• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)
  • Desert God wins The Tetrasoft Inc. Bangalore St. Leger (Gr.2)
FRESHMEN STALLIONS OF 2018-19
By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)
Tuesday 07 Aug 2018
Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)

Every year, new names are added to the Register of Stallions in India to make up for the depletion to their ranks. On an average, about ten new stallions are seen in the covering yards around the country every year though the annual fluctuation in the number is unpredictable. As many as 23 new stallions covered their first mares in India in 2011. At the other end of the scale, just four made their debuts in 2006. That is the number which went to stud in 2015. Their first crop, born in 2016, will start racing later this year. Before that, their progeny will be seen on the training tracks round the country. Track reports of two year-olds are usually mentioned by pedigrees only and it is hence essential to know something about the four new names which will figure in those reports.

One of the four newcomers is an Indian-bred stallion who is unlikely to send pulses racing. The other three are all imported and standing at leading establishments; their careers will be watched with interest as they unfold.

CORPORATE JUNGLE[USA] (dk b/br 2008 Giant's Causeway - Lady Carson by Carson City)

Standing at Hazara Stud Farm, Ambala (Haryana)

4 wins from 13 starts in U.S.A. at 3 and 4, all at 1600 m. on turf. Best Racing Post Rating 111.

Other stallion son of Giant's Causeway in India: Crimson China

Previous stallions at Hazara Stud: Rebuttal, Dancing Forever, Net Whizz and Saamid

Gary & Mary West paid $ 210,000 at Keeneland's September Sale for Corporate Jungle as a yearling and entrusted him to Eclipse Award winning trainer Chad Brown, a protege of Bobby Frankel. In fact, the Wests were Chad Brown's earliest owners when he started training on his own. Corporate Jungle did not race at 2. At 3, he raced just thrice, winning on his last start in August at Saratoga. He was at his best as four year-old, reeling off a hat-trick which included Appleton Stakes, Gr.3 and Elkwood Stakes, L and he ended the year with a respectable sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Gr.1 at Santa Anita which was won that year by Mizdirection. He was then transferred to trainer Thomas Proctor for whom he raced just twice at 5, breaking down in the running of the Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar having fractured a sesamoid in his right fore.  That ended Corporate Jungle's racing career.

Corporate Jungle is sired by Giant's Causeway, a very successful stallion. Several of his sons are standing as stallions and some of them --  Shamardal, Footstepsinthesand, Intense Focus, First Samurai, Red Giant, Frost Giant and others -- have achieved varying degree of success worldwide. However, it is difficult to say whether the now deceased Giant's Causeway truly commands the appellate "sire of sires". Corporate Jungle belongs to the Lindos Ojos family and has several successful sires -- Singspiel, Rakeen, Rahy, Devil's Bag, Saint Ballado, etc. -- in his immediate tail-female family.

The son of Giant's Causeway had the right racing aptitude for India. His five generation pedigree contains no stout or professional influences. He raced only in U.S.A. and generally, stallions with only American performances have not been consistently successful in India. Corporate Jungle has 41 foals in his first crop, 25 in his second and he covered 54 mares in 2017. He has enough representatives to show his mettle.

INDIAN BOLT (b 2007 Ajaad[USA] - Diamond Caves by Sir Bruce)

Standing at Sans Craintes Stud, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)

7 wins at 3 and 5 (1200 m. to 1600 m.) from 39 starts.Best rating in India 112.

Other stallion son of Ajaad[USA] in India: Polar Falcon

Previous stallions at Sans Craintes Stud: Knight's Tour, Tazahum, Lucifer Sam, Lord Admiral, Mathematician, Midtown, Polar Falcon, Mudeer Groom Street, Vesuvius, McDuck, Ajaad, Wassl Reef, Right Ahead, Grand Parade, Amber Flash.

The long serving Ajaad -- probably the best imported stallion to stand at Sans Craintes -- was nearing the end of his career in 2014, being 26 years old. Mr. S. Pathy of Sans Craintes obviously wanted to stand a son of Ajaad and when Indian Bolt won the Maharaja's Gold Cup, Gr.3 at Mysore over a mile, he had a likely candidate. Indian Bolt was duly registered as a stallion late in 2014 and covered his first mares in 2015.

