Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sadlers Wells, Coolmore and The Epsom Derby

A lot of people have been of the opinion that the great Coolmore stallion Sadlers Wells, although a champion sire on many occasions isn't a sire of sires. Also, the son of Northern Dancer topped the sire list many times but failed for many years to get the ultimate in racing…a winner of the Epsom Derby. This jinx was broken in 2001 when the Mick Kinane ridden Galileo come out and won the Derby at Epsom. The following year his son High Chaparral won the same race, thus establishing Sadlers Wells as a Derby sire.
So far, none of his stakes winning sons had made a major impact at stud, although some of them(Barathea, In The Wings, El Prado, etc.) have had their moments. But the best was yet to come.
In 1998 his son Montjeu made an appearance as a 2 yr old and won both his starts incl. a listed race at Longchamp over 9f. The following year he did even better by winning two Derbies(Irish and French) and the Arc. He didn't stop here. Next year he won another three Group 1 races incl. the King George(beating Fantastic Light), the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Sounds easy doesn't it? But it's this kind of stuff that earns you a timeform rating of 137.

Retired to Coolmore, home of his illustrious sire, all eyes were set on this Derby winning son of champion sire Sadlers Wells. He was the first really classy colt by Sadlers Wells going to stud. The other two Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral came a few years later. At Coolmore Montjeu has wasted no time. In his very first crop he has sired Motivator - the winner of the Epsom derby. Incidentally, the runner up - Walk In The Park is also sired by him. Motivator is from the first crop of Montjeu from which there are a total of 15 stakes horses including Hurricane Run, Staglelight, Kings Quay, Dash To The Top, Falstaff, etc.
Motivator is out of the Gone West mare Out West who is by Sharpen Up ex Uncommitted by Buckpasser ex Lady Be Good by Better Self ex Past Eight by Eight Thirty. 3rd foal of his dam, he is the best and the only Group horse she has produced so far. Motivator is linebred 5Dx5Sx5S to Native Dancer and 6Dx6S to Hyperion. In the first six removes, there is no other inbreeding in his pedigree. His dosage profile is 8-1-14-5-0 and dosage index is 1.33. This is the same family in India of Shamaal, Warsaw Pact, Flowersoftheforest, etc.
What a fantastic stallion roster Coolmore has created. Between Coolmore Ireland and their U.S. counterpart Ashford, it would be safe to say that they stand the best stallions in the world today. Some of the stallions they stand at Coolmore Ireland are Danehill Dancer(Danehill), Fasliyev(Nureyev), the Derby winner Galileo(Sadlers Wells), 2000 Guineas and King George winner Golan(Spectrum), Eclipse Stakes winner Hawk Wing(Woodman), Derby winner High Chaparral(Sadlers Wells), French Derby, King George and Arc winner Montjeu(Sadlers Wells), French Derby and Arc winner Peintre Celebre(Nureyev), the dual 2000 Guineas and seven times Gr.1 winner Rock of Gibraltar(Danehill), and ofcourse the champion sire Sadlers Wells(Northern Dancer), Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeders' Cup Mile winner Spinning World(Nureyev) and Statue Of Liberty(Storm Cat).

At Ashford, Kentucky, their U.S. counterpart, they stand the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Black Minnaloushe(Storm Cat), Kentucky Derby winner Fusachi Pegasus(Mr. Prospector), the great Eclipse Stakes winner Giant's Causeway(Storm Cat), Grand Slam(Gone West, Hennessy(Storm Cat), High Yield(Storm Cat), Johannesburg(Hennessy), Gr.1 winner Lionheart(Tale of the cat), champion juvenile sire Tale of the cat(Storm Cat), Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch(Gulch), etc. It is interesting to note how this group has cornered the Northern Dancer sire line in Europe through Sadlers Wells and his sons and through sons of Nureyev. Years back, they lost Nureyev to Stavros Niarchos at the Keeneland yearling sales in Lexington. They seem to have more than made up for it now. In the U.S. they stand some of the best sons of the great Storm Cat and the only Kentucky Derby winning son of Mr. Prospector - Fusaichi Pegasus. Hatsoff to John Magnier, the master of Coolmore for his foresight and stallion acquisition skills.

Gautam Lala