Do you ever wonder who will take the role of the next Bull Hancock? Who is going to be the person to syndicate a top international stallion to freshen up US bloodlines? Before we find the bold individual, we first need to find the stallion. Looking at all the current active prospects in the world, there is quite a group to choose from. I decided to give it my best shot. I’m sure there are many others that could have easily made this list, so I tried to look for great form on the track and bloodlines that suggest they could bring something special to future generations.
10. Expressive Halo (ARG) Halo Sunshine - Embrace Moi, by Ride the Rails. He is one of the top Argentinian stayers of his class and recently finished 2nd in the premier South American race, the G1 Gran Premio. He has multiple stakes wins in his career, and carries the male bloodline of his grandsire, Halo. The racing scene is young in South America, but a re-infusion of “Halo blood” into the US wouldn’t be a bad thing.
9. Rock ‘n’ Pop (NZ) Fastnet Rock – Popsy, by Sir Tristram. An up-and-coming 3 year old with a record of 8-3-3-1, winning at distances of 6-8f. He has one G1 victory to his name, and his most recent outing resulted with a place in the 12f New Zealand Derby (G1). His bloodlines are as solid as New Zealand horses get. Fastnet Rock is a G1 winning sprinter by Danehill, while Popsy is a multiple G1 winner from 8-12f. Rock ‘n’ Pop’s most successful sibling is his ¾ sister, Lilakyn by Danehill, who won from 7 to 12f. Lilakyn’s only progeny is a 3 year old colt by Pins (AUS) that is unraced to date.
8. Behkabad (Fr) Cape Cross – Behkara, by Kris. A multiple stakes winning colt, Behkabad has a unique pedigree in that he is a successful European horse not out of the Danehill or Sadlers Wells bloodlines. His sire, Cape Cross, has produced multiple G1 winners worldwide, including back-to-back Hong Kong Champion’s Mile winner, Able One. His female side is not as eye catching until you get to his 2nd damsire, Mill Reef. With similar breeding to Secretariat, Mill Reef wasn’t too shabby on the track either, retiring with a record of 14-12-2-0, including wins in the Epsom Derby and Prix d’Arc de Triumph.
7. Sepoy (AUS) Elusive Quality – Watchful, by Danehill. Nothing negative can be said of this 4 year old, aside from the unfortunate timing of his success being overshadowed by the “Wonder from Down Under,” Black Caviar. Sepoy is a 10-time winner and has taken multiple G1 sprints with ease. He is by Elusive Quality, who sired Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and Breeder’s Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass. The only reason he is not higher on the list, is similar breeding already exists in US bloodstock.
6. All Too Hard (AUS) Casino Prince – Helsinge, by Desert Sun. Although just about everyone knows Black Caviar, not as many can say the same of her younger half brother, All Too Hard. He still has a lot of work to do to live up to his older sister, as his undefeated record stands at 2. Casino Prince, a G1 winner at 8f, has shown the initial ability to pass on his speed based on the multiple stakes winners out of his first crop, to which All Too Hard is a member. I’m sure many breeders are salivating at the thought of putting a “male version” of Australia’s wonder mare in their barns.
5. Nathaniel (IRE) Galileo - Magnificent Style, by Silver Hawk. Here we have a runner that has lived up to his pedigree by winning two stakes at 12f. Changing Skies, his ¾ sister by Sadlers Wells was a multiple stakes winner, and Percussionist, his ¾ brother (by the same breeding to Changing Skies) won prestigious flat and jumping races in excess of 2 miles. In short, Nathaniel is loaded with stamina, and he would be good cross to many of the speedy mares in the US.
4. Animal Kingdom (USA) Leroidesanumaux – Dalicia, by Acatenango. Yea, yea, I know…he’s a US horse. What is he doing on an international list? Well, with his Brazilian sire and German dam, Animal Kingdom’s pedigree is more international than just about any horse I have discussed thus far. The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner has shown great versatility winning on dirt, turf, and synthetic surfaces, making him a true jack-of-all-trades. He will be a good cross with just about any mare in the US, and these are genes I wouldn’t mind sticking around for a while.
3. So You Think (NZ) High Chaparral – Triassic, by Tights. This world traveler’s multiple G1 wins on different continents have rooted him as an international tour de force. Not dodging any challenge, he made an impressive run in the Breeder’s Cup Classic last year. His sire has produced multiple stakes winners, and gives a nice alternative to Galileo with the Sadlers Wells sire line.
2. Frankel (GB) Galileo – Kind, by Danehill. The great miler needs no introduction. Frankel’s sire and damsire have firmly established themselves as two of the world’s top stallions, producing what seems like a never-ending list of stakes winners. Frankel got the best that both had to offer. Frankel’s toughest task as a European stallion will be finding quality mares not already a member of the Danehill or Sadlers Wells bloodlines. For this reason, this is the only top 10 list Frankel wont be #1 on. Bring him to the US though…game on.
1. Orfevre (JAP) Stay Gold – Oriental Art, by Mejiro McQueen. You can’t throw a horseshoe in Japan without it landing near an heir to Sunday Silence. I can’t imagine the amount of sleepless nights Arthur Hancock III must have had after selling Sunday Silence to Japan. The recent majority of successful horses in Japan can account their pedigrees to the great US Champion. However, only one can claim the title of Japanese Triple Crown winner. Winning at distances of 8 – 15f, Orfevre has shown versatility that hasn’t been seen elsewhere in my lifetime. Orfevre has a G1 winning full brother, Dream Journey, proving his bloodlines are no fluke. It would be an irony and an honor to bring back the greatest descendent of one of the greatest sires the Hancock family (and America) ever lost.