• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)
Tuesday 03 Sep 2013
Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)

Having just had a quick look at the actual performance of Freshman Sires whose first crops are racing during the current year, it is time to turn the attention to the next batch of stallions. 22 stallions entered the stud in India in 2011 and from October onwards you will find their names in the track work so it is best to know something about them in advance. Since it is a fairly large number, they will be discussed in two parts. Of those 22, Vinaleo has already been 'struck off'; Red Orchid hasn't covered even a single mare while Apache Road, Dancing Forever and Equitable are dead though they will be having postumous runners.

Most important for a stallion, especially one who is being launched, is the support that it gets from the farm it is standing at. That support comes in the form of number of mares and their quality, rearing standards and the trainers to whom the progeny is sold. A really prepotent stallion has the capability of lifting a farm's fortunes. Nature, however, bestows prepotence very grudgingly.

1. APACHE ROAD[USA] (Ch. 2004 Carson City - Act Devoted by A.P.Indy)
Stood at Arabesque Stud, Dist. Muktsar, Punjab (Died in Jan 2011)
First son of Carson City at stud in India.
Previous stallions at Arabesque: Al Mujil, Regal Sabre, Western Verse, European.
5 wins in U.S.A. at 3 to 5 (1200 m. and 1600 m.+, all on AW/Dirt) from 31 career starts.

Apache Road raced in U.S.A., mostly on the East Coast. During his career, he was trained by three trainers, starting with H. Graham Motion who has over a thousand wins to his credit and is perhaps best known for Animal Kingdom, the winner of Kentucky Derby, Gr.1 and Dubai World Cup, Gr.1. For Motion, Apache Road won thrice. He failed to win in six starts for trainer Gail Hanford and ended his career with trainer Jeremiah Engelhart. His sire Carson City was a Gr.2 winning son of Mr. Prospector who stood at Overbrook Farm.In Kentucky in the shadow of Storm Cat. Carson City died at the age of 17 but not before he had sired over a hundred stakes winners. He was apt to get early, speedy types who excelled mostly on dirt. Apache Road was out of an unraced half-sister to the stallion Jeunne Homme. This is an excellent stallion producing family with the likes of Storm Cat, Royal Academy, Pancho Villa, Crowded House and Tiajuana, who stood at Kehelan Stud in India, in the immediate removes. Apache Road died just before the 2011 covering season. His first and only crop consists of 15 foals.

2. BRAHMAPUTRA (B 2004 Conquering Hero - Hounds of Love[IRE] by Foxhound)
Standing at Sahgal Stud, Garhi Harsaru, Gurgaon, Haryana
12 wins at 2 to 5 from (1000 m. to 1600 m.) from 20 career starts.
Other stallion son of Conquering Hero at stud in India: Vinaleo (now struck off).

Owned by M/s. Gautam Thapar and Sultan Singh, Brahmaputra was unbeaten in his 11 starts at Delhi where he signed off in style by winning the President of India Gold Cup [Delhi] giving the runner-up two kgs. and a six length beating. At Delhi, trained by Alim Khan, he also won the North India Derby, Gr.3. Brahmaputra raced at Bangalore where he won once, Pune and Hyderabad. Trainers Imtiaz Sait and S. Padmanabhan trained him away from Delhi.

Mr. Sultan Singh wound up the old Haryana Meadows at Tohana and moved south of Delhi to set up Sohna Stud and Conquering Hero was the first stallion to be imported. The son of Storm Bird was a good winner producer but nothing special. Brahmaputra's grandam was a half-sister to the celebrated Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Gr.1 winner Dancing Brave. All that, however, is academic because Brahmaputra, who is now the property of Mr. Rajesh Sahgal, is a part of his owner's hobby. The only mare he covered in 2010 was barren but he has two foals from two mares covered in 2011. Mr. Sahgal owns one of the foals which he will in all probability race himself and if it wins it will please him no end. Justifiably so.

3. C P WEST[USA] (Dk B/Br 2004 Came Home - Queen's Legend by Dynaformer)
Standing at Galloping Acres Stud, Fort Pisawa, Dist. Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
2 wins in U.S.A. at 2 and 3 (1200 m. and 1600 m., both on AW) from 10 career starts.  
First son of Came Home at stud in India.
Previous stallions at Galloping Acres: Excalibur's Lake, San Francisco and Danehill Star.

