FREE of Sadler’s Wells and Danehill blood, Little Big Bear is sure to prove popular with breeders looking for a speedy outcross for their mares.

A European champion at two, he looks to be well-priced at €27,500 for his first season at stud.

Beaten a nose on his racecourse debut over six furlongs at the Curragh, Little Big Bear made no mistake on his four subsequent juvenile outings. Four weeks after his first run, he turned out again at Naas, this time over the minimum trip, and he had the opposition well strong out, coming home three lengths clear.

This set him up nicely for Royal Ascot where he scored in a tight finish for the five-furlong Windsor Castle Stakes, beating 23 opponents.

Aidan O’Brien kept Little Big Bear at home for his remaining juvenile starts, and he was never in danger when almost five lengths clear of the rest in the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes, up this time to six and a half furlongs.

Only three weeks later he was back at the Curragh to face his stiffest test, the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. This is a race that O’Brien has won most often, and he has had few winners at this level who were so impressive.

The five-runner field for the first Group 1 for juveniles in Europe also contained Persian Force, Shartash, Bradsell and Apache Outlaw, but none could hold a candle to the Ballydoyle runner, Little Big Bear running out a stunning seven-length winner.

At the season’s end Little Big Bear was ranked the best in Europe, with Timeform making his five pounds better than his contemporaries. Little Big Bear’s first six sires on his top line were all Group 1-winning two-year-olds.

A step up to a mile for the 2000 Guineas proved beyond Little Big Bear, but three weeks later he showed no ill-effects of his efforts when he won the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock over six furlongs, he and the runner-up Shouldvebeenaring some eight lengths clear of Bradsell in third. Not surprisingly, his next port of call was the six-furlong Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, and as hot favourite he looked the winner a furlong out, only to be overhauled inside the last 100 yards by Shaquille.

A €320,000 yearling purchase at Arqana, Little Big Bear joins his sire No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) on the stallion roster at Coolmore, and other sons of that champion standing under the stud’s banner are Blackbeard who covered some 160 mares last season, his first at stud, Group 1 July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns whose first crop of juveniles last year contained 26 individual winners, three of them stakes winners, while Arizona’s first two-year-olds hit the track this year after selling well as yearlings.

One of five winners for his listed-winning dam Adventure Seeker (Bering), Little Big Bear’s third dam is the multiple champion and US Horse of the Year All Along (Targowice).

A star in Europe where she won the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Prix Vermeille, All Along was the best of her generation stateside too and three Grade 1 successes included the Turf Classic and the Washington D.C. International.