THE first foal by European champion two-year-old and world champion three-year-old St Mark’s Basilica (Siyouni) was born at Kiltinan Stud on January 9th. Vital Force, owned by the John Ferguson-headed Natalma Bloodstock, produced a smart-looking bay colt.

“He’s a good first foal with a good frame to fill into, and a confident temperament,” said Kiltinan manager Donna Vowles.

A daughter of Invincible Spirit (Green Desert), Vital Force is a half-sister to Godolphin’s Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner Buratino (Exceed And Excel), and from the immediate family of Danehill Dancer (Danehill). This is also the female family of last year’s Group 2 July Stakes winner Persian Force (Mehmas) who was placed in three Group 1 juvenile races.

St Mark’s Basilica has a host of high-profile mares due to foal in the coming months, having covered arguably the best first book ever at Coolmore. At the breeding stock sales his in foal mare average was bettered only by Frankel, and came in at over nine times his fee. His fee remains at €65,000 for the coming season.