Blue Point 2-1 Favourite To Land First-Season Sire Honours

Blue Point (Ire) has been installed as the 2-1 favourite to be crowned leading first-season Flat sire in Britain and Ireland by Paddy Power.

Ballyhane Stud’s Soldier’s Call (GB) has been inserted at 5-2 next best in the betting while Coolmore’s Ten Sovereigns (Ire) has been quoted at odds of 3-1. Tally-Ho Stud, responsible for two of the past three champion first-season sires Mehmas (Ire) and Cotai Glory (GB), are represented by 4-1 chance Inns Of Court (Ire). It’s 10-1 the field. 

Blue Point stands at Kildangan Stud for €35,000 having started off on a fee of €45,000 in 2020. The son of Shamardal was a smart two-year-old, as he showed when winning the G2 Gimcrack S., but he progressed with age and landed the G1 King’s Stand S. and G1 Diamond Jubilee S. in the same week at Royal Ascot as a five-year-old. 

Of the 64 yearlings by Blue Point to sell at public auction last season, they averaged just over €100,000, and included a €420,000 filly bought by MV Magnier from Mountain View Stud at the Goffs Orby Sale.

Soldier’s Call has been hotly-tipped to get off to a fast start with his juvenile runners this year. A speedball of a two-year-old himself, Soldier’s Call won the Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot, the G2 Flying Childers S. at Doncaster before running an excellent third, beaten just a neck against hardened sprinters, in the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp. 

Speaking to TDN Europe at the recent Irish Thoroughbred Stallion Trail, Ballyhane boss Joe Foley nominated two juveniles to follow from the stallion who stands for €7,5000 at the County Carlow outfit.

Foley said, “We’re proud to have Soldier’s Call. We’re happy with him and we’re looking forward to seeing his progeny race and I am sure every other stallion man is looking forward to their stallion’s progeny race as well. All will be revealed at the end of the year.”

“There is a colt out of Alicia Darcy (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire}), who was a good race filly, and he has gone to Karl Burke. He’s beautiful and everybody loves him. He’s one we’d be keen on.”

He added, “There’s a colt out of Rush (GB) (Compton Place {GB}), who Kevin Blake bred, who we bought at Doncaster for £105,000. He’s a really good-looking, chunky two-year-old and everyone loves him as well. He’s gone to Archie Watson. They’d be the two I’d pick but I’m sure I’ve missed the best one.”

Invincible Army (Ire) was subject to similarly bullish reports on the Stallion Trail, with Rob O’Callaghan saying that he had every confidence in the Yeomanstown-based sire this year. However, Paddy Power have largely ignored Invincible Army’s claims by pricing him up at 25-1.

O’Callaghan said, “We’re very confident with Invincible Army. He’s got great stock coming through and has a lot going for him with over 130 2-year-olds this year. They are well-bred horses and they’ve got the strength, the action and they have gone to the right homes as well. Karl Burke, Richard Hannon, Ger Lyons, Richard Fahey and Clive Cox have all bought yearlings by him and he’s got as good a chance of any of the first-season sires to make a big impression this year. You’ve got to remember that he was a top-class racehorse and was a Group winner at two, three and four.”

Too Darn Hot, the unbeaten and Champion two-year-old in 2018, who won the G1 Dewhurst S. for John Gosden, can also be backed at double-figure odds with Paddy Power offering 14-1. If there is a lurker in the betting, it may well be Highclere Stud’s Land Force at odds of 10-1, whose yearlings sold well last year.

Not only did Shadwell pick up a couple of fillies by the impeccably-bred G2 Richmond S. winner from Book 2 at Newmarket, but Richard Knight also paid 180,000 gns for a colt out of Book 1 by the stallion who averaged over €30,000 with his yearlings last year.

Paddy Power are clearly erring on the side of caution with the 4-1 quoted about Inns Of Court, and rightly so, given Tally-Ho’s track record in this sphere. 

The son of Invincible Spirit (Ire), who stands at €5,000, went down well at the yearling sales last year, averaging just over €30,000 for the 116 that were sold. 

Paul Binfield, spokesman for the betting firm, said, “It’s a little early to say where the money’s going as we’ve only just priced it up, but it will be fascinating to find out which of the sires attract interest.

“We price it up on which yard the horse came from, their stud fee-trying to get the right mix between quality and price, the number of mares covered and also the sire’s pedigree themselves.

“We’ve installed Blue Point as the favourite this year as Godolphin are renowned for farming their own horses so our traders felt that he was the right choice to head the market, but as I mentioned earlier, let’s see where that money goes!”

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