THERE was a new name at the head of the list of Britain and Ireland’s busiest sires in 2020, ending Soldier Of Fortune’s four-year reign at the top. The much sought-after stallion in question was Coolmore’s recent National Hunt recruit Maxios.
The 12-year-old son of Monsun covered 298 mares in his first season at Castlehyde Stud, having spent the first six years of his stallion career in a flat role at Gestüt Fährhof in Germany. Among his winners over jumps so far are Aramax, Star Max, Ecco and recent three-year-old hurdle winner Quilixios.
All the details of mares covered by registered thoroughbred stallions in 2020 in Britain and Ireland have been published in the Weatherbys Return of Mares 2020.
Jet Away’s covering numbers at Arctic Tack Stud rose from 143 in 2019 to 288 in 2020, putting the 13-year-old son of Cape Cross second only to Maxios in terms of popularity.
It is not every year that a world champion racehorse retires directly to the ranks of National Hunt stallions, so it was no surprise that breeders piled into Crystal Ocean as he entered The Beeches Stud.
Crystal Ocean, who jointly topped the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2019 alongside his regular rivals Enable and Waldgeist, covered 280 mares. That made the son of Sea The Stars the third busiest sire in Britain and Ireland overall in 2020 and the most in-demand among the new retirees to stud.
The next most popular new sires in Britain and Ireland were Inns Of Court at Tally-Ho Stud (218 mares), Ten Sovereigns at Coolmore (214), Blue Point at Kildangan Stud (198), Magna Grecia at Coolmore (180), Too Darn Hot at Dalham Hall Stud (172), Soldier’s Call at Ballyhane Stud (164), Calyx at Coolmore (163), Capri at Grange Stud (158), Land Force at Highclere Stud (155), Phoenix Of Spain at the Irish National Stud (148), Masar at Dalham Hall Stud (146), Invincible Army at Yeomanstown Stud (138), Advertise at the National Stud (138) and Waldgeist at Ballylinch Stud (117).
In all, there were 17 sires in Britain and Ireland who covered 200 or more mares in 2020, down slightly from 19 in 2019. They included Churchill at Coolmore (250), Order Of St George at Castlehyde Stud (247), Getaway at Grange Stud (242), Wings Of Eagles at The Beeches Stud (241), Walk In The Park at Grange Stud (235), Soldier Of Fortune at The Beeches Stud (224), Affinisea at Whytemount Stud (209), Sea The Stars at Gilltown Stud (206), Idaho at The Beeches Stud (204) and Berkshire at Kedrah House Stud (201).
Galileo once again covered a book chock-full of outstanding racemares and producers in his 19th northern hemisphere covering season at Coolmore. Among the Group/Grade 1 winners he received in 2020 were – take a deep breath! – Abel Tasman, Again, Alpha Centauri, Amazing Maria, Amicus, Awesome Maria, Beauty Parlour, Daddys Lil Darling, Esoterique, Fairyland, Fiesolana, Goldikova, Lady Eli, Legatissimo, Let’s Go Donki, Mecca’s Angel, Nickname, Pretty Pollyanna, Quiet Reflection, Sea Siren, Switch, Tepin, Tiggy Wiggy and Wild Illusion. Moreover, the book contained three very special mares who were Group 1 winners themselves and have also produced Group 1 winners at paddocks: Chelsea Rose (dam of Kew Gardens), Halfway To Heaven (dam of Magical and Rhododendron) and Red Evie (dam of Found).
It seems safe to assume that Galileo will win several more titles.