Australian First-Crop Sires Recap

One can't look at the leading Australian and New Zealand freshman sire lists for 2012-13 without an intense sense of loss over Northern Meteor, who died as a result of a colic attack on the very eve of the day that would see him crowned champion freshman sire.

Nicknamed "racing's Usain Bolt" for his brilliant sprinting performances, the son of Encosta de Lago (AUS) (TrueNicks) made a tremendous start, and given the way his runners have carried on their form into the 2013-14 season, it was just the beginning. He's already been represented by nine total stakes horses and five stakes winners, four of them group, including group I scorers Zoustar and Romantic Touch. Given that Zoustar is out of a mare by Redoute's Choice (AUS) (TrueNicks) (Danehill) and Northern Meteor also already has three other stakes horses out of Danehill or Danzig line mares, he was also going to be a powerful cross for Australia's predominant bloodline.

On a brighter front, it looks as if another stallion star, More Than Ready (TrueNicks), might have a legitimate heir in champion 2-year-old Sebring (AUS) (TrueNicks). He's already the sire of four stakes winners, including the group scorers Criterion and Kiss A Rose. Sebring is out of a mare by Danehill's son Flying Spur, but crossing over Danehill and Danzig doesn't seem to be a problem as Kiss A Rose (dam by Redoute's Choice) is one of four stakes horses he has out of Danzig line mares. Last year, Northern Meteor and Sebring were separated by Real Saga, whose position on the table is principally due to the victory of Real Surreal in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic. A son of Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks) (who is becoming a useful minor sire of sires in Australia/New Zealand), Real Saga won't have the ammunition to keep up with the big guns, but at minimum he looks a useful addition to the stallion ranks in Queensland. We'll also quickly note that Real Surreal is out of a mare by Mossman (AUS) (TrueNicks), and Tale of the Cat has a strong affinity for the family of Mossman's sire, Success Express, so look out for more of that cross.

Shuttler New Approach (IRE) (TrueNicks) (Galileo) checked in fourth last year with 18 runners, a creditable effort as his European efforts have shown him to be a true classic middle-distance sire. He did have one that broke that mold in Australia in the shape of Montsegur (dam by Flying Spur out of a Last Tycoon mare), who won the TBV Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Aus-III) at six furlongs. Despite that possible outlier, long term his future will be brighter if he's accepted for what he's very good at, rather than sent a raft of sprinting mares in the hope of him siring speed.

Myboycharlie (IRE) (TrueNicks) is a son of Danetime, a relatively short-lived son of Danehill who started modestly but was beginning to look like a very smart stallion. Myboycharlie is bred to love the Rough Shod II (Sadler's Wells/Fairy King/Nureyev) line, and that's proving out as he has recent Australian group II scorer, Charlie Boy, out of a mare by Falbrav (by Fairy King). We'll note that he also has a first Northern Hemisphere (where he has first 2-year-olds) stakes winner out of a mare carrying Sadler's Wells.

The other member of this group to be represented by a stakes winner to date is the deceased U.S. champion 2-year-old War Pass (Cherokee Run). He has three Australian black-type performers, headed by Never Can Tell (dam by Storm Bird), winner of the Canonbury Stakes. Of course he also left graded stakes-winning classic contenders Java's War and Revolutionary in the U.S.

In New Zealand, we'll also give a call to Alamosa (by O'Reilly (NZ) (TrueNicks), from the Last Tycoon/Try My Best line). He has seven first crop winners to date, including stakes winner Salamanca (out of a mare by Rahy's son Howbaddouwantit), a stakes-placed horse, and a group I fourth.

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