Indian Bolt made his debut on the New Year's Day of 2010 and was unplaced. He won two races later that year. He was undoubtedly at his best as five year-old, winning five races in six starts at Bangalore and Mysore. He was owned by Mr. Savi K. Jain and trained by S. Inayatullah throughout his career. Ajaad's best son, Polar Falcon, who did so well in India and Malaysia/Singapore, also stood at Sans Craintes Stud. Indian Bolt comes from the Wise Flower family which has produced Classic winning milers Wide Awake, Boodles, Autumn Blue and Charlatan in India.

Indian Bolt covered just two mares in his first year and has a filly from the Sadler's Wells mare Reflectance. Reflectance died shortly afterwards. That filly is interestingly bred but one foal is not enough to launch a stallion and Indian Bolt has been restricted to his ration of two mares in each of the subsequent years.

LEITIR MOR[IRE] (b 2010 Holy Roman Emperor - Christinas Letter by Galileo)

Standing at Cyza Stud (part of Poonawalla Group of Farms), Theur (Maharashtra)

2 wins at 2 (1200 m., good going) and 3 (1400 m. good/yielding) from 32 starts in Europe. Best official rating 117.

Other stallion sons of Holy Roman Emperor in India: Be Safe

Some recent stallions at Poonawalla Farms: Malvado, Riyahi, Placerville, Alnasr Alwasheek, Greensmith, Ace, Arazan and Excellent Art.

Leitir Mor is an island off the west coast of Ireland though it is connected to Co. Galway by a causeway. The horse Leitir Mor was bred by the noted Irish trainer Jim Bolger and raced in the colours of his wife throughout his three years on the track. Jim Bolger is an active breeder who has indulged in close in-breeding patterns. Parish Hall was in-bred 3x3 to Sadler's Wells. Paene Magnus had Danehill 3x2. Bolger trained both Parish Hall and Paene Magnus to win black-type races. Leitir Mor is balanced in-bred 2x3 to Danehill.

Leitir Mor was subjected to a busy two year-old campaign by Bolger and the colt raced ten times in a span of six months. He was never off-the-board and won the Go and Go Round Tower Stakes, Gr.3. His best performance, though, was in placing second to the stablemate Dawn Approach in the Duabi Dewhurst Stakes, Gr.1 at Newmarket. Next year, Dawn Approach lived up the promise of that run by winning the Quipco Two Thousand Guineas, Gr.1, St. James's Palace Stakes, Gr.1 and finishing second to Toronado in the Sussex Stakes.  Leitir Mor ran in all those three races but finished way down the field. In between, though, he won the Ballycorus Stakes, Gr.3 at Leopardstown. At 4, Leitir Mor had lost form and placed second just once from his nine starts.

No stallion standing abroad has sired four Classic winners -- Be Safe, Smashing, Fastest Finger and Mrs. Patmore -- as Holy Roman Emperor has and that will certainly be encouraging from Leitir Mor's point of view. Generally, though, Holy Roman Emperor has been a better sire of fillies. Leitir Mor's seventh dam, Campanula, won the 1934 One Thousand Guineas for Sir George Bullough while her third dam Circus Ring was a Champion Two Year-Old Filly in England. This is the family of the likes of Athens Wood, Vitiges, Vacarme and Tony Bin and others. It was quite fashionable at one time. Brave Act and Soft Currency, both stallions in India, also belong to it.

The last three stallions at Poonawalla Farms -- Ace, Arzan and Excellent Art -- have been Champion Freshmen Sires but have not gone on to better things. With just 19 foals in his first crop, Leitir Mor will find it difficult to be Champion Freshman Sire since Corporate Jungle and Speaking of Which have more foals. He has a larger crop of 48 foals in 2017 but covered only a handful of mares that year to make way for the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas, Gr.1 winner Roderic O'Connor on whom the hopes of Poonawalla Farms undoubtedly rest.

SPEAKING OF WHICH[IRE] (b 2009 Invincible Spirit - Suitably Discreet by Mr. Prospector)

Standing at Usha Stud, Jhoond Sarai (Haryana)

5 wins at 3 to 5 (1600 m. to 2000 m., good/firm going) from 15 starts in Ireland and U.S.A. Best official rating 116.

