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Invincible bloodlines run strong

6 min read
After a huge weekend in Europe for Invincible Spirit (Ire), whose progeny won Group 1 races in England and France, we look at the performance of his sons at stud in Australia, in particular Territories (Ire), Shalaa (Ire) and Cable Bay (Ire), whose first foals have hit the ground this spring.

The Group 1 double for Invincible Spirit this weekend came with Royal Meeting (Ire) winning for Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin in the G1 Criterium International at Chantilly and Magna Grecia (Ire) prevailing for Aidan O'Brien in the G1 Vertem Futurity S. at Doncaster.

The tremendous career of Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible, who has had 11 stakes winners already this season, is a great example of the success of the Invincible Spirit sirelines in Australia.

As well as the three listed above, two more of his sons, Charm Spirit {Ire) and Zebedee (GB), have their first 2-year-olds hitting the ground in Australia and New Zealand, while National Defense (GB) was due to stand at Sun Stud this season but an injury saw him remain at his European base, where he stands alongside his sire at the Irish National Stud.

Arrowfield (Shalaa), Darley (Territories) and Woodside Park (Cable Bay) are all seeing the first progeny of their sons of Invincible Spirit this spring.

Shalaa's first crop hit the ground

Arrowfield's Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer said the reports on Shalaa's first foals have been very impressive, including the 28 born on their farm.

"They are very much in his image. They are all bays and attractively marked. There's a lot of quality about them. They have good rich colour, very attractive heads, and are lovely, well-muscled, very Australian types of foals for a European horse,” Freyer said.

Having seen what Shalaa has produced with his first crop, and given the mares he has attracted, with full books both years so far, Freyer is very confident they will do very well at the sales when the time comes.

"They will be very sought after at the sales, I can guarantee that. The ones that we’ve got are out of some lovely mares. They will be the type of yearling that sells well, the really classic Magic Millions type of yearling.

"I think he (Invincible Spirit)'s emerged as a really dominant sire of sires. He comes from a great family himself." - Jon Freyer

Freyer is not surprised by the increasing popularity of Invincible Spirit's sons in Australia.

"I think he's emerged as a really dominant sire of sires. He comes from a great family himself. It’s part of the Danzig sireline that seems to be breeding on. People like to drill where they have found oil and the line has worked well here and they want the next one coming through," he said.

Select approach suits Cable Bay

Cable Bay's point of difference, according to Woodside Park's General Manager James Price, has been the decision to hand-pick the mares which have gone to him.

"What’s drawn people to Cable Bay the most has been the Rick Jamieson factor. He has backed the horse as a major shareholder and he's sending 10-15 mares to him last year and this year," Price said,

"I think there's a bit of a unique factor with Cable Bay, given mares are hand selected based on Rick's broodmare template."

"We do have to disappoint mare owners and say no on occasions, but we think with this type of strategy we can make the stallion into a ten plus percentage runner to stakes-winner."

Price said the first crop of foals are all showing the marks of quality from their sire.

"They are just well-boned, strong balanced, early running types. They seem intelligent young animals. Seemingly, they are what the market will buy," he said.

"He's got a lot of white markings, and they all have a lot of white on them as well as good heads. They do have good quality."

And Price is expecting the Cable Bay foals to make a considerable impact when they reach the sales.

"I think there's a bit of a unique factor with Cable Bay, given mares are hand selected based on Rick's broodmare template." James Price

"I think there's good publicity and promotion and lovely momentum about the stallion. Those that haven't seen the foals, when they get to the weanling sales next year, they will fall in love with them. They are strong, forward, good-moving horses, which is what the market likes," he said.

"The market is not going to be flooded with Cable Bays. He served a good number but he wasn't overtaxed. I think that's good for broodmare owners. They need to be able to breed to a stallion and have confidence they are not going to be up against 50 of them in a sale."

"Hopefully they get a good return on their service fee," Price said.

Marking his Territories

Territories is also in his second year, standing at Darley at Kelvinside. Alastair Pulford, Darley's Head of Sales, feels that the Australian prospects for the French Group 1 winner will only improve as both he and his foals develop.

"Physically he's matured a lot from four to five and he's a lot better accepted in the marketplace this year," Pulford said.

"They are very much in that Invincible Spirit mould in that they have oodles of quality, are compact and correct, muscular, very nice foals." - Alastair Pulford

"We are consistently delighted with the foals being born. We have seen quite a few of them and what we haven't seen, the reports are very good. They are very much in that Invincible Spirit mould in that they have oodles of quality, are compact and correct, muscular, very nice foals."

Pulford feels the two things that Territories brings to the Australian marketplace are his resemblance to his sire and a strong maternal pedigree.

"He's a lovely looking horse. He's very much an Invincible Spirit to look at. Close coupled, strong, terrific behind the saddle. He's great to follow. He is a lovely looking horse with great quality," he said.

"I think his female line sets him apart from other sons of Invincible Spirit. He's the best horse in his pedigree since Shamardal (USA) and Street Cry (Ire), who were both very successful stallions."