Soldier Of Fortune busiest sire of 2016

Soldier Of Fortune: son of Galileo stands at Beeches Stud

PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos) Soldier Of Fortune the busiest sire of 2016 By Martin Stevens 11:44PM 20 NOV 2016

AFTER spending the first six seasons of his stallion career in Normandy, Soldier Of Fortune was given a hero's welcome by breeders when he returned to his birthplace of Ireland to join the Coolmore National Hunt ranks this year.

The Irish Derby-winning son of Galileo was the busiest sire in Britain and Ireland of 2016 in terms of number of mares covered, with 304 according to the recently published Weatherbys Return of Mares.

Mark Johnston's 11-time winner Fire Fighting is the best horse supplied by Soldier Of Fortune in the Flat sphere, but it was the Grade 2 juvenile hurdle victory of Slowmotion and the ascent of French jumpers Bleu Azur and Carlita Du Berlais that will have cheered the many National Hunt breeders who used him this year.

After Soldier Of Fortune, the next three most active sires in Europe this year were all National Hunt-oriented sons of Monsun – no surprise when two of the showpiece races at Cheltenham in March were won by Annie Power and Sprinter Sacre, paternal grandchildren of the late German sire.

Getaway, whose first four-year-olds include promising bumper winner Agamemmon, covered 299 mares; Ocovango, whose first foals were born this year, was on 274; and Shirocco, sire of Annie Power, was visited by 248.

Fame And Glory, whose first crop are two-year-olds, was the fifth busiest sire of 2016, with 243 mares, while Mahler, whose early progeny includes Fairyhouse Grade 2 winner Sutton Place, was sixth with 237.

Of those top six, only Glenview Stud resident Shirocco is not marketed under the Coolmore National Hunt banner, which also accounts for another four stallions who covered 200 or more mares this year – Walk In The Park, the newly repatriated sire of Douvan, on 222; Leading Light, whose first foals were born this year, on 217; Westerner, sire of Cheltenham Festival heroes Cole Harden and Western Warhorse, on 215; and Ask, whose oldest crop are aged four, on 200.

Kodiac was the Flat stallion who enjoyed most patronage in 2016. The Tally-Ho Stud resident, a master sire of two-year-olds as a Royal Ascot double from sons Ardad and Prince Of Lir proved in June, covered 232 mares.

The next best figure mustered by one of the Flat brigade was 208, for last year's leading first-season sire Zoffany. His Coolmore studmate Camelot, whose first two-year-olds race next year, covered 207 mares.

The other members of the 200+ club in 2016 were Sageburg, sire of Rockfel Stakes winner Spain Burg and Saturday's Betfair Price Rush Hurdle scorer Ch'Tibello and the recipient of 224 mares; Gutaifan, who covered 203 mares in his first season at Yeomanstown Stud; and Elzaam, who covered 201 and did not disappoint his supporters by getting off to a good start with his debut juvenile runners this year.

The number of sires who covered 200 or more mares -16 – is one more than at this stage last year. Only Soldier Of Fortune covered 300 or more, compared with five in the 2016 Return of Mares. Some books are likely to increase slightly in the Supplement to the Return of Mares published early next year.

MOST ACTIVE STALLIONS IN 2016
(*first-season sires)

Soldier Of Fortune (by Galileo)
Stands at Beeches Stud – covered 304 mares

Getaway (Monsun)
Grange Stud – 299

Ocovango (Monsun)
Beeches Stud – 274

Shirocco (Monsun)
Glenview Stud – 248

Fame And Glory (Montjeu)
Grange Stud – 243

Mahler (Galileo)
Beeches Stud – 237

Kodiac (Danehill)
Tally-Ho Stud – 232

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Sageburg (Johannesburg)
Garryrichard Stud – 224

Walk In The Park (Montjeu)
Grange Stud – 222

Leading Light (Montjeu)
Grange Stud – 217

Westerner (Danehill)
Castle Hyde Stud – 215

Zoffany (Dansili)
Coolmore – 208

Camelot (Montjeu)
Coolmore – 207

Gutaifan* (Dark Angel)
Yeomanstown Stud – 203

Elzaam (Redoute's Choice)
Ballyhane Stud – 201

Ask (Sadler's Wells)
Beeches Stud – 200

Dark Angel (Acclamation)
Yeomanstown Stud – 195

Anjaal* (Bahamian Bounty)
Rathasker Stud – 194

Dandy Man (Mozart)
Ballyhane Stud – 193

Power (Oasis Dream)
Coolmore – 185

Lope De Vega (Shamardal)
Ballylinch Stud – 183

Footstepsinthesand (Giant's Causeway)
Coolmore – 179

Califet (Freedom Cry)
Boardsmill Stud – 179

Camacho (Danehill)
Yeomanstown Stud – 178

Jet Away (Cape Cross)
Arctic Tack Stud – 176

MOST ACTIVE BRITISH-BASED STALLIONS

Dubawi (Dubai Millennium)
Dalham Hall Stud – 159

Casamento (Shamardal)
Dalham Hall Stud – 157

Cable Bay* (Invincible Spirit)
Highclere Stud – 152

Outstrip* (Exceed And Excel)
Dalham Hall Stud – 150

Kayf Tara (Sadler's Wells)
Overbury Stud – 148

Iffraaj (Zafonic)
Dalham Hall Stud – 146

Golden Horn* (Cape Cross)
Dalham Hall Stud – 145

Kingman (Invincible Spirit)
Banstead Manor Stud – 137

Nathaniel (Galileo)
Newsells Park Stud – 135

Bated Breath (Dansili)
Banstead Manor Stud – 131

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