KINGMAN'S FIRM FOUNDATIONS
Taken from the Racing Post 4th January 2019, by James Thomas
As foundations go, those laid down by KINGMAN in 2018 are about as firm as they come. He was well entitled to make a strong start at stud, of course, granted a stellar first book that contained 84 black-type mares (59 per cent) and 29 per cent Group winners (20 per cent).
However, it is no secret that such an opportunity does not guarantee a young stallion success, far from it, so that KINGMAN has already supplied 24 first-crop winners, delivered at a clip of 40 per cent, can only be taken as a most encouraging sign for Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud resident.
That number includes six stakes performers, led by the unbeaten Calyx, who went from wide-margin novice stakes winner to impressive Coventry Stakes scorer in a matter of just ten days. Unfortunately we were left only to wonder how high Calyx could have climbed last year, but given the manner of his two victories was little short of stunning - including when readily dismissing subsequent Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise and Cornwallis Stakes scorer Sergei Prokofiev at Royal Ascot - it is hard not to feel that he was destined for the very top. As he is under the care of master trainer John Gosden, there is little reason to believe Calyx cannot pick up where he left off, and he justifiably ranks among the leading fancies for the season's opening Classic, the 2,000 Guineas.
There were other notable juvenile talents too, including Persian King - who defeated subsequent Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes winner Magna Grecia when winning the Autumn Stakes Gr.3 - while Look Around, Poetry and Sangarius all landed Listed events, as well as Prix du Calvados Gr.2 third Sicilia.
But with a horse like KINGMAN, the achievements of his debut two-year-olds would only ever be just one element of a much bigger picture. True, he was a high-class juvenile himself, but such was his depth of talent at two it is easy to forget that he ran just twice, albeit producing impressive displays in a Newmarket maiden and the Solario Stakes. But it was at three that KINGMAN really flourished, improving some 16lbs on Racing Post Ratings, from a juvenile peak of 112 to a mark of 128 gained for his win in the St James's Palace Stakes, when he cut down the likes of Night Of Thunder, Outstrip and War Command with a devastating turn of foot.
That victory was the second of four straight Group 1 wins gained over a mile at three, a run that began in the Irish 2,000 Guineas - having narrowly missed out in the English equivalent - and also took in the Sussex Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois.
It stands to reason that Kingman progressed with age, as not only is he by Invincible Spirit - a notable source of precocity, despite he himself having produced a career-best at the age of five - but he is out of a Classic winner in 2002 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Zenda. Moreover, he is a powerful physical model and has always boasted an abundance of strength and scope, and now stands at 16.1 hands high. These physical traits have been handed down to a number of his progeny, with Persian King and Sangarius two of the more notable examples. It therefore seems reasonable to expect that plenty of his sons and daughters will follow in his footsteps by showing major progression from two to three.
While his stakes performers currently have the higher profiles, KINGMAN also has a large pool of lightly raced winners who hold solid claims of making the leap to Pattern company at three, including:
• Bell Rock, victorious in a Newmarket novice stakes on debut and out of a half-sister to Speciosa;
• Headman, a half-brother to Gr.2 winner Projected and wide-margin debut winner at Newcastle;
• Nausha, struck at Newbury on debut and is out of a close relation to Listen and the dam of Henrythenavigator;
• Raakib Alhawa, winner of the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes and out of a daughter of Sea The Stars;
• She's Got You, a half-sister to Without Parole who won by seven lengths on her second outing;
• The Queen's impressive Kempton winner Sovereign Grant;
• Wide-margin Haydock scorer Sparkle Roll, a half-sister to Derby hero Wings Of Eagles;
• Nottingham winner Surfman, a half-brother to Kitesurf
And it is not only KINGMAN's winning juveniles who are entitled to make up into smart three-year-olds. Among those to display their latent talent without breaking their maidens are:
• Kiss For A Jewel, a filly out of Free Eagle's Gr.2-winning half-sister Sapphire who finished runner-up to Delphinia at Galway;
• Two-time runner-up Private Secretary, a half-brother to St Leger third Michelangelo
• Tempus, a half-brother to Time Test who was beaten just a head on debut at Nottingham
There are also those that have just turned three that are still awaiting their debuts, with notable examples including the likes of:
• All Our Tomorrows, the 1,700,000gns half-sister to Abingdon bought by Moyglare Stud;
• Frontman, a half-brother to Nassau Stakes winner Winsili;
• Fox Chairman, a half-brother to Phoenix Stakes and Matron Stakes scorer La Collina
The exploits of his first two-year-olds also heightens the excitement for his second crop of juveniles, and on paper they too rate an eyecatching bunch, with 46 per cent (65 mares) of his second book having performed at stakes level and a further 17 (12 per cent) having won a Group race.
KINGMAN's second crop contains a wealth of youngsters who boast star potential, and among those to have already been named are:
• Arbiter, a half-brother to Middleton and Ribblesdale Stakes scorer Coronet
• Edge Of Victory, a son of Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Beauty Parlour
• Maurimo, a half-sister to Canadian International victor Cannock Chase
• Oriental Mystique, the first foal out of British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes winner Madame Chiang
Among those awaiting a name are half-brothers to: Derby and Arc hero Workforce; Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Criterium de Saint-Cloud scorer Waldgeist; Falmouth Stakes winner Giofra; Gr.2-winning and Classic-placed Delegator; Preis der Diana winner Penelopa; and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere runner-up Noozhoh Canarias.
His juvenile fillies also include siblings to: St Leger hero Sixties Icon; Prix Jean Prat winner Mutual Trust; Coronation and Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Rizeena; and Falmouth Stakes victress Timepiece.
With his debut two-year-olds having caught the imagination of many, his second crop of yearlings duly proved hot property at last year's sales, with the average price of his progeny in Europe rising to £279,865 - up from an already impressive £248,070 - and a median of £210,000 - up from £147,000. Heading KINGMAN's 2018 yearling prices was the colt out of Shemya, who is registered as in training with Aidan O'Brien after M V Magnier parted with 1,050,000gns during Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
KINGMAN was also responsible for the top lot at Book 2, a colt out of Reem who went the way of Godolphin through Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for 750,000gns, and the most expensive colt at the Goffs Orby Sale, with the half-brother to Alkasser knocked down to David Redvers at €850,000.
In total, 30 of KINGMAN's yearlings sold for a six-figure sum in 2018. With his stud career off to a particularly bright start and his sales ring popularity on the rise, even his increased 2019 fee of £75,000 could look good value in 12 months' time. With his debut crop primed for an even bigger three-year-old campaign and another potent batch of juveniles on the way, KINGMAN has all the ammunition he needs for a barnstorming 2019.
Date: 04 January 2019