TRC Global Rankings is quicker than other classifications around the world to identify young stallions who are starting to make a mark and are likely to progress significantly – as well as being a better guide to the quality of their progeny. Here James Willoughby looks at ten of the most promising sires already featuring in our standings.
LORD KANALOA (world-ranked #8)
Retired to Shadai Stallion Station in 2014, the top-class sprinter is an outcross for mares from the Sunday Silence line. TRC Global Rankings is extremely bullish on his prospects (our hierarchy, different from elsewhere, is built using actual probabilities of a head-to-head win next week against other stallions) as he is already inside the top ten after 19 winners from 104 Group/Graded runners. Chief among them is G1 Japan Cup and Japanese Triple Crown winner Almond Eye, who will likely be adding to her father’s tally again this autumn.
Each successive win of the great dual G1 Arc winner Enable adds less to her father’s Performance Index, but the impeccably bred son of Galileo will deliver more top horses from Newsells Park Stud in the UK to go with a portfolio mostly dominated by female runners, likely because of no more than chance. Nathaniel was a top-class runner himself and is a decent bet to maintain at least a top 30 standing in the next five years.
One of the most naturally brilliant milers to race in Britain, Kingman is getting horses who have inherited the X-factor. We showed that he is tracking just behind another great Juddmonte stallion in world #3 Frankel at the same stage. This week, he established another new high with King Of Comedy’s fourth in the G1 Juddmonte International at York adding to Boomer’s win in the G3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.
The Coolmore stallion added a German G3 winner to his burgeoning portfolio of mostly middle-distance horses – not surprising, of course, for a son of the brilliant Montjeu. Camelot now has 12 wins from 149 runs, but his lofty Performance Index of 1004 reflects the fact that his runners mostly face stiff competition in the shape of the progeny of Galileo, Dubawi, Frankel, Sea The Stars and others. The so-called ‘strength of schedule’ of a competitor is an important feature of TRC Global Rankings, again not fully taken into account in other stallion rankings based on wins or money won.
Nine-year-old Zoustar continues to be popular in the sales ring in Australia, thanks to producing G1 winners Sunlight and Top Knight among 12 winners from 71 Group/Graded runners. This is a really fine start. The Widden Stud, New South Wales, stalwart has been shuttling to Tweenhills Stud in the UK for the first time in 2019, and he will thus have the sustained support of Sheikh Fahad and Qatar Racing to break into the Northern Hemisphere elite also. He is poised to break into the world’s top 30 soon.
A freakishly talented middle-distance runner for Sir Michael Stoute in the UK, Harbinger was a shrewd pick-up by Shadai, not least because he shares with Lord Kanaloa the important attribute of being a highly suitable mate for Deep Impact mares. Following Blast Onepiece’s G2 Sapporo Kinen win, he now has 20 winners from 219 Group / Graded wins in the cauldron of large-field Japanese racing. While less exposed than some stallions in this list – he had a relatively slow start at stud – his runners are improving with age.
DECLARATION OF WAR (#50)
Having entered stud at Coolmore in Ireland, then shuttled to Australia in 2014, the 2013 G1 Queen Anne and G1 Juddmonte International winner was then relocated to Ashford, Kentucky, in 2015. This year, the son of War Front has been sent to Japan. This makes for a very interesting pan-global reach, which should see a record of 12 wins from 84 Group/Graded winners supplemented in the next few years. His best runner so far from three crops of racing age is the tough miler Olmedo, trained in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, who added to his Classic-winning CV with a G3 win at Deauville recently.
The son of Galileo has produced another progressive middle-distance horse in the shape of Sir Ron Priestley, winner of last week’s G3 March Stakes at Goodwood. The week before, Buckhurst won the Royal Whip Stakes at the same level at the Curragh. While Australia awaits his first really top-notch runner, a record of eight wins from 42 runners is encouraging and it is only a matter of time.
SEA THE MOON (#112)
Few horses can have won the G1 German Derby in the style of this son of Sea The Stars in 2014. Though he is attempting to buck the long-term trend favouring faster horses at stud, it is intriguing to see what he might produce, given so much ability as a runner. He is up 24 places this week on the back of Pondus running second in the G3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock in the UK. Prior to that, five of his last ten runners had won Group races, and with only 25 runners on the board he could make significant inroads into the world’s top 100 this autumn.
NOBLE MISSION (#122)
The last stallion to watch on this list is our favourite. A brother to the brilliant Frankel and a top-class turf runner himself, Noble Mission was a fascinating acquisition for Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky. Well, despite his turf breeding, Noble Mission has proved he can get top-class runners on dirt now that Code Of Honor has landed the G1 Travers at Saratoga.
On turf, we are certain to hear more of the British-trained Spanish Mission, who is owned by Team Valor and U.S.-based Earl Mack and is likely to be on his travels for Newmarket trainer David Simcock, a man adept in finding good opportunities for shipping horses around the globe. Spanish Mission may bid to add to his sire’s U.S. resume in the new $1 million Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park on September 7.
Look for Noble Mission to enter the TRC top 100 very soon.