Ever since the old Doaba Stud split into Doaba and Galloping Acres, the glory days of the Never Never-Everyday II-Road to Glory-Twist and Turn era have faded. Galloping Acres would be aiming to set that right with C P West who took up his duties from the covering season of 2010. The son of Came Home won just two races from 10 starts and the best of them was only an ordinary stakes race. His trainer, Hall of Famer Nick Zito, must obviously thought very highly of him to pitch him into top contests time and again. As a 2YO, he ran in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Gr.1 where he was a respectable sixth of 14 runners in the race won by Street Sense who was to bag the Kentucky Derby, Gr.1 the following year. In the Preakness Stakes, Gr.1, C P West finished fourth to Curlin, Street Sense and Hard Spun, about six lengths behind the winner. He also lined up for the Belmont Stakes, Gr.1 where Rags to Riches was to create history by becoming the first filly to win the race after over a hundred years. He was fifth (to Rags to Riches, Curlin, Tiago and Hard Spun) but well beaten. His old nemesis Street Sense then beat him in his next two races; by a short-head in the Jim Dandy Stakes, Gr.2 and by a wide margin in the Travers Stakes,Gr.1 where C P West missed the frame. If that CV is encouraging, then the fact that C P West never ran on turf is a slight concern.

Came Home, the sire of C P West, won several Group races in U.S.A. including three Gr.1s. He began his stud career at Lane's End Stud in Kentucky but was re-located to Shizunai Stallion Station, Japan in 2008. While Came Home's stud record has been modest so far, his being a son of Gone West is encouraging for Gone West is one of the few sons of Mr. Prospector whose progeny has excelled consistently on turf. C P West, whose fourth dam is a three-parts sister to chef de race stallion Damascus, covered 37 mares in 2010 and had 22 foals on ground.

4. CHARMO[FR] (Gr. 2001 Charnwood Forest - Marie de Ken by Kendor)
Standing at Vikram Greenlands Stud, Tohana, Haryana
5 wins in U.S.A. at 4, 5 and 7 (1300 m. and 1600 m.) from 32 career starts.
First son of Charnwood Forest at stud in India.

Previous stallions at Vikram Greenlands: Lord of Light, Ponza, Amundsen, Mulhollande, Imp Society, Bee's Prospector, Itaquere Power

Charmo raced till he was 7 and divided his racing between France and U.S.A., running 32 times, 16 starts in each country. Bred and raced by Ecurie Bader, he started off in France where trainer Philippe Demercastel had him in his yard. He raced mostly on Paris tracks, ridden usually by Stephane Pasquier, but failed to win though he did place second in Prix Roland de Chambure, L and third in Prix de Guiche, Gr.3 as well as Prix de la Joncherre, Gr.3. His best effort, though, was probably when he ran fourth behind the subsequent Arc winner Bago in Prix Jean-Prat, Gr.1 at Chantilly.

Sent to U.S.A. to be trained by Julio Canani on the West Coast, he was sparingly raced, mostly on turf, starting just 16 times in nearly four years. He proved himself to be a smart miler, four of his wins being gained at that distance including San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile, Gr.2 which he annexed with a strong stretch run collar the favourite Aragorn in the second fastest time for the race.  Aragorn extracted quick revenge by turning the tables on the very next start in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile, Gr.1, at Hollywood Park. A year later, Charmo returned to Golden Gates for another crack at San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile, Gr.2 but this time finished third to Chinese Dragon and Vegas Lord. Earlier, after he had finished sixth in Frank Kilroe Mile Handicap, Gr.1 at Santa Anita, his trainer had said that he hated the wet ground.

Charnwood Forest, his sire Warning and the next sire Known Fact were all excellent milers and Charmo has obviously inherited their aptitude.  The dam, Marie de Ken, has given her grey colour to Charmo. Owned by Ecurie Bader, Marie de Ken won on her debut over 1400 m. and later added two black-type wins to her profile; first, the Listed Prix de Liancourt over 2000 m. and then Prix Fille de l'Air, Gr.3. There is a bit more of stamina in the tail-female family. Charmo will have 36 foals to race for him come November.

5. CHEVALIER[IRE] (B. 2000 Danehill - Legend Maker by Sadler's Wells)
Standing at Southern Paradise Stud, Shirval, Maharashtra
1 win in Ireland at 2 (1600 m., soft) and placed twice from 3 starts.

Previous sons of Danehill in India: General Dane, Midtown, Sussex, Ace, Danehill Star, Marcus Andronicus, Stardan and  Multidimensional.

Previous stallions at Southern Paradise: Home Run, Cupid, Dilligham, Soft Currency, Warrshan, Mr. Mellon and Chatham Strait.

