“WE always said Battaash was the best-looking horse that we’d bred, but I think this guy is better, no doubt about it.” So said breeder Paul McCartan after The Antarctic was sold in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 750,000gns to M.V. Magnier.

Battaash (Dark Angel) not only proved himself to be one of the best sprinters of any generation, but he was immensely popular with the racing public. He won 13 of his 25 starts, recorded Group 1 victories in the Coolmore-sponsored Nunthorpe Stakes twice, the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp and the King’s Stakes, but as a gelding he could not pass on his speed genes to another generation.

The pressure therefore was on his own-brother, The Antarctic, and Aidan O’Brien got this son of Dark Angel (Acclamation) off to the perfect start with victories over five furlongs at Tipperary and in the Coolmore Stud Calyx Stakes at Naas, on the latter occasion with a penalty.

The Antarctic was kept busy at two, running eight times, and a visit to France in August brought his third win of the season, defeating Manhattan Jungle by a length in the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg.

Only out of the frame once at two, The Antarctic kept his form to the end, and on his last juvenile start he chased home stablemate and Cartier champion juvenile Blackbeard in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs.

Earlier in the year he also finished runner-up to Blackbeard in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin, and that nemesis, along with Persian Force, beat The Antarctic into third in the Group 1 Prix Morny.

Four starts at three sae The Antarctic back at Naas to win the Royal Ascot trial, the Group 3 Goffs Lacken Stakes. This he did in a course record time.

Breeders now have an affordable chance at €6,000 to use a good-looking Group 1 performer with a stallion pedigree. His sire Dark Angel (Acclamation) has made a name for himself with his runners, and is now on the cusp of being cited as a sire of sires. He hopefully still has many fruitful years ahead of him.

On the female sire, The Antarctic is out of a half-sister to Group 2 Champagne Stakes winner and Group 1 July Cup third Etlaala (Selkirk), and their half-sister Bird Key (Cadeaux Genereux) is the dam of Group 2 winner and Group 1 Commonwealth Cup second Tasleet (Showcasing). The latter is already responsible for the Group 1 winner Bradsell.

The Antarctic’s third dam Normant (Dominion) was a half-sister to three stakes winners. Braashee (Sadler’s Wells) won the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak and the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, his full-brother Adam Smith (Sadler’s Wells) won four Grade 3 races in the USA, setting a new course record for a mile on one occasion, while Ghariba (Final Straw) won the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes and just missed out on third in the Group 1 1000 Guineas.

If you are looking for speed and precocity, allied to pedigree and looks, The Antarctic must be on your shortlist.