Capri winning the English St Leger giving Ryan Moore his grand slam of classics was both a great but also a sad moment. For with the finishing of the Leger; the final classic of the year we can see the flat season for 2017 beginning to come to an end.
But with the end of the season comes the search for the next classic winner with yearlings by Europe’s leading sires going off to be sold.
It is highly likely that a future superstar will be seen being paraded at the Goffs’ Orby Sale in just over a week. Where not only will these yearlings be shown to the world for the first time as will some new stallions in the form of their first crop. The stallion on everyone’s lips is Coolmore’s Australia who began covering in 2015 and hence this year will see his first lot of yearlings to go through the ring.
For many Australia is perhaps the stallion who is set to replace Galileo as the piece de resistance in the Coolmore Stallion portfolio, with the current champion sire just shy of his 20th year. Indeed on paper Australia seems the perfect replacement being one of the best bred horses of his generation. By Galileo who is not only a proven sire of champions with 17 Group 1 races being won by his crop this year but also a proven sire of sires. Of the elite group of stallions in Ireland that charge over €25,000 for a covering, 5 are by Galileo. Then there’s Australia’s dam, Ouija Board. The all-conquering filly by Cape Cross who over her four year racing career won 10 races including 7 at Group 1 level. From looking at Australia’s parenting it would be expected that he would be something special. This was obviously the consensus, with the colt selling for £525,000 as a yearling. Whilst still a very large price perhaps not as much as one would expect for such a well bred horse. This was perhaps due to skepticism about Ouija Board’s ability as a broodmare with the most successful or her previous three runners only being rated 95.
Any of these fears were quelled when after a 2 year old season which included a Group 3 victory by 6 lengths at Leopardstown. Then in his 3 year old career Australia outshone his opponents with victory in both the English and Irish Derby’s. His ability was then further displayed by victory in the Juddmonte International showing that he could beat the best over a mile and a quarter as well as over 12 furlongs. And the rest for Australia is as can be expected, retirement at the end of his 3 year old career and off to stud. Where he began at a €50,000 covering fee. For the last few years Australia has lived like a typical top stallion, living in luxury with very short intermittent work shifts.
The next month or so with sales such as Goffs will reveal how successful his work has been and for Coolmore whether they have another superstar stallion.
Article by @georgebsports