Chevalier was a very high class race horse who had an all too brief a career. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, he saw a race course for the first time as a 2YO in October and ran second. Six days later, he shed his maiden tag with a runaway, six length victory at Gowran Park. That emboldened his trainer to take him to Saint Cloud for the Criterium International, Gr.1 where he ran a splendid race to finish just half a length behind the great Dalakhani in heavy going and earn a rating of 116. All his three starts were over a mile. Unfortunately, he did not race at 3 and was retired to Tally Ho Stud, Co. Westmeath where he stood for a fee of 3,500 euros. He had six, fair-sized crops in Ireland which have so far yielded a solitary black-type winner in Monsieur Chevalier (Betfair Molecomb Stakes, Gr.3).

The Champion Freshman Sires in India over the last two years have been sons of Danehill -- Ace and Multidimensional -- and Southern Paradise Stud will be delighted if it can be converted into a hat-trick. Chevalier has 52 foals in his first crop which is much more than any of his contemporaries. Even more encouraging will be the fact that the two Chevalier 'got-abroad' foals earlier, Ascriptive and Accessor, have done well in India, winning 10 races between them with the first named counting the Calcutta Monsoon Derby among his four wins. Ascriptive, like Chevalier, did not race during his Classic year but came back to win again later.

Chevalier's starting late as a 2YO and the fact that he made his debut over a mile suggests that his trainer considered him a potential Classic horse or a stayer. He comes from a family that is steeped in stamina and the successive damsires -- Sadler's Wells, Shirley Heights and Sea Hawk II -- enhance that propensity. The average winning distance of his progeny abroad is nearly 1800 m.

6. CHINESE WHISPER[IRE] (B. 2004 Montjeu - Majinskaya by Marignan)
Standing at Paramvir Stud, Tohana, Haryana
1 win in Ireland at 2 (1600 m., good to yielding) from 18 career. Raced upto 2200 m.
Only son of Montjeu at stud in India.

Previous stallions at Paramvir Stud: Knight of Medina, Aztec, Charon, Classic Sport, Classic Tale and Ansbach.

Like Chevalier, Chinese Whisper was owned by Mrs. John Magnier and trained by Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle. Also like Chevalier, Chinese Whisper, who was bought for 570,000 gns as a yearling, graduated from maidens on his second start over a mile and was taken abroad for a Gr.1 juvenile contest. That contest was the Premio Gran Criterium, Gr.1 at San Siro, Milan and Chinese Whisper finished just a length behind Kirklees and Strobilus who were separated by a short-head. Unlike Chevalier, though, Chinese Whisper remained sound at 3 and started the year by finishing second in the Prix La Force, Gr.3 at Longchamp (2000 m.) to Literato and third in Prix de Guiche, Gr.3 at Chantilly to Lawman. Lawman and Literato ran 1-2 in the Prix du Jockey Club Mitsubishi Motors, Gr.1 but Chinese Whisper finished 19th of 20 runners. Rated 108, he had lost form completely and was sent to U.S.A. where he raced primarily on the East Coast. He was initially trained by the controversial Richard Dutrow Jr (handler of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown and currently serving a ten year suspension for repeated use of drugs) and later by Roberto Calvo. His nine starts across the pond brought six places but no wins.

Along with Galileo, Montjeu is the most celebrated sire son of Sadler's Wells. While, generally, Galileo is considered a better stallion, Montjeu has the distinction of having sired more winners of the Epsom Derby, Gr.1. Galileo is more versatile whereas Montjeu's progeny tends to be a bit dour. Chinese Whisper's dam Majinskaya won three races in France including a Listed Race. Majinskaya's half-sister is the dam of swift-footed Kistena, a winner of the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp, Gr.1 over 1000 m. This is a family with plenty of speed and so the mating of Majinskaya with Montjeu is a bit of a fish and fowl mating.It will be interesting to see what genes Chinese Whisper passes on to his progeny. Indian racing is not geared for stallions whose progeny requires a distance. Chinese Whisper had 18 foals in his first crop.

7. CURULE[USA] (Dk B/Br. 1997 Go For Gin - Reservation by Cryptoclearance)
Standing at Regency Equine Stud, Mysore, Karnataka
4 wins in U.A.E. and U.S.A. at 3 to 7 (1400 m. to 1600+ m.; all on AW/dirt)
First son of Go For Gin at stud in India

Previous stallions at Regency Stud: Mossy Bear, Tradition, Blakes Beacon, Young Lion, Serengeti, Tranquility, Chief Admiral, Negresco and Locked Away.

