Sadler's Wells leads sons Galileo, Montjeu and High Chaparral at CoolmorePICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER
Montjeu's strong hand boosts title chance
SADLER'S Wells dominates the head of this year's International two-year-old Classifications thanks to two leading young sires in Montjeu and Medaglia d'Oro.
Montjeu has an exceptional record with middle-distance three-year-olds but thepast season saw him produce two top-class juvenile colts in St Nicholas Abbey (124) - who became his sire's third Racing Post Trophy winner following Motivator and Authorized - and Jan Vermeer (119). Another of the stallion's squad, Joshua Tree (112), looked Derby material when taking the Royal Lodge Stakes.
St Nicholas Abbey is 3/1 for the 2,000 Guineas, but his sire's record dictates that the Derby is his race. Montjeu has finished third in the past three sires' championships, but his strong three-year-old hand could see him top the charts for the first time in 2010.
Sadler's Wells' grandson, the US-based Medaglia D'Oro, is the sire of the second highest-rated juvenile in Passion For Gold (120), who provided evidence of his sire's ability to produce a top-class colt when running away with the Criterium deSaint-Cloud. The son of El Prado has made a fantastic start to his stud career as the sire of 13 stakes winners - including the Grade 1-winning fillies Rachel Alexandra and Gabby's Golden Gal - from just two crops of racing age, and consequently will stand at Darley at Jonabell next season at $100,000.
Medaglia d'Oro's other juvenile to break 110 was Al Zir, who like Passion For Gold was a sale-topping juvenile.
Arcano: a flag-bearer for
Oasis Dream's meteoric rise during the past season has been well-documented and contributed toan excellent season for stallion sons of Green Desert. Juddmonte's star stallion owns three two-year-olds rated above 110 in Arcano (118), Showcasing (114) and Misheer (110) while another son of Green Desert, Invincible Spirit, sired shock Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Vale Of York (118).
Last year's two-year-old International Classifications saw three stallions by Danehill produce juveniles rated 115 or above. However, the only Danehill stallion to meet that criteria this year is freshman Oratorio, sire of the Dewhurst one-two Beethoven (117) and Fencing Master (116). The leading two-year-old sire of 2009, Danehill Dancer, is well represented further down the table as the sire of Alfred Nobel (112), Air Chief Marshal (110) and Dancing David (110).
Four Storm Cat-line juveniles were rated 115 or higher. Storm Cat's son Hennessy provided impressive Cheveley Park Stakes heroine SpecialDuty (117), while Hennessy's son Johannesburg was responsible for Norfolk Stakes winner Radiohead (115), whose rating was boosted by a third against older competition in the Nunthorpe.
Hennessy's paternal half-brother Giant's Causeway was sire of Shamardal, crowned Europe's champion first-season sire by progeny earnings and supplier of Round Tower Stakes winner Arctic (116), and fellow freshman Footstepsinthesand, who was on the mark with Dewhurst fourth Steinbeck (115).
Dubawi was the most prolific source of winners among the first-crop sires, and he has one juvenile to have been rated above 110, Poet's Voice (112).
Awzaan: a first Group 1 juvenile winner by AlhaarthPICTURE: Getty
Pivotal was represented in 2009 by three high-ranking juveniles in the shape of Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Siyouni (118), Buzzword (114), third in the same race, and Emerald Commander (112). Alhaarth was the exceptional juvenile of 1995, but it wasn't until last year that he sired a two-year-old out of the top draw. His son Awzaan won all four of his starts including the Mill Reef Stakes and Middle Park Stakes to earn a rating of 117.
Only two sires of the top 20 juveniles are free of Northern Dancer blood. They are the pensioned Rahy (Pounced) and Tagula (Canford Cliffs).
2yo International Classifications 2009
|124||St Nicholas Abbey||Montjeu||Sadler's Wells|
|120||Passion For Gold||Medaglia d'Oro||El Prado|
|119||Jan Vermeer||Montjeu||Sadler's Wells|
|118||Arcano||Oasis Dream||Green Desert|
|118||Vale Of York||Invincible Spirit||Green Desert|
|117||Special Duty||Hennessy||Storm Cat|
|116||Hearts Of Fire||Firebreak||Charnwood Forest|
|115||Elusive Pimpernel||Elusive Quality||Gone West|
|115||Jealous Again||Trippi||End Sweep|