By The Numbers

By The Numbers – Century up for freshman sires


The record of the current first-season crop of sires continues to build, with Saturday’s racing featuring four winners and a milestone.  


When Mishani Star (Performer) eased to victory in a humble Rockhampton maiden on Saturday, not only did he become the fourth winner for his recently sold stallion Performer (Exceed And Excel), but it was also the 100th win in Australia for the current crop of first-season stallions.

Performer, purchased by Waylon J Stud’s Brian Smith for $6,000 at last month’s Magic Millions National Racehorse Sale having spent the last four seasons at Aquis, was one of three freshmen to celebrate a winner across Australia on Saturday.

The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) and Sioux Nation (Scat Daddy) sired two-year-old winners at Rosehill and Donald respectively, while in Singapore, Stratosphere (Snitzel) notched his first international success as a stallion.

With six weeks remaining of the 2022/23 season, the record of those freshmen is building, but has some ground to make up to match the efforts of previous crops. As things stood on Saturday night, there were 23 individual freshman stallions this season with winners, with 74 Australian winners and 100 wins between them.

Last season, there were 26 winning freshmen with 117 combined winners and 142 total wins, while the totals for the 2020/21 crop were 38 winning stallions, with 173 individual winners between them, winning 220 races.

There are still 44 days of the season remaining, but as it stands the volume of first-season stallion success in terms of those three metrics is at its lowest since the 2016/17 season when 100 seasonal wins from 74 individual horses were sourced from 22 individual first-season stallions.

However, it is worth noting that success among this cohort is building as this season progresses. In the past 44 days, there have been 39 Australian wins from the progeny of first-season stallions.

Also noteworthy is that when it comes to stakes wins and stakes winners, the current freshman crop are overperforming when it comes to previous crops. To this point of the season, there have been 13 individual stakes winners in Australia by freshman sires with 16 stakes wins between them. That stakes record is better than every single crop of the past decade apart from one, the 2020/21 freshmen whose progeny won 19 stakes races through 15 individual stakes winners.

Progeny record of first crop stallions in Australia by season:

Season No of. sires with winners Winners Wins Stakes winners Stakes wins
2022/23* 23 78 100 13 16
2021/22 26 117 142 5 7
2020/21 38 173 220 15 19
2019/20 26 117 149 8 8
2018/19 26 145 195 10 11
2017/18 27 105 137 14 16
2016/17 22 74 100 5 6
2015/16 26 84 102 4 4
2014/15 31 111 148 10 12
2013/14 27 100 130 9 9

Arrowfield Stud’s The Autumn Sun is one of six freshman stallions to have had an Australian stakes winner and looks to have another one in waiting with the Chris Waller-trained filly, Tutta La Vita, who became his third Australian winner, and fourth winner overall, at Rosehill on Saturday.

The victory of the Patrick Payne-trained Simple Times in the Donald Classic in country Victoria saw him become the third member of the sole Australian crop of Sioux Nation (Scat Daddy) to register a win. Sioux Nation spent one season shuttling to Swettenham Stud and is one of three freshman sons of Scat Daddy (Johannesburg) to have winners in Australia this year. The others are Justify, currently on track to being crowned champion first-season stallion (by prize-money), and Mendelssohn, who has one Australian winner to date.

Stratosphere’s latest success in Singapore might not count to his total of Australian winners but it was nonetheless significant as it came from his highest-priced yearling to date, Greatham Boy, who cost Bevan Smith $125,000 through the 2022 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale.

Kranji is a long way from the sire’s base at Grenville Stud at Whitemore in northern Tasmania and a first winner outside of his adopted state may help put the son of Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) in a different light among mainland breeders.

With his overall total of six winners [five in Australia plus one in Singapore], he is level with Justify and behind only Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) (7), Harry Angel (Dark Angel) (7) and Brave Smash (Tosen Phantom) (9) when it comes to Australian-based first-season sires.  

Stratosphere’s first crop was conceived off a fee of just $4,400 (inc GST), which is the second lowest of any freshman stallion with an Australian winner this season. WA-based Ducimus, another son of Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), has three winners from an initial crop conceived at just $2,750 (inc GST) at Rivercrest Park.

Australian first-season sires table ranked by winners (Australian runners only)

Sire Runners Winners Wins SW SWins
Brave Smash 24 9 14 1 1
Harry Angel 19 7 8 3 3
Trapeze Artist 29 7 7 0 0
Justify 14 6 9 3 5
Stratosphere 15 5 5 0 0
Encryption 21 4 7 1 2
Showtime 14 4 5 1 1
Performer 12 4 4 0 0
Bolt d’Oro 8 4 7 0 0
The Autumn Sun 20 3 3 1 1
Written By 21 3 4 2 2
Sioux Nation 7 3 4 0 0
Ducimus 7 3 4 0 0
Santos 10 3 3 0 0
Real Steel 10 2 3 0 0
Lean Mean Machine 9 2 3 0 0
Dracarys 4 2 2 0 0
Jungle Cat 5 2 2 0 0
Grunt 11 1 2 1 1
Bondi 6 1 1 0 0
Mendelssohn 6 1 1 0 0
National Defense 8 1 1 0 0
Neorealism 4 1 1 0 0

A quick look at the New Zealand First-Season Sires Table ranked by winners sees U S Navy Flag (War Front) on top with six, ahead of Ardrossan (Redoute’s Choice) with four and Embellish (Savabeel) with three.

U S Navy Flag also looks destined to claim champion honours on prize-money ahead of Santos (I Am Invincible), who is relocating across the Tasman from Aquis to Highview Stud this season. Santos’ daughter Ulanova was recently promoted to win the Sistema Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) after the original winner was disqualified and is now set to continue her career in Australia with Anthony and Sam Freedman. 

New Zealand first-season sires table ranked by winners (NZ runners only)

Sire Runners Winners Wins SW SWins
U S Navy Flag 20 6 7 1 1
Ardrossan 9 4 5 3 3
Embellish 10 3 3 0 0
Santos 3 1 3 1 1
Staphanos 9 1 2 1 1
The Autumn Sun 1 1 1 0 0

There were no juvenile stakes races in Australia on Saturday, but the five black-type races across the country were taken out by the progeny of sires with a wide-range of backgrounds.

Al Maher (Danehill), who stood at Emirates Park and Stockwell Thoroughbreds, notched a 37th stakes winner with the victory of Chassis in the Gai Waterhouse Classic (Listed, 1200m). The three-quarter brother to Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) has had a recent on-track revival through his Group 1-winning son Private Eye, and the fact he has had at least one stakes winner in every season bar one since his first crop hit the ground in 2008/09 speaks to his longevity.

The Eye Liner Stakes (Listed, 1350m) at Ipswich was taken out in the navy colours of Coolmore by the Ben and JD Hayes-trained Lady Of Honour, a daughter of No Nay Never (Scat Daddy).

No Nay Never shuttled to Jerrys Plains for four seasons, the last of which was in 2019, and his record as a sire on the track in Australia is building with Lady Of Honour one of four stakes winners from his Australian crops, a list that includes Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) victrix Madame Pommery.

He has had the two Australian stakes winners this season, but remarkably another eight members of his Australian-bred crops have been stakes-placed across 2022/23.

The late Jakkalberry (Storming Home), who stood for four seasons at Novara Park Stud before his death in 2018, built his total of stakes winners to five with the win of his son Regal Lion in the Ipswich Cup (Listed, 2150m).

Widden Stud’s Zoustar (Northern Meteor) marked his first stakes winner over the distance of 2000 metres with the victory of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Zoumon in the W J McKell Cup (Listed, 2000m) at Rosehill, while Scenic Lodge’s Universal Ruler (Scenic) brought up his tenth stakes winner, and first this season, with the victory of the Michael Lane-trained Rusty Dreams in the Belmont Guineas (Listed, 1600m).

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