LEADING sire Lope De Vega (Shamardal) has made a fine start to another aspect of his stud career, that of becoming a sire of sires. His first stallion son Belardo, is the sire of Grade 1 winner Gold Phoenix, while the Irish National Stud’s classic-winning miler Phoenix Of Spain made an impressive start with his first runners in 2023.

Phoenix Of Spain’s 18 first-crop winners were headed by the Group 2 Vintage Stakes hero Haatem, and the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner is sure to build on that early success in the coming season. Little wonder that the team at Tully were keen to have another son of Lope De Vega on their roster, and Lucky Vega,covered 300 mares in his first two seasons.

Covid restrictions affected the opening of the 2020 racing season but Lucky Vega wasted no time establishing himself as one of the leaders of that year’s juvenile crop.


He won a six-furlong Naas maiden, was a half-length second to the future Group 1-scorer Laws Of Indices in the Group 2 Railway Stakes over the same trip at the Curragh, and trounced Group 2 Norfolk Stakes victor The Lir Jet by three and a half lengths for an impressive success in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. Aloha Star had been a short head in front of that colt but was relegated to third, Laws Of Indices was back in fourth and St Mark’s Basilica another neck away fifth.

The margins in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes that September were one and a half lengths, a short head, half a length and the same, so it’s likely that Lucky Vega would have challenged for second at least with a trouble-free run. He was then a half-length runner-up to Supremacy and well clear of third-placed Minzaal in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.

Top milers

Lucky Vega did not win the following season but was still among the top three-year-old milers. He was clear of everything else when beaten a short head and neck by Poetic Flare and Master Of The Seas in the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, finished fourth to Mac Swiney and Poetic Flare in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, and came up against his nemesis Poetic Flare again at Ascot in June.

That Jim Bolger homebred was outstanding when winning the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, while Lucky Vega held off Battleground and Maximal for second, with Chindit fifth.

Kilcarn Stud

A €175,000 Goffs Orby graduate, Lucky Vega was bred at the Kilcarn Stud of Miss Pat O’Kelly, and he is a grandson of Group 1 Prix de l’Opera heroine Satwa Queen (Muhtathir).

She is now the grandam of three top-flight winners, Lucky Vega, Nations Pride (Teofilo) and Militarize (Dundeel). Satwa Queen is a half-sister to Group 1-scorer and successful sire Spadoun (Kaldoun).

Lucky Vega is the only juvenile Group 1-winning son of his sire at stud, and last autumn the median for his first European foals was three times his initial stud fee.

Race record

LUCKY VEGA (IRE), Bay horse, 2018. Jt 4th top rated 2yr old colt in Ireland in 2020. Won 2 races, value £304,778, at 2, over 6 furlongs, Phoenix Stakes, Curragh, Gr.1, also placed second in St James’s Palace Stakes, Ascot, Gr.1, Middle Park Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.1, Railway Stakes, Curragh, Gr.2 and third in 2000 Guineas, Newmarket, Gr.1.

At stud

Retired to stud in 2021 in Australia and 2022 in Europe. His first northern hemisphere crop are yearlings.


Stands at: Irish National Stud, Tully East, Kildare, Co Kildare, R51 DD56, Ireland.

Contact: Cathal Beale, Gary Swift or Conor Hyland

Telephone: +353 45 521251 or +353 866031979 (Gary) or +353 851299236 (Conor)

Email: gswift@irishnationalstud.ie

Web: www.irishnationalstud.ie

Fee: €12,500