Bill Oppenheim: The Class Of 2015

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Declaration Of War, leading F2015 sire by NA/EU foal average | Coolmore

By Bill Oppenheim

Ten of the top 15 North American or European sires by average with their first foals selling this year (F2015 sires) and four or more sold, going into the final two mixed sales of the season, Tattersalls December and Arqana December, now stand in North America; five stand in Europe. I say ‘now’ because the leading sire so far on average, Declaration of War (War Front), stood at Coolmore in Ireland in 2014, then moved to their Kentucky satellite, Ashford, this year. Through the end of Goffs’ Foal Sale last Friday, Declaration of War, the winner of the G1 Queen Anne S. and Juddmonte International S., and third in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic on the dirt in 2013, had five foals sell for an average of $241,756, headed by an $800,000 filly at Keeneland out of Hanky Panky, herself slated to sell at Tattersalls next week.

There is liable to be a lot of shake-up in these numbers as Tattersalls kicks off five days of selling, with 1,275 foals catalogued, today through Saturday, with nearly 300 more catalogued at Arqana’s December Sale, beginning Dec. 5 . Declaration of War has 12 catalogued this week. Of the five European sires that have had four or more sell so far for an average of $40,000+, Darley Kildangan’s Dawn Approach (New Approach), who was champion European 2-year-old of 2012 and won the 2013 G1 English 2000 Guineas, is the leading European-based F2015 sire so far, with 10 foals averaging $116,767; he has 15 catalogued at Tattersalls. Coolmore’s Camelot, the only G1 Epsom Derby winner by Montjeu to also win the G1 English 2000 Guineas, has had 10 sell, for an average of $73,856; he has 18 catalogued this week.

Dawn Approach and Camelot–both Sadler’s Wells-line sires, you’ll note–are two of the three top-priced candidates from this sire crop left in Europe after Declaration of War’s move to Kentucky. The other is Intello, the 2013 G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100 meter version) winner for the Wertheimer Brothers, by Galileo out of a Danehill mare. He stood his first two seasons at Cheveley Park, but has now moved, as was planned all along, to the Haras du Quesnay for 2016. He had one foal sell at Goffs ($37,572), but has nine at Tattersalls this week. Gestut Fahrhof’s Maxios (Monsun) has a blockbuster pedigree–his second dam, Coup de Genie, was a champion full-sister to Machiavellian–and made a big impression as an individual when he was brought to Newmarket for the stallion show last year. Maxios had four foals average $55,421 at Goffs, and has nine more catalogued between Tattersalls and Arqana; his first foals are making a good impression at the sales so far.

Two sires that stand in England but had a few foals each sell at Goffs round out the European representatives in this particular top 15. Cheveley Park, which stood Intello, also stands Lethal Force, who really put his sire Dark Angel on the map when he scored consecutive six-furlong Group 1 wins in 2013 in Royal Ascot’s G1 Diamond Jubilee S. and Newmarket’s G1 July Cup. Lethal Force had seven foals average $59,707 at Goffs, but has no fewer than 43 more catalogued this week. Similarly, Tweenhills’ Havana Gold (Teofilo), winner of the 2013 G1 Prix Jean Prat, had seven sell at Goffs, for an average of $47,249; he has 49 more catalogued this week. Whitsbury Manor’s sprinter Swiss Spirit (Invincible Spirit), also British-based, had four foals average $33,588 at Goffs, but has another 32 catalogued this week.

Four other Irish-based sires had 20 or more sell at Goffs, and all will have more at Tattersalls this week. Darley Kildangan’s Epaulette (Commands), a reverse shuttler who won two Group 1’s in Australia sprinting, had 33 foals average $31,997 at Goffs, and has 27 more catalogued at Tatts. Tally-Ho Stud’s Society Rock (Rock of Gibraltar), like Lethal Force a dual Group 1 winner sprinting (Society Rock won the Golden Jubilee, before it became the Diamond Jubilee, and the Haydock Sprint Cup), had two sell at Goffs for an average of $26,944, and has 15 more catalogued at Tattersalls. Coolmore’s Most Improved (Lawman) had 21 sell for an average of $19,815, and Ballyhane’s Red Jazz (Johannesburg) had 29 average $14,303; they have nine and eight, respectively, catalogued this week.

Four stallions now standing in France have eight or more catalogued from their first crops at Deauville. Two are the first stallions to stand at the Al-Thani’s Haras De Bouquetot: Planteur (Danehill Dancer) won the G1 Prix Ganay, ran second to Lope de Vega in the G1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), and ran third twice in the G1 Dubai World Cup. He has one catalogued in Newmarket and 15 at Arqana. Style Vendome (Anabaa), winner of the 2013 G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), also stands at Bouquetot; he has eight catalogued at Arqana. Unbeaten 2011 French champion 2-year-old Dabirsim (Hat Trick) stood his first two seasons at Gestut Karlshof in Germany, but is now at the Haras de Grandcamp in France; he has 10 catalogued at Deauville. And the Haras de la Hetraie’s George Vancouver (Henrythenavigator), winner of the 2012 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, has nine catalogued in Deauville from his first crop.

This week’s first-year headlines are likely to be made by Darley’s Dawn Approach and Coolmore’s Declaration of War and Camelot, but there will be lots of opportunities, too, from the first crops by Havana Gold (49), Lethal Force (43), Swiss Spirit (32), Epaulette (27), Overbury’s G1 winner by Selkirk, Cityscape (18), and the others we have mentioned. We’ll be back next Monday (Nov. 30), opening day of the Mare Sale, to catch up on developments.

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