Curule was a contemporary of China Visit. The two met for the first time in U.A.E. Derby, L where the Usha Stud stallion beat Curule by four and a half lengths. The following year, they both ran in Fusaichi Pegasus's Kentucky Derby, Gr.1; both were unplaced and again China Visit finished ahead though this time the margin was just a head. Curule was to have come to India last year but his arrival got delayed.

Curule started racing at 3 in Dubai. Apart from his debut run -- where he finished last -- all his other starts were on dirt or artificial surfaces. He was owned at various times by members of the Maktoum family and Godolphin and sheltered with three different trainers; first Kiaran McLaughlin, then Saeed bin Suroor and finally Doug Watson. During his one year in U.S.A., he finished second -- like C P West -- in the Jim Dandy Stakes, Gr.2 and also ran in the Belmont Stakes,Gr.1 where he  was pulled up in Commendable's race. Returning to Dubai, he raced till he was 10. He was very consistent, finishing in the frame in more than half his starts and his best rating was 111. His sire Go For Gin was a Kentucky Derby, Gr.1 winner and Curule is well-bred enough. 

Regency Stud is not a commercial operation, breeding as it does, to provide runners to carry the Wadiyar colours. Curule was an elected official in ancient Rome and the distinctive chair on which he used to sit  is now known as the curule seat. Curule, the horse, has 5 foals in his first crop.

8. DANCING FOREVER[USA] (Ch. 2003 Rahy - Dancinginmydreams by Seeking the Gold)
Stood at Hazara Stud, Ambala, Haryana
5 wins in U.S.A. at 3 to 5 (1600 m. to 2400 m.; all on turf , firm on four occasions).from 24 career starts.
Other stallion son of Rahy in India: Noverre.
Previous stallion at Hazara: Rebuttal.

Rebuttal was the Champion Freshman Sire in 2010-11 but even before his first crop had started racing, Hazara Stud had already installed Dancing Forever as his barn-mate. Unfortunately, Dancing Forever died recently and the four crops that he will have in India will in time show how much of a loss his early death has been.

Dancing Forever was bred and owned by the Phipps Stable so it was natural that he should enter the yard of Hall of Fame trainer Claude McGaughey III for the Phipps-McGaughey association stretches back to almost four decades. (The team was responsible for this year's Kentucky Derby,Gr.1 winner Orb). Dancing Forever did not race at 2 and won his first race at 3 around the time his contemporaries were getting ready for the 2006 'Run for the Roses'. His trainer did not push him too hard that year nor the next when he won two races including a Listed Race. At 5, Dancing Forever was at his peak winning the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap,Gr.1, Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes, Gr.3, placing second in Gulstream Park Turf Stakes, Gr.1 and third in Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Turf,Gr.1. In both his Graded wins, Dancing Forever was ridden by Rene Douglas who was to suffer a nasty fall the following year that has left him permanently paralysed.

The Three Chimneys stallion Rahy commanded a six figure covering at his prime. When he was taken off his duties at the age of 24, Rahy had 19 stallion sons standing in different parts of the world. Dancing Forever's dam was a Gr.1 placed half-sister to Champion 3YO Filly Heavenly Prize, the dam of stallions Good Reward and Pure Prize. Dancing Forever's late maturing and a slight preference for a galloping trip are counter-acted by his liking for firm going which his progeny will find the norm in India. His first crop consists of 34 foals.

9. EQUITABLE[USA] (Ch. 2004 A P Indy - Equilibrate by Gone West)
Stood at A.B. Stud, Patiala,Punjab
3 wins in U.S.A. at 3 and 4 (1800 m. and 1900 m., all on turf) from 14 career starts.
Only son of A.P. Indy  to stand at stud in India.
Previous stallions at A.B. Stud: General Anders, French Suitor, Treasure Leaf, Young Senor and Epicentre.

Mr. H.S. Dhillon of Track Supreme Stud was responsible for import of  Equitable as he was for Meteorologist, the first son of Mr. Prospector to come to India. Equitable stood his first and only season at A.B. Stud which supported the stallion with about half the number of mares he covered while others were an assorted lot, including some from leading farms. Equitable leaves behind a legacy of 31 first crop foals.

Equitable was bred and owned by Pin Oak Stable and trained throughout his career -- except for his last two starts -- by Hall of Fame and thrice Eclipse Award winning trainer Bill Mott best known for Cigar. The chestnut did not race at 2. Over the next two years, his nine starts yielded three wins and four places. He then lost form, never placing in his remaining five starts and ending his career in Canada where he was under the care of  Malcolm Pierce. His best effort was undoubtedly in placing third to Presious Passion and Strike a Deal in the United Nations Handicap, Gr.1 at Monmouth Park as a 4YO. Equitable raced upto a mile and a half.

