MICHEÁL Orlandi is surely looking forward to the season ahead, one in which he introduces two new sires to his roster at Starfield Stud in Co Westmeath.

If you have not heard about Far Above (Farhh), then you are not a user of social media. With the assistance of Jack Cantillon, Micheál has been spreading the word about Far Above far and wide, and breeders are listening in their droves. At an introductory fee of €6,000, Far Above looks well-priced.

By the sire of another of 2021’s new sires, King Of Change, Far Above was unbeaten on all his starts over five and six furlongs. He won a listed race at Deauville over six furlongs at three, but dropped back to the minimum trip for his only run last year, beating Judicial in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.

Far Above is the first foal and winner for his Shamardal dam and her grandam, Bahr, won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, bred the Group and Grade 1 winner Nahrain, and is grandam of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup Turf and Caulfield Cup winner Benbatl.

Also a newcomer at Starfield is another lightly-raced horse, this time the Group 1 classic winner Galileo Chrome (2017, Australia). Like Far Above he won four of his five starts, capping his career with victory in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster. He kicks off his stallion career at €4,000 and, in addition to his almost impeccable race record, he has a pedigree few sires can match.

Along with the 2020 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia, Galileo Chrome is one of a pair of top-level winners by his dual Derby winning sire Australia (a son of Galileo and the brilliant racemare Ouija Board). On the dam side, he is one of nine Group 1 winners in his immediate family.

Duffy dips his toe in the stallion market

GARY Duffy’s Irish Emerald Stud doesn’t feature itself on the ITM stallion showcase, but that is only because his new sire for 2021, the Group 2-winning juvenile Royal Lytham (2017, Gleneagles), will be standing at Robert Honner’s Clongiffen Stud in Enfield, Co Meath.

Gary made the announcement of the four-year-old’s retirement to stud to coincide with the trail and he is sure that breeders will be impressed with his acquisition who will command an introductory fee of €4,000. Royal Lytham is one of seven stakes winners from the first crop of his sire, the dual classic winner Gleneagles.

Royal Lytham was purchased as a yearling by M.V.Magnier and joined the Ballydoyle stables of Aidan O’Brien. He won on his debut at Navan over five furlongs before running well in the Coventry Stakes behind stablemate Arizona, less than two lengths behind the subsequent Group 1 winner Golden Horde. He was back to winning ways when landing the Group 2 Tattersalls July Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket, and then he rounded off his two-year-old career when only a length off Siskin, finishing third, in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.

A grandson of Galileo, Royal Lytham is the best winner to date from the stakes-winning Anabaa mare Gotlandia, and she, in turn, is the best of six winners out of Bering’s winning daughter Grenade. One of nine winning offspring of her dam, Grenade was a full-sister to Gloriosa whose career highlight was winning the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Ascot.

While Royal Lytham is available to view at Clongiffen, you can also speak directly with Gary Duffy at 087-6608077.

Coolmore’s new blood for 2021

COOLMORE, in addition to adding the established Wootton Bassett to their ranks, retire three flat stallions in 2021, while also bolstering their National Hunt division with Kew Gardens (2015, Galileo) who goes to Castlehyde.

A fee of €5,000 has been set for Kew Gardens who won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris over 12 furlongs and the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster. Finishing in the first four on all but three of his 17 career starts, he ended his racing days with a stirring defeat of Stradivarius in the Group 2 British Champions Long Distance Cup. He is the best runner from his Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winning dam Chelsea Rose.

Arizona (2017, No Nay Never) at €7,000 is quite some value when you consider that his sire covered more than 190 mares last season at a fee of €150,000. The Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner Arizona was not far off the very best of his generation, running second to Pinatubo in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. His dam is a half-sister to the dam of Group 1 winning two-year-old and successful sire Dabirsim.

A triple Group 1 winner, Circus Maximus (2016, Galileo) stands in 2021 for €20,000 and he is certain to be well supported.

The only foal of Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed Duntle, Circus Maximus had a memorable second season racing when he won the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes and Prix du Moulin, and last year he was back for a second Group 1 win over a mile at Royal Ascot, taking the Queen Anne Stakes. Only his stablemate Order Of Australia stood between him and a Grade 1 Breeders’ Mile victory.

There could be no finer end to an already prestigious racing career than to win the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Such was the achievement of Sottsass (2016, Siyouni), and this world champion three-year-old starts his stud career at €30,000. He beat Persian King in the French Derby at three and ran an excellent third to Waldgeist and Enable in that year’s Arc.

In October the half-brother to seven-time Grade 1 winner Sistercharlie went two places better when landing the championship event, adding to a previous win in the Group 1 Prix Ganay. Sottsass is the best son to date of the leading sire in France, Siyouni.

Two more gems for Kildangan

A GROUP winner at two and three, Ghaiyyath (2015, Dubawi) really shone at four and five, and he had an outstanding season in 2020 when his sole defeat was finishing second to Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Ghaiyyath had beaten the mare in the Group 1 Juddmonte International, trumped Enable and Japan in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes, and won the Group 1 Coronation Cup.

A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Zhukova, Ghaiyyath was bred by Dermot Weld from his mother’s classic winner Nightime, a daughter of Galileo. Now the six-year-old is back in the county of his birth at Kildangan Stud where he begins his stud career at €30,000.

Joining him is Earthlight (2017, Shamardal) at an initial €20,000. He beat Group 1 winning sprinter Golden Horde when landing the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes in the fastest time ever for the race, and won a second race at that level in an unbeaten juvenile career when landing the Group 1 Prix Morny. Beaten just twice in nine starts, he was second to One Master at three in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret.

