As soon as the first 2-year-olds appear, we begin to see the next generation of runners and the next generation of sires. There’s always keen interest in the freshman sires, and good juvenile winners do wonders for a young stallion’s stud career. Stallions who were themselves good juveniles or overtly speedy often sire good juveniles in turn.
This year’s freshman sires went to stud in 2014. In Ireland, this class was led by Declaration of War (USA), who stood at Coolmore for a fee of €40,000, but moved to Kentucky for the next season. He is rather atypical for his sire, War Front (USA), who tends to get precocious milers. Declaration of War (USA) was a winner at 2, but improved at 4 to win the G1 Queen Anne Stakes and stretched out to win G1 Juddmonte International Stakes at 10.5 furlongs. Out of a mare by the versatile Rahy (USA), a lot of 2-year-olds winners wouldn’t be a surprise.
Dawn Approach (IRE) retired to Kildangan Stud for a fee of €35,000. The undefeated Champion 2-Year-Old in England, Ireland and Europe in 2012, he returned at 3 to win the G1 Two Thousand Guineas and G1 St. James’s Palace Stakes, premier events for classy milers. His sire, New Approach (IRE), was also high-weighted at 2, but had the stamina to win the G1 Derby Stakes and G1 Champion Stakes at 3. His dam is by the American sprinter Phone Trick (USA), a line that plays to early speed.
Coolmore Stud’s Camelot (IRE) was also the high-weighted 2-year-old of his crop, in 2011. By the staying influence Montjeu (IRE) and out of a mare by the classic miler Kingmambo (USA), Camelot (IRE) won the G1 Derby Stakes and G1 Irish Derby, debuting at a fee of €25,000. Although he was good at 2, his ability to go long would suggest that his offspring may need more time and distance unless their dams had precocious speed as well.
The high-class sprinter Society Rock (IRE) retired to Tally-Ho Stud at €8,000. He won the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4 and the G1 Sprint Cup at 5. He was by the miler Rock of Gibraltar (IRE), out of a sprinting mare by Key of Luck (USA). Unfortunately, Society Rock (IRE) died in the middle of his third season at stud, so even if his 2-year-olds come out breathing fire, he can’t benefit from their success.
The same class of stallions going to stud in England in 2014 was led by Intello (GER), the G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner and Champion 3-year-old in France. He retired to Cheveley Park Stud for £25,000 and moved to France for the 2016 season. By the ultimate classic sire Galileo (IRE), out of the speedy Group 2 winner Impressionnante (GB) by Danehill (USA), he won twice at 2, but preferred a distance; still his high class could help his offspring do exciting things early.
Al Kazeem (GB) retired to the Royal Studs at Sandringham at £18,000. By Dubawi (IRE) out of a Darshaan (GB) mare, he was a winner at 2, but got better with age, winning the G1 Eclipse Stakes and G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup twice. Fertility issues shut him down his first season and he was put back in training. He won at the highest level at 6 and 7, and then went back to stud at 8. Although his first crop will be small, he had 9 yearlings sell reasonably well last year, so if a few of them run well, Al Kazeem (GB) might pull off a success.
Another late maturing star, Farhh (GB) entered stud at Dalham Hall at £17,500. By the top sprinter Pivotal (GB), his dam is by Lando (GER) from a staying German family, which makes an interesting mix. Farhh (GB) won his only start at 2, and the same at 3, but was Europe’s top miler at 5. He has the speed but early maturity may be more elusive.
Entering stud at Cheveley Park for £12,500, Champion Sprinter Lethal Force (IRE) is a son of the classy 2-year-old Dark Angel (IRE), a great sire of juveniles, and his dam is by another champion sprinter in Desert Style (IRE). The down side is that Lethal Force (IRE) was only placed at 2.
Style Vendome (FR) retired in France at Haras de Bouquetot for €12,000. A stakes winner at 2, he won the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains at a mile, and is bred for speed. His sire is Anabaa (USA) and his dam is by the top miler Dr Fong (USA).
Another young French sire may upend everyone’s plans, however. Dabirsim (FR) was the high-weight at 2 in 2011 with wins in the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Grand Criterium. Retired to Haras de Grandcamp at €9,000, he is by Hat Trick (JPN), a champion miler in Japan and his dam is by the sprinter/miler Royal Academy (USA).
In North America, the priciest horse going to stud in 2014 was Animal Kingdom (USA), the 2011 Champion 3-Year-Old and G1 Kentucky Derby winner who retired to Darley at $35,000. A son of the Champion Turf miler Leroidesanimaux (BRZ), his dam is a Group 3-winning stayer by Germany’s iconic sire Acatenango (GER), and full of stamina. He was a winner at 2 but over 9 furlongs, so his runners might need a route of ground to show their best.
The 2013 G1 Kentucky Derby winner Orb (USA) retired to Claiborne Farm at $25,000. A winner at 2, he is by Malibu Moon (USA) out of an Unbridled (USA) mare, so bred for 10 furlongs.
The freshman sire most expected to get a lot of 2-year-old winners is Ashford Stud’s 2012 Champion 2-Year-Old Shanghai Bobby (USA), who retired at $20,000. He is by the early speed influence Harlan’s Holiday (USA) out of a mare by Champion Sprinter Orientate (USA).
Keep an eye on another top juvenile, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm’s Grade 1-winner Violence (USA) by Medaglia d’Oro (USA) out of a Gone West (USA) mare.