First son of Invincible Spirit to stand as stallion in India.

Previous stallions at Usha Stud: Grey Gaston, Topmost,  Common Land, Track Lightning, Treasure Leaf, Razeen, Steinbeck, China Visit and Multidimensional.

Alaindair, from the first crop of Usha Stud's Multidimensional, won the 2014 McDowell Indian Signature Indian Derby, Gr.1 and sent that nursery on the road to finishing the year as the Champion Stud Farm. The farm, however, was aware that Multidimensional needed help since its other stallions, Steinbeck and China Visit, were growing long in the tooth. The horse chosen was Speaking of Which who was bred and raced by Moyglare Stud. Speaking of Which did not race at 2 but made an early debut in March at 3, placing second over a mile at Curragh. He broke his maiden over an extended mile at Cork in April and then picked up the Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes, Gr.3, slamming the Ballydoyle pair of Soon and Athens by almost a distance. Though he was a close third in the KPMG Enterprise Stakes, Gr.3 at Leopardstown, the connections were disappointed and they decided to send him to U.S.A. to race on the West Coast.

He was still in the care of trainer Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen, who had ridden him in all his starts till then, continued the association. He was narrowly beaten by Jeremy Noseda's Grandeur in the Twilight Derby, Gr.2 at Santa Anita and was fortunate that an accident in the running of the Hollywood Derby, Gr.1 caused no more damage than having to be pulled up. He continued to be owned by Moyglare Stud but was transferred to trainer Christophe Clement on the East Coast. Speaking of Which remained with Clement for two years which yielded three wins -- including Monmouth Stakes, Gr.2 and Tropical Turf Handicap, Gr.3 -- from nine starts. There were thoughts of him running at the Breeders' Cup carnival -- held at Santa Anita in 2014 -- but they came to naught and a cold December evening saw him step off the plane at Palam.

Invincible Spirit started his stud career at Irish National Stud at a modest fee of 10,000 euros. By the sheer dint of the performance of his progeny, that fee is now in six figures and a nomination to him is hard to procure. He has several stallion sons world-wide and many of them are quite young.  However, stallions like Lawman, Vale of York, Mayson, Zebedee and others have hinted at his prowess. One  pleasing attribute of all sire sons of Invincible Spirit is that they all seem to be passing on speed to their progeny. Since Speaking of Which's unraced dam is by Mr. Prospector and he himself has a DI of 3.31, those speed genes ought remain active. The next dam is Alywow, a Champion Three Year-Old Filly in Canada in 1993 and Canadian Horse of the Year in 1994. Many generations of the tail-female line  were resident at Haras Chapadmalal, one of Argentina's best nurseries.

With Multidimensional ruling the roost at Usha Stud, Speaking of Which has had only limited opportunities. His first crop consists of 22 foals and the second has 28. He covered 43 mares in 2017. Perhaps, like his sire, he will have to make his mark the hard way.

PAST THE POST

At this time next year, we will have some idea of how these new stallions are shaping up. A new stallion, though, should not be judged hastily and perhaps the earliest when a call is made is after his first crop has finished racing in the winter Derbies.

We do, however, know where the older stallions stand as far as the current racing year is concerned. At the end of the third quarter, Multidimensional still holds on to a narrow lead in the General Sires' Table from Phoenix Tower and Excellent Art. These three stallions occupied the same positions at the half way stage. Only Rs. 28 lakhs in stakes earnings separate Multidimensional from Excellent Art and we are in for a thrilling finish at the end of the last quarter.

Placerville has displaced Razeen at the top of maternal grandsires' table and these two are way ahead of the rest. As in the case of General Sires' Table, three stallions are closely bunched up at the top of Freshmen Sires' Table. Hazara's Net Whizz leads Sans Craintes' Tazahum by earnings of just six lakhs with Kunigal's Air Support in third, not too far behind. One big race can change the positions drastically.

The race for the Champion Stud Farm title is also keen and hotly contested. With Ruffina finishing second at Pune recently, the Poonawalla Group has just grabbed the lead from Nanoli Stud while Usha Stud is still in striking distance. The monsoon Classics hold the key to who eventually finishes on the top.