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Coolmore Australia Joins TrueNicks

One of the strongest stallion rosters, both in terms of numbers and quality, is that which stands under the Coolmore banner.

Leading the team is Encosta de Lago (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO). The group I-winning son of Sadler’s Wells’ brother Fairy King has already earned honors as a champion sire. A winner of the 1996 VicHealth Cup (gr. I, video below) over 1400m, Encosta de Lago's stud record now boasts 80 stakes winners, of whom 55 are group winners, and 18 group I, including such superstars as Racing to Win, Alinghi, Sacred Kingdom, Manhattan Rain, Northern Meteor, Mnemosyne, Princess Coup, Lashed, Road to Rock, Titanic Jack, and Aloha.

Seeking to emulate Encosta de Lago as a champion sire is High Chaparral (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO), who with his first Southern Hemisphere crop now only 4, currently leads the sire’s standings by around A$900,000. Top-rated 3-year-old in England and Ireland, and twice champion U.S. turf horse, High Chaparral was a group/grade I winner at 2, 3, and 4, winning six times at the highest level, including the English and Irish Derbys (both gr. I), and back-to-back renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. I). High Chaparral’s first Southern Hemisphere crop has already produced no less than seven stakes winners, six of them group. They include So You Think, whose five group I victories include a pair of triumphs in the Cox Plate (gr. I, video below); Monaco Consul, hero of the Champion Stakes (gr. I) and Victoria Derby (gr. I); Shoot Out, who has captured seven graded stakes including the Randwick Guineas (gr. I) and Australian Derby (gr. I); and Caulfield Cup (gr. I) hero, Descarado.

As one might expect, the Danehill line is exceptionally well-represented at Coolmore. Champion 3-year-old and sprinter Fastnet Rock (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO) has emerged as one of Danehill’s most exciting sons at stud. With only three crops at the track, he has already been represented by 15 stakes winners, 11 of those group, among them the group I scorers Wanted, Irish Lights, and Rock Classic, as well as current juvenile star Smart Missile, the only horse to defeat Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper Stakes (both gr. I) victor Sepoy.

Champion Australian 2-year-old and Australian International Horse of the Year Choisir (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), is a grandson of Danehill, and by that horse’s exceptionally successful son Danehill Dancer. He’s proving to be a great replacement for his sire, with his Southern Hemisphere crops including international sensation Starspangledbanner; Sacred Choice, winner of both the Myer Classic (gr. I) and the recent Doncaster Mile (gr. I); and group winners Dreamscape, Hurried Choice, Champagne Harmony, Incumbent, Cute Emily, Kasabian, Psychologist, and Rockshaft.

Arriving to stand alongside his sire for 2011 will be Starspangledbanner (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO). Rated the top 3-year-old sprinter in the world in 2010, Starspangledbanner won the Oakleigh Plate (gr. I) and Caulfield Guineas (gr. I), then shipped to the Northern Hemisphere to defeat the cream of European sprinters in the Golden Jubilee (gr. I) and July Cup (gr. I). Starspangledbanner is from a live family, as his granddam is a half sister to Australian Oaks (gr. I) heroine Circles of Gold, dam of two other horses to star in both hemispheres in Elvstroem (by Danehill, and himself a promising young sire) and Haradasun. This is also the female line of Golden Slipper (gr. I) victress Polar Success.

Oratorio (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) is another very talented Danehill son who has been getting good winners in both hemispheres. At the track, he captured a trio of group I events: the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (gr.I) in record time at 2 (as well as two other group contests), and at 3, the Irish Champion (gr. I) and Eclipse Stakes (gr. I). His first European crop were 3-year-olds of 2010, and he’s already had seven stakes winners, headed by the Dewhurst Stakes (gr. I) hero Beethoven, and group scorers King Torus and Lolly For Dolly. As he did in Europe, Oratorio sired a group I-winning juvenile in his first Southern Hemisphere crop, which was headlined by last year’s Diamond Stakes (gr. I) laureate Banchee. That crop also includes recent group winner Mourinho and stakes winners Upsala and Torio’s Quest.

Coolmore also has a trio of young Danehill sons in Aussie Rules, Duke of Marmalade, and Dylan Thomas.

Aussie Rules (TrueNicks,SRO) showed himself to be a superior miler on two continents, with wins in the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) and Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I) in the U.S. He’s off to a tremendous start with his first Northern Hemisphere crop (3-year-olds of 2011) and already has six stakes winners to his name – more than any other second crop sire – including the group scorer Djumama.

Duke of Marmalade (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) is an outstanding racehorse by Danehill from a truly exceptional stallion family. The champion European older horse of 2008, his triumphs included the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Juddmonte International, Prix Ganay, and Tattersalls Gold Cup (all gr. I). His dam, the Kingmambo mare Love Me True, is very closely related to Lemon Drop Kid, champion older horse in the U.S. and now a prolific sire of stakes winners. The granddam is a half sister to none other than Weekend Surprise, the dam of Horse of the Year and stallion great A.P. Indy, and of classic winner Summer Squall, himself a sire of classic winners and champions. Duke of Marmalade retired to stud in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in 2009.

