The most intriguing question in Australian racing currently concerns none other than the mighty Winx and her future career as a broodmare. The question being asked is: “Which stallion will be selected to cover Winx in her first year at stud ?”
Connections of the wonder mare will be having discussions shortly to decide the lucky stallion and with such a huge array of worldwide superstars it could be a lengthy meeting.
Like nearly every keen racing and breeding stalwart, Bloodlines has his selection and naming him should come from a total of eight stallions – in alphabetical order – American Pharoah, Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock, I Am Invincible, Justify, Snitzel, The Autumn Sun and Zoustar.
All hail from the Hunter region and come from studs which have dominated the yearling sales and racetracks for decades. Bloodlines has been fortunate enough to see all but Justify in the flesh.
It will be a major surprise if the Winx owners will travel overseas for her covering and therefore Bloodlines has ruled out Galileo, Frankel and the Japanese superstar Deep Impact.
Snitzel and I Am Invincible must be high up on the pecking order with their achievements over the past four seasons unbelievable. Snitzel has sired 146 individual winners in the current season with a total of 213 wins and $21.4 million in earnings.
I Am Invincible’s credentials are 150 individual winners of 228 wins and earnings of nearly $14m. He has equalled Danehill’s record thus far in 2019 with 28 individual stakes winners of 34 races.
Fastnet Rock is a dual-hemisphere superstar and it was interesting to read that Sir Patrick Hogan would definitely favour him as the first beau for Winx.
Darley’s evergreen shuttler Exceed and Excel continues to live up to his name and has experienced a marvellous autumn carnival with Microphone and Bivouac enjoying memorable wins.
Microphone was runner up in the Golden Slipper and then won the group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce and those efforts which took his overall record to four wins and two seconds and $1,474,100 in earnings will surely see him named the champion two-year-old of 2018/19.
Zoustar has been a phenomenal addition to the stallion ranks with his oldest progeny just three and his service fee has skyrocketed to $154,000 this year. Siring all three placegetters in the group 1 Coolmore Stakes last spring ensured his prominence in Australia and he is now in England covering 135 mares, many being in the top-drawer category.
The Autumn Sun is making his debut as a stallion at Arrowfield this year where he is hopefully going to take over the mantle of his own recently deceased sire, Redoute’s Choice. He is a ripper of a horse and looks the ideal type to carry on the family tradition.
Finally, we have the two US Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, which were both trained by Bob Baffert and have met with the crème de la crème of American broodmares in their short stud careers.
Baffert told the media earlier this week in his opinion “Winx’s owners should breed the mare to Justify”. He claimed that would be like breeding the perfect horse and could not imagine the possibilities of what that baby could amount to.”
American Pharoah, on the other hand, was one of his greatest ever racehorses and broke a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015.
The two, Baffert says, are entirely different types. American Pharoah was leaner and could get over the ground while Justify is big, strong and heavy.
A difficult decision confronts the connections’ and Bloodlines’ five cents worth from the eight racing legends is American Pharoah. The reason is that he is one of the best individuals I have ever seen when viewing last year’s Coolmore stallion parade.
His size – he stands at 16.1 hands – is perfect for a mare the size of Winx and there is no clash of bloodlines from both of the champion’s pedigrees.
Also, the stallion’s first-ever runner romped home at Naas in Ireland earlier this week for Coolmore and owner Peter Brant and renowned American trainer
Wesley Ward has two of American Pharoah’s debutantes running at Aqueduct on April 17 (US time) and believes they will run one-two in the race.
It’s only natural that the racing fraternity will embrace whatever stallion is selected for Winx and, like all of her countless admirers, Bloodlines will be extremely excited to hear the result.
Article courtesy of Nine and The Sydney Morning Herald