SET to stand his 15th season at Ballyhane Stud next spring at a fee of €10,000, down from the career high €15,000 he has commanded for the past four seasons, Dandy Man is sadly no longer with us following the announcement this week of his death at the age of 20.

Known to many as the commercial breeders’ choice, he made his way up the sire league by sheer dent of ability to sire speedy and precocious types, horses that sold well in the ring and financially rewarded breeders who patronised him, and many will have reason to be grateful for his input into getting their mares started.

A look at his list of stakes winners, including a trio at the highest level, will show that he was able to upgrade many of those he covered, as a great number are by sires who had perhaps failed to achieve the levels of success at stud that their connections hoped for when they retired.

Bred by Noel O’Callaghan’s Mountarmstrong Stud, it was appropriate that he should enjoy stakes success when using Dandy Man, a son of Mozart (Danehill) out of his Group 3 Molecomb Stakes winner Lady Alexander (Night Shift). Not only that, but Dandy Man’s breakthrough success as a broodmare sire with the Group 1 Matron Stakes winner No Speak Alexander (Shalaa) was also down to O’Callaghan, as he bred the filly and raced her with his sons. No Speak Alexander is out of the French listed winner Rapacity Alexander.

Joe Foley told the story of when Dandy Man first came to his attention, as a juvenile in 2005. He said; “He was a very good-looking, beautiful-tempered horse and, for a sprinter, he had a very good walk. I remember his dam beating the subsequent classic winner King Of Kings at the Curragh before she went on to win the Molecomb, while her dam was Sandhurst Goddess, a sprinter that I really liked.”

Patience pays

Dandy Man, trained by Con Collins, won the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at three, encouraging Joe to make an offer for the colt. Not for sale then, Joe’s patience was to pay dividends. “Dandy Man was extremely unlucky not to win the [Group 1] King’s Stand Stakes at three and four when the draw went against him on both occasions.”

Dandy Man was transferred from Tracy Collins to Saeed Bin Suroor after his sale at the age of four to Godolphin. Joe came to an arrangement with Darley to stand the stallion at Ballyhane, and Joe’s dream was realised. He explained at the time: “It is difficult for a privately-owned stud to buy and stand Group 1 winners. Being touched off in the King’s Stand Stakes convinced me that Dandy Man had Group 1 ability, so it was a privilege to be given the opportunity to stand him at Ballyhane.”

Joe’s belief in the horse has never waned, and he has seen him move from standing as low as €3,500 to the high of €15,000. At the last count, his 464 winners, 135 of which have visited the winner’s enclosure in 2023, have amassed an incredible €28.6 million in earnings, and almost half of all his winners have been successful at the age of two.


The champion three-year-old sprinter in Ireland and the joint-champion in England, Dandy Man trained on to be placed the next year in both the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes and the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes. Twice rated on 123 by Timeform, his six victories included the Group 3 Palace House Stakes and three listed races in Ireland. Dandy Man was sound enough to make 30 starts in a lengthy career in which his wins were spread over five seasons, and he retired to cover at Ballyhane Stud in 2010.

Dandy Man has been the best son at stud of Mozart, the champion three-year-old sprinter in Europe in 2001 when he carried off the Group 1 July Cup and Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes. Lady Alexander, the dam of Dandy Man, enjoyed wins in the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh and the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood. This daughter of Night Shift (Northern Dancer) is also the dam of Anthem Alexander (Starspangledbanner), who was one of the top three juvenile fillies in Europe in 2014 when she won the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and was second in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. Lady Alexander is also the grandam of Hamza (son of another Mozart sire in Amadeus Wolf), who scored in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and was third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye.