Purchased at the GOFFS PREMIER YEARLING SALE, this colt is by ESTIDHKAAR. Read more about his sire here: http://www.tarastud.ie/stallions/Estidhkaar/
He was chosen as one of 'the hot first season sires by bloodstock experts. Read that story here: https://www.racingpost.com/bloodstock/insight/the-new-kids-on-the-block-first-season-sires-who-could-make-their-mark-in-2020/432574
A sire that Richard and ourselves know very well, as he is half brother to our very own Group 1 winner TOORMORE and Richard trained them both! We and Richard have enjoyed plenty of success from our Doncaster Sales purchases over the years; as well as Toormore, the dual Group 2 winner Kool Kompany and Listed winner De Bruyne Horse and we think it’s because we apply the same theory, each time around, notably “let’s buy a nice colt and not worry too much about his pedigree.” The mantra has served us very well!
Racing is all about opinions. For instance, every time anyone places a bet on a horse, you are backing your opinion. As racing enthusiasts, year in, year out we are all asked, how does this year’s winner of a big race compare with previous winners or which horse is the best winner of......etc etc. Breeding is no different, and buying yearlings from breeders is no different; the breeder’s opinion of which sire will suit their mare, produces and individual, with its assets and characteristics. When a mare owner sends her to a first season sire, as in the case of the mare of this colt, they are taking an extra gamble, in that the stallion has never produced a winner. Despite having owned three high class individuals, by then first season sires in Viren’s Army (Listed Dee Stakes-Richard Hannon), Great Page (Group 3 Prix Du Calvados-Richard Hannon), Lily’s Angel (Listed Empress Stakes-Richard Fahey), we tend to side against first season sires. Ten or twelve first season sires enter the fray each year and, at best, two of them make it and are still around 6 years later. 2018 was a perfect example; probably only No Nay Never will make it and it’s possible Bungle Inthejungle and Australia may too. In 2019 it looks as if only Night Of Thunder, Gleneagles and Cable Bay are likely to break through. It’s early days for both the 2018 and 2019 cohorts, but the odds must be stacked against any other sire coming through for a long and healthy career. We tend not to purchase too many yearlings by first season sires, as we feel it’s a false economy, given the perception that there’s value to be had, in buying a horse by a first season sire.
However, this colt is the rule breaker, the exception to the rule. He’s an outstanding individual, with no compromise about his conformation and he’s from a mare who has visited thoroughly disappointing stallions, and yet produced very fine racehorses, to date. The whole team fell in love with this horse as an individual, as we travelled the barns of Doncaster. It’s with some reticence and trepidation that we’ve supported a first season sire, but there was plenty about this horse’s provenance to make him a rulebreaker. There’s no saying Estidhkaar will be next year’s breakthrough sire, but he’d be a very strong candidate, given his credentials i.e. being a high class 2yo and 3yo and being a son of the outstanding sire Dark Angel. Furthermore, he has a stallion’s page, being a half-brother to the 2013 Champion European 2yo, our very own Toormore.
We’re in the lap of the gods re this colt’s father, but his dam is already proven, she’s produced a Group 3 performer and hails from a family of 17 Group winning individuals. We’d like to think the odds are stacked in this colt’s favour.
You can see him parading with our whole string in the Herridge barn and on the gallops in the gallery (he is saddle cloth number 16).
Trainer Update (7th June): He is a very happy horse Richard says; cantering through everyday and he is pleased with the way he is going about his work, with a great attitude. When Richard thinks the time is right, he will increase his work ready for a debut. Having trained this colt’s sire, he looks very best suited to eke out every ounce of ability from this strong and powerful individual!
Listen to a very interesting (13th May) podcast from Kevin Blake, in discussion with Bloodstock agent Ross Doyle, who we bought this horse with, here: https://soundcloud.com/user-275456286/racingonly-bettor-lockdown-lowdown-5-ross-doyle-special