A son of the exceptional Shamardal, winner of the Dewhurst Stakes, the French Derby and 2000 Guineas, and the St James’s Palace Stakes, Earthlight shares his sire with such as Lope De Vega, Blue Point, Tarnawa and Pinatubo.

Don’t forget Dubawi’s successful jumpers

WITH earnings of €3,871,603, Old Persian (2015, Dubawi) is one of the top eight earning sons of his world-class sire who will again command a stud fee of £250,000 this year.

These winnings were amassed by Old Persian from nine victories in England, the UAE and Canada and included success in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic and Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes, both over a mile and a half.

The Cashman family has priced newcomer Old Persian at a bargain €2,500 for his first season at Glenview Stud, and National Hunt breeders will not have failed to notice that Dubawi has also sired Grade 1 winners Dodging Bullets at Cheltenham and Hisaabat at Punchestown.

If you believe that successful stallions of the future have to come from female lines that have produced similar, then Old Persian ticks this box. He is from the family of leading sire Kingmambo, himself a son of the exceptional Miesque.

Meanwhile, Way To Paris (2013, Champs Elysees), winner of last year’s Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, retires to David Stack’s Coolagown Stud in Co Cork at a fee of €3,500 with a filly concession of 50%. He also won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly and Prix Maurice de Nieuil, and defeated Sottsass and French King in 2020. He was a head second to the Arc winner in the Group 1 Prix Ganay.

Way To Paris retires to stud sound having raced from two to seven, in which time he beat 13 individual Group 1 winners. He is a half-brother to dual Group 1 winner Distant Way.

Familiar names, new locations

THREE sires have transferred to Ireland for the 2021 season, and all have the advantage of already being established as successful stallions.

The highest profile move was that of Wootton Bassett (2008, Iffraaj) to Coolmore. Another move was that of his fee, which has jumped from €40,000 to €100,000, thanks to his growing success which this year saw Audarya and Wooded join Almanzor as Group 1 winning offspring. Another son, The Summit, was runner-up in both the French 2000 Guineas and Derby.

Equiano (2005, Acclamation) spent the first 10 seasons of his stallion career at Newsells Park Stud but he has now settled into new surroundings at the Irish National Stud where he will surely be attractive at a highly competitive fee of just €3,000. For this you are getting access to the sire of Group 1 winners Belvoir Bay and The Tin Man, winners of almost €3 million between them. The Tin Man is a three-time Group 1 winner, while Belvoir Bay won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Equiano, twice winner of the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, is by the very popular Acclamation whose other sire sons include Dark Angel, 2020 sire sensation Mehmas, Aclaim and Expert Eye.

Last year Kamsin (2005, Samum) stood in Germany for €6,000, but this year breeders in Ireland can use him for just €3,500, with a concession for a filly foal. When Kamsin won the Group 1 German Derby he was gaining the first of three wins at the highest level. At stud he has sired a multitude of blacktype winners on the level, while his limited runners over jumps are headed by the Grade 1 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris winner On The Go.

In addition to his race and stud record, Kamsin’s appeal to breeders includes the fact that his sire is also responsible for the top-class racehorse and sire Notebook, while he is a grandson of Monsun who got three Melbourne Cup winners and many Grade 1 National Hunt performers. Kamsin is one of three sires for 2021 at Annshoon Stud.

Commercial breeders have lots of choice

FOUR new sires, all standing at studs renowned for making stallions, offer breeders with a budget some excellent value and choice in 2021. The following quartet range in fees from €5,000 to €7,000, offering a chance of a return when their progeny come on the market.

King Of Change (2016, Farhh) will be joining the Derrinstown Stud roster in 2021 at a fee of €7,000. Trained by Richard Hannon, King Of Change came into his own at three and in the Group 1 2000 Guineas he ran on well inside the final furlong to finish second to Magna Grecia on just the fourth of his six starts.

Sandown’s Listed Fortune Stakes saw him run out a convincing winner before he won a vintage renewal of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, a race that featured most of the top milers in Europe. King Of Change won in emphatic fashion, beating eight Group 1 winners.

Where can you find a Group 1 winning sprinter, with a pedigree to suit most mares, for only €6,500? Joe and Jane Foley in Ballyhane Stud welcome Sands Of Mali (2015, Panis) to their roster, and his form at two and three is hard to match. As a juvenile he beat Invincible Army to win the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, and the following year beat him again to land the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes.

However, that was eclipsed by his success over Harry Angel and others in the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot which he won unchallenged.

Yeomanstown Stud has added Shaman (2016, Shamardal) for 2021 and set his fee at €6,000. Bred and raced by the Wertheimer brothers, the five-time winner was successful in each of the three seasons he raced. Group-placed and twice successful at two, he opened his second season with victories at listed and Group 3 level before finishing a length behind Persian King in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains-French 2000 Guineas.

Later Shaman was runner-up to Romanised in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois when taking on older horses, and last year he beat Group 1 winners Sottsass and Way To Paris on his seasonal bow in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt before finishing third to the subsequent Arc winner in the Group 1 Prix Ganay.

River Boyne (2015, Dandy Man), a Grade 1 winner in 2020, commences stallion duties at Derek Iceton’s Tara Stud. He crowned a fine career on the track when he landed the Grade 1 Frank E Kilroe Mile Stakes at Santa Anita, adding to victories in a pair of Grade 2 races, notably the Twilight Derby, also at Santa Anita.

River Boyne won at two when he transferred to the USA and at three ran second to Raging Bull in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, while other placed efforts included being runner-up in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. He amassed more than $1.2 million in earnings.