the ATC Run to the Rose (Gr. 2, 1200m) and was four times third in Group 1 contests.
He is a typical son of successful Nureyev-line stallion Star Witness from multiple stakes winning sprinter Golden Delicious who carries the blood of famous sires Star Kingdom and Blushing Groom.
STRATUM STAR (AUS). (Stratum – Purely Spectacular, by Pins).
Tough, sound and durable, Stratum Star raced for four seasons, winning eight races and placing in another 15, mostly in Group company, to earn more than $ 2.45 million.He was a dual Group 1 winner of the MRC Sir Rupert Clarke (Invitation) Stakes (1400m) and the WATC Kingston Town Stakes (1800m), won three other stakes events and his placings included four at Group 1 level.
By successful, Golden Slipper-winning sire Stratum, Stratum Star is a half-brother to stakes placed Serenade (Star Witness) from a placed sister to stakes winner Raid and counts champion Emancipation (Bletchingly) as his fourth dam.
TARZINO (NZ). (Tavistock –Zarzino, by Zabeel).
This young New Zealand-based stallion was precocious enough to win as a two-year-old over 1400m before becoming Australia’s champion three-year-old colt of the 2015/16 season, winning the VRC Victoria Derby (Gr. 1, 2500m) and beat subsequent Hong Kong superstar Beauty Generation and Jameka in the ATC Rosehill Guineas (Gr. 1, 2000m).
He is one of the best winners by leading New Zealand sire Tavistock (Montjeu) and closely related to stakes winners Kindacross (Cape Cross) and Respect (Zabeel) from the distinguished family of Vice Regal and Sky Chase, both successful sires.
TERRITORIES (IRE).(Invincible Spirit – Taranto, by Machiavellian).
Darley shuttler with an impeccable racing record in Europe up to 1600m, a dual stakes winner of the Prix Jean Prat (Gr. 1, 1600m) and six times stakes placed including three seconds at Group 1 level, one behind Gleneagles in the Two Thousand Guineas (Gr. 1, 1m) at Newmarket.
Territories gains attention as a son of I Am Invincible’s sire Invincible Spirit and rates highly on his female pedigree being out of superbly bred, stakes placed multiple Paris winner Taranto who comes from the family of world-class sires Street Cry and Shamardal.
TIVACI (AUS).(High Chaparral – Breccia, by Fastnet Rock).
At stud in New Zealand, Tivaci earned a tick under $1 million on the racecourse over two seasons, taking the VRC C.S. Hayes Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) at three years and two more black type events at four, most notably the ATC All Aged Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m).
An impressive individual, Tivaci is a son of dual Derby-winning champion and leading sire High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) and is bred on the super successful blend of Sadler’s Wells and Danehill with a dash of Sir Tristram thrown in for good measure.
TURN ME LOOSE (NZ).(Iffraaj – Indomitable, by Danehill).
New Zealand-based Turn Me Loose fully proved himself on both New Zealand and Australian tracks.A smart two-year-old, he went on at three years to capture the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m), reaching his peak at four years to win four more feature events, among them the VRC Emirates Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) and the MRC Futurity Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m).
By the very successful shuttle stallion Iffraaj out of a Danehill mare, Turn Me Loose has daughters of Sadler’s Wells and Shirley Heights as his second and third dams so has excellent pedigree credentials.
VANBRUGH (AUS). (Encosta de Lago – Soho Secret, by Lucky Owners).
Vanbrugh won in Sydney over 1200m as a juvenile before coming into his own at three years with successive victories in the ATC Gloaming Stakes (Gr. 3, 1800m) and the Spring Champion Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m).He returned as a four-year-old to beat Tom Melbourne and It’s Somewhat in the MRC Coongy Handicap (Gr. 3, 2000m).
Like the late Northern Meteor, New Zealand-based Vanbrugh is by Encosta de Lago.His dam won in Sydney as a two-year-old and is a half-sister to stakes winners Sportsman, Prisoner of Love, Hoystar and the sire King of Prussia.
WINNING RUPERT (AUS). (Written Tycoon –Winaura, by Show a Heart).
Brilliantly fast horse who won five of his six starts in Brisbane and at the Sunshine Coast, setting two track records, three of his victories coming in Group races up to 1300m with two recorded as a two-year-old.
Winning Rupert’s dam Winaura was also a very smart sprinter in Brisbane from a prolific family of winners.
XTRAVAGANT (NZ).(Pentire – Axiom, by Zabeel).
Newhaven Park Stud’s Xtravagant won over 1400m as a two-year-old in New Zealand and at three years was ranked as that country’s champion with a string of highly impressive wins from 1200m to 1600m, two at Group 1 level including the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas.
By the versatile, Northern Dancer-line sire Pentire, a dual Group 1 winner in Europe and sire of 16 Group 1 winners, Xtravagant is a brother to stakes winner and classic placegetter He’s Remarkable from an unraced daughter of the great Zabeel while his second dam Arletty (Centaine) won five stakes events, among them the AJC Villiers Stakes (Gr. 2, 1600m) and the STC Queen of the Turf Stakes (Gr. 2, 1500m).