IF there was a competition for best value stallion in Ireland, bookies would have Gleneagles at short odds to land it.

His first two crops of racing age both now contain a Group/Grade 1 winner, his six Group 2 winners include the hugely talented Insinuendo, German classic winner Novemba, and the Group 1-placed juvenile Royal Lytham, and the majority of his 19 stakes winners have won at group or graded level.

He is a must for mares from the Danehill (Danzig) line, and yet his fee this year was €15,000.

Highland Chief, owned and bred by Fitri Hay, had very smart form in England when in the care of Paul and Oliver Cole. The fact that he didn’t win at stakes level was down to the quality of the opposition he met.

At two he won first time up and ran third to Pinatubo and Lope Y Fernandez in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

At three he won on his seasonal debut at Royal Ascot and then chased home Pyledriver in the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes and Mogul in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes. He has resurfaced this year with Graham Motion in the USA and on just his second outing put up an outstanding performance to win the Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes at Belmont. Next stop will be the $1 million Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes.

Wachman winner

Best of four winners for his dam, Highland Chief is out of Pink Symphony (Montjeu) who also raced for Fitri Hay. Bought by Paul Cole for 400,000gns, she won at three in England and was four times placed in listed races. Transferred to the care of David Wachman, she won on her first start for him, capturing the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.

Pink Symphony is a three-parts sister to Group 3 winner, Group 1 Fillies’ Mile runner-up and the French classic-placed Fantasia (Sadler’s Wells), and a half-sister to the dam of the multiple group winner Western Hymn (High Chaparral) who was twice placed in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Highland Chief’s third dam Blue Duster (Danzig) was trained by David Loder and Michael Kinane was in the saddle when she won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes in 1995, earning her the accolade of champion juvenile filly in Europe. She was the second Group 1 winner produced by her dam Blue Note (Habitat), the other being Zieten (Danzig) in the Middle Park Stakes.