A P Indy, who ruled the roost at William Farish III's Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, was hard to book even when his covering fee was $ 150,000. His 12.5 % strike rate of stakes winners was higher than his contemporaries. Though he did sire Group winners on grass, his produce performed even better on dirt so his popularity did not extend to Europe. Equitable's unraced dam is a half-sister to Champion and sire Peaks and Valleys while Equitable himself is a half-brother to black-type winners Equality and Equal Opportunity. .A feature of the stallion's pedigree is that he is inbred 3x4 to the great Secretariat. 

10. EXPRESS WISH[GB] (B. 2004 Danehill Dancer - Waffle On by Chief Singer)
Standing at Mebajeona Stud, Mukstar, Punjab
3 wins in England at 3 and 4 (1200 m., 1200 m. and 1400 m.) from 17 career starts. Good, Good to Firm and Soft.
Other stallion son of Danehill Dancer in India: Decado.
Previous stallions at Mebajeona Stud: Adjamoun, Santiago, International and Home Affairs.

Mebajeona Stud has been having a good year in 2012-13, mainly because of the exploits of  the 'got-abroads' Vijays Pride and Plenipotent. However, the first crop of its stallion Home Affairs has also done reasonably  well. Home Affairs died after his second year at stud and his replacement is Express Wish who has produced 18 foals from the 31 mares he covered.

Owned by Mr. Peter Mitchell, Express Wish was trained at Newmarket by Jeremy Noseda from his Shalfleet Stables. He ran just once at 2, late in September. After an easy outing to get rid of the winter rustiness, Express Wish won his next two starts at Brighton and Haydock under Frankie Dettori. The following year he won just once but that was KBC Supreme Stakes, Gr.3 at Goodwood. That was the first time he had run in a black-type race. All his remaining starts were to be at that level and though he failed to place in any of them, he put in decent efforts. He was never raced beyond 1400 m.and his official career best rating was 109.

Danehill Dancer was a Champion 2YO in Ireland, winning three of his four races including two Gr.1s. He won his first race at 3 but his form dipped thereafter. As a sire he has had many Gr.1 winners. However, in view of the mammoth crops that he has had, his overall performance has been a bit patchy. What he does definitely impart to most of his progeny is precocity and speed..The damline of Express Wish is also very speedy and there are many fast stallions -- like King's Chapel, College Chapel, Trans Island, Barrow Creek and Pagan of Troy who stood at Sunnylands Stud in India -- in the immediate removes. The mating which produced Express Wish is hence a like to like mating.

11. FLEETING ARROW (B. 2005 Burden of Proof[IRE] - Sabre Dance by Bold Russian[GB])
Standing at Lumbini Stud, Dodballapur, Bangalore, Karnataka
7 wins at 3 (1400 m. and 1600 m.) from 15 career starts.
Other stallion sons of Burden of Proof: Fantabulous King and Aboline (dead).
Previous stallions at Lumbini Stud: Not applicable since the management is differrent.

Owned by Mr. K. Ramanjula Reddy and trained by J. Babu Rao, Fleeting Arrow won his first two starts at Bangalore impressively and was whisked away to Mumbai for the Poonawalla Breeders' Multi-Million, Gr.1. He ran creditably in Autonomy's race, finishing fifth and the stakes he earned probably paid for his and his entourage's travelling expenses. Back on his home turf, he reeled off a sequence of of five straight wins which included the Bangalore Colts' Trial Stakes, Gr.1, Harvins Bangalore 2000 Guineas, Gr.2 and Heeroji Lad Bangalore Juvenile Million, Gr.3. He did not win thereafter but placed third in Chief Justice's Cup, Gr.3, fourth in Johnnie Walker Gold Label Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1 and Poonawalla Bangalore Derby, Gr.1. At his best, he was a high class, genuine 1400 m.-mile horse who achieved a best rating of 110.

Fleeting Arrow's dam won the Castrol Calcutta Oaks, Gr.3. He himself is a full-brother to Mariinsky (F.D. Wadia Trophy, Gr.2) and Scimitar (third in Golconda 2000 Guineas, Gr.2). He covered five mares in 2010 but none of them got into foal while in 2011 he did not cover a mare.


Actually, 23 new stallions were registered in 2010 making it the highest number of stallions regsitered in one year in India in recent times. Equus Stud's Varenar, however, was registered rather late in the year, much after the covering season had ended. He started his stud duties only in 2011 and so will figure in the next year's batch.