Dylan Thomas (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO), who entered stud the year before Duke of Marmalade, was the Cartier Horse of the Year in Europe and was officially the top older middle-distance horse in the 2007 world rankings. His roster of victories includes the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Irish Derby, Prix Ganay, and back-to-back renewals of the Irish Champion Stakes (all gr. I). A half brother to the brilliant European champion 2-year-old filly Queen’s Logic, Dylan Thomas is a product of the same Danehill/Sharpen Up cross as Danehill Dancer. With the season only a few weeks old, Dylan Thomas’s first Northern Hemisphere starter is already a 2-year-old winner. In Australia, his first crop are yearlings, and they sold for up to $370,000, with his Easter yearlings averaging A$137,222.

From the Nureyev branch of the Northern Dancer line comes Spinning World and Excellent Art.

A son of Nureyev, and from the same Best in Show family as Redoute’s Choice, Spinning World (TrueNicks,SRO) was a brilliant miler who won five group or grade I events – the Breeders’ Cup Mile, the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, two renewals of the Prix Jacques Le Marois, and the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Sire of group I winners Spinning Queen and Ancient World in Europe, Spinning World appears to have made a lasting mark in the Southern Hemisphere through group I winner Thorn Park, who is making a sensational start as a stallion, and he’s also been represented by group I winners Special Harmony, Heavenly Glow, Spin Around, Arlingtonboulevard, and Lyrical Bid.

Excellent Art (GB) (TrueNicks,SRO) is by Nureyev’s grandson Pivotal, a sprint star who has developed into one of Europe’s best and most versatile stallions, getting major winners from five furlongs to 1½ miles. European champion 3-year-old miler Excellent Art has strong claims to be considered his sire’s best son, with wins in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (gr. I), and at 2, the Mill Reef Stakes (gr. II), being joined by seconds in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. I), and Sussex Stakes (gr. I), all of which were achieved as a 3-year-old running against his elders. Excellent Art is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Obsessive. His second dam, Secret Obsession, is a three-part-sister to grade I winner Six Crowns, the dam of champion and successful sire Chief’s Crown. This is also the family of champion fillies Winning Colors (heroine of the Kentucky Derby) and Chris Evert. Excellent Art’s first Northern Hemisphere crop are now 2, and his first Australian crop, now yearlings, have sold for up to A$280,000.

From the Storm Cat line hails Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO), quite possibly the most naturally talented of all his sire’s sons. Champion sire of 2-year-olds in the U.S., Tale of the Cat’s Northern Hemisphere runners include champion U.S. turf horse Gio Ponti and grade I winners Lion Heart, Tale of Ekati, My Trusty Cat, and Cat Moves. From his Southern Hemisphere crops he’s been represented by 20 stakes winners, including such as group I winners Glamour Puss, Tell a Tale, and Gathering, and group II scorers Falkirk, Real Saga, Scaredee Cat, Trusting, Willow Creek, Pureness, and De Lightning Ridge.

So long the chief counterpoint to the Northern Dancer line has been the strain of Mr. Prospector, and that line is represented at Coolmore through the formidable trio of Haradasun, Henrythenavigator, and Lookin at Lucky.

[Haradason] was a stakes winner from 5½ furlongs to a mile, not only did he capture the Doncaster Handicap (gr. I) and George Ryder Stakes (gr. I) in Australia, but also took the Queen Anne Stakes (gr. I) at Royal Ascot. By Fusaichi Pegasus, Mr. Prospector’s only Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, Haradasun is a half brother to the excellent international performer and promising young sire Elvstroem. His dam, Circles of Gold, won the Australian Oaks (gr. I) and is from the family of Starspangledbanner and Polar Success.

Henrythenavigator (TrueNicks,SRO) is by Mr. Prospector’s great stallion son Kingmambo. Winner of the six-furlong Coventry Stakes (gr. II) at Royal Ascot at 2, he was even better at 3 when he took the English 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes, and St. James’s Palace Stakes (all gr. I), and also snared runner-up spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), with two-time U.S. Horse of the Year Curlin back in third. A brother to group-winning and twice classic-placed Queen Cleopatre, Henrythenavigator is out of Sequoyah, a Sadler’s Wells mare who captured the Moyglare Stud Stakes (gr. I) and earned honors as champion Irish 2-year-old filly. Henrythenavigator retired to stud in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in 2009.

New to stud this year is Lookin At Lucky (TrueNicks,SRO). Champion at 2 and 3 in the U.S., Lookin at Lucky was the first horse in 31 years to achieve that distinction. At 2, Lookin At Lucky captured the Cashcall Futurity (gr. I), Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), Norfolk Stakes (gr. I), and Best Pal Stakes (gr. II), becoming the first U.S. juvenile in more than 20 years to win three grade I events. He trained on at 3 to take the classic Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Haskell Invitational (gr. I), Indiana Derby (gr. II), and Rebel Stakes (gr. II). By Smart Strike, a Mr. Prospector son who has been a two-time leading sire in the U.S., Lookin at Lucky is out of the Belong to Me mare Private Feeling, also dam of multiple graded stakes winner Kensei.

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