“HE’S a proper early, fast and mature two-year-old. He jumps, he takes loads of racing, and like all the No Nay Nevers has loads of speed.”
This was the summation of trainer Aidan O’Brien, speaking of his champion juvenile of 2022, Blackbeard, who raced every month from April to September. The Cartier champion juvenile colt was successful in six of his eight starts, and he now takes a well-trodden path, and a generally successful one, by going to stud as a three-year-old.
Twice successful at the highest level, the only juvenile in Europe last year to achieve this feat, Blackbeard won the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville, just as his sire did, before adding the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. In both races he beat The Antarctic and Persian Force. These victories were timely, contributing to his yearling full-sister selling for €2.6 million at last year’s Goffs Orby Sale.
Blackbeard started his racing career in Dundalk with a win, before going on to capture a second success over the minimum trip, this time in the Listed First Flier Stakes at the Curragh. He stamped himself as one of the best juveniles in the early part of the season when he slammed Tough Talk by three and a half lengths in the first group race for two-year-olds in Europe, the Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes over six furlongs.
Fourth in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, Blackbeard was narrowly out-battled by Shartash in the Group 2 Railway Stakes, but then he went on to land all of his remaining starts last season. That run of success commenced with a victory on the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin in a track record time, before stepping up in class to run out a comfortable winner of the Morny.
He concluded his racing career with a two-length win in the Middle Park Stakes, a stallion-making race, and whatever connections hopes were for 2023, they were dashed when he suffered a minor, but career-ending, injury on the gallops.
Blackbeard is the first foal of Muirin, a daughter of Galileo’s and Sea The Stars’ classic-placed half-brother Born To Sea (Invincible Spirit).
Successful on her debut, Muirin’s second start saw her finish fourth in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, behind the Ballydoyle trio of Happily, Magical and September, and one place ahead of Alpha Centauri. Muirin is one of four successful offspring out of the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint winner Girouette (Pivotal).
Blackbeard was not the only pattern winner in his family last year. Girouette’s half-sister Paraphernalia (Dalakhani) bred the multiple Group 3 winner Max Vega (Lope De Vega), one of these victories being gained as a juvenile four years ago.
What a year 2022 was for No Nay Never (Scat Daddy), and particularly for his two-year-olds. In addition to Blackbeard, he also sired Group 1 winner Little Big Bear, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner and dual Group 1 runner-up Meditate, and Group 2 winners Trillium and Aesop’s Gables. These were in addition to Alcohol Free, a four-time Group 1 winner, while Blackbeard joins other sons of No Nay Never, Ten Sovereigns, Arizona and Land Force, among the stallion ranks.
BLACKBEARD (IRE), Bay 2020. Champion 2yr old colt in France in 2022. Jt Champion 2yr old colt in England in 2022. Won six races, £470,843, from 5 furlongs to 6 furlongs, at 2 years including, Middle Park Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.1, Prix Morny, Deauville, Gr.1, Prix Robert Papin, Chantilly, Gr.2, Marble Hill Stakes, Curragh, Gr.3, First Flier Stakes, Curragh, L, also placed second in Railway Stakes, Curragh, Gr.2.
Retired to Stud in 2023.
Stands at: Coolmore Stud, Fethard, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, E91 XK26, Ireland
Contact: Christy Grassick, Maurice Moloney, Gerry Aherne, Jason Walsh, Mark Byrne, Neil Magee and Tom Harris
Telephone: +353 52 6131298