New ground for gun sire, with son ready to fire

5 min read
After War Front claimed his first Australian Group 1 with Homesman's win in the Underwood S., another son of the global star stallion is looking to make an impact when his first horses hit the track this season.

War Front is the sire of 19 Group 1 winners worldwide, and somewhat of a phenomenon in America, yet his progeny have had little racing exposure in Australia. Homesman (USA) is only the second runner by the stallion in Australia, and on Sunday, became the first local Group 1 winner for his sire.

The 5-year-old ex-Coolmore import kicked off his Australian career for Lloyd Williams with a narrow win over Almandin at Caulfield in the autumn, having arrived a Group 3 winner and third in the G1 Belmont Derby. He repeated the dose on Sunday, holding out ex-Japanese galloper Tosen Basil in another tight battle, providing a Group 1 quinella for foreign imports.

It's a new feather in the cap for War Front, who stands at the historic Claiborne Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He has had Group 1 winners in England, Ireland, France, America, Hong Kong and now Australia, punching out an incredible 15.3% stakeswinners to runners with nine crops of racing age.

The course of War Front’s stud fee tells the tale of his progress: from a first-season price of US$12,500 in 2007, it has risen to its current height of US$250,000 during the 2018 season.

War Front

Big support from Coolmore

Homesman's previous owners Coolmore have invested heavily in the stock of War Front since his early emergence, purchasing shares in the son of Danzig (USA).

Air Force Blue (USA), who stood one season at Coolmore Australia, is potentially the best of all the War Front horses to have gone to Ballydoyle. Bred by Stone Farm, he was bought by M. V. Magnier at Keeneland in September 2014 for $490,000 and went on to be a Champion 2YO.

At Keeneland September last month it was a familiar tale, with the sale-topping War Front colt from Streaming (Smart Strike) knocked down to M.V. Magnier for $2.4 million. Four other yearlings by the sire broke through the million-dollar figure at the same sale.

War Front is aged only 16, so is still relatively unproven as a sire of sires. However, he seems to have the potential to establish his own significant branch of the Danzig line. If he does, it is not only Coolmore who will be perfectly placed to capitalise.

The current son

The Brothers War is the only son of War Front currently at stud in Australia. Standing at Kooringal Stud, near Wagga Wagga in NSW for $8,800, he has a representation of 34 foals from his first crop.

But Kooringal's Stuart Lamont says the reports on his 2-year-olds indicates The Brothers War should be punching above his weight in his first season.

The Brothers War

"He's got some quality stock out there. If they are good enough, they’ll make a name for him," he said.

"He's got enough that will be going to good trainers. We've had some significantly good reports coming from trainers indicating the fact that they are likely to go reasonably early."

"Unlike other horses we've had in the past where they have taken their time, they are more than likely to go early as 2-year-olds. I think he'll have his fair share of 2-year-old runners, even though he hasn’t got that many out there."

"He's got some quality stock out there. If they are good enough, they’ll make a name for him," Stuart Lamont on The Brothers War.

The first one likely to get to the track is the Lindsay Park trained Ancestry, a colt who was bred by Kooringal and sold at this year's Magic Millions Sale to Dalziel Racing and Peter Moody for $85,000.

Ancestry as a yearling

He is entered for the Maribyrnong Trial S., but will instead have a jumpout at Flemington on Friday with a view to making his bow in the Listed Inglis Debutant S., at Caulfield a week later.

"Everything seems very positive with him at this stage. They seem to be certainly keen to move forward with him," Lamont said.

"It all does depend on what happens. 2-year-olds are day-to-day propositions, if he comes through Friday well and is up to it, he'll start in that race. He was always a lovely horse, he was just a quality horse from day one and Peter Moody, who bought him was just taken by him at the sales."

"He just looks like he's that short-coupled horse that has a strong possibility of running early."

Ancestry is a half-brother to Kooringal-bred Diamond Tathagata (Hinchinbrook), who was a G2 winning 2-year-old who is standing his first-season at stud at Mount Brown in Victoria.

"Diamond was bigger all over than this fellow (Ancestry). Saying that, this colt is a more likely 2-year-old than Diamond Tathagata, even though that horse was a 2-year-old winner," Lamont said.

Diamond Tathagata winning the G2 Skyline Stakes

Speed, pedigree and type

Kooringal decided to invest in The Brothers War because of his speed and pedigree. He won twice as a 2-year-old before winning the Listed Prix Sigy at Chantilly as a 3-year-old.

"We bought him directly from the States. We were very taken by his pedigree really and the fact he was a fast horse and he was a good sort as well," Lamont said.

In a competitive market, it has been tough for The Brothers War to get a strong book of mares and he had just three yearlings sold through the sales this year.

"We were very taken by his pedigree really and the fact he was a fast horse and he was a good sort as well." - Stuart Lamont

But Lamont believes that as his progeny hit the track, his reputation will only improve.

"The horse is going to have one of his bigger books this year I think. That's purely on the fact, there's a little bit of word about them at the moment," he said.

"It's up to the horse to produce winners from now on."

The Brothers War winning the Listed Prix Sigy at Chantilly