No Nay Never edges past Kingman as battle of the second-season sires goes to the wire

Joel Rosario continues the winning streak that has pushed him up to world #5 with this G3 Discovery Stakes win aboard Performer for trainer Shug McGaughey at Aqueduct last Saturday. Photo: Chelsea Durand/

He’s been the talk of the European breeding industry all year. Kingman, a four-time G1 winner himself, has become one of the most fashionable stallions in the world with an impressive succession of Group winners from his first two crops, including a Classic winner in the Andre Fabre-trained Persian King, who took the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp in May.

As you would expect, his growing status has been reflected both in the sale ring - he was the sire of two of the top ten most expensive yearlings at Tattersalls Book 1 in October (at 2.3m and 1.8m guineas), and his stud fee at Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud has doubled to £150,000 for 2020.

You’d think that would be enough to make him 2019’s leading second-season sire in the Northern Hemisphere in the TRC Global Rankings.

Indeed, the son of Invincible Spirit has led the field for most of the time since the European season began in earnest in March. But this week he has lost the lead - to another highly fashionable European stallion.

It was the G2 Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs on Friday that did the damage. The winner, the Chad Brown-trained 3-year-old filly Nay Lady Nay, helped her sire, Coolmore’s No Nay Never, to a three-point gain week on week, up to a performance index of 1006 pts, one more than Kingman. No Nay Never is now joint world #35, with Kingman sharing 37th spot, both exceptional levels for stallons with just two crops racing.

Of course, No Nay Never has produced several Group and Graded winners himself this season, including G1 July Cup hero Ten Sovereigns, and has also been making a significant mark at the sales, so much so that his fee for 2020 has risen from €100,000 to €175,000.

Will he still hold the lead at the end of the year in three and a half weeks’ time? With more possible runners than Kingman to call on in North and South America, it looks more than likely.

Another longtime leader who looks sure to be overtaken before 2019 is out is Mike Smith, who has been #1 in the U.S. jockeys’ standings all year.

Smith, who plies his trade mainly on the west coast, has just one point to spare over Joel Rosario, whose three Graded winners last week (two G3s at Aqueduct and one, the impressive Tom’s D’Etat, at Churchill Downs) sent his index soaring five points to 1047. He is now joint world #5 (alongside William Buick). 

With points gained on the likes of Arrogate, Songbird and Justify now disappearing in the rear-view mirror, the 54-year-old Smith will do well to maintain his top-ten position for much longer.

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