Disko: another high-class son of Martaline for Gigginstown House StudPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Coraline fine source of jumps stallion talent
THERE are numerous high-achieving families that are instantly recognisable as having been nurtured by Juddmonte and one that regularly draws plaudits is that belonging to Sorbus and her Listed-winning daughter Bahamian.
It is a family notable not only for the number of good horses it has produced but also - more uniquely - for the number of successful stallions. Bahamian's best daughter, Irish Oaks heroine Wemyss Bight, foaled Beat Hollow, a proven sire under both codes. Wemyss Bight's sister Hope, a member of Dancing Brave's final European crop, foaled Oasis Dream and Zenda, in turn the dam of Kingman.
Banstead Manor Stud stands Oasis Dream and Kingman but the farm has also retained shares in New Bay, another member of the Bahamian family who stands at Ballylinch Stud.
New Bay is a grandson of the Listed-placed Trellis Bay, one of four Sadler's Wells fillies out of Bahamian. Another two, Coraline and Spanish Wells, were minor winners but have made their mark at stud, in particular Coraline, who can boast the achievement of having produced three proven Grade 1 jumps sires.
Coraline's influence was in felt strongly at Leopardstown on Sunday when two of her sons, Martaline and Coastal Path, fired in Grade 1 winners within an hour of each other. Disko's win in the Flogas Novice Chase consolidated his position as Martaline's current leading chaser outside France, while Bacardys' win in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle presented his sire, Coastal Path, with a first Grade 1.
Martaline has long been flavour of the month with dual-purpose breeders in France. His first crop, bred off a fee of €3,500, contained David Pipe's admirable Dynaste as well as Akarlina, a Group 3 winner on the Flat. Dynaste was the catalyst for his increasing popularity with the jumps fraternity in Britain and Ireland; so, while he continued to gain momentum in France, trainers and their agents quickly caught on over here.
The 2014 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner Very Wood, another good Martaline for Disko's owners Gigginstown House Stud, was one later highlight as was the classy hurdler Pique Sous. This season in Britain has yielded Relkeel Hurdle winner Agrapart.
One striking element of Martaline's stud record is his success as a sire of fillies: Grade 1 winners Kotkikova and Chimere Du Berlais are two such examples and head a list that includes 11 black-type winning fillies over jumps overall.
His success also begs the question of how good his brother Reefscape could have been had his stud career not been cut short by fertility problems.
While Martaline was a solid Group 2 and 3 performer, Reefscape regularly held his own in Group 1 company and scored an emphatic win in the 2005 Prix du Cadran. A stud career at Glebe House Stud beckoned but he left behind only a single foal; that turned out to be L'Unique, a smart filly for Alan King who struck in the Grade 1 Aintree Anniversary 4-y-o Hurdle.
Reefscape was later gelded and campaigned unsucessfully over jumps.
GRADE 1 WINNERS OVER JUMPS SIRED BY SONS OF CORALINE
b Halling-Coraline; stands at Haras de Cercy for €3,000
Bacardys (11 g ex Oasice by Robin Des Champs) won Deloitte Novice Hurdle
gr Linamix-Coraline. Stands at Haras de Montaigu for €15,000
Chimere Du Berlais (12 f ex Shinca by Port Lyautey) won Prix Cambaceres Hurdle
Disko (11 g ex Nikos Royale by Nikos) won Flogas Novice Chase
Dynaste (06 g ex Bellissima De Mai by Pistolet Bleu) won Ryanair Chase, Kauto Star Feltham Novices' Chase
Kamelie (07 f ex Kandis by Northern Treat) won Premio d'Europa Chase
Kotkikova (11 f ex Kotkita by Subotica) won Prix Ferdinand Dufaure Steeple Chase
Very Wood (09 g ex Ball Of Wood by Cadoudal) won Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
gr Linamix-Coraline. Stood at Glebe House Stud and later gelded
L'Unique (09 f ex Sans Tune by Green Tune) won Aintree Anniversary 4-y-o Novices' Hurdle
Martaline and Reefscape are sons of Linamix, now quite the influence over jumps, but the latest son of Coraline to make his mark, Coastal Path, is a son of Halling, also well represented in the dual-purpose sphere by Norse Dancer.
Brought along steadily by Andre Fabre, Coastal Path swept through his first six races unbeaten. The streak included the 2007 Prix Chaudenay and a five-length victory in the 2008 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier and it took a stayer of the magnitude of Yeats to snap the winning run when beating him into third in the 2008 Ascot Gold Cup.
Coastal Path was later purchased by Madame Pierre Julienne and Nicolas de Lageneste in a deal brokered by Bertrand Le Metayer, and sent to stand at de Lageneste's Haras de Saint Voir. His early years were hindered by fertility problems, yet out of a thin first crop came Bacardys as well as Bosseur, winner of last year's Prix Juigne at Auteuil.
