WHISKY Sour beat Le Richebourg by 19 lengths when winning the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle over two miles at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival in 2017.
He finished third in the Grade 3 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival a few months later, was fourth and second in Grade 1 novice hurdle races at the Punchestown Festival the following month, has since been fourth in another County Hurdle and, as of this year, is a Grade 3 runner-up who ran away with a recent hurdle race at Leopardstown.
He is a son of the late and much-lamented Jeremy (Danehill Dancer), and when his half-brother Fifty Stars started showing so much ability on the flat, it was perhaps inevitable that National Hunt studs would be watching closely.
The younger sibling is a son of the Timeform 140-rated superstar and outstanding classic sire Sea The Stars (Cape Cross), a stallion whose early sons include Group 1-sire Sea The Moon plus Zelzal.
The first-named can count Group 1 Coronation Stakes heroine Alpine Star among his double-digit tally of stakes winners, whereas Zelzal has already added a pair of US Grade 3 winners this year to the juvenile listed scorer he got last season, all from his first crop.
Most top flat stallions will get at least a few talented National Hunt runners too of course, and while Sea The Stars doesn’t have a blacktype winner yet over obstacles, his son Sea The Moon does: Tritonic is a Grade 3 winner over hurdles, whereas Allmankind has won at the highest level over hurdles and fences.
Sea The Stars is a half-brother to the late great Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) and many are betting that he will also make an impact on the National Hunt sector. Last year, for example, Crystal Ocean had 171 foals in his first crop and covered 302 mares.
Fifty Stars was also a Group 1 winner over 10 furlongs – he won the Australian Cup at Flemington – and he was also among the quickest sons of his sire because he was a Group 2 scorer over seven and a half furlongs plus twice over a mile.
The 110,000gns Tattersalls Book 2 graduate could have had more pattern success had a couple of photo finishes gone his way.
Last year, he was a head runner-up to Star Of The Seas when bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes over the mile at Flemington, whereas he was earlier short-headed by Fierce Impact in the Group 1 Kennedy Cantala Handicap, with Cascadian a head back in third, giving that pair 2lbs and 7lbs respectively.
Swizzle Stick (Sadler’s Wells), his dam, is an unraced half-sister to Viztoria (Oratorio), the joint top-rated juvenile filly in Ireland in 2012 after her Listed Blenheim Stakes success but who went on to take the Group 2 Park Stakes, Group 3 Athasi Stakes and Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
His grandam, Viz (Darshaan), was a middle-distance stakes winner and related to Group 1 stars Culture Vulture (Timeless Moment), Polish Predecent (Danzig) and Zilzal (Nureyev).
FIFTY STARS (IRE), Bay 2015. Won ten races, £1,517,368, from 7½ furlongs to 1 mile 2 furlongs, at 3 to 5 years including, TAB Australian Cup, Flemington, Gr.1, Blamey Stakes, Flemington, Gr.2, Blamey Stakes, Flemington, Gr.2, Hyland Ajax Stakes, Rosehill, Gr.2, Araza Sandown Stakes, Sandown Hillside, Gr.3, also placed second in Kennedy Cantala Stakes, Flemington, Gr.1, LKS Mackinnon Stakes, Flemington, Gr.1, A.D. Hollindale Stakes, Gold Coast, Gr.2, Blamey Stakes, Flemington, Gr.2, and third in Moonga Stakes, Caulfield, Gr.3.
Retires to Stud in 2022.
Stands at: Sunnyhill Stud, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, R56 NP97, Ireland.
Contact: Michael Hickey
Telephone: +353 (0)87 2500686