UK Racing Post’s review of the European breeding industry in 2012 highlighted Coolmore Stud champion Galileo and his all-conquering son Frankel.
SIRE OF THE YEAR
A cakewalk for Galileo for the second year running. Progeny of the Coolmore juggernaut earned nearly double the prizemoney of the offspring of his closest pursuer Montjeu in Europe. His tally of 35 individual stakes winners was 16 more than next best Pivotal.
It was also the year Galileo’s son Frankel convinced us he was the best horse we would see in our lifetime. Frankel may be retired but with Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns, plus other promising two-year-olds such as Eye Of The Storm, Foundry, Secret Gesture and Telescope in the pipeline for next year, it may still be difficult for Galileo’s rival sires to wrest this award from him in 2013.
BREAKTHROUGH SIRE OF THE YEAR
There was huge expectation for the first two-year-old crop of Holy Roman Emperor, not least because he was drafted into the Coolmore stallion barn to replace the sub-fertile George Washington and inherited some blue-chip broodmares from him.
When Holy Roman Emperor got off the mark with his first runner on the first day of the 2010 Flat season and that winner, High Award, went on to land the Woodcote Stakes, his reputation seemed to be in the ascent. But it was a false dawn and by the end of that season High Award remained the sire’s only stakes winner.
Holy Roman Emperor’s fee was cut for 2011, when he did much better, getting six European stakes winners including the brilliant filly Banimpire.
The stream of stakes winners turned into a flood this year – 10 in total, including 1000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen, Royal Ascot scorer Ishvana and high-class juvenile filly Maureen. Fears he was a filly sire were allayed when he came up with the impressive Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Morandi.
BROODMARE OF THE YEAR
Magnificent Style (USA) wins in a photo finish. The Silver Hawk mare was represented this year by Group 1 winners Great Heavens and Nathaniel, and Changing Skies, who sold for $4.20 million at Keeneland. She is also the grandam of Dubai Gold Cup scorer Whispering Gallery.
There’s the promise of more to come – Magnificient Style has a yearling colt and filly foal by Oasis Dream and was covered by Fastnet Rock this year.
Strong competition from Australia for this award came in the shape of Helsinge whose daughter Black Caviar took her unbeaten run to 22 with a heart-stopping victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her son All Too Hard also landed the prestigious Caulfield Guineas.
A persuasive case can also be made for the Wertheimer brothers’ mare Brooklyn’s Dance who scored a big double at the Arc de Triomphe meeting by producing Arc winner Solemia and featuring as the third dam of Prix Marcel Boussac winner Silasol.
Others in the final field included Kind, whose first three foals – Bullet Train, Frankel and Noble Mission – are now all stakes winners and Lagrion, whose daughter Homecoming Queen became her third Group 1 winner after Dylan Thomas and Queen’s Logic.
BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Juddmonte wins for the second year running. Prince Khalid Abdullah showed once again he has the breeding game off-pat, producing a slew of stakes winners including Frankel and Dubai Duty Free winner Cityscape.
Lady Rothschild’s massive investment in elite broodmares over the last decade was vindicated during a spectacular summer for her homebreds led by Nathaniel (Eclipse Stakes), his sister Great Heavens (Irish Oaks) and other stakes winners Gallipot, Mince and Polygon.
Irish based Jim Bolger is unique in combining the roles of owner, breeder and trainer and he produced two Group 1 winners – champion juvenile colt-elect Dawn Approach and Criterium International winner Loch Garman. Four of the five stakes winners he bred this year are by New Approach and Teofilo, who he made stars on the track and at stud.
CONSIGNOR OF THE YEAR
The Castlebridge Consignment takes the plaudits with its ability to attract high-end clients and to prepare sales horses to sparkle on the big day. They were the leading vendor during Books 1, 2 & 3 at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and sold this year’s dearest yearling – the 2.50 million euros Hydrogen.
Belle Royale supplied the best rags-to-riches story of 2012 after selling for a minimum bid of 800 pounds at the 2009 Doncaster October Yearling Sale. She won at Goodwood as a two year-old for trainer Mark Brisbourne and added a competitive Chester handicap at three.
Belle Royale (Val Royal – Kahyasi Moll by Brief Truce) was sold to Coolmore associate Michael Tabor this year and transferred to Simon Callaghan in America where she landed the G1 Gamely Stakes. She was sold privately to a Japanese breeder in August.