THE new turf flat season is about to begin and with it comes a whole new generation of two-year-olds, a substantial number of whom will be among the first representatives for their young sires.
Some who get excited by the freshman class each year are focused on numbers, on who will produce the largest tally of first-crop juvenile winners and, if they’re so inclined, the odds they can get on backing their chosen candidate to top that league. The actual championship title is decided on earnings, as with any champion sire category, and while having large numbers of runners can boost a stallion’s prospects of taking high rank, it’s not necessary.
Coming up with one or more blacktype performers who can win or notch up a string of placings in the top stakes and pattern events can be lucrative, and the same goes for sales races. In 2014, one freshman with a small first crop and tiny second one waiting in the wings outperformed what most freshman sires ever achieve in their debut season.
Starspangledbanner’s 33 foals yielded Group 1 star The Wow Signal and Group 1-placed Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Anthem Alexander, among others with evident ability. There were only 11 in his second Irish-conceived crop, and he spent a few years in Australia before returning for a new wave that has seen his demand and success soar.
Starspangledbanner is a son of the top-class sprinter-miler Choisir (Danehill Dancer), as is the top-class miler and multiple Group 1 sire Olympic Glory, and so is Rajasinghe, a dark horse among the newest freshman sires. He was a four-length debut winner over six furlongs at Newcastle a month before landing the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He finished third to Cardsharp in the Group 2 July Stakes, didn’t appear to stay when stepped up to Group 1 mile company, and then joined the team at the National Stud in Newmarket.
He has had only a handful of offspring to appear in the ring, but his initial crop includes colts who made 50,000gns, 46,000gns and 37,000gns in Newmarket as foals, plus 20,000gns and 15,000gns fillies from the same sale. There were 23 in his first crop and 13 in his second, but he covered 36 mares last year and could have larger books in the future.
Rajasinghe, who is a half-brother to the stakes-placed juvenile Kurland (Kheleyf), is out of the similarly credentialled Bunditten (Soviet Star) and so a grandson of the pattern-placed dual juvenile listed scorer Felicita (Catrail).
The speedy Group 1-placed multiple Group 2 scorer Super Cash (Written Tycoon) appears under a branch of the third generation of his pedigree, while Caergwrle (Crepello), his fourth dam, won the 1000 Guineas.
With so many well-endowed sales and auction races on the two-year-old schedule these days, plus the plethora of blacktype contests for that age group, there is every chance that a dark horse like Rajasinghe could take a prominent position among his peers by season’s end.
RAJASINGHE (IRE), Bay 2015. Won two races, £100,789, over 6 furlongs, at 2 years including, Coventry Stakes, Ascot, Gr.2, also placed third in Arqana July Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.2.
Retired to Stud in 2019, first crop now 2 year olds.
Stands at: The National Stud, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 0XE, England.
Contact: Joe Grimwade, Anna Kerr or Bethany Howard
Telephone: +44 (0)1638 675929 or +44 (0)1638 675934