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Sixties Icon: the freshman sire stands at Norman Court Stud in Wiltshire

  PICTURE: Norman Court Stud  

Influx of bookings for revelation Sixties Icon

NORMAN Court Stud manager Stewart Bevan has revealed that the response from breeders to the brilliant start made by its first-season stallion Sixties Icon had been "phenomenal" and that 20 mares have been booked to himsince he sired his first winner a fortnight ago.

Sixties Icon has taken many by surprise with his flying start. Despite being a St Leger winner who was unraced at two, many of his early runners have shown plenty of precocity and potential class.  

Four freshmen are off the mark in Europe, but only Sixties Icon has more than one winner, with an eye-popping tally of four from five runners, all trained by Mick Channon. Effie B became the latest Sixties Icon winner with an easy seven-length victory at Nottingham on Saturday evening.

Mick Channon -York - 2006

Mick Channon: fan of Sixties Icon

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

"The response has been phenomenal," Bevan said. "People have finally cottoned on to Sixties Icon and he covered three mares today, making it around 20 new bookings in the last fortnight.

"We started off the season expecting him to cover 30-something mares and at the moment the number stands at around 55. If the interest in him continues, we can dream of his book reaching the seventies by the end of the season."

Bevan doesn't anticipate Sixties Icon's success to be a flash in the pan, either. "He's a wonderful horse and there's more to come," he said. "As you can imagine for a St Leger winner a lot of his offspring are bred to stay further, so just wait until the 6f and 7f juvenile races start."

Sixties Icon, a Lordship Stud-bred son of Galileo and Oaks heroine Love Divine, is advertised at a fee of £4,500 at Norman Court in Wiltshire this year.

Channon wrote on his website on Sunday: "It's easy with horses who just want to get on with things and that's what every Sixties Icon has proved to be so far. We've about a dozen of them at West Ilsley, mostly homebreds from Norman Court Stud who own the sire.

"Patrick Trant is my best mate and he owns the stud, so that's the main reason for such a close affinity to his stallion but I think he's a starin the making and my banging on about him isn't just a PR exercise. Look at the results."

Channon also said that there would be more to come further along the season for Sixties Icon.

"Class horses win at any trip and whilst I'm not saying these two year old winners will be world beaters just yet, they've shown that individuals need to be treated on their merits at every stage of their lives," he said.

"They are ready to run and to win. I'm not going to turn them away in the paddock for three months because of what their pedigrees say. They move well, haven't had a lame step since they arrived and are loving life. Run 'em I say.

"Sixties Icon has given us a lot of fun so far. I'm not totally mad, some of his offspring will need time and will get it. So we also have plenty to look forward to later on in the year."





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