Coastal Path moved to Haras de Grandcamp for his third season before switching back to Saint Voir. Today, he resides at Saddler Maker's former home Haras de Cercy.
"Philippe Thiriet was taking care of him at Haras de Saint Voir and he became the new manager of Haras de Cercy," says de Lageneste. "So we asked Philippe whether the horse could go to Cercy.
"Breeders associated with Cercy have given him a warm welcome - he has the race record and pedigree, which was then was brightened by his half-brother Martaline.
"He has good size, a nice head and enough bone to produce successful jumpers. Most of his progeny have good conformation with good size and above all, you can recognise them by their fantastic movement."
A relatively small second crop includes four-time winner Concerto D'Allen, successful in the Pris Roger Saint at Enghien last October, as well as the Grade 3-placed Coastalina. The Listed-placed Drole D'Idee, a homebred for Haras de Saint Voir, is the highlight of a third crop of 32 four-year-olds. Bigger books have followed and last year the stallion covered more than 100 mares. This season, his book contains Apple's Forever, the dam of Apple's Jade.
A number of his progeny have also made their way into British and Irish stables. In addition to Bacardys, Willie Mullins' yard houses last year's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle fourth Bello Conti. Paul Nicholls trains Coastal Tiep, a winner this season at Kempton and Chepstow.
"The Irish and English have shown good interest in Coastal Path since the beginning," says de Lageneste. "Dr Walter Connors and Seamus Murphy have been big fans of his foals, and bought Bacardys out of his first crop. Now there are some good ones trained by Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins."
Coastal Path's popularity at Haras de Cercy has arrived at a time when the stud remains faced by the significant void left by the death of Saddler Maker. Cercy also stands Cokoriko, Lauro, Rail Link and Gris De Gris but hopes run particularly high for the two new recruits, the Prix Hocquart and Prix Dollar winner Free Port Lux and Group 3 winner Karaktar.
Free Port Lux already has 100 mares on the books, including Sprinter Sacre's dam Fatima II.
"He's a very good looking horse with size and scope who had a long racing career," says Andree Cypres, communication manager at Haras de Cercy.
"Karaktar is a son of High Chaparral and from a very good Aga Khan family with multiple winners including over jumps. He was one of the favourites for the Prix Jockey Club but was injured during the race and came back to win the Prix Prince d'Orange.
"Both will have good support here. We have a good potential pack of mares in the area and breeders are happy to trust them."
Saddler Maker may be gone but with Coastal Path now one of the lights among a batch of well regarded young guns, Cercy's future as a premier French jumps nursery seems assured.
Ghostzapper's Classic hand
Ghostzapper's Classic hand was strengthened considerably at the weekend by the performances of McCraken and Iliad. McCraken, a homebred for Whitham Thoroughbreds out of Ivory Empress, remained unbeaten in the Grade 3 Sam F Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. A day later, it was the turn of Iliad, bred by Sungyeoun Lim out of his $15,000 purchase Little Swoon, to stamp his Classic claims with an impressive win in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. The pair are the headline acts of 101 three-year-olds by Ghostzapper, who stands at Adena Springs in Kentucky for $75,000.
Winners pour in for Dubawi
Dubawi sired his 27th winner at the top level on Saturday when Almanaar landed a narrow success in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in Florida. The Shadwell-homebred, who was also a Group 3 winner for Freddy Head, is out of Prix de Sandringham winner Baqah, who becomes the first Group/Grade 1 producer by former Derrinstown Stud stallion Bahhare. Meanwhile, in the UAE, North America ran away with the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes at Meydan on Saturday while Akeed Champion captured the Listed HH The President Cup at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Productive minimum bid
North America's runaway win in the Firebreak Stakes also highlighted one of the best bargains to emerge out of 2016. David Stack's Coolagown Stud and Joli Racing paid just €1,000 for his dam, Northern Mischief, at last year's Goffs November Sale. It marked the sixth trip through the ring for the 15-year-old Grade 1-placed Yankee Victor mare, who once sold for $450,000.
Profit caught at Goffs
Northern Mischief wasn't the only bargain buy to emerge last week. At the Goffs February Sale, four-year-old Catchphrase commanded €64,000 from BBA Ireland, just over ten weeks after selling for 11,000gns at the Tattersalls December Sale to SJ Leahy Bloodstock. Sold by Jockey Hall Stud this time around, the unraced Dubawi filly is the first of only two foals out of the short-lived Irish Oaks runner-up Miss Jean Brodie.
Fortune smiling on soldier supporters
Supporters of Soldier Of Fortune, the busiest stallion in Britain and Ireland in 2016, will have been encouraged by the stallion's productive weekend in Ireland that was headlined by Mega Fortune, winner of the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown, and Slowmotion, winner of the Listed Opera Hat Novices' Chase at Naas. Soldier Of Fortune has approximately 35 horses registered as officially in training in Britain and Ireland, a figure that is set to soar given the son of Galileo covered 304 mares during his first season at the Beeches Stud last year.