Frankel dominates but Sir leads

Frankel has been stealing all of the headlines for first season sires and a few more besides.

Sir Prancealot has made an impressive start with his two-year-olds

That is likely to be the case again over the next two days with Swiss Storm, a son of Listed winner Swiss Lake and Mill Reef Stakes entry, making his debut at Haydock on Thursday.

The following day William Haggas is set to run his first Frankel with Cheveley Park and Rockfel Stakes entry Harba also set to appear at the Merseyside venue.

It is no surprise given the phenomenal success of the progeny of a phenomenal racehorse but the leading first season sire is decided by the number of winners and, at present, that is the less heralded Sir Prancealot.

Winner of the National Stakes and Flying Childers Stakes in 2012, the son of Tamayuz won three of his six juvenile starts (he also finished second in the Prix Robert Papin and fourth in the Coventry and Prix Morny) before a training injury ended his racing career.

Richard Hannon jnr said at the time of his retirement: "Sir Prancealot has a great attitude and an awful lot of ability and is a gentleman to deal with. It's a great pity that his racing career has ended with a training injury, as his performance in the Flying Childers Stakes over 5f was a really stunning performance.

"He was brilliant at 5f and was undefeated at that trip. He's a very good-looking, athletic individual with a high cruising speed."

Sir Prancealot is on course to emulate his own sire in becoming the leading freshman with 20 winners from 57 runners thus far. His leading earner is the Hannon's Stormy Clouds, who followed up her Super Sprint third with a sales race victory at York but there is no reason to believe that he will only become renowned as a sire of speedy juveniles.

It has been something of a mixed year for Tally-Ho Stud who also stand Kodiac, who has enjoyed an excellent season having had his fee almost doubled to €45,000 from €25,000 last year.

They have, though, lost dual Group One-winning sprinter Society Rock who died at the age of nine after suffering from laminitis.

The 2012 Sprint Cup winner's oldest crop are yearlings and he was standing the 2016 season at a fee of €6,000.

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Tally-Ho Stud owner Tony O'Callaghan said: "We're very disappointed to lose him as we were very fond of him, he had nice yearlings and good foals.

"It all happened very quickly and we were all upset by it. He was a great racehorse and he was good to us. He covered about 80 mares this year and he was very popular, his book always filled up.

"We'll look forward to seeing his produce in the future."

When looking ahead to the season, O'Callaghan had said: "Society Rock's foals are very nice and breeders have been sending the same mares back to him, which is always a good sign."

We will hopefully hear more of him next season.

Helmet (12 winners) has continued his impressive start but another Australian sprinter in Foxwedge has also been making a splash.

A sharp two-year-old but better three-year-old, the highest-rated son of Fastnet Rock was narrowly denied a first Group One in the Coolmore Stud Stakes by fellow freshman Sepoy (seven winners) but gained that all important success the following spring in the William Reid Stakes.

Leading Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse was quick to spot his potential, picking up five yearlings last autumn in the belief that he has a 'sensational future as a stallion' and that was backed up in the ring as he boasted one of the highest first-season sales averages at the Magic Millions.

Standing alongside Showcasing in Britain at Whitsbury Manor Stud, Foxwedge now has 11 winners from 34 runners and has already tasted success in a Stakes race in New Zealand and it surely won't be long until he hits the target in the Northern Hemisphere with runners already finishing second and third in Group Three company.

Newmarket maiden winner Elliptical represents him at that level in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury this afternoon.

Born To Sea (three from 18) can already number a Group Three winner among his progeny courtesy of Sea Of Grace's Group Three win in the Flame Of Tara Stakes and trainer John Oxx is considering a possible tilt at the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Delegator (six winners from 16) continues to fly under the radar while a number of his peers are posting impressive strike-rates with Elzaam (10 from 26), Mayson (11 from 30), Dragon Pulse (nine from 27), Bated Breath (10 from 30), Power (nine from 25) all operating at more than 30%.

We are entering the stage of the season where the offspring of less precocious sires start to appear and it bodes well for the prospects of Nathaniel (three from 19) and Rio De La Plata (two from six) that they have already made an impact.

So You Think is zero from five here (he has winners in France and Australia) but few of his most expensive progeny have made the track yet and the autumn maidens should tell us a great deal more but the same is true of Nathaniel whose youngsters hold a host of big-race entries.

These are exciting times – and it isn't